Student Teaching Goes Virtual Amid Pandemic

The University of Phoenix is looking to combat the nationwide teacher shortage – while still maintaining safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic – by taking student teaching virtual.

The University of Phoenix has partnered with Elevate K-12, a live-streaming edtech company, to provide teaching students educators to teach engaging, live classes from anywhere. Elevate K-12 says this will help bridge “the gap between the best teachers and the schools that need them most.”

“On average, the University of Phoenix places around 800 student teachers per semester, and in addition, they have thousands more who are earning their undergraduate and master’s degree in education,” Elevate K-12 Chief Operating Officer Kim Kross said. “The requirements for achieving those degrees is to complete a number of observation hours and to accumulate hours of student teaching. With COVID-19, that has been increasingly difficult, and schools don’t know how to accommodate that in a remote environment. That is where we come in.”

The University of Phoenix will use Elevate K-12’s live streaming platform, which provides teachers with the tools needed to “conduct vibrant and impactful lessons and engage directly and personally with students.”

“Through this partnership, University of Phoenix students who want to pursue online education opportunities have a track,” Kross said. “For students who want to finish up their student teaching requirements but don’t want to go into the classroom, we can leverage our system and network of qualified teachers.”

Through the 12-week program, teaching students will be paired with a mentor teacher and will work for four hours each day. During the second half of the program, the student teacher will take over the teaching and will be observed and coached by the mentor teacher, who will be in the classroom for the duration of the student teacher’s teaching.

“In addition, Elevate K-12 is working with the University of Phoenix to provide opportunities for classroom observations to help student teachers fulfill their clinical hours, which can be very difficult in the current COVID environment,” Kross said. “Elevate K-12 will provide student teachers with classroom videos so that they can analyze the methodology and see what great teaching looks like without having to be in the actual classroom.”

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs