The Master of Education program in teaching and learning continues to place student teachers despite being canceled due to COVID-19 last year.
The graduate program is unique only to ACU students that have already gone through the undergraduate teacher education program.
“In the fifth year they do a year-long student teaching placement because our undergrads just do a semester of student teaching,” Dr. Andrew Huddleston, program director for the master’s program, said. “This is a full year, so they really get a lot of experience in a classroom getting to see the full year of everything that happens.”
Unlike last spring, when student teaching came to an abrupt stop, this school year the graduate students have been able to remain in-person with their teaching.
“The students have gotten to participate in their full year as normal,” Huddleston said. “The only difference is they wear masks and have to follow the safety guidelines of the district, but they get to fully participate and so that’s been really, really good.”
The program’s seventh cohort started their student teaching in August.
“In August, we started going to school in-person,” Ella Wasser, a graduate student in the program from Dallas, said. “That was never not going to happen for student teachers because they are considered essential people in schools right now.”
The graduate students have adapted to the new normal within their teaching.
“We’re very specific about spacing out and what that looks like in line orders for students,” Wasser said. “My mask is on all day unless I’m eating or drinking and when I do have lunch in the classroom with the teacher we are spaced apart. Truly it hasn’t been that much different other than I’m in a mask all day, but at this point I’m used to it and it’s fine.”