Coronavirus Separates Student Teachers From Their K-12 and College Classrooms, Forcing Them to Scramble and States to Change License Rules

The 74

On a Friday afternoon in early April, a group of student teachers joined a Zoom call hosted by Joy Ross, who coordinates student teacher programming in the Cherry Creek School District outside of Denver. After a body scan meditation exercise, the teachers-in-training entered how they were feeling on a scale from 1 to 5 in the chat section of the app. A few share that they’re worried about their students and family members amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down schools and turned routines upside down.

The Zoom meeting, called “Being Well in the New Normal,” is part of the Growth Squad, an effort by Ross and her colleagues to support student teachers and help them feel connected to the district. The last day of in-person class in Colorado was March 12, but students teachers there are meeting regularly — virtually — with their students and the other teachers from their placement schools. Colorado schools will not reopen before the end of this academic year and might even remain closed into the fall.

Ashley Cosgrove, a student teacher in a seventh-grade English classroom in the district’s Falcon Creek Middle School, said she talks with her cooperating teacher — the full-time teacher who works with her — multiple times a day, helps plan lessons and communicates with their students daily.

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