The course is the first in the sequence of courses they need for either elementary of secondary teacher licensure and is an opportunity for them to get their first teaching experience as well as begin to develop their ideas about what type of teacher they want to become.
For some, it is an exploration of whether they really do want to teach. Sometimes, growing up through our teen years we hear so many times "how good we are with young children" or how we have a "knack for remembering dates; you should teach history" that we think our chosen livelihood must be to teach. For some they have always loved math or art and want to share their passion, while for others it is the thought of being part of the wonderful developmental phases of childhood that draws them on.
This semester the course has been filled with a truly remarkable group of young men and women all with a genuine passion for life whether it be teaching or, as in one case, journalism. There isn't a single student in the course who, I think, should reconsider their choice of career. In fact, there have been many students who I think will make a meaningful contribution to the teaching preofession in years to come.
The most important characteristic the students seem to share is that none of them see the task of becoming a teacher as a "spectator sport". They have all been actively engaged in their learning through the learning communities we set up in the class as well as their participation in the field placements. The cooperating teachers' evaluations of the students were wonderful.
In the current economic uncertainty it has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with a group of students with such a genuinely positive outlook on life.