As districts continue to manage staffing shortages, many are turning to student teachers to provide needed support in both short- and long-term substitute positions. Student teachers can play an important and supportive role in addressing staffing needs; however, school leaders and preparation providers must work together to ensure that student teachers are supported in their ongoing development during the critical practicum phase of their preparation.
When considering a student teacher for a short- or long-term substitute position, ask the following questions:
Promising practices and solutions for working with student teachers to address staffing shortages include:
Additional benefits to leveraging student teachers:
The educator preparation pipeline in Massachusetts is much more racially diverse than the current workforce: in the 2020-21 school year, 13% of candidates identified as people of color, compared to 9.2% of the Commonwealth's teachers.
Research shows that educators of color have a wide range of positive effects on all students. In addition to building an antiracist work environment, prioritizing student teachers can be an important step toward diversifying your district's teacher workforce.
Leveraging Student Teachers to Support Flexible Staffing ModelsDESE
Sustaining Teacher Training in a Shifting EnvironmentEdResearch for Recovery
For their contributions to this module, we'd like to thank the following individuals:
Dr. Des Floyd, Director of Clinical Learning and Educator Development, High Meadows Graduate School of Teaching and Learning
Desirée Ivey, Executive Director of Teacher Training, Shady Hill School
Goldhaber, Dan, John Krieg, and Roddy Theobald. "Exploring the Impact of Student Teaching Apprenticeships on Student Achievement and Mentor Teachers." CALDER Working Paper No. 207-1118-1, 2020.
Goldhaber, Dan, and Matthew Ronfeldt. "Sustaining Teacher Training in a Shifting Environment." EdResearch for Recovery, 2020.
Please contact us at email@example.com with questions, feedback, or for additional support and partnership around any of the practices and resources included in this guide.
Last Updated: August 25, 2022
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