Pre-Student Teaching Experience

The initial semester of a course of study in the Department of Teaching and Learning aims to provide students with a foundation of understanding of teaching and learning approaches and strategies. To provide some practical application of classroom teaching, many courses either have a specific field component or assign projects requiring observation and participation in school classrooms. To accommodate these requirements, all MA students (except students in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education*) are required to register for TCHL-GE 2005, Fieldwork in Schools and Other Educational Settings. Instructors in this course will arrange for a field experience at one of our cooperating schools. Full-time students are expected to attend the assigned school site no fewer than three mornings a week for the duration of the semester. The students arrange a mutually agreeable weekly schedule with the classroom teacher and/or school liaison and maintain that schedule throughout the semester. The goal is to ensure continuity in students’ presence in the school, allowing them to experience the development of teaching and learning over time, while providing support to the school and community. Part-time students complete at least 15 hours of fieldwork for each course that includes a field experience. Students not seeking teacher certification complete the number of hours required by the course that includes a field experience.

Attendance will be logged on the appropriate Fieldwork Time Sheets. Completed time sheets (at least 100 hours for single-certificate candidates and 150 hours for dual-certificate candidates), will be submitted at the end of the semester to the instructor or directly to the Office of Clinical Studies on the 3rd floor of the East Building at 239 Greene Street.

Depending on the requirements of each course and the opportunities provided by the school, these activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • observations of one or more classrooms
  • assisting teachers
  • looking at curriculum and discussing curriculum with teachers
  • sitting in on planning sessions or staff development meetings
  • looking at students' reading samples and discussing them with students and/or teachers
  • visiting classrooms outside of your subject area
  • discovering what resources and services the schools offer: special education, auxiliary programs, etc.
  • shadowing a student in most or all of his or her classes throughout the school day
  • attending teacher professional development programs
  • visiting local community agencies

While most of the time will be spent in the student’s major area of study, students are also required to familiarize themselves with the school as a whole (e.g., by experiencing other subject areas, special needs services, and noncurricular activities).