Andy Kim is a former GOVERNING staff writer.
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) suggests that student teachers would benefit from additional real-life classroom experience throughout the course of their education. In November, a Blue Ribbon panel of educators convened by NCATE released its recommendations for preparing teachers with more classroom experience, and eight states agreed to implement those reforms in a pilot program. The states committed to implementing the pilot include California, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Tennessee. Although the changes aren’t set to go into effect until the following school year, some districts have already implemented programs that fall under these guidelines. One example of how teachers are getting more experience can be seen in New York State, where the Tully School District partnered with the State University of New York College at Cortland to allow education students to observe classroom environments without having to physically be there, according to the (Syracuse) Post-Standard. Using videoconferencing technology, SUNY students can see live classes in progress and even chat with the teachers and students of participating first- and sixth-grade classrooms. The technology allows SUNY students to get classroom experience without having to make the 15-mile drive from the campus to the elementary school.