To the Editor:
According to a recent article in Education Week (“New Vigor Propelling Training,” Dec. 1, 2010), the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education released a report on Nov. 16 calling on schools of education to make supervised, structured, classroom-based experiences the foremost component of teacher preparation.
Last May, I submitted a letter to New York State Commissioner of Education David M. Steiner outlining a model for teacher certification based on the medical school protocol. My proposal included the following points:
1. The student-teacher puts in one semester of student-teaching (300 hours).
2. The following two semesters include an internship under the supervision of a preceptor, who works with three additional interns.
3. The intern puts in eight hours a day for 180 days, including six hours of teaching and two hours of various preparations. This comes to 1,440 hours for the year.
4. The preceptor does not have her own class during these two semesters. Her full assignment is to supervise the four interns, each of whom has his own class.
5. The school district pays each of the four interns a salary of approximately one-fourth of that of a licensed first-year teacher. The district pays the preceptor a full-time salary, but gets four interns taking the place of four teachers.
6. The next year, the preceptor has her own class and gets paid extra to supervise the interns, now called residents.
7. Each resident now has his own class and receives a full salary for that year, in addition to receiving another 1,440 hours of supervision.
8. The resident can now become a certified teacher after approximately 3,180 hours of supervision by a preceptor.
9. The state could then pass a law stating that such teachers would be hired with a salary commensurate with that of fourth-year teachers.
10. School districts should feel confident in hiring these newly certified teachers with 2½ years of experience, but would be under no obligation to do so.
All states should definitely prioritize studying the feasibility of applying the medical school protocol to teacher-certification requirements.
George A. Giuliani
Dix Hills, N.Y.
A version of this article appeared in the February 23, 2011 edition of Education Week as Model Teacher Training On Medical Residency