Getting Practical with a Practicum

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As a TEP student, we are required to complete a semester of full-time student teaching. Other HGSE programs have practicum requirements such as L&L, PSP, and SLP. In TEP, this spring, I am only taking one half-credit course at HGSE as I spend most of each day at Brighton High School. I have been shadowing, assisting, and teaching in a 10th grade ELA classroom at Brighton since September. In the fall, I helped out two days a week in addition to taking four classes at HGSE. This semester, I am working there full-time for my practicum. While this is a requirement to get licensed to teach in Massachusetts public schools, it is also a key reason that I want to attend graduate school: I wanted to learn more educational theory and add depth to my “teacher toolbox,” but I also wanted to practice incorporating these tools and theories into practice. I wouldn’t be happy in a totally theoretical program.

I am working with a Brighton teacher as my mentor, and she is gradually releasing the reins as I take more and more responsibility in the classroom. I also have an advisor from HGSE, a former teacher and current Ph.D. student, who visits for structured observations and debriefs to help me reflect on my teaching.

After being a grad student in summer school and for a fall semester at Harvard, I now feel like much more of a teacher.

Mary Reid Munford is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Teacher Education Program, pursuing licensure as a high school English teacher. She has worked in schools in New Orleans, Mississippi, Colorado, and southern Africa and is interested in how experiential education can make academics come alive for a wide range of students.

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