The introductory practicum is very early in the program so students have the opportunity to “try on teaching.” In this experience, students work with one teacher for a three-to-four-week term in January. The experience focuses on observation and reflection, and offers opportunities for beginning teaching practice. Students journal with their professors regularly during the practicum, and meet in seminars on campus to share their experiences.
The developing practicum takes place when students have completed their core courses and have taken some classes about teaching methods. Most students teach away from the Luther area for this practicum, seeking out opportunities anywhere in the U.S. to teach in settings with which they are less familiar. This is also a three-to-four-week experience, but this time students do much more planning and teaching than during the introductory practicum. Professors and students use audio and video communication throughout the practicum for questions, feedback, and ongoing instruction.
Student teaching is a full semester during the final year of the program. Students with multiple certifications (i.e. elementary education and special education) split their semester into two placements in order to develop experience in both areas and to meet state licensure requirements. Student teaching may take place locally, in another state, or abroad (see International Schools Teaching Opportunities).