It is highly likely that at some point in your child’s school career he or she will have a intern teacher in the classroom. For families this transition can sometimes be confusing, especially if an explanation is not provided early on.
Interns (a.k.a. student teachers) start their experience in the classroom with very few teaching responsibilities. They are responsible for teaching a lesson here and there for observation by someone from the college. They may take on small tasks in the classroom such as taking attendance, read aloud, and walking the students from point A to point B. As their internship continues, they gradually take on more responsibility. They will begin to take over subject areas, work with small groups of students, and communicate with families. All of this culminates in a minimum of three weeks where they are responsible for the entire school day.
What is your child’s regular teacher doing during this time? Many take the opportunity to do more intensive instruction with individual students, to plan future classroom instruction, and to do their own professional development. He or she is probably also observing the intern and providing support and feedback.
The best thing parents can do to support the situation is to consider the intern one of your child’s teachers, and talk with your child about it in the same manner. And as is always my advice, ask if you have any questions or concerns.
And remember…we all had to start somewhere!