In the United States during March and April of 2020, more than 50 million K-12 students were impacted by school closures with many forced to engage in online learning for continuity in their 2019-2020 school year. This disruption to K-12 public and private schools reverberated in programs of teacher education around the country. As school-university partners, we wanted to provide opportunities for new teacher candidates to be able to engage in some form of interaction with students and veteran teachers. We drew on the structures and strength of our school-university partnership to build our plan to engage in pandemic-induced, alternative field experiences. In this article we describe how one middle level school-university partnership leaned into virtual learning spaces and provided opportunities to help teacher candidates who were beginning their teacher education program conceptualize teaching and learning in new ways. Additionally, we provide classroom teachers’ perspectives of hosting teacher candidates in a virtual learning format offering insights on best practices and challenges to consider.

Author Bio

Penny B. Howell is an associate professor of middle level education at the University of Louisville. She serves as the Professor-in-Residence at Westport Middle School, the University's Signature Partnership middle school.

Alice Gnau is the Teacher-in-Residence at Westport Middle School and works as a school-based teacher educator with the University of Louisville.

Laura Peavly is an 8th grade mathematic teacher at Westport Middle School and is the 2020 Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year.

Caitlyn Workman is a 6th grade social studies teacher at Westport Middle School.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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