Student Teaching for an Out-of-State Student

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Student Teaching for an Out-of-State Student

Postby DCo » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:28 am

I was interested in completing my student teaching in a village in Alaska, particularly in the North Slope or Northwest Arctic Districts. I'm probably jumping the gun on this a bit, as I plan on finishing my pedagogy in Summer of 2019 and doing my student teaching in Fall of 2019. However, I want to make sure that I have completed all of my arrangements before I make plans to leave my current job. I filled out the Student Teacher Interest Form on the site, but had some questions that I thought I should ask here.

The catch in all of this is that I am currently working on my teacher preparation program in Arizona. I spoke with the advisers and, while they have not worked with Alaska in the past, they have worked with schools in other states. Understandably, I'm required to make my own arrangements with the school that I would be doing my student teaching in. One thing that I wanted to check here would be if out-of-state student teachers were common in Rural Alaska, or if student teaching there is possible for out-of-state students.

I also wanted to ask advice for finding a placement, if possible. I haven't heard back from any schools after filling out the Student Teacher Interest Form, but I think that's to be expected given how far in advance I filled it out. Would it be beneficial for me to visit one of the job fairs with regards to this? When it gets close to the time that I will be doing my student teaching, should I reach out to the schools directly?

Last, I saw the Student Teacher Authorization Form and all of the attachments that are required such as the Basic Competency Exam results and Fingerprint card. Would I need to submit anything in addition to those as an out-of-state student? The main thing that I was worried about was the "state approved program," as I saw an additional form for State Approved Program Verification that seemed more relevant to teachers that have already completed their teacher preparation program.
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Re: Student Teaching for an Out-of-State Student

Postby Johncn » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:05 am

Hello,

Although out-of-state universities supporting student teaching in Alaska is not new, the rules and process for regulating these arrangements are a pretty recent thing. The official, and by far "best" answers are going to be found by contacting Sondra Meredith's office staff in Juneau, as they have to authorize all student teachers in advance:

Alaska Teacher Certification Office

https://education.alaska.gov/teachercertification
ST Authorization Form: https://education.alaska.gov/TeacherCertification/forms/Student_Teacher_Auth.pdf

That said, here are some basic layman's answers to your questions.

One thing that I wanted to check here would be if out-of-state student teachers were common in Rural Alaska, or if student teaching there is possible for out-of-state students.


Rural Alaska districts hire most of their teachers from other states, and have had student teacher experiences in place for decades. What is new is the regulation layer governing who can student teach, and how permission is obtained. Some districts are more interested / experienced than others at hosting and nurturing student teachers. It's a great way for districts to connect with viable candidates for full-time jobs, and is also a fantastic way for newly trained pre-service teachers to learn about teaching and living in rural Alaskan communities.

The key in finding a mutually beneficial relationship is getting in a situation where there is adequate supervision, ongoing support for the ST, and a strong relationship with the university program officials producing candidates. There have been rare situations in the past where student teachers have been placed in classrooms without support, and essentially become unpaid staff. These rarely ended well for anyone. The new structure helps to ensure that the teacher receives training and supervision, and that students are being served by quality teaching.

"I also wanted to ask advice for finding a placement, if possible. I haven't heard back from any schools after filling out the Student Teacher Interest Form, but I think that's to be expected given how far in advance I filled it out. Would it be beneficial for me to visit one of the job fairs with regards to this? When it gets close to the time that I will be doing my student teaching, should I reach out to the schools directly?"

Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) runs this forum and their main website (http://www.alaskateacher.org/) in order to help match teachers (and student teachers) with districts that need them. The form you filled out is compiled and forwarded to districts who are interested in supporting / sponsoring student teaching in their schools, but Fall of 2019 is not their big priority right now. The new school year is still getting underway. I'd give them some time to respond. My guess is that it will be October before districts catch their breath, and start to think about next year's needs. If you don't hear anything by Christmas, then reaching out directly to districts and/or attending a job fair (if you can) would be a good idea. I am pretty sure districts will contact you before then, though.

Last, I saw the Student Teacher Authorization Form and all of the attachments that are required such as the Basic Competency Exam results and Fingerprint card. Would I need to submit anything in addition to those as an out-of-state student? The main thing that I was worried about was the "state approved program," as I saw an additional form for State Approved Program Verification that seemed more relevant to teachers that have already completed their teacher preparation program.


You are referring to the Alaska Teacher Certification website page here, I think. As long as you meet the requirements in the Student Teacher Authorization Form, you are good to go. The State Approved Program Verification is, as you suspected, part of an actual certification packet for teachers getting their state licensure in Alaska, and not something you need to worry about at this point. It used to be called the "Institutional Recommendation", I believe. Sondra's office can clarify that for you.

Here is a summary of the 2015 changes that were rolled out regarding student teaching in Alaska:

In general, in addition to permission from their current teacher preparation institution, a Student Teacher in Alaska must:

1) Agree to complete a minimum of 500 hours of classroom work over 15 weeks with a qualified supervising teacher
2) Undergo the same Alaska criminal background check as certified teachers
3) Complete one of the Basic Competency Exams accepted by the Alaska Teacher Certification office prior to the experience
4) Agree to follow Alaska's teaching standards (4 AAC 04.200)


Hope this helps, but make sure you get the official info, and let us know where you end up going!

John
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