According to Virginia Wesleyan College, a pre-service teacher is a college student involved in a school-based field experience. Under the supervision of a cooperating teacher, the pre-service teacher gradually takes on more classroom management and instructional responsibilities.
The purpose of pre-service experiences is to allow students to practice the strategies and concepts they have been learning in their college education courses. The Johns Hopkins School of Education indicates that pre-service teachers working in grades kindergarten through 12 begin by observing experienced teachers in the classroom. Under the tutelage of these mentors, pre-service teachers learn to prepare and give lessons and measure student progress.