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Practicum Professor Spotlight: Elementary Education

Updated: May 1, 2023

Prior to beginning student teaching, each McKay School Student takes part in a class affectionately labeled "Practicum". For Elementary Education majors, this class takes place every other day (MW or TTH) for 10 weeks during the semester and provides students with a full day classroom experiences. Students assist teachers, facilitate certain activities, and help students succeed.

Elementary Education Students complete their two practicums (one practicum in grades K-3 and another in grades 4-6) in either the Nebo, Jordan, Wasatch, Alpine, or Provo School District. Depending on which district you choose, you will have a different Practicum teacher.

We recently spoke with Professor Teresa Leavitt about her experiences as a Practicum teacher. She shared some awesome insights into Practicum and what a day in the life looks like. Teresa works with students during practicum, student teaching, and internships in the Alpine School District.

About Professor Leavitt

"I grew up mostly in Utah, but also lived in Germany for five years (where I attended German schools) and in South Dakota for one. After graduating from BYU, my husband and I moved to Las Vegas for eight years where we both taught school. I got my master's and doctoral degrees while living in Las Vegas. I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, gardening, baking, going to sports events, reading, and most of all, spending time with my family."

Work as a Practicum Teacher

"Working with practicum students is awesome because the students are so excited to put into practice what they've been studying on campus. Any given day for me looks different depending on the day, week, and the month of the semester. Before practicum starts, I'm busy working with students on campus. Once practicum begins, I split my time between continued campus classes and commitments and being out in the schools to check in with our students to see how they're doing, to answer questions, address concerns, give feedback, and if I'm lucky to get to see them teach. I also meet with mentors, school facilitators, principals, and others from the district to coordinate various aspects of the partnership, including practicum."

The Best part about being a Practicum Teacher

"Something I particularly enjoy about working with students during their practicum experience is seeing their success and increased confidence. I am also inspired by the dedication, commitment, and love that the practicum students have for the elementary students in their classes."

Additional Thoughts

"The guiding principles of the BYU Public School Partnership Commitments and Aims of a BYU Education are tremendously powerful and provide a strong foundation for each of us along our journey. I'm so grateful to engage with amazing students and colleagues. Working with our BYU students gives me great hope and confidence in the future of education."

To learn more about Practicum or the path to becoming a teacher, set up an appointment with one of our Student Ambassadors by clicking here!

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