Leander ISD is excited to announce a new collaboration between the district and UT-Austin that offers future teachers valuable experience in leading virtual learning at three dual language campuses. Via Zoom, UT education students instructed Reed Elementary, Whitestone Elementary and Danielson Middle School students Nov. 2 through Dec. 2.

The teaching students led guided reading opportunities, critical thinking skills practice, processing tasks, and more under the tutelage of carefully selected teachers at each campus. Teaching students received hands-on experience at a high-performing district, LISD students benefited from individual attention, and the district celebrates literacy at its dual language campuses while identifying new teaching talent that may join the district after graduation.

“The pure joy and excitement of the UT students are so evident!” elementary curriculum specialist Karen Turner said. “Having more hands, hearts, and minds on our virtual learners, we can increase one-on-one opportunities. In addition, we can better note the behaviors, skills, and attitudes of our learners and collaborate on next steps.”

Pre-service teachers are educators in their first semester of education coursework at UT; they have not yet completed their classroom observation or student teaching cycles. This partnership allows a chance to influence, inform, and shape future educators. A true win-win for all!