Many of our fields of study have graduation requirements that go beyond sustaining a certain GPA and attaining credits.
Whether it is community service hours, a writing requirement or student teaching, many students are familiar with the additional requirements provided by their college of study.
The last step for an education student before graduation is student teaching. Life as a student teacher can be difficult and it is time that the university finds solutions to some of the problems students face.
While student teachers can submit a preference to which school they want to be assigned, they don’t always get the school they hope for.
This problem might seem small, but if a student is relying on a carpool and nobody is going towards the location they are assigned, transportation could be a problem.
Not every student at UW-Whitewater has a vehicle that they can use to drive to a school in an isolated area.
Student teaching is already stressful on students because money is tight due to fewer work hours and gas is costly.
What would happen if a student were to get into an accident on the way to student teaching? The university does not require students to sign a waiver prior to student teaching. so they could be liable since student teaching is required by UW-Whitewater.
The issue is a tough one but it is also important to note that student teaching is essential for education students. Some might argue that students know that student teaching is in their future when they begin their education to become a teacher, which is true.
We need to remind ourselves that these students will someday teach our children. As future teachers, we must treat them with respect and help accommodate whatever their needs are to ensure they graduate.
It might be unrealistic to ask the university to compensate students for gas money but there are solutions available. While the university busses students to and from Milwaukee and Beloit to observe classrooms for their pre-block requirement, they do not do the same for student teaching.
If the university provided bussing to a specific area or district instead of telling students they can go anywhere within a 40 mile radius, many could use the bus instead of having to carpool or use gas money on driving.
Students who want to student teach elsewhere than the assigned district or city would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
UW-Whitewater should also require the students to sign a waiver prior to riding the bus. This way the university would be void of any liability and would know their students’ safety would be in the bus driver’s hands.
By solving this problem, the university wouldn’t just be helping student teachers out but the future educators of Wisconsin.
It’s time that we help them out.