Early Field Experience
In your initial licensure program, you’ll participate in 75 hours of field experience as early in your program as possible to become familiar with the classroom environment. If you have current or recent experience, you may request that it be used to fulfill this requirement. In certain elementary education programs, you’ll do this part of your student teaching in a required course near the end of your program.
Once you’ve completed your early field hours and required coursework, and passed the necessary Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs), you’ll be ready for your practicum. This is a full-time, full-semester experience, and is accompanied by a weekly seminar.
All early field and practicum placements are done in conjunction with our Field Placement Office and will be set up in a classroom appropriate to the license you’re seeking.
We offer two exciting alternatives to the typical semester-long practicum.
Summer/Fall Split Practicum
For candidates in applicable Early Childhood, Elementary, Moderate Disabilities, Instructional Technology, Visual Arts PreK-8, or Specialist Teacher of Reading* initial licensure programs.
This is a two-part practicum that begins with seven weeks in summer at a Cambridge school and another seven weeks in fall at another Massachusetts school. *For Specialist Teacher of Reading candidates, the summer experience will fulfill the entire practicum requirement.
The summer experience is in the Summer Compass Program, a dynamic summer camp-style setting with 125-150 Cambridge students from a variety of backgrounds. Students are selected so as to insure racial/cultural balance, citywide attendance, and representation of special needs students. Classes are organized in multi-age groupings, with each classroom having a team consisting of a mentor teacher and up to three student teachers.
Each classroom chooses a theme for the summer and designs a related curriculum that emphasizes activity-based learning in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and the arts. Other program components include computer lab, field trips, and library. Student teachers in the reading program serve as language arts consultants to the classrooms and work on whole-school activities, such as newsletters.
Student teachers are supervised by Lesley supervisors, who are on site several days a week. Weekly 2.5-hour seminars are held on site for student teachers, to reflect on their teaching and discuss issues related to the program and their licensure areas. Read about the 2016 Summer Compass experience.
If you’re interested in joining us next summer, please call 617.349.8399.
Year-Long Paid Internship
For candidates in applicable Early Childhood, Elementary, Moderate PreK-8, English as a Second Language, Instructional Technology, or Visual Art PreK-8 initial licensure programs.
For this type of internship, you spend a full academic year working as an intern in a public school in Cambridge, Brookline, or Newton. You can complete all of your required field experiences while earning a stipend and immersing yourself in a school community. One semester of the year will be your final practicum, with an accompanying seminar. Students must meet all practicum requirements prior to entering their practicum semester.
In general, interns begin working in their schools before the children arrive in September, and remain until the last day in June. During that time, you join in all aspects of classroom and school life, and work collaboratively with highly skilled mentor teachers.
Our students tell us that exposure to a full year of curriculum, classroom management, and teaching experience enhances their learning experience and prepares them for their first teaching role. Lesley’s Career Resource Center reports that many school hiring officials have preference for candidates who have had completed full year internships, due to their breadth and depth of experience with children, colleagues, and parents. Contact the field placement office for more information.