Note: Students who intend to complete the SPED Graduate Practicum should also review this site for details related to eligibility criteria, application instructions, and the placement process. The SPED Graduate Practicum is the culminating experience of the Special Education program and the final requirement for students who intend to receive Temple's recommendation for the Special Education (K-12) teaching certificate from PDE upon completion of the Special Education program.
Welcome to the student teaching application process and congratulations on nearing an important milestone in your preparation to join the teaching profession. Student teaching is considered the culminating experience in your pre-service teacher education, one that is meant to provide you with an invaluable opportunity to apply all that you have learned so far in a real life context with the ongoing support and feedback of an expert mentor teacher.
Background on Student Teaching
In addition to fulfilling a condition of teacher certification, student teaching serves an important role in the preparation of new teachers especially in helping them to link the theory and research learned in their coursework to the planning, teaching, and assessment of their lessons. Teacher candidates often struggle to understand and develop skills for applying newly learned information. They likewise often struggle with contradictions between their own ideas about and experiences with students, teaching, and learning and what they have learned in their formal teacher education. Student teaching provides an opportunity for aspiring teachers to learn to manage these conflicting ideas and to practice what they have learned in the context of diverse, real-life, supportive teaching experiences.
However, ensuring that these research-to-practice links occur and that each teacher candidate is well-prepared for the challenges of effectively differentiating instruction for often large classes of students from a wide range of achievement levels, students different prior knowledge and school experiences, racial/ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, and levels of family and community support is not easy. Careful thought and planning needs to be given to matching individual teacher candidates to specific cooperating teachers and schools; these schools and teachers must be willing and capable of providing supportive environments for mentoring new teachers, and these relationships and the teacher candidate need significant and reliable support and supervision. Likewise, the candidate needs to have had sufficient preparation and opportunities and supports for reflection to make the most effective use of the student teaching experience.
Before completing the online application, you must review the following guidelines:
- Are You Eligible to Student Teach?
- Where Will I Be Placed?
- How Do I Complete the Application Process?
If you have further questions after reading all three sections of guidelines, please contact the staff members in the Office of Field Placement who are listed below.
For questions or concerns about your student teaching placement / SPED Graduate Practicum placement or application, contact:
Bernie McGee, M.Ed. - Assistant Director of Field Placement
phone: (215) 204-1520
Tonya Thomas, M.Ed. - Field Placement Coordinator
phone: (215) 204-6070
Office of Field Placement
Shimada Resource Center
150 Ritter Annex
1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19122