General Expectations for Directed Teaching Experiences
Expectations of Student Teachers
The student teacher will:
- contact the cooperating teacher at least one month prior to the beginning of the placement.
- please keep in mind, however, that scheduling may not be able to take place until right before the placement begins (Birth to Three)
- meet with the cooperating teacher prior to beginning at the placement.
- read the center's or school's handbook(s) before the beginning of the placement.
- work with the cooperating teacher in planning activities for the children.
- interact with children in a positive, nurturing way.
- promote the philosophy of the center/school.
- support children's development of self-esteem.
- encourage children in becoming more independent, while realizing that times of seeking comfort and support will occur as needed.
- encourage problem-solving skills in children.
- work as a team with other staff members to ensure the safety and health of all children.
- share responsibilities such as diapering, cleaning duties, or assisting at meals.
- respect differences in children and adults.
- create learning materials and plan activities that are meaningful, interesting, and challenging to children.
- complete weekly assignments as determined together by the student teacher and the cooperating teacher, and those requested by the supervisor.
- act as a professional teacher in interactions with family members and staff.
- prepare creative, comprehensive plans for two lead weeks, consisting of two different themes.
- allow time in one's own life for self-reflection and personal growth.
- seek feedback during regular conferences with the cooperating teacher and supervisor to review the student teaching evaluations
- complete evaluations for the cooperating teacher and the university supervisor, which neither will see until grades have been posted.
- Students should be aware that if they want a faculty person (or anyone employed by UW-Whitewater) as a reference, a FERPA form needs to be completed by the student and given to the faculty member.
Expectations of Cooperating Teachers
The cooperating teacher will:
- meet with the student prior to the beginning of the placement.
- make the center's or school's handbook(s) available to the student teacher.
- complete an orientation with the student teacher before the beginning of the placement.
- include the student teacher as part of the teaching team.
- inform the student teacher about the requirements of the setting such as the need for lesson plans, planning time, etc.
- act as a sounding board for the student teacher.
- encourage and support the student teacher in his/her work.
- provide feedback to the student teacher on a daily and weekly basis, including both positive comments and areas to be improved (things to think about).
- acknowledge student teacher's ideas and perspectives.
- act as a resource person to the student teacher.
- enable the student teacher to act as a lead teacher.
- score student artifacts completed during student teaching to be included in the student's portfolio.
- complete evaluations for student teachers and students completing fieldwork.
- for field work one end evaluation, for student teaching (one mid and one end evaluation for each placement)
- write a letter of reference for student teachers upon completion of the experience.
- complete an evaluation of the university supervisor at the end of the placement.
What Students and Cooperating Teachers Can Expect of University Supervisors
The university supervisor will:
- schedule observations with adequate notice to the student teacher.
- act as a sounding board for the student with respect to ideas and concerns.
- serve as a resource person.
- assist the student teacher to place into perspective the circumstances and events, which are observed in the center or school.
- mediate discussion between the student teacher and cooperating teacher if conflict arises.
- track the progress of the student teacher, providing written and verbal feedback.
- score the student teacher's artifacts completed during student teaching to be included in the portfolio.
- write a letter of reference upon the student teacher's completion of the placement and will provide the letter after FERPA requirements have been met.
General Requirements for Assignments in Student Teaching
What follows are general basic requirements for the directed teaching placements. Specific requirements that a student teacher must complete in each placement in order to pass each of the directed teaching experiences are outlined in individual course syllabi. The faculty of the Early Childhood Education Program wishes to allow for maximum flexibility for cooperating teachers while still requiring experiences, which the faculty believes to be essential for preservice teachers. After reviewing the syllabus for an assignment, the cooperating teachers should feel free to add items that are specific to their programs or items, which they feel, are missing. However, any changes to the requirements need to be given to the student in writing during the first two weeks of the placement. It is helpful for student teachers and cooperating teachers to review the requirements as listed in the syllabi to use as a reference throughout the directed teaching experience.
All student teachers are expected to do the following:
- Develop a "Me Book" or poster with information that would be of interest to the children the student teacher will be working with. The "Me Book" should be professionally done and available for children to look at on the first day of the student teacher's placement. The student teacher must take into consideration the age of the children she/he will be working with when developing this book or poster.
- Write a letter of introduction to the families. The cooperating teacher can decide how to best distribute the information (either posting one letter in a conspicuous place or making copies to send home to families). A sample letter is on the following page.
- Keep a composite of lesson plans including the information provided in the sample outlines.
- Send a reflective journal entry to the university supervisor each week which addresses the following questions or others as determined by the university supervisor:
- What was the best part about today's session? Highlight important accomplishments and growth opportunities.
- What would you change if you were to do the session again?
- How did you feel about your interactions with the child(ren)? Why?
- How did you feel about your interactions with other professionals, family members and/or care givers? Why?
- How did you work as a partner with your cooperating teacher? Why?
- What areas or practices do you target for improvement?
- What resources can you identify that will help you improve the targeted areas? What resources can your cooperating teacher or university supervisor assist you with?
- Follow the lesson plan format that is included or one that is similar. Please note that the first one is for children between birth and age three and the second format is for children over age three years old.
- For details about individual field study and student teaching placements and requirements, review individual course syllabi.