For more than a decade, Windham has welcomed teacher interns from USM into their classrooms. More recently, RSU14 and USM have formed a true partnership, offering real benefits to both interns and the district.
This year, there are ten interns placed in classrooms at Manchester School, Windham Middle School, and Windham High School. “This semester we don’t have anybody at the Primary school, which is unusual,” said Sara Needleman, USM ETEP Cohort Coordinator for Windham and Gorham. “That’s not a reflection of Windham Primary, that’s a reflection of who applied to the program last year,” she said. In the past, Raymond schools have also had interns, but currently do not.
Interns in the program play a much bigger role than traditional student teachers, who typically spend far less time in the classroom. In partner districts, Needleman said, there are two semesters of internship for their students. In the fall, interns are in the classroom three full days and two half days. In the spring, they are in the classroom five full days.
“The goal is that the interns are essentially embedded with their mentor teacher in the classroom,” said Needleman. They are learning not only to do everything their mentor teacher does as a classroom teacher, but also how it feels to be a member of the faculty.
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