Students partner with Mineral Point School District
PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — This semester, 24 University of Wisconsin-Platteville elementary education majors, enrolled in Block I Pre Student Teaching, are contributing a combined 3,000 hours of support to area schools within the Platteville and Mineral Point, Wis. school districts.
UW-Platteville’s School of Education has had a Professional Development School partnership with Mineral Point School District since 2011. Since then, both schools have been committed to delivering instruction that is standards based and embedded in best practices.
In May 2013 UW-Platteville and the Mineral Point School District were recognized for their partnership in pre student and student teaching. Additionally, both schools were awarded a grant from the Wisconsin Technology Initiative, a program designed to provide hardware and software to PK-12 school districts and universities for the purposes of collaboration and student achievement. A criterion for the grant was an established partnership between a PK-12 school district and university.
According to Lindsay Hollingsworth, UW-Platteville School of Education assistant professor, the success of the program comes from the partnership in the classroom and the hands on opportunity that students receive due to the willingness of Mineral Point to be a teaching school district.
Hollingsworth said this opportunity allows students in Block I, Pre-Student Teaching the opportunity to get into a classroom before their student teaching semester. Students are in the classrooms three hours every morning for 10 weeks. The pre-student teachers work in prekindergarten through fourth grade classrooms supporting literacy and math instruction.
“Students are really putting to use what they’re learning in class,” said Hollingsworth. “They teach, deliver lessons and support students. Then, they come to campus in the afternoon and continue to learn about philosophies and strategies.”
Further, Nan Welch, UW-Platteville School of Education professor, said that during this pre-student teaching semester, students begin to transition from students to teachers.
“It’s a nice bridge piece between observation hours and full responsibility for a classroom,” said Welch. “Our goal is to support the development of their practice so that when they get to student teaching, they are confident in their skills.”
Welch also expressed that pre-student teaching is crucial to students’ professional identity. “It’s a huge semester for their identity, moving from student to teacher, and it’s so motivating for us to see them transition before our eyes.”
Both Hollingsworth and Welch agreed that another benefit to the PDS program is that Mineral Point and Platteville teachers can mentor UW-Platteville students.
“They could easily say no,” said Hollingsworth. “It takes time to build relationships, mentor the UW-Platteville students, and orient them to the procedures in their classrooms. But, they continue to say yes to us and we’re certainly grateful for that.”
Welch added that for teachers who accept pre-student and student teachers into their classroom, the benefits outweigh the costs due to the opportunity to have an extra set of hands, allowing for team teaching and giving extra time to struggling students in classrooms.
Contact: Lindsay Hollingsworth, School of Education, (608) 342-1268, firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by: Jessica Mueller, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, email@example.com