One of the most important and work intensive parts of the adolescence education program at Canisius is the pre-student teaching aspect that goes along with the “Advanced Methods” class. Each subject area has its own class, but the requirements for the graduate students in these classes are all pretty much the same.
The class itself meets like a normal class, but students are expected to complete 70 hours of classroom observation with a cooperating middle or high school teacher. During these hours, students are expected to complete a wide variety of activities, including teaching at least 5 lessons, one of which must be observed by the professor. The other four are overseen primarily by the cooperating teacher, who helps the student figure out what lessons to teach and how to integrate them into the class. Students must also complete an interview with both the cooperating teacher and one of the adolescents in the school being observed. Questions in these interviews revolve around experience in education from both the teacher and student’s perspectives. Two other requirements are the attendance of a staff meeting at the cooperating school and a professional development activity as well.
Each of these activities is meant to help prepare the student to student teach and to raise awareness of some of the less visible parts of being a teacher. Students will then complete reflections on each of the activities they complete as well as lesson plans to go with the lessons taught in school. This class is quite intense, but in the end, it is supposed to make the student ready to take on the full responsibilities of student teaching.