Editor's Note:This blog post was co-written with Dr. Nancy Bacharach, the Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant. She is a professor in the Department of Teacher Development at St. Cloud State.
Most of us have vivid memories of our student teaching experience. Whether these images are positive or negative, they played a significant role in preparing us to become teachers. The old model of student teaching often had the teacher candidates spending their initial weeks as silent observers, gradually assuming the role of teacher, leading up to "full responsibility" in the classroom. Clinical teachers rarely assisted or vacated the room, letting the candidate learn his or her craft alone.