The request came from the students.
Those who were enrolled in — or considering enrolling in — American University’s School of Education said they wanted more classroom experience, more opportunities to practice their craft before being released to do it alone every day to a room full of kids.
Wish granted. Today, and for the last year or so, aspiring educators at American University are required to spend a minimum of 40 hours tutoring students in Washington, D.C., public schools, in addition to completing the long-standing requirement of student teaching for a semester.
“We see now, as students are entering student teaching with this additional experience tutoring, how much stronger they are and how much more prepared they are,” says Ocheze Joseph, director of undergraduate teacher education at the university. “They’re more comfortable in the classroom, more familiar.”
And these students aren’t just getting relevant teaching experience. They’re also getting paid.