ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STUDENT TEACHER
All students seeking a BSE and/or certification as a teacher are required to complete experiences in school settings . Participating in these experiences pre-supposes acceptance of a code of ethics, a "professional" manner of behaving . Lack of professionalism can be grounds for lower evaluations or dismissal from any field experience . Professionalism can never be defined completely, but the following statements serve as guides to what is expected of students in completing their experiences within the schools.
1. Students must be responsible.
This includes meeting the attendance requirements, notification of absences, keeping hours appropriate to the assignments, and timely completion of tasks assigned as part of the experience.
2. Students must adapt to reasonable expectations of the school concerning personal appearance and behavior.
Students must dress appropriately for the school setting . They must conduct themselves to meet reasonable school and community expectations.
3. Students must at all times interact with university students, school personnel, pupils, and pupils' parents or guardians in an ethical manner.
Students must not illegally or unethically discuss information about pupils, school personnel, university personnel, and university students.
Confidentiality regarding information resulting from personal knowledge, tests, reports, records, etc., must be maintained.
Treatment of pupils within the school must be equitable and reasonable for all students regardless of race, color, gender, creed, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, Vietnam-era veteran status, parental status and pregnancy . Students must not use professional relationships for economic or social gain, or in any other way.
4. Student must provide a reasonably balanced view of their subject, recognizing that the classroom should not be used for the indoctrination of personal views or values.
5. Students will respect the rules and regulations of the university and the privacy of communication with university personnel.
Adherence to the Calendar of Assigned School
Student teachers are required to follow the semester of the local school district, including vacation periods and evening or weekend obligations (e.g., parent-teacher conferences, open houses).
Attendance, Notification of Absence
Student teachers are under the same obligation for regular attendance as cooperating teachers . Personal illness or family emergencies are the usual reasons for approved absences . Special requests for absences must be discussed with and approved by the cooperating teacher and by the university supervisor . Such requests must be limited in number and mutually agreeable arrangements regarding student teaching responsibilities must be made between the cooperating teacher and the student teacher in advance whenever possible . For example, student teachers are not permitted to be absent from their assignment to participate in job interviews without first consulting with their cooperating teacher.
Excessive absence can result in a recommendation for withdrawal from the student teaching placement or a grade of “Incomplete.” Absence is dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Field Experiences in consultation with the university supervisor and cooperating teacher.
Student teachers are required to notify their cooperating teachers (and sometimes principals) and their university supervisor of all absences . Student teachers are also required to inform their university supervisor when they will be absent from their assigned school due to school-sponsored activities, e.g., field trips, to prevent university supervisors from making unnecessary trips to observe student teachers.
Student teachers are strongly urged not to undertake any campus or job activities that will interfere with their student teaching responsibilities . Students should consult with their advisors to eliminate the need for taking any additional courses during the period of full-time student teaching . In addition to enrolling in 12 credits of directed teaching, student teachers are permitted to enroll in a 1 credit Employment Strategies course, a 2 credit Student Teaching Seminar appropriate to their major, and up to an additional 3 credits for a total of 18 credits. Requests for permission to enroll in university course work for more than 18 credits must be approved in advance by the cooperating teacher(s), the program coordinator, the department chairperson, the Director of Field Experiences, and the Assistant Dean of the College of Education & Professional Studies. Questions regarding potential conflicting activities should be directed to the Director of Field Experiences.
Dress and Personal Hygiene
Student teachers must dress appropriately and be neat and well-groomed at all times . Student teachers should note local norms to determine what is considered appropriate, in consultation with their cooperating teacher, and to exercise good judgment in these matters.
Housing is the responsibility of the student teacher . Students wishing to live in the community to which they are assigned should contact the cooperating teacher and/or the principal for possible assistance in finding housing . The student teaching experience extends beyond usual academic semester contracts for dormitory and most private housing arrangements.
Transportation is the responsibility of the student . Students who commute from home or from the campus to placement sites are responsible for arranging transportation to ensure prompt arrival and uninterrupted attendance.
Additional Information and Policies
“The Board of Regents, administrators, faculty, academic staff and students of the University of Wisconsin System believe that academic honesty and integrity are fundamental to the mission of higher education and of the University of Wisconsin System. The University has a responsibility to promote academic honesty and integrity and to develop procedures to deal effectively with instances of academic misconduct. Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect of others’ academic endeavors. Students who violate these standards must be confronted and must accept the consequences of their actions” (UWS Chapter 14, Wisconsin Administrative Code) .
Background checks may be required of students placed in schools, centers, licensed day care settings, and other agencies . Most background checks are conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. In some cases (and especially in the case of relocating to Wisconsin from another state), a background check by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation may also required. Students are required to pay for the cost of all background checks.
Information resulting from a background check may result in terminating the placement. Failure to authorize a background check may result in an inability to locate a suitable placement for a student.
For a fee, students can conduct a Wisconsin Department of Justice background check on themselves. For additional information, contact the Office of Field Experiences.
Early in their assignment, student teachers should discuss with their cooperating teachers the policies and procedures in their assigned school and school district regarding bloodborne pathogens (e.g., Hepatitis B, HIV).
Liability and Insurance
The following information has been reviewed and approved by Ernest Stracener, Director, Office of Fish Management and Safety, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (March 2, 2006)
It is of great importance that you are aware of the insuring position of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with respect to your participation in College of Education & Professional Studies field experiences as required for your program of study.
1. Professional Liability Coverage
Professional liability coverage is provided by the State of Wisconsin under provisions of S.S. 165.25(6) and 895.46(1) . This coverage protects student teachers against claims from third parties for personal injury or property damage caused by negligent acts while performing within the scope of duties in a student teaching assignment under the following conditions:
A. The program is sanctioned by the Dean of the College of Education & Professional Studies.
B. Liability protection is extended only for the time specified by the agreement between the placement site and the College of Education & Professional Studies. By statute, the university liability coverage is excess to any collectable insurance .
C. The program provides credit and is a requirement for your graduation or is otherwise approved by the College of Education & Professional Studies.
D. You are a registered student in good standing.
E. You were acting within the scope of the program at the time of the incident . “Scope of the program” includes classroom teaching and other typical teaching assignments and professional activities, including student supervision, school-sponsored field trips, and meetings (e.g., faculty, department, grade level, school board, union).
“Scope of the program” does not include activities for which you are paid (e.g., coaching, taking tickets at a school event, chaperoning) . If you are paid for an activity, liability is the responsibility of the employer.
F. You report any incident which may result in a claim or legal action to an administrator at the placement site and the Director of Field Experiences or the Dean of the College of Education & Professional Studies. The Director of Field Experiences or the Dean of the College will advise the Campus Risk Manager.
- Should the incident result in a claim or legal action naming you or UWW staff, you cooperate fully and follow instructions given to you by the Campus Risk Manager or
UW-System legal staff . If a legal action, legal representation will be assigned by the State of Wisconsin Attorney General.
A host site, such as a school, may request evidence of liability coverage prior to your start date with the host. A request is generally made for one of two types of evidence: 1) basic evidence of liability coverage, or 2) evidence of coverage for a specific dollar amount of professional liability insurance.
If a host site requires basic evidence of liability coverage, you must contact the UWW Environmental Health, Risk Management, Safety and Loss Control Office (EHRMSLC, extension 1856) with complete details of the host's requirement. *Fulfillment of your request may require up to 5
days.* The EHRMSLC Office will issue a Certificate of Coverage directly to the site. The Certificate of Coverage issued by EHRMSLC describes the nature of the liability coverage provided for you by the State of Wisconsin during your field experience.
If a host site requires evidence of professional liability coverage for a specific dollar amount of liability insurance (i.e. "coverage in the amounts of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 in the aggregate"), EHRMSLC will *NOT* be able to supply this type of evidence. In this case, contact the Office of Field Experiences.
2. Health and Accident Insurance
Health and Accident Insurance is not provided for you by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater or the placement site . Be sure that your personal health insurance is in effect and will cover you when you are on location at your placement site.
3. Workers' Compensation Insurance
Workers' Compensation Insurance is not available for you as you are not an employee of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater . Should you become ill or injured as the result of the field training program, there is no coverage by the University for costs of medical treatment . Again, be sure that you have personal health and accident insurance.
4. Transportation Liability
Your vehicle insurance coverage is primary when driving your own vehicle . There is no state coverage when driving to and from your student teaching assignment or using your vehicle for your student teaching assignment for any reason . Note: It is not advisable that you transport anyone in your vehicle, such as students on field trips, etc., during your student teaching assignment.
5. Withdrawal from Directed Teaching
Students who have withdrawn from the course(s) required for their student teaching experience are no longer authorized to return to their placement site(s) as a UW-Whitewater student teacher until such time as they re-enroll in the appropriate course(s).
6. Additional Requirements
There may be other requirements by the placement site or the Department of Public Instruction . Examples include:
A. Negative TB test results on file in the Office of Field Experiences.
B. Approved means of identification.
C. Background check.
NOTE: Should you have any questions regarding these matters, contact the Director of Risk Management and Safety at 262-472-1856 or the Director of Field Experiences at 262-472-1123.
Students who are called to active military duty during their student teaching placement are required to contact the Director of Field Experiences immediately as soon as they receive their orders to discuss their options.
Students who have any special needs which may require reasonable modification are required to contact the Director of Field Experiences immediately . In addition, they should meet with their cooperating teacher and university supervisor prior to the starting date of the assignment to discuss any reasonable modifications to meet the requirements of the experience. Students who may have special needs are urged to contact the Center for Students with Disabilities.
Student teachers requesting absence from a student teaching assignment because of religious observance should notify the cooperating teacher and university supervisor within the first two weeks of the starting date of the assignment . Strategies for making up missed work, if deemed necessary, should be formulated.
Self-Credentialing, Written Statements of Reference
The Office of Career Services follows “self-credentialing” policy. This means that the Office of Career Services does not collect, store, or disseminate statements of reference for education majors. It is the obligation of student teachers to retain copies of final statements of reference written by university supervisors and cooperating teachers that may be required as part of application for teaching positions.
To meet Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requirements, the Office of Field Experiences is required to retain for five years documents related to the student teaching experiences, including those submitted by university supervisors and cooperating teachers . After five years, these documents are destroyed.
Student teachers who do not possess a valid Wisconsin teaching license, a substitute teaching license, or a substitute teacher permit, may not, under any circumstances, serve as a substitute teacher for their own cooperating teacher or for any other teacher. In the absence of their cooperating teacher, student teachers may continue with regularly assigned duties only when a licensed teacher is employed in place of the cooperating teacher.
Student teachers who do possess a valid Wisconsin teaching license, a substitute teaching license, or a substitute teaching permit, may be permitted to serve as a substitute teacher, depending on their major, upon approval by the Director of the Office of Field Experiences.
- Regular education majors in elementary, secondary, art education, and music education may substitute ONLY for their cooperating teacher in their own class(es). The number of days or the duration that a student teacher can substitute is decided in consultation with the cooperating teacher, the university supervisor and the school principal.
- Special Education majors are NOT permitted to serve as a substitute teacher.
- Physical Education majors must see the Chairperson of the Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Coaching regarding the policy.
Suspected Child Abuse and Child Neglect
Early in their assignment, student teachers should discuss with their cooperating teacher the policies and procedures that apply to suspected child abuse and child neglect (physical, sexual, or emotional) . Under Wisconsin Statutes 48.981, teachers are required to follow certain reporting procedures regarding suspected child abuse or child neglect, and their failure to do so is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.
Work Stoppage or Strikes
When a work stoppage occurs in a cooperating school system where student teachers are assigned, it is the policy of the College of Education & Professional Studies that student teachers be declared non-participants . Student teachers will not report to the school but will remain on a standby basis during the period of time when schools are closed or during the period of time when schools are declared open without resolution of conflicting issues between the board of education and the local teachers’ association . Arrangements may be made by the Director of Field Experiences to provide experiences in a different location on a standby basis until the stoppage in the assigned school is terminated. Students may be required to report to campus during a work shortage.
The student teacher should become familiar with the physical features of the school, school policies, and the general school community . The student teacher also should become familiar with teachers, staff, and pupils in the school.
The student teacher should begin a regular communication with the cooperating teacher on both an informal and formally scheduled basis . The student teacher should begin to observe systematically the cooperating teacher in the typical classroom setting . These observations should be discussed with the cooperating teacher in order to understand the cooperating teacher's methods and procedures . The student teacher should assist teachers and pupils in whatever way possible to enhance the pre-teaching period of the semester.
Student Teaching Period
The timing of assuming teaching responsibilities will depend on the student teacher's demonstrated readiness and preparation . Both the cooperating teacher and the student teacher must agree that the student teacher is ready . Usually the student teacher begins limited classroom instruction within the first two weeks . For the elementary student teacher, this may mean presenting one or two lessons per day; for the secondary student teacher, it may mean assuming responsibility for one class period.
Because both teaching and learning are sequential and developmental processes, daily as well as long-range planning is critical . Therefore, the following guidelines are provided for the student teacher:
1. Submit written daily and long-range plans to the cooperating teacher sufficiently in advance to allow for a pre-teaching conference . No specific form is required by UW-Whitewater; the cooperating teacher, student teacher, and the university supervisor may choose to develop a lesson plan format together.
2. Prepare duplicate plans--one for yourself, one for the cooperating teacher . Daily plans may also be required by the university supervisor . Weekly schedules and summaries are provided to the supervisors.
3. Retain all plans and comments on them in a cumulative folder for referral in planning later lessons, for reviewing comments, and for the information of the university supervisor . Plans may also be used later as a beginning teacher.
4. Be willing to explore and experiment with new materials, methods, and techniques.
5. Seek and be willing to try suggestions by cooperating teacher and/or the university supervisor.
Conferring with the Cooperating Teacher
Conferences are basic to a successful student teaching experience . Routine conferences are usually scheduled by the cooperating teacher in advance . Other conferences may be requested by the cooperating teacher or student teacher on short notice . When anticipating or facing a teaching-related problem or challenge, the student teacher assumes the initiative for requesting a conference with the cooperating teacher . The p urpose for conferences should be defined and the student teacher should view conferences as an opportunity for professional assistance . Informal meetings should occur frequently throughout the student teaching experience and in all cases the student teacher must be considerate of the cooperating teacher's time . Conferences also provide regular opportunities to share successes and to reflect upon teaching experiences.
Opportunities to Teach
Although the cooperating teacher authorizes when the student teacher may begin to assume teaching responsibilities, much depends upon the initiative of the student teacher . The factors include the student teacher's readiness to assume responsibility, the nature of the subject or teaching area, the degree of competence the student teacher has demonstrated, knowledge of the subject matter, the instructional process, and the types of pupils . Generally, the portion of the cooperating teacher’s schedule for which the student teacher assumes responsibility is gradually increased until such time that the student teacher has assumed most or all responsibilities for teaching.
The student teacher engages in continuous self-evaluation and is assisted in the process by the frequent informal conferences with the cooperating teacher. Periodic formal evaluation sessions should be planned when the student teacher and the cooperating teacher utilize the evaluation forms. The student teacher should make both mental and written notation of any suggestions given directly or indirectly.
Suggested Activities and Experiences
Before going to your assignment
1. Read your Student Teaching Program Handbook carefully.
2. Using a recent, reliable human development text, review the growth and development characteristics of pupils at the level for your student teaching.
3. Make an appointment to confer with the cooperating teacher, at his or her convenience, to introduce yourself and to discuss your objectives for your student teaching experience. Present a copy of your letter of introduction that includes personal information, education history, teacher education experiences, other relevant experiences, and goals for student teaching.
4. Make an appointment to meet your principal, based on the recommendation of your cooperating teacher. At this time, present your principal with a copy of your letter of introduction.
1. Become acquainted with pupils through observation, permanent pupil records, individual work folders, and any other available means.
2. Prepare individual file cards for each pupil in your class. Record significant items regarding work habits, general class attitude and adjustment, etc. Date each entry. Carefully kept cards should prove to be helpful to you when it is time for parent conferences and report cards. These records may also be maintained on a computer.
3. Get to know the physical plant--general room arrangement, supply room, location of fire alarms and fire extinguishers, fire escape routes, telephones, etc. Become familiar with “lock down” and other emergency procedures.
4. Become acquainted with the other members of the school professional staff, including the school psychologist, school social worker, library media specialist, reading specialist, learning coordinator, and guidance counselor. Learn about referral procedures for the school.
5. Through your cooperating teacher, arrange to meet the non-teaching personnel in the school, including the school secretary, custodian, nurse, volunteer coordinator, and local police department liaison.
6. Browse in the school library or library media center to acquaint yourself with the collection as a basis for more effective classroom teaching.
7. Inquire about professional books and magazines available for faculty use. Peruse some of these for ideas and suggestions to help you in your teaching.
8. Familiarize yourself with the use of copy machines, projectors, tape recorders, computers, multimedia equipment, etc., and procedures for ordering and/or renting equipment, films, video tapes, multimedia equipment, etc. Also familiarize yourself with the school policy regarding e-mail an access to the Internet and World Wide Web (WWW).
9. Examine carefully all books (basic and supplementary) and other teaching materials used in the classroom.
10. Visit the reading center if available. Obtain permission to observe some teaching there, if possible.
11. Become acquainted with the school’s system for reporting pupil progress to parents.
12. Confer with your cooperating teacher to determine what your responsibilities will be during the student teaching period. Complete preliminary planning under the guidance of the cooperating teacher and set up some guidelines for your teaching activities.
13. Determine the extent of planning which is expected. What will you be expected to do in the way of resource units? lesson plans? developing packets? setting up contracts? What materials are available? To what extent can you be creative in supplementing activities?
14. Learn the procedures for taking attendance, monitoring lunch programs, arranging for field trips, handling emergency procedures, using library or library media center materials or facilities, etc.
The following are suggested as areas to focus on during the student teaching experience:
Understanding the nature of learning and the learner
• Studying both individuals and groups in the lunchroom, in the library media center, and in formal and informal classroom situations.
• Applying the techniques of sociometry.
• Using cumulative records.
Focusing on communication strategies
- Interacting with pupils, parents, colleagues, and administrators regarding policies, curriculum, units, and lessons.
- Working with classroom instructional aides, paraprofessionals, and volunteers (e.g., parents, senior citizens, university students).
- Clarifying purposes, goals, and objectives of lessons and units.
- Fostering respect for diversity and the uniqueness of others.
- Working toward resolution of crises, conflicts, and behavioral issues.
Understanding administrative procedures
• Keeping classroom records.
• Administering school procedures for attendance of school-sponsored functions, use of rooms and general equipment, fire and tornado drills, lockdown procedures, field trips, etc.
• Obtaining supplies.
• Understanding promotion and retention policies and procedures.
• Applying professional ethics to relations with staff, special teachers, building and grounds maintenance staff, office staff, etc.
Selecting and using materials, equipment, and instructional technology
• Using duplicating machines, film strip projector, movie projector, recording machine, overhead projector, microscopes, computers, multimedia equipment, and multisensory aids.
• Using commercial, teacher-made, and pupil-made educational aids.
• Caring for and storing equipment.
• Using instructional materials centers in the school and community.
- Using computers and multimedia equipment.
- Integrating advanced electronic, computer, and multimedia technology, and the World Wide Web, the Internet, electronic bulletin boards, and email, with traditional and innovative teaching methods.
Utilizing community resources
• Determining resource persons within the school and community.
• Determining services of industry, business, and governmental departments.
• Determining places of historical or geographical interest.
• Determining location and types of libraries and museums in the community.
Providing for over-all management
• Becoming aware of physical conditions of room: lighting, temperature, room arrangement, cleanliness, room equipment.
• Caring for materials and supplies.
• Providing for bulletin boards, displays, and exhibits.
• Attending to routine patterns of conduct, use room equipment, and distribution of materials.
Evaluating the learner
• Using various types of standardized tests.
• Using various types of teacher-made tests.
• Using various types of observational tools.
- Designing and using authentic assessment techniques.
- Recording pupil progress, especially using computer programs.
Developing teaching techniques
• Developing, writing, and implementing lesson plans, teaching units, and resource units.
• Developing general and specific objectives to meet the needs of groups and individuals.
• Preparing materials and activities to meet objectives.
• Participating in planning the curriculum.
• Promoting teacher-pupil joint planning.
• Developing leadership in pupils.
• Developing critical thinking in pupils.
• Gaining proficiency in a variety of instructional methods, techniques, and strategies.
• Using manuals and teacher aids.
• Motivating pupils.
• Making assignments.
• Guiding pupil study.
• Using basic texts, supplementary materials, enrichment materials.
- Developing original and creative ideas.
Participating in home, school, and community activities
• Participating in open houses, parent-teacher conferences, and school-parent organizations.
• Participating in children and youth participation programs.
Participating in ancillary and professional activities
• Assuming supervisory responsibilities for hall, study hall, playground duties, etc.
• Providing leadership in co-curricular and extracurricular activities, including athletics, debate, forensics, drama, journalism, publications, etc.
• Attending faculty, departmental, and grade level meetings, school board meetings, teachers’ association meetings, etc.
• Participating in faculty task forces and study groups, workshops, institutes, convocations, state teachers’ convention, etc.
• Participating in content-area professional organizations and relevant Internet discussion groups.
• Reading professional literature.
NOTE: The foregoing activities are intended as suggestions. Cooperating teachers should feel free to select from, substitute for, or modify these activities based on their professional judgment.