Practical Experience Producing Great Teachers
11 Student teachers honing their skills this semester

By Chrystal Houston

Many majors require an internship, but none is as intensive as the trial-by-fire Education majors receive in their final semester before graduation: student-teaching. This semester, YC has 11 students in area classrooms practicing their teaching skills “with a safety net,” as Dr. Kathleen Wheeler puts it. Wheeler is the Chair of the Department of Education.

“[Student teachers] have all the responsibility of a classroom teacher, but they have supervision,” said Wheeler. The student teachers use already prepared curriculum and work with their coordinating teacher to find their own teaching style and methods. Each education major spends at least 16 weeks in this setting. If the student has multiple endorsements, the internship is longer so that they have time to spend in classrooms for each of their endorsed areas.

“They don’t get paid for all the work, but they learn so much. When they graduate, they are so ready to teach,” said Wheeler.

YC student teachers this semester are: Lori Bancroft, Justin Carver, Erik Gray, Lacie Hogan, Hazley Hamm, Justin Hayes, Brandi Hurlbert, Kinsey Mattison, Kristi Maxwell-Bebermeyer, Erin Sitton, and Crystal Soderholm. Some of these students are in York area schools, and others are in the Lincoln and Omaha area.

Six of the 11 student teachers are receiving their endorsement in Special Education, which should make it very easy for them to find a job after graduation, according to Wheeler. “There’s such a high demand in the nation for special education teachers right now,” she said. Wheeler also highlighted the Education department’s 95% placement rate for new graduates.