Teacher candidates begin to learn how to teach in the classroom just as a student learns in the classroom.
How to Get the Most Out of Student Teaching
The student teaching experience requires a high degree of involvement and integration in the school setting. Candidates are expected to gradually assume increased responsibility with the final goal of planning, instructing, and assessing the entire class.
Prior to the First Day
- Attend the full-day Student Teaching Conference. At that time, meet with the college supervisor and peers in the seminar group. During the conference and college supervisor meeting, candidates should clarify any questions or concerns about their placements, expectations, schedules and/or general procedures that will be followed.
- Meet with the school-based teacher educator (SBTE) before the first day they begin working with students, to develop a timeline for their work to be completed during the placement and to begin learning about the SBTE’s expectations.
- Find out the school's hours of operation. While candidates often follow the same schedule as their SBTE, specificity about morning arrival and end-of-the-day departure is critical to collaboration, understanding, and expectations.
- Obtain copies of useful documents related to your placement's district including curriculum guides and Student Learning Outcomes, Common Core Standards, and more. Many of these materials are on the district’s website.
- Inquire at the school's main office about any sign-in or other procedures that are required.
- Meet the building principal, other administration, faculty, and staff. Many teacher candidates ask the building principle to oversee one of their lessons for input.
- Find out classroom procedures and rules including tardiness, drinks/food, restroom usage, electronic devices, and more.
- Become familiar with the students’ basic learning and performance characteristics, including approximate levels of achievement and general strengths and weaknesses.
- Review the student teaching syllabus included in these modules which is established by the department and college supervisor, and work with the SBTE to begin planning to meet the requirements.
What to Expect During Student Teaching
- Assume the roles and responsibilities of a professional teacher (attendance, dress, speech, behavior, and dispositions).
- With the implementation of a single student teaching model, we encourage co-teaching between the student teacher candidate and SBTE whenever possible. The college supervisor can serve as a resource for how to best conduct this. Additional information can be found here.
- Interact with and observe students in a variety of settings: small and large group instruction, unstructured settings (lunch, recess, hallways, etc.), and during individual interactions with their peers.
- Begin individual and/or small group lessons where the SBTE has selected the instructional objective.
- Gradually expand responsibility for planning and teaching small groups, supervising outside of the classroom, and performing essential tasks.
- Observe other classrooms and programs. This is typically done at the end of the placement.
- Continue to develop a personal style and refine a philosophy of teaching through experimentation with different methods and materials, and reflective practice.
- Assume more responsibility for the total learning atmosphere and environment.
- Accept an increased level of teaching responsibility as the placement continues. This may include an increase in the daily teaching load by teaching more subjects and periods as the placement nears completion.
- Utilize multiple assessments of learner abilities, needs, and feelings, as appropriate through observation and demonstrate effective ways of expressing sensitivity to individual differences.
- Make arrangements with the SBTE to be observed at regular intervals by the college supervisor throughout the placement. The college supervisor will observe at least four times during the placement.
- Contact the SBTE and college supervisor if problems arise. Early intervention of a small problem can help prevent the development of a more significant problem later.
- Experience a typical teaching load by performing all the duties of a typical school day. Take over planning and teaching independently. The candidate should assume the major role in the organization and teaching of the class.
- Participate in all of the professional responsibilities of the SBTE (staff/team/department meetings, student meetings, school functions, etc.)
- Grow professionally by attending faculty and professional association meetings, participating in conferences with parents/caregivers, attending professional conferences and staff development sessions, and seeking constructive evaluation from others.
- Keep a reflective journal based on the college supervisor requirements. Frequent journal entries allow for consistent self-assessment and college supervisor comments. Reflect on both positive and negative experiences.
- Find time to work on the edTPA. Requirements and more information regarding the edTPA found here.
- Implement all requirements of the student teaching syllabus established by the department and college supervisor.
Implementing Strategies to Teach All Students
The following activities represent the application of many of the competencies we anticipate candidates will obtain in teaching students with a variety of learning needs. The SBTE is encouraged to review this list during the initial week to plan activities and determine timelines for those competencies that are possible to complete.
- Participate with general education classroom teacher throughout all steps in the pre-referral process.
- Participate with the classroom teacher in the preparation of a referral regarding a student suspected of having a disability.
- Assist in the team staffing relative to the preparation of an assessment plan.
- Assist in the implementation of the assessment plan by completing assigned assessments. Observe the administration of assessments assigned to other members of the multidisciplinary team.
- Participate in a school team staffing preparatory to the CSE/IEP Team meeting to determine student eligibility for special education services.
- Assist in the interpretation of evaluation and the development of student IEP.
- Assist in the informal/formal assessment for assistive technology for a student with an IEP.
- Participate in a parent conference related to an initial referral for special education services. Participate in a parent conference related to student progress review and preparation for CSE/IEP Team annual review of a student with an IEP.
- Participate in a parent conference related to anticipated CSE/IEP Team declassification of a student with an IEP.
- Participate in CSE/IEP Team meetings for an annual review and a triennial review for a student with an IEP.
- Participate in a school staffing meeting related to planning for the transition of a student with an IEP moving from one building to another.
- Use multidisciplinary team assessment information and in collaboration, prepare student IEP.
- Plan for and implement lessons involving individual and small group instruction related to the attainment of stated IEP goals and objectives.
- Create learning experiences that are appropriate for general education curriculum goals, state learning standards, IEP goals and objectives, relevant to students, and based upon principles of effective instruction.
- Create learning experiences that operate at multiple levels to meet the developmental and individual needs of students with diverse learning needs.
- Use multiple strategies to implement instruction.
- Use assistive technology to implement instruction.
- Develop and implement a disability awareness unit or project.
- Collaborate with the general education teacher in planning, co-teaching, and evaluating content-area lessons.
- Develop and use a record-keeping system for monitoring progress of an individual student and the total class.
- Plan short-term assessments related to instructional objectives.
- Develop with the general education teacher an appropriate short-term plan for increased time, access and progress for a particular student with an IEP.
- Review school policies and procedures.
- Plan and implement a total classroom management system.
- Prepare classroom display for student achievement.
- Develop anecdotal record keeping system, including one comment regarding weekly student progress.
- Assist in preparation of student progress reports and local, state or federal reporting forms.
Professional Commitment & Responsibility
- Attend parent advisory committee meeting.
- Attend parent/student support group meeting.
- Seek opportunities to develop respectful relationships and cooperative partnership with parents and guardians of students.
- Attend all regularly scheduled faculty, department, professional association meetings. Participate in all-school functions.
- Behave at all times in a professional and ethical manner.