Our elementary education program is extensively field-based. As part of our program, students participate in a minimum of three field experiences that provide opportunities to work with diverse learners in real classrooms.
Early field experience
Early in their program, candidates shadow an elementary teacher for 30 hours.
Literacy field experience
While taking reading methods courses, our students work with elementary children on reading and literacy development for 20 hours.
Comprehensive integrated methods internship
Missouri State offers a unique field experience including a comprehensive, eight-week, 100-hour internship designed to allow students to "put it all together" after they have completed their teaching methods courses The authentic theory to practice approach gives elementary teacher candidates practical, hands-on experience working with children and youth of diverse backgrounds and learning levels before student teaching.
This integrated methods experience takes place in a Springfield Public Schools Title 1 elementary classroom.
A 16-week student teaching experience culminates the field training sequence.
Teaching in the Missouri State service area
Students are placed in one of several Teaching Academies in the Springfield area for 16 weeks. In their assigned classroom, they teach individual lessons, team-teach and peer coach one another. Later, they teach in other grade levels for several days, resulting in teaching experiences in all grades, 1-6, during student teaching.
Each academy is assigned a coordinator who supervises and assists the classroom teachers and teacher candidates, oversees the schedule of experiences in each grade level and conducts weekly seminars for our students.
Teaching Academies offers a contemporary venue for the student teaching experience. The academy experience immerses student teachers in the entire school district community. This full immersion concept allows student teachers a means to fulfill a fundamental focus of Missouri State's public affairs mission.
Teaching outside the Missouri State service area
Students may apply to student teach in another state or country. Out-of-area student teaching includes two 8-week placements in different schools and grade levels. A student teaching supervisor is assigned to each candidate to supervise the candidate, consult with the classroom teacher.