It seems that both teacher preparation programs and school systems have largely given up on the value of student teaching. Programs complain that their student teachers are assigned to any teacher, regardless of a teacher's own effectiveness. School systems complain that too many of their student teachers are not as well prepared as they should be and not always interested in teaching in their schools.
For student teachers themselves the quality of the experience is often a matter of chance. Some student teachers have a great experience, others not so much.
We want to reinvent student teaching, ensuring that student teachers are systematically placed with great teachers where they learn and practice essential skills benefiting every classroom teacher. It begins with school systems and higher ed institutions taking a more strategic and data-driven approach. With a little care and attention, student teachers should be the school systems' primary source of high quality new teachers—and at a fraction of the cost many systems are currently paying to recruit from costly alternatives.
We call this work Great from the Gate. With our partners and contributors including Education First, the New Teacher Center, and Opportunity Culture, we are breathing new life into this pivotal moment of a teacher's career.