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  • Writer's pictureStudent Ambassadors

Internship vs. Student Teaching

Beginning your program at the McKay school is such an exciting time! However, before you know it, it will be time for practicum and then the important decision between interning and student teaching. Deciding between student teaching and interning is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your BYU career. However, it doesn't need to be stressful! In this blog post we will highlight the similarities and differences between interning and student teaching, as well as offer insight about which one may be right for you.

Let's start with some definitions!

  • What is Interning? An internship is a full school year (August - May), paid experience, where you are the only teacher in the classroom. You will plan, prepare, and teach every day. Interns apply and interview with a district, where they are then placed in a school and grade level. Some districts allow you to list your preferred grade level. Just a reminder, internships are only available for Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, and Physical Education students.

  • What is Student Teaching? Student Teaching is a semester, unpaid (except for a $6000 stipend from the Utah state government starting in fall 2024) teaching experience where you spend time shadowing a mentor teacher and plan, prepare, and teach every day for a few weeks. Student teachers apply and list their preferences for district and grade level, and then are placed accordingly. The McKay school also hosts semester long student teaching programs in Washington DC and Houston for all students who are interested!

Interning is right for you if:

  • You feel ready to tackle your own classroom after second practicum.

  • You have the time and ability to commit to teaching for a full year (and preparing/attending meetings throughout the summer leading up to it).

  • You have a strong idea about how you want your classroom to look and function.

  • You can stay on top of a multitude of deadlines, meetings, licensure checklists, etc.

  • You have a strong love for children and can't wait to teach!

Student Teaching is right for you if:

  • You feel like you could be an even better teacher with a few more months of teacher shadowing and practice.

  • You are only able to commit to a single semester of teaching.

  • You would love more insights into teaching, classroom management, and classroom setup.

  • You are interested in one of our teaching programs in Houston or Washington DC.

  • You have a strong love for children and can't wait to teach!

Student teaching and interning are both incredible options and there is no "one size fits all" answer! You know yourself better than anyone and will be able to be successful in whatever program you put your mind to! We are so excited for you and all that you will be able to accomplish in your future adventures.

If you would love to learn more about interning vs. student teaching, set up a meeting with our student ambassadors here. They would love to chat!

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