Developing Your Teaching Skills

The student-teaching internship offers the space and time to develop your teaching and classroom management skills in areas such as:

  • Creating a positive and productive classroom environment for all students.
  • Addressing the diversity of students’ backgrounds, learning capacities and linguistic needs, and social and emotional needs.
  • Strengthening your content knowledge and ways to engage students within the academic disciplines.
  • Planning curriculum that aligns with standards and integrates with the assessment of student progress.   
  • Developing competency in the use of classroom technology.

Strong School Partnerships

Our strong partnerships with regional school districts offer our students the opportunity to gain experience in urban, suburban or rural school settings. The superintendents, principals, and teachers in our partner districts value their partnerships with the University, and our alumni have a strong job placement rate in the districts where they have completed student-teaching internships.

Rural Partner School District

  • RSU 14: Windham-Raymond Schools
  • SAD 6: Bonny Eagle

Suburban Partner School Districts

  • Gorham School Department
  • Westbrook School Department

Urban Partner School Districts

  • Biddeford School Department
  • Lewiston School Department
  • Portland Public Schools
  • South Portland School Department

Our partner school districts offer culturally and linguistically rich and dynamic contexts for learning. They promote collaboration among teachers, specialists, schools, community cultural groups, and various agencies. As you work with students in these schools, you’ll find opportunities to address:

  • Cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Poverty
  • Instructional planning time
  • Extended learning opportunities
  • Communicating and collaborating with parents and the community

Student-Teaching Internship Placement

We work with our students to place them in school districts that align with their location and career goals. Applicants who are invited to interview with ETEP faculty for admission to the program will have an opportunity to express their interest in particular school settings, although placement in a particular district cannot be guaranteed.

In addition to our Partner School Districts, we occasionally place interns in other school districts in southern Maine. 

For students who are educational technicians who would like to complete their student-teaching internship in the district where they are employed, we collaborate with school and district administration attempting to reach an agreement that supports employment while attending the program.

Collaborative Cohort Model

We combine our students into groups, called cohorts, which offer opportunities for networking and collaboration. Here’s how it works:

  • A faculty advisor, who will also be one of your instructors, serves as your point of contact for support and guidance.
  • You and your fellow cohort students will progress through your courses and your student-teaching internship together.
  • You’ll be student-teaching in the same district as some of your fellow cohort students. You’ll participate in weekly seminars together, offering opportunities to share about progress, challenges, and breakthroughs.

Support and Guidance

As you progress through your studies and your student-teaching internship, you’ll benefit from a strong support system of education professionals.

Your Mentor, Supervisor & Coordinators

  • Master Mentor Teacher: The teacher who oversees the classroom where you’re student teaching also serves as your day-to-day contact and mentor. You’ll collaborate on skill development in areas such as creating a positive classroom environment, maximizing instructional time, and identifying and supporting students who are struggling. As you meet school personnel and learn about the district’s structure and policies, your master mentor teacher serves as your host.
  • School-based Faculty Supervisor: The supervisor collaborates with you and your master mentor teacher to set goals, observe your classroom teaching, and ensure progress toward teaching standards.
  • USM Faculty Advisor and Cohort Coordinator: This University faculty member will serve as your point-of-contact throughout your internship. Providing oversight for you and your fellow cohort students, the advisor will check in with you regarding your progress and any challenges you’re facing. They’ll observe your classroom teaching and will keep in touch with your master mentor teacher, and your faculty supervisor.
  • District-based Coordinator: The district coordinator will host seminars with your cohort every two weeks to address the current and emerging practices within the school district. This essential element of your internship leads to a higher job placement rate within the district

Student-Teaching Responsibility

As you progress through your internship and develop teaching skills, there is a gradual increase in responsibility.

What You’ll Do as a Student Teacher

  • Get to know your students, including their backgrounds, cultures, and learning preferences.
  • Collaborate with your mentor teacher to develop lesson plans.
  • Plan your own lessons and lead-teaching for five-to-ten-days, depending on the semester.
  • Experiment with instruction techniques for diverse learners.
  • Implement visual aids, hands-on activities, and technology use.
  • Create an assessment system to evaluate your students’ progress and the efficacy of your lesson plans and instruction techniques.
  • Participate in study halls, faculty meetings, department meetings, in-service workshops, and parent-teacher conferences.
  • Become familiar with the district curriculum, as well as the school philosophy, policies, and administration, including the Maine Learning Results and the Common Core.