Student teachers across East Texas learn of waiver for certification

Student teachers across East Texas learn of waiver for certification

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Zoom lessons are resourcefully used by SFA student teachers, who like their young students, were suddenly pulled out of a school classroom.

For days these soon to be teachers and their professors remained nervous over certification requirements. They got some encouraging news from the Texas Education Agency just a couple of days ago says professor of education Dr Heather Beal.

“They said that if the students had completed 35 days of clinical teaching that was the minimum of their student teaching," said Beal.

Relieving news for SFA special education major, SFA senior Paiten Seago.

"So, I heard the 35 days. I was at work. I was like, 'someone get a calculator out.’ I added up all the days. We ended up. I got I think 38 days, so right over 35."

The waiver approved by Governor Abbott says candidates who have met at least half of the required days of clinical teaching and demonstrated proficiency can be recommended for a standard certification.

"I can't deny that losing the additional six or seven weeks that they would have in student teaching would have been valuable," said Beal.

But a lot can be said for adapting by teaching something like the scientific method online with a 30-minute experiment.

Student teachers in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Community Responsiveness and Engaged Advocacy in Teacher Education program, or C.R.E.A.T.E., are sharing 30-minute activity lessons.

Children and their families can participate or just watch by joining the Zoom meeting. Suggested materials will be listed for each activity.

The sessions will be recorded and stored in the Facebook group for later use by NISD families.

People wanting to take part in next week’s lessons can receive an invitation from or visit the C.R.E.A.T.E. Facebook page.

Dr. Lauren Burrow, SFA associate professor of education said, “What we're doing is amazing. We're so happy to be invited into people's homes virtually, but we also know we're not reaching so many people."

Not every family has computer access, so educators say that’s where the community can pull together to provide resources to those most vulnerable children.

WEBXTRA: Student teachers across East Texas earn experience through virtual classrooms

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