Components of a Successful Student Teaching Experience.
Student teaching is an opportunity for university students to apply the skills and ideas learned through agricultural education classes. The student teaching process allows the student to tie in the real world relevancy of their studies. By performing a certified teacher's duties, the student can demonstrate the educational concepts learned at the university. The idea that more successful student teaching experiences lead to more effective teachers is a good illustration of the importance of student teaching. It is also during student teaching that a student teacher will become enthusiastic about teaching, or decide to pursue a completely different profession. With all of the impact that student-teaching makes on a student, it is important to understand the components of a successful student teaching experience.
There are four components of a quality student teaching experience in the agricultural education field. The basis of these components comes from general education courses prior to student teaching, the cooperating teachers, the university supervisors, and the facility for student teaching. Courses taken prior to student teaching can impact a student's satisfaction with the student teaching experience. Rome (1990) found that effectiveness of general education courses in preparation for student teaching rated very low (mean 2.95/5). This study was based on a questionnaire filled out by first year teachers. While this did not go into specifics regarding exactly what was lacking from the student teacher's preparation classes, the ratings left room for improvement. Of the first year teachers surveyed, the average rating was 2.95, with the highest being a five, and the lowest being a one. Those teachers who further commented on this, expressed a desire for more specific examples of problems and solutions in classes. It should also be considered that these questions and concerns could be addressed during classes that meet after the student teaching experience is completed.