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Does the Match Matter? Exploring Whether Student Teaching Experiences Affect Teacher Effectiveness

We use data from six Washington State teacher education programs to investigate the relationship between teacher candidates' student teaching experiences and their later teaching effectiveness. Our primary finding is that teachers are more effective when the student demographics of their current school are similar to the student demographics of the school in which they did their student teaching. While descriptive, this suggests that the school context in which student teaching occurs has important implications for the later outcomes of teachers and their students, and that teacher education programs and school districts should consider placing student teachers in schools that are similar to the schools in which they are likely to teach once they enter the workforce.