Lufkin ISD partners with SFA for a new teacher internship program

Lufkin ISD partners with SFA on new student teaching internship program.
Lufkin ISD partners with SFA on new student teaching internship program.(all use)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 4:54 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2022 at 7:49 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Lufkin ISD is partnering with Stephen F. Austin State University on a new paid internship program for student teachers. The program is designed to compete with paid internships offered in other professions. Lufkin ISD Deputy Superintendent Kurt Stephens says part of the program also is aimed at attracting more teachers.

“We want to aggressively recruit teachers as well,” said Stephens. “So if they stay with us after they student teach, that’s great. That’s one of our main applicant pools. That’s where we hire from, but if they go somewhere else, at least we feel like we have done our part in helping an educator in the state to develop and move forward in their career.”

Lufkin ISD will offer 10 one-semester positions in a similar setup to the partnership recently announced by Huntington ISD. Both districts will start with new student teachers beginning this fall. Stephens says the district looked at Brazosport for reference, which is going into its third year of clinical paid internships.

“They will essentially be an employee of the district as opposed to doing your traditional student teaching where they are just essentially still under the university but being mentored by us,” said Stephens.

These interns will go start to finish for a full 90 day semester as opposed to the old 75 day format. The position also will start the calendar for their teacher retirement system. Student teachers will still complete student teaching requirements with a mentor teacher, university supervisor, and check-ins with district administrators.

“We know that there is a benefit to them especially in their first couple years of teaching if they have had that time just in developing classroom management skills,” said Stephens. “So if we say student teaching is important, we can’t leave that on the university to try to talk someone into student teaching.”

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