If you’re on a pathway to become a teacher, you know that certification requires that you accumulate student teaching and clinical hours. You work in a classroom for a full year, typically through an unpaid internship. This can be a hardship, especially for adult students who are returning to school to fulfill their dream of teaching, but must juggle family and financial responsibilities. For some people, this situation is the most difficult wall to climb in getting certification.
Our Program—A Huge Advantage
The Granite State College Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification program is different. What makes it great is that you can work as a paid paraprofessional or teaching assistant, something you may be doing already! As you do, you earn your student teaching and clinical hours. This provides you with schedule flexibility and some financial security, all while completing your requirements. For Brian Bussiere, an alum who majored in Math Studies with Teacher Certification, it made his dream of becoming a teacher possible.
At Granite State, I could continue working while pursuing an education degree. At other schools, you need to take a year off for unpaid student teaching. I can’t afford to go without a salary, so the fact that I can get my student teaching and clinical hours done while I work full-time made the difference.
At the core of this effort is our Field-Placement Faculty, who act as a connection between the College and the classrooms. They provide support through observation and written feedback, and teach prospective teachers like you how to self-evaluate. Granite State College has these specialized faculty members located throughout the state of New Hampshire. Each mentors and critiques the same group of students throughout their program, helping hone their classroom skills. But according to Kathleen Shumway-Pitt, program director, one of the primary advantages of the Granite State system is that relationship between student and faculty member.
We work with students both in and out of state, and the ultimate responsibility of establishing a placement is the student’s, but our Field-Placement Faculty are a terrific resource when it comes to finding quality opportunities for clinical experience in each region. Often though, our students are already working as paraprofessionals. In those cases, the student sets his/her own placement up in their workplace with support from our faculty member who acts as a liaison, communicating with the school administrators on site to explain Granite State’s clinical program.
Giving Back to the Profession
For Granite State College Field-Placement Faculty, there is a lot of pride in helping others learn how to become great teachers. Nicole Monmaney, a member of our faculty and a teacher herself, explains that through the process, she has found ways to improve her own teaching.
It’s exciting to see candidates improve their teaching skills and go on to do work that influences so many people. I even benefit from the process in my own classroom.
Emily Gannon, Nicole’s Field-Placement colleague, adds:
I love observing teacher candidates as they teach their first formal lesson, or watching seasoned veterans master their craft through additional certifications. I witness incredible growth and development, and that is inspiring!
The program is a win-win. Adult students with families and other commitments are provided with schedule flexibility and the financial resources to make their dream a reality. Most important of all, children get an outstanding teacher.