“The most important aspect in the learning to teach process is the field experience, i.e., the opportunity to stand face to face with the challenges and demands of the teaching profession” (Caires & Almeida, 2007). This study presents the successes and challenges encountered by preservice teachers while conducting a semester long student teaching experience. This is a qualitative study with data collected using anonymous questionnaires and case-study interviews involving elementary and secondary preservice teachers. Challenges regarding classroom management, cooperating teacher interactions, and university demands emerged from the questionnaire and interview data. The interview data revealed a more in-depth perspective of the student teaching experience and provided the foundation for establishing relevant prevention strategies for teacher education programs, university supervisors, cooperating teachers, first-year teachers, and future student teachers.


Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development