Hole 9 - ELED 401-402 "Directed Teaching in Elementary School"
Keith J. Conners, Ph.D.
Description: Students are placed in directed teaching centers in nearby public elementary schools. They observe teaching, teach and participate in activities for which regularly employed teachers are responsible.
Objectives/learning experiences: Students will . . .
- Present themselves for work at the designated school and classroom for the assigned dates on a daily schedule which is comparable to that of a full-time teacher in the school. They will attend all school activities expected of full-time employees, including staff meetings, PTA, field trips, professional days, parent conferences and the like. In the event that circumstances beyond the control of the student teacher (e.g., snow days) reduce the number of teaching days during the 7-week experience, a revised schedule may be negotiated by the student teacher and the supervisor to ensure that the student teacher has every possible opportunity to reach his or her full potential and to be fairly evaluated at the culmination of the experience.
- Maintain professional demeanor as expected of full-time teachers in every respect including dress, attendance, punctuality, confidentiality, record-keeping, interaction with peers, and conduct outside of school.
- After a suitable period of observation and orientation, assume a full-time teaching load and perform all appropriate duties of a classroom teacher. In most cases, full-time teaching should occur by the fourth or fifth week of the experience, thereby allowing time for extended teaching responsibility and the opportunity for the student teacher to visit and observe in other classrooms in the seventh week of the experience.
- According to the specific expectations of the cooperating teacher, submit written plans for lessons to be taught, sufficiently in advance of instruction for those plans to be reviewed and critiqued by the cooperating teacher and/or the supervisor.
- Develop, implement and critique a plan for managing student behavior. The plan should include a statement of philosophy, references to established theory and research in classroom management, spatial arrangements of the classroom, teacher expectations, ways that expectations are communicated to students, consequences of student misbehavior, involvement of parents/guardians, and examples of situations and how they would be handled.
- Show evidence of long-range, integrated planning ability appropriate for the grade level and the curricular realities of the school.
- Complete a "school contribution project" as agreed to by the cooperating teacher and the supervisor.
- Submit a videotape of approximately 30 minutes of his or her best teaching by the end of the 7-week experience. Students will arrange to tape themselves on several occasions beginning early in the 7-week experience so that the submitted tape can represent a reasonably polished display of teaching competence, appropriate for inclusion in a professional portfolio. A written self-critique should accompany the videotape. Students may choose to submit their digital portfolio, which will feature one exemplary lesson, in lieu of the videotape. Regardless, students are encouraged to tape themselves on several occasions for professional self-assessment.
- In conjunction with the student teaching seminar, maintain an ongoing record of reflective writing based on the student teaching experience. Entries may be made daily, weekly or bi-weekly, but should be created with sufficient contemporaneity to ensure meaningful reflection. Entries may be free-form, structured, or both, and may include marginal comments on lesson plans, instructional materials, exams, etc.
- Participate in 3-way conferences at mid-experience and at the end of the seven weeks with the supervisor and the cooperating teacher. Review and discussion of the checklist evaluation form should be included in this conference.
- Contact the supervisor immediately when any problem or exceptional circumstance arises related to the student teaching assignment and/or the student's relationship with the cooperating teacher.
- Notify by phone no later than 7:30am on the teaching day both the cooperating teacher and the supervisor in the event that the student is unable to report for work. If absences for illness or personal obligation limit the student teacher's ability to reach his or her full potential or to be evaluated fairly, the student teacher may be expected to extend the student teaching experience beyond the originally assigned dates.
- Submission of materials which bear upon day-to-day teaching (e.g., lesson plans and all expectations of the cooperating teacher) must be effected in a timely manner. Items required for the supervisor which relate to the student teacher's professional development (e.g., school contribution project, classroom management plan, videotape) may be turned in at the convenience of the student teacher. All materials must be received by the end of the semester in order for the supervisor to complete the final written evaluation.
Note: I do not require weekly submission of the green forms detailing your teaching schedule, as I have found that changes beyond your control render them meaningless most of the time. Instead, I would like a weekly note highlighting your student teaching and alerting me to good times to schedule observation visits and conferences. I will not ambush you with unannounced visits, and I will generally call a day or two before to confirm the date and time of each observation.
Evaluation: Pass/Fail grading is contingent upon satisfactory completion of all of the above requirements and expectations.
A more important evaluation than the Pass/Fail grade is the formal written evaluation of the student teacher on the SSU checklist form by both the cooperating teacher and the University supervisor. Students should make themselves aware of the items on this form (see Handbook) at the outset and seek periodic feedback from the cooperating teacher and the supervisor regarding progress on specific items. It is essential that discussion of this form be included in the mid-point 3-way conference and at the end of the 7-week experience.
Student teachers whose performance, according to the standards of the SSU Department of Education, is "excellent," "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" when compared to other student teachers, past and present -- not when compared to veteran teachers -- should expect to be evaluated accordingly. Most important, however, is the clear communication of expectations by cooperating teachers and supervisors regarding student teacher performance in any area needing attention. Student teachers have the right to know what they need to do in order to improve and what indicators of satisfactory performance will be used by cooperating teachers and supervisors in judging their work.
It is possible to earn a rating of "excellent"on any item, even on every item.
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