To help meet its goal of preparing highly qualified teachers in STEM fields, the UTeach Natural Sciences program relies on education professionals in the greater Austin area. Throughout the entire program, and culminating in the Apprentice Teaching semester, these co-educators graciously allow UTeach students into their classrooms, providing significant feedback that helps our students grow and learn. They comment on portfolios, support our apprentice teachers as University Facilitators, and in general help our students develop an understanding of the teaching profession, both inside and outside the classroom. All of the co-educators associated with UTeach receive a stipend.
We are grateful for the experience and expertise shared by all of those who help prepare UTeach students for a rich and rewarding professional life. With hundreds of UTeach students placed in area classrooms each semester, we couldn't do it without you!
These courses, the first 2 in the UTeach program, provide our students the opportunity to explore the profession of teaching in a hands-on way and decide if teaching is right for them.
In Step 1, following an introduction to the theory and practice behind excellent inquiry-based science and mathematics instruction, students teach lessons in elementary classrooms to obtain firsthand experience in planning and implementation.
In Step 2, students continue developing the lesson planning skills they learned in Step 1 as they become familiar with exemplary middle school mathematics and science curricula. After observing a lesson being taught in a local school district classroom, students work alone or in pairs to plan and teach three inquiry-based lessons to sixth, seventh, or eighth graders. Middle school classrooms are selected both for the diversity of the student body and the quality of the classroom teachers, who serve as mentors for the Step 2 students assigned to them.
Students who decide to continue in the UTeach program take two more courses with a field experience before student teaching: Classroom Interactions and Project Based Instruction. In these courses, the field experiences allow students to implement what they learned in Step and Step 2 at a deeper and more mature level, as well as apply theories and ideas explored in their on-campus courses, such as Knowing and Learning. Please feel free to read more about all of the UTeach courses.
UTeach relies on outside evaluators to score the portfolio, both at the preliminary and final levels. We value the expertise that experienced educators bring to this process as they help our pre-service teachers prepare for their future as professional educators. Learn more about the portfolio evaluation process.
The culminating experience for UTeach students is the Apprentice Teaching semester. For this very important, final field experience, UTeach relies on experienced, patient, and flexible educators. These in-service teachers provide thoughtful, detailed feedback on each individual student so that our pre-service teachers have the opportunity to continue to grow as educators. Expert teachers, conscious of their own best practices, work closely with our students as they are on the cusp of becoming professionals themselves. The guidance and thoughtful support provided by these accomplished educators are significant contributions to the UTeach program.
University Facilitators observe students for specific, focused proficiencies in the classroom. They also offer pre-service teachers guidance on lesson plan development, classroom management, and more.
Local educators interested in learning more about the role of Cooperating Teachers and University Facilitators should feel free to contact UTeach Apprentice Teaching coordinator, Pamela Powell.