The idea behind the Learning/Teaching Collaborative (LTC) in the Boston area is simple: When it comes to preparing education students for the classroom, practicing teachers have abundant knowledge and experience to offer.
Unlike most student teaching programs, LTC was conceived and is run mostly by on-the-job teachers. The centerpiece of LTC is a year-long internship for students who are pursuing graduate degrees and teaching certification at Wheelock College or Simmons College, two small, urban colleges renowned for their teacher preparation programs.
Throughout the year, the graduate students work closely with teams of classroom teachers at one of eight elementary schools affiliated with LTC. The teams include a college faculty member who supervises interns, attends team meetings, and co-teaches school-based seminars with LTC teachers. The teams meet regularly to share instructional strategies and discuss interns' progress. As a result of having interns in the classroom, teachers have one day a week to conduct research, develop curriculum, lead workshops for colleagues, or teach courses at the colleges.
LTC teachers say the program has improved their confidence in themselves as professionals, improved their practice, and reduced their isolation.