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Working with Your Field Experience Student

The field experience provides an opportunity for CSS students  to apply theory, reflect, and develop professionally as they work in a K-12 classroom setting.  The cooperating teacher can assign the CSS student a variety of appropriate classroom duties.  The CSS student may also have a variety of course assignments to complete. Length of time the CSS student will be in your classroom  may vary for each of the field experiences the student completes.  When a field experience student is placed in your classroom, the field experience placement coordinator will notify you of the amount of time the student is expected to be in your classroom.  

Suggestions for working with your field experience student:

  • Introduce your field experience student to your class and other  teachers in your grade level or department.
  • Involve your field experience student in a variety of classroom activities.
  • Help your field experience student become familiar with the students and inform him/her of critical information pertinent to understanding individual needs.
  • Inform your field experience student of building or classroom policies and procedures related to discipline of students.
  • DO NOT leave your field experience student alone to plan or manage activities in or outside of the classroom.

Suggested Activities for a Field Experience Student

Field experience students are required to complete some specific assignment in your classroom.  These assignments are specific to each of the field experience courses.  These activities may include developing and teaching whole group lessons that are formally observed by the cooperating teacher or college supervisor, teacher interviews, and targeted observations of a students. 

Additional instructional and non-instructional tasks that could be completed by the field experience student:

  • Work with an individual or small groups of students for tutoring or enrichment activities.
  • Help students with make-up work.
  • Correct tests, daily papers, worksheets, etc.
  • Help with bulletin board and other displays.
  • Record attendance, grades, etc.
  • Operate audiovisual equipment and computers.
  • Chaperone a class field trip.

The cooperating teacher will be asked to complete some observation and evaluation forms for student feedback during this experience.  Copies of these forms will need to be submitted to the college supervisor when the student completes the field experience. 

Working with Your Student Teacher

The student teaching experience progresses through several stages of mentoring and supervision. Typically the first two stages take three weeks to accomplish the objectives.  Stages 3 and 4 will occupy most of the remaining weeks in the student teaching experience.  Stage 5 will occur the last one to two weeks of this experience.

Stage 1: Orientation and Observation

Help the student teacher become oriented to your school and your class(es).  This orientation might include:

  • Introductions to school staff
  • Reviewing school policies and procedures
  • Expectations for wearing identification and/or dress code
  • School hours and schedule
  • Safety procedures (first aid, fire and tornado drill, lock down, fighting, etc.)
  • Tour of the school
  • Student characteristics
  • Special education accommodations
  • Grading policies and expectations
  • Curriculum taught during the experience
  • Involve student teacher in on-going management activities (e.g., grading work, working with individual and small groups of students, hall duty)
  • Student teacher observes mentor teacher teaching classes and subjects
  • Student teacher, college supervisor, and cooperating teacher meet to discuss expectations and requirements for the student teaching experience

Stage 2: Team Planning and Teaching

  • Include the student teacher in your planning and let the student teacher lead certain activities, or teach parts of a lesson or unit.
  • Schedule together approximately when the student teacher will begin teaching lessons.
  • Identify the specific learning event and time for student teacher to complete the Teacher Performance Assessment (see edTPA link in the menu for more information about the Education Teacher Performance Assessment).

Stage 3: Independent Teaching with Observation

  • Transfer more lesson planning  to the student teacher.
  • Develop up-coming unit plans that student teacher will be teaching.
  • Student teacher teaches independently with mentor teacher continuing to review lesson plans.
  • Student completes planning commentary for Education Teacher Performance Assessment and schedules when this learning event will be taught and videotaped.
  • Cooperating teacher should complete two formal observations of student teacher using the lesson observation form.
  • College supervisor should complete two formal observations of student teacher using the lesson observation form.
  • Cooperating teacher will complete mid-term evaluation and meet with student teacher and college supervisor to discuss this evaluation and set goals for the rest of the experience.

Stage 4: Independent Teaching

  • Student teacher completes Education Teacher Performance Assessment learning event and commentary.
  • Student teacher takes on responsibility for all unit and lesson planning as well as instruction and student assessment.
  • Cooperating teacher should leave the room for much of the day so that students depend on the student teacher rather than cooperating teacher during this stage.
  • Cooperating teacher continues oversight, guidance, and feedback on the student teacher's planning and instruction.
  • Cooperating teacher should complete two formal observations of student teacher using the lesson observation form.
  • College supervisor should complete two formal observations of student teacher using the lesson observation form.

Stage 5: Closure

  • Cooperating teacher begins to assume more responsibility for the classroom.
  • Student teacher observes in other classrooms.
  • Cooperating teacher completes final evaluation, professional behaviors survey, standards performance checklist, and letter of recommendation for student teacher.  This information is shared with the student teacher and college supervisor.