What guidelines are in place for teacher candidates during field experience?

1. 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:

2. 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.
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.

4. 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.

5. Transportation is your responsibility. Car pooling is encouraged whenever possible because of the limited parking available at schools/sites.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Any indication of drug and/or alcohol use will result in removal from the school.