Indicator P.5.3. Provide Experiences and Support Structures
An effective mathematics teacher preparation program provides experiences and support structures to ensure the short- and long-term success of their teacher candidates.
The mathematics teacher preparation program provides appropriate support structures through candidate counseling and advisement, tutoring support in mathematics content, and assistance with Praxis or other related (including state-required) summative- or performance-assessment preparation (Seymour & Hewitt, 1997). Experience and time learning how to access and effectively use support available from other educational professionals and stakeholders, such as special educators, counselors, social workers, and mentors, are critical to retention and success in the profession. Early and frequent field experiences in a variety of settings and targeted experiences across grade levels ensure greater possibilities for success in teaching in both the short- and long-terms (Clift & Brady, 2006). For early childhood, elementary school, and special education teacher candidates, the mathematics teacher preparation program provides strategic placements at varying grade levels to assist in the growth of the candidates’ mathematical knowledge for teaching. For secondary programs, the mathematics teacher preparation program systematically diversifies placements to ensure candidates gain experience in diverse courses, grade levels, and settings (CAEP, 2013). At any certification level, field experiences in multiple classrooms and environments of sufficient depth and breadth prior to student teaching should be required (CAEP, 2013). Even when programs’ clinical experiences are shorter in duration, as they might be at the post-baccalaureate or graduate levels, collecting information about candidates’ past experiences with children and schools allows for targeting placements that complement and diversify the collection of experiences.