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Practice Makes . . . Better.

ILC Newsletter

Every other month we get an update on what’s been happening recently at our Immanuel
Lutheran High School, College and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Immanuel Lutheran High School, College, and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has the following on its website: “. . . giving young men and women a Christ-centered, Biblical education.” It states, further, that “those who become Christian Day School teachers in the CLC share the Gospel with the children who enroll in their schools.” Only with our Lord’s help can this goal be accomplished, and it is with that confidence that Immanuel has created a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Education program, part of which includes on-the-job training. It’s called “student teaching,” “student internship,” and “practice teaching.” Regardless of what you call it, the goal is the same, namely, to help prepare future teachers of the CLC to be successful when they enter their own classroom for the first time. Education 403 and 404 Teacher Internship are courses in the BS program. Both courses pair our fourth-year education students with veteran CLC teachers across the synod from Florida to California, from Washington to Wisconsin. Those teachers open their classrooms and, in many cases, their homes to our students in an attempt to give them an idea of what teaching in a Christian Day School is like.

Although the education students teach a variety of classes at Messiah Lutheran School in Eau Claire as part of their education methods courses in the BS program, this does not give them a real feel for the classroom for extended periods of time. Ed. 403 and Ed. 404 are designed to get our students into the classroom for prolonged periods of time. An attempt is made to place students in both a smaller school and a larger school so they have experience in both situations.

Ed. 404 has been part of the education program at Immanuel for many years and involves the student teachers spending the third quarter of their senior year in a classroom under the supervision of a veteran teacher in a congregation of the CLC. This nine-week period will eventually see the student teacher handling all phases of the classroom. For the last few weeks, the supervising teacher is encouraged to take some time off, allowing the student teacher to handle not only the teaching, but also the discipline that is required to make a classroom run smoothly.

Ed. 403 was added several years ago in response to comments from new teachers that their first day of school
was very intimidating. Recognizing that it would be beneficial for students to become familiar with the planning that leads up to the start of a school year, Education 403 was developed. This course puts students in contact with supervising teachers early in the summer preceding their senior year so they can experience preparing for a new school year. They are able to take part in many of the things a typical teacher or principal must do to make a school year successful, such as ordering books, developing a discipline plan, and preparing the classroom. The student teacher then teaches classes for the first four weeks of school, handling as many of the classes as the supervising teacher and the student teacher agree on.

Besides learning what it is like to teach in a Christian Day School, the student teachers also make connections that often last for years as the student teachers and supervisors become colleagues for life. Student teachers frequently model the methods and approaches taken by their supervising teachers, making this a serious responsibility on the part of our faithful veteran teachers in the CLC. Immanuel Lutheran College appreciates the willingness of the host schools and teachers to mentor our education students as they prepare to serve their Lord by teaching His ways to our young .

Ross Roehl is a professor at Immanuel Lutheran College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.