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Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS STUDENT TEACHING?

Student teaching is considered the culminating experience in a candidate's teacher education program. Candidates are provided opportunities to observe teachers, to apply educational theory, to demonstrate their disposition for teaching and to practice the knowledge and skills deemed essential for effective, professional practice within a supportive learning environment for all children.

Teacher candidates are as interns in their school settings under the auspices of the school administrators and cooperating teachers. This experience is further facilitated by a university supervisor. Candidates are responsible for providing their own transportation.

HOW MUCH TIME IS REQUIRED FOR STUDENT TEACHING?

All day, each and every school day and more! If you discuss the time commitment with your peers who are presently student teaching, you will discover that student teaching involves teaching a full school day and then working evenings and weekends to plan, reflect, and prepare.

Student teaching requires the same time commitment as a full-time experienced teacher. Employment during student teaching is not advised. Other personal and social obligations should also be kept to a minimum during student teaching.

The only course that is taken during student teaching is the student teaching seminar. Please check with your department office on time and day of the week. Not all programs require this so check your requirement sheet(undergrads) and syllabus(grads)

WHEN AND HOW DO I APPLY FOR STUDENT TEACHING?

For most candidates, application for student teaching must be made one year in advance of when you expect to student teach. You are not expected to have completed all of the requirements at the time of application. ADED (integrated math, science, social studies and language arts majors) need to apply one and one-half years in advance (no later than the 2nd Friday of each semester).

HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M ELIGIBLE TO STUDENT TEACH?

All coursework, GPA, dispositional standards, and other criteria as specified by program area and college need to be successfully met prior to the final student teaching semester. See faculty advisors and/or academic advisors in the Vacca Office of Student Services, 304 White Hall, for clarification.

Check our web site, bulletin boards in White Hall and the undergrad listserv for the date of your mandatory student teaching meeting's.  If you have been tentatively approved by your academic advisor, you must attend a student teaching meeting in order to be assigned a student teaching placement.

At the meeting you will receive the required Teacher Candidate Placement Application forms, student teaching card and valuable information about the placement process.

Candidates are required to either download or purchase Collaboration in Teacher Education, the handbook for student teaching. This handbook outlines the student teaching process, student teaching responsibilities, policies, and assessment materials. Early Childhood majors must download the Early Childhood version online.

WHAT DO I DO ABOUT CHANGES IN MY STUDENT TEACHING PLANS?

Teacher candidates need to inform the Vacca Office of Student Services, 304 White Hall, of any changes in their student teaching plans (e.g., delaying for a semester).

Applications are submitted for a particular semester only. It is particularly important that we maintain good relations and communication with the professionals in our cooperating schools. We can only maintain positive relationships if we are kept informed of your status. If you must delay your student teaching, our office will advise you as to whether or not new paperwork must be resubmitted.

Also, teacher candidates must notify VOSS (330-672-2870) of any change of name, address, email address, and/or phone numbers. We can only use your  kent.edu for official communication. This information is critical since important notices concerning your placement may be delayed or lost due to inaccurate information. It is also important for the cooperating school district, teacher and supervisor who may be trying to contact you to have accurate contact information.

WHAT ARE FIELD EXPERIENCES?

Field experiences (integrated with teacher education courses) provide teacher candidates with opportunities to observe and/or participate in a variety of diverse educational settings prior to student teaching. Placements for field experiences are developed from course objectives within the College of Education, Health, and Human Services curriculum. Candidates must complete established clock hours of field/clinical experiences before they are eligible to student teach.

HOW DOES ONE APPLY FOR FIELD EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS?

Candidates apply for individual placements by submitting a Field Experience Request Form which is distributed by the Instructor of Record of a course. Instructors initiate group requests by submitting a form to Debbie Dotson (304 White Hall) regarding the field experience course requirements and placement criteria. Please allow at least 2-3 weeks for processing and confirmation from schools.

HOW ARE FIELD EXPERIENCES SCHEDULED?

Group requests are scheduled during the designated course time as established in the undergraduate catalog. Candidates should allow enough time to travel to and from the designated placement site. Individual requests are scheduled based on the times identified by the candidate on the Field Experience Request Form  and in coordination with the teacher's schedule. Some times cannot be scheduled because of the structure of the school day (e.g., lunch times, etc.). Candidates are responsible for providing their own transportation to placement sites or carpooling with other candidates.

WHEN WILL PLACEMENTS BE CONFIRMED?

Following the submission of a Field Experience Request Form, the specified school district is contacted. Each school district has a designated contact person with whom we work.

The contact person makes the necessary arrangements for field placement through school personnel and notifies VOSS of approval or denial of the request. VOSS, in turn, informs the instructor or candidate of the status of his/her request.

Sometimes it can take weeks for a request to be processed. If the initial request is not approved, the process is reinstated, involving alternative school districts, until an appropriate placement is secured.

WHAT GUIDELINES ARE IN PLACE FOR TEACHER CANDIDATES DURING FIELD EXPERIENCE?

As guests in schools and other educational settings, your presence should reflect professionalism. The following will help to guide you in your site visits as teacher candidates and as representatives of Kent State University:

  1. As soon as you receive your confirmation of a placement, please contact the cooperating teacher and make arrangements for the visits. Please be considerate of the cooperating teacher's schedule and not wait to the last minute to fulfill your hours.
  2. Teachers rely on your commitment and punctuality.
    • If for some reason, you are unable to attend the agreed upon times and days for your field experience, please contact the teacher or school/site office and your KSU course instructor to let them know of your absence.
    • In case of emergency, please contact the school and leave a message the day the emergency occurs.
  3. Field experience is the beginning of a professional career in teaching; principals and teachers may be asked to provide recommendations for future employment.
    • Professional conduct and appearance are important. It lets others know who you are as a professional.
    • While we recommend that you follow the standards of professional conduct and appearance as specified by the school's teacher handbook or by the administrator in charge, teacher candidates may also want to consider their own, higher standards if the situation warrants.
    • Handbooks often address length and style of hair, beards and moustaches, piercings, style of dress, tattoos and length of skirts.
    • If you think the standards being asked of you are unreasonable, and you are unable to conform to these standards, please consult with your university supervisor or the director of student teaching and field experiences before taking issue with the administrators in the assigned building.
    • Program areas may also have specific guidelines to follow.
  1. Transportation is your responsibility. Car pooling is encouraged whenever possible because of the limited parking available at schools/sites.
  2. Whenever possible, please schedule a few minutes to meet the Building Principal.
    • This offers you the opportunity to learn the preferred way to enter classrooms, meet teachers and address your specific goals.
    • When observing, please find an area in the room away from the classroom activities and follow the teacher's lead for interactions and classroom involvement with his/her students.
  3. Teachers and schools expect that KSU guests not "chit chat" while in their classrooms and remain on-task throughout the scheduled times in their classrooms.
    • Talking to anyone, including other KSU students visiting the classroom with you, will interfere with the learning environment
    • No food or beverages are to be consumed in the classroom unless it is part of the classroom activities approved by the cooperating teacher.
  4. When it is time to end the visit, please leave as quietly as possible. If the opportunity is there to thank the teacher for the visit, it is an appreciated and a courteous gesture.
  5. If you write an observation report (as a course requirement), write what you saw or heard, without recording judgment or criticism. Remember to omit names of teachers, children, other school personnel and the school name and district so as to maintain a professional policy of confidentiality.
  6. In your development as a teacher candidate, your fieldwork must be given first priority over other personal obligations and commitments. In addition, you must conduct yourself in a professional manner, including dress, speech, personal habits and overall courtesy.
  7. Any indication of drug and/or alcohol use will result in removal from the school.