Student-teacher internships dry up

FAMU’s College of Eduaction. Photo courtesy Shavell Martin

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the education system on every level. Social distancing protocols in Leon County Schools have not only hindered students but they have stymied FAMU students in the College of Education who are eager to do a student-teacher internship.

One of the graduation requirements for the college is a student teaching internship. Senior students are selected for a school to receive realistic, hands-on training alongside a teacher. As of now,Leon County Schools is not allowing visitors on its campuses until next semester.

Senior Taylor Brown is coping with the new way of learning by simply dealing with it and choosing to learn what might be the new way of teaching.

Remote learning has taken away our in-person interaction with students but there is no telling how long this will last. I will be graduating soon and this may be preparing me for the new way of teaching,” Brown said.

There are at least three student-teachers who are in the works with completing their internship and abiding by Leon County’s COVID-19 protocols.

The unknown has caused frustration and concern for education majors. Senior education student Victoria Hernandez believes she will be ready to teach after graduating, but her concerns are for the students engaging in online education.

I fear that a lot of kids will fall behind due to distance learning due to the fact that we are now adapting. Not every child has a good support system at home which will cause them to fall behind,” Hernandez said.

FAMU’s College of Education recently partnered with Mursion, a virtual reality training simulation software.This software will be used to conduct simulation classrooms for the student to assess teaching skills, behavior, and classroom management skills.

The dean of the College of Education, Allyson Watson, has been assisting and supporting her students since the beginning of remote learning. The college has transitioned to conduct online training for students preparing for certification tests, provided textbooks and laptops, and held workshops.

We have to make sure that they’re going to be willing and have the ability to stand in front of class, a class of students and get them excited about learning. That’s what we’re looking for in the College of Education — ways to be able to say, not only do we want you to be successful in front of the computer screen, but we also want you to be successful in the actual classroom setting,” Watson said.