I've come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my personal approach that creates the climate. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.
- Haim Ginott
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Roles and Responsibilities of the Elementary Student Teacher 3
Roles and Responsibilities of the Cooperating Teacher 15
Roles and Responsibilities of the College Supervisor 21
Evaluation of Student Teacher 23
A - College Forms
B - Planning Forms
C - Evaluation and Observation Forms
As the title implies, a student teacher is a person in a period of transition. Having spent some sixteen years as a participant in learning situations designed by someone else, the student teacher is now being given responsibility for designing learning situations for others. Because the role of the student teacher contains ambiguities and conflicting claims, this period of transition is often one of tension and anxiety. No amount of effort on the part of the others involved in the student teaching unit&endash;the cooperating teacher and college advisers&endash;can eliminate this tension entirely, although it can be contained within manageable limits if each person involved in the program understands his or her responsibilities and undertakes them conscientiously.
The following handbook has been developed to promote this understanding. It consists of a statement of the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the teacher education program and a description of the evaluation procedures which have been developed to be consistent with a reflective model of teacher education. The handbook is a summary of the formal requirements of the College's approved certification program, an attempt to anticipate questions frequently asked, and a set of informal suggestions based on past successes and failures in student teaching.
Everyone involved in the teacher education program -- student teachers, cooperating teachers, and College supervisors -- should read the entire handbook carefully even though certain sections are devoted to particular roles. Since the student teaching experience is, in large part, a network of relationships, each person involved should have a clear understanding of how his or her responsibilities relate to the responsibilities of others in the program.
Because evaluation is a critical part of this program, everyone should understand and adhere to the procedures outlined in the concluding section of this handbook.
Your questions, comments, and suggestions are invited and will be a valuable contribution to subsequent revisions. They should be directed to Dr. Sandra Fluck, Chair of the Education Department.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE
ELEMENTARY STUDENT TEACHER
Your role as a student teacher will be both challenging and rewarding. You are not yet a professional teacher, but will be expected to conduct yourself as if you were. You will be expected to take control of the learning of a group of children, but to remember as well that you are a short-term guest in another teacher's classroom. You will be expected to be aggressive and innovative, yet flexible and receptive to criticism. You will be expected to be yourself, a developing professional, while conforming to the rules of your host classroom. The guidelines given below have been suggested by previous student teachers. Much of what is said is common sense; some of it is not as common. Read it all very carefully, and then ask your supervisor any questions you might have. The purpose of student teaching is to help you develop into a competent professional. We will assist you in any way that we can. This handbook cannot anticipate all of your questions, so please ask.
Student teaching will be physically and psychologically exhausting. It will also be fun, if you are properly prepared. Expect it to consume most of your waking time. Expect to put in long hours in daily preparation. Expect to enjoy your relationship with your students, your cooperating teacher, and your colleagues.
WHEN DOES IT START?
The actual student teaching experience begins within the first week of the fall term. The seminars, however, begin on the first regularly scheduled class session. The early seminars are important because this is where many of your early questions will be answered and individual problems ironed out.
You will have received your student teaching assignments well before the scheduled starting date of student teaching. Hopefully you have mailed a letter of introduction to your cooperating teacher. If you have not received communication from your cooperating teacher, do not worry. Each has his/her own style. Do be prepared the first day of student teaching to arrive early so you can connect with your cooperating teacher. It is, however, preferable that you have an opportunity to meet and talk with your cooperating teacher prior to this first day.
Make arrangements to meet the building principal. You want the principal to know you. You may perhaps invite her or him to come in and observe your teaching. As soon as you have a copy of your resume, send it along with a letter. This may be in the form of a "thank you" letter at the end of your student teaching experience in that particular school.
Also make sure that you introduce yourself to the office staff and the custodian. They are extremely important to the smooth running of the building and will be good allies for you to have.
SCHOOL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Your student teaching experience will start smoothly if you are quite clear on the school's policies and procedures. Some of the areas of concern are listed below.
It is important to make a positive initial impression on your cooperating teacher, students, and principal. Moravian College Education Department has a written dress code that was developed to help maintain professional appearance. The dress code should be followed at all times. A copy of the code is in the appendices.
Some schools have separate parking areas for guests and visitors. Ask your cooperating teacher where you should park.
Most schools have a sign-in system for teachers and student teachers. Find out what the arrival time is for teachers and arrive at that time, preferably before contract time. Leave only at the teachers' dismissal time or later.
If you drink coffee in the teachers' lounge, find out what the reimbursement or cooperative costs are, and pay your share.
You will be expected to participate in all facets of the teachers' day, including recess and lunch supervision, where these exist. Ask what the rules of acceptable behavior are, and hold students to them.
Some student teachers have spent inordinate amounts of money on materials because they were not aware of supply rooms. Find out which materials are already available, and which materials you are welcomed to use.
These will typically be handled by your cooperating teacher, but you should offer to be present and contribute what you can.
Make full use of whatever hardware and software you have available to you. Try to incorporate the use of technology into some of your lessons. If you have access to the Internet in your classroom, it is imperative that you use it. A copy of the ISTE NETS Performance Profile is in the appendices.
Ask about support personnel (nurse, counselor, psychologist, speech therapist) and their schedules. Although you probably will not have occasion to use them, this is important information to have.
Ask about special teachers (reading, music, art, etc.). If a special teacher is scheduled to come into your room at a certain time, be prepared for him/her. If a student is due to see a reading teacher or speech teacher, see that the student makes the appointment on time. During your first two weeks you should observe your class in each specialty area (art, music, physical education) at least one time.
Find out if any of your children have medical problems and if so, the procedures for handling these emergencies.
Fire Drills, Lock Downs, and other Safety Precautions
Find out the warning signal for fire drills, the proper exit for your classroom, and the manner in which the children and you are to leave the building. Inquire about procedures for a Lock Down or any other safety precautions.
Your cooperating teacher will assume that you have come prepared to work. Expect to observe for the first day or two, and then to slowly take over most of the teaching responsibilities. Although the schedule will vary according to your preparedness and your cooperating teacher's judgment and preferences, the following schedule is a rough estimate:
First two days: Observation
By day three you should start taking individual lessons.
By the end of the first week you should have several lessons or specific groups as a regular responsibility.
By the end of the third week you should have the equivalent of a halftime responsibility.
Within the fifth week you should have assumed nearly full responsibility.
During the sixth and seventh weeks the classroom responsibilities should be almost totally yours. This does not, of course, preclude team teaching between you and your cooperating teacher. The planning and organizational responsibilities, however, should be primarily yours.
You are expected to be in attendance every day, all day, from the teachers' sign-in time to the teachers' dismissal time. (This is, of course, minimal time requirements.) If you are absent because of illness, call your school and be sure that the cooperating teacher gets the message. Check with your cooperating teacher to see if he or she would prefer to be called at home, if time permits. Also, call the Education Department (610-861-1558) and, if possible, speak with your supervisor. If your supervisor is not in, leave a message with the Department secretary. Know whether or not your college supervisor prefers to be called at home and honor that request. Failure to be in attendance without proper notification may be cause for failing student teaching.
Housekeeping comprises an important part of a teacher's responsibility. It involves keeping bulletin boards attractive and current with students' work, keeping bookshelves and supply closets neat, cleaning blackboards and floors at the end of the day, straightening learning centers, aligning window shades, taking daily attendance, milk money, etc. Follow your cooperating teacher's lead and be sensitive to the housekeeping chores which must be done. Be assertive in asking to take on these responsibilities.
Watch what you say, and how you conduct yourself in your classroom, in the corridors, and in the teachers' lounge. Do not allow students to put you in the position of sympathizing with them against a decision made by your cooperating teacher, another teacher or the principal. Tell them to take the problem to the person in question. Do not criticize your cooperating teacher, other teachers or fellow student teachers in the teachers' lounge. Do not hesitate to ask about things that puzzle you or to contribute your own ideas and suggestions, but do so respectfully and with regard to the views of others. Do not talk about the problems of specific students in the teachers' lounge. This is a breach of the student's right to confidentiality, although you will undoubtedly hear it. Use the teachers' lounge to get to know your colleagues and to develop positive relationships with them.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
The Education Department of Moravian College considers sexual harassment to be a serious offense which will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment is any repeated or unwanted verbal or physical sexual advance, sexually explicit derogatory statement, or sexually discriminatory remark made by someone in the workplace which is offensive or objectionable to the recipient, or which causes the recipient discomfort or humiliation, or which interferes with the recipient's work performance. This is only one of many definitions of sexual harassment. All definitions however, share three characteristics:
1. Sexual harassment is unwelcome. This means the victim is not asking for it.
2. The victim does not have the overt power to end the harassment. This characteristic indicates that sexual harassment is a power play.
3. Sexual harassment interferes with productivity.
Student teachers and cooperating teachers are encouraged to report any instance of sexual harassment to the College supervisor immediately.
PREPARATION AND PLANNING
You will be expected to present your daily and weekly plans to your cooperating teacher before teaching your lessons. This advance planning allows the cooperating teacher to give you helpful suggestions on your lessons and to step in if you should be absent. You will be expected to begin your student teaching experience with detailed written plans. A sample lesson plan format is in the appendices. This format should be followed for at least the first three weeks of each student teaching experience. You can switch to a block plan after the third week if your cooperating teacher and your college supervisor approve of the switch. A sample block plan is also in the appendices. Remember that most teaching problems stem from inadequate planning. When the College supervisor comes to observe, provide her with your lesson plan so that she will know what the class is doing and why.
Discipline problems can be avoided, or at least minimized, if the student teacher has taken preventive measures. The following guidelines should be helpful.
ß Find out what the classroom rules are and be firm in supporting them.
ß Learn your students' names immediately. Ask your cooperating teacher for a class list and study the names. Put names and faces together when you are observing during the first day or two.
ß Do not send students to the office unless absolutely necessary. Different schools have different policies on this point, so find out what the practice is in your school.
ß The maxim, "Do not Smile until Christmas" is overstated, but not by much. It is possible to be open, positive, warm, and receptive without being a pal. Be yourself.
ß Parents can be useful in helping to eliminate problem behavior, but use this strategy only through your cooperating teacher.
ß Watch the sanctions your cooperating teacher uses very carefully. The students are used to these, and will probably respond.
Under no circumstances will you strike a child. It is bad pedagogical practice, is ineffective in the long run, and could possibly get you into legal difficulty. It is permissible and desirable to use "reasonable restraint" to stop children from fighting or from hurting themselves or others, but spankings or cuffs on the ears will not be supported or tolerated by your supervisors. Briefly, a student teacher is legally responsible for his or her behavior. You can be covered through liability insurance by joining the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association.
Responsible feedback is important to student learning. Read and comment on, or evaluate, all work that your students do. Do not give an assignment and simply throw the papers away. Return work as quickly as possible. No paper should be held more than a few days. When you construct tests, make the ditto sheets neat and legible. Type them if possible. It is possible to obtain a larger print by using a word processor. This is helpful in the primary grades. Construct tests that are fair and purposeful. The purpose of testing is to determine if your objectives have been achieved; it is not to trick students, or to categorize them. You can increase the validity of your test by developing it before you teach the lesson rather than the night before the test is to be given. Test papers should be returned the next day, and reviewed with your students.
EVALUATION OF YOUR PERFORMANCE
The Cooperating Teacher
The primary role of the cooperating teacher is to assist you in your professional development. You should receive informal feedback on a daily basis, and formal feedback on your observation record on at least a weekly basis. If you are not receiving the feedback you feel you need, ask your cooperating teacher to provide it. Sometimes it is helpful for both the cooperating teacher and the student teacher to keep a joint journal. Writing back and forth may open up the lines of communication that may otherwise seem blocked. If that doesn't work speak with your supervisor.
The role of the College supervisor will be to support your performance in the schools. To this end, the supervisor will observe a minimum of four formal lessons during each experience. You will select the first three lessons to be observed. During the third observation, the supervisor will also videotape the lesson. There will also be conferences before and after this visit. Although possibly arranged with your cooperating teacher, the fourth observation will be unannounced.
Evaluation and Self-Evaluation
Evaluation of your work is not only for College supervisors and cooperating teachers. The most constructive evaluation is that which you do for yourself from day to day, and a capacity for self-criticism and self-correction is an important characteristic of an effective teacher. You need to become more conscious of your beliefs about teaching, learning, and schooling. You need to evaluate your beliefs about practices in relation to those beliefs. You need to develop a personal style that fits your personality and is useful in carrying out important educational goals. This should be part of your self-evaluation. Discuss your self-assessment with your cooperating teacher and College supervisor regularly, and request a more formal conference if
you find that their evaluations of your work differ significantly from your own. A good idea is to sustain professional peer relationships which you developed in student teaching. Have fellow student teachers visit your class so that they can observe your teaching. That will give you someone else you can talk to about your teaching.
An attempt will be made to video tape you twice during the student teaching semester. The major purpose of the video taping is self-observation and analysis. Although the supervisor will occasionally use the video tape to reinforce her observations, the primary purpose is for you to evaluate your own performance. The video tape also provides an effective interview tool.
The Evaluation Forms
Your cooperating teacher will complete a weekly observation form which will be given to you and your College Supervisor. These observations are for your information, and will not be placed in your placement file. In the last week of each experience your cooperating teacher will complete a final comprehensive evaluation form. Your College Supervisor will also complete one of these evaluation forms. These evaluations will be placed in your placement file. Copies of evaluation forms are in the appendices. Any comments in the evaluation forms which you feel are unfair or not representative of your work should be reviewed at this time. If the evaluator chooses to stand on his/her judgment, you have a right to appeal to the Executive Committee of the Teacher Education Committee through the Department Chair. You have a right to attend the appeal. The cooperating teacher and supervisor will be notified of the appeal and given the option of attending. The Committee can decide to delete the evaluation completely, or retain it as written.
CERTIFICATION AND PLACEMENT
You are responsible for several matters related to verifying the completion of your degree requirements, initiating the application for certification, and starting a teacher placement file.
Declaration of Major Form
The Registrar has a pink form titled Declaration or Change of Major which you should have completed by now. A quick way to check on whether or not you have declared a double Major (__________/El.Ed.) would be to look at the top of a recent grade report. If the space marked "Major" is empty or incorrect, you need to complete one of these pink forms.
Completion of Degree Requirements
At the end of the fall semester, pick up a green form titled Certification for Completion of Degree Requirements in the registrar's office. Take this form along to your Liberal Arts major adviser when you register for the Spring term. Your adviser will send it on to your Education adviser who in turn will send it to the Registrar.
Applying for Teacher Certification
When you complete both the academic requirements for graduation and the professional requirements of the teacher education program, and you pass the tests required by the Pennsylvania Teacher Certification Testing Program including the specialty area tests), you are eligible for Pennsylvania's Instructional I (Provisional) certificate. Make sure that you take the right tests. As of September 1, 2000, all elementary candidates need to take the following tests: PPST Reading (#10710); PPST Writing (#20720); PPST Mathematics (#10730); Listening Skills (#20740); Principles of Learning & Teaching: Grades K-6 (#30522); and, Elementary Education Content Knowledge (#10014). The specialty area test for elementary education is called Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (#10011). Those who have passed tests prior to September 1, 2000 will have those scores valid for five years. The Instructional I certificate is good for six (6) years of teaching in your area of certification in Pennsylvania, during which time you must complete 24 credits beyond your baccalaureate degree. When you have completed the 24 credits, three of the six years of teaching and a successful induction year, you can apply for an Instructional II (Permanent) certificate. Since Pennsylvania counts only teaching years, your provisional certificate remains valid even if you do not use it. It is therefore important for you to apply for certification when you complete Moravian's program whether or not you plan to seek a teaching position right after graduation. If you do not apply for certification until later, you will be required to satisfy the requirements as they are then, not as they were when you graduated. Beginning July 1, 2000, all Pennsylvania educators will have to maintain their certificates as active by earning 6 collegiate credits or 6 PDE-approved in-service credits or 180 continuing education hours or any combination of the above every five calendar years. These are the requirements of Act 48.
The certificate application will be given to you at the beginning of the student teaching program with instructions for completing the form. There is a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania processing charge of $15.00. (Make checks out to Moravian College. Return the check and complete application to the secretary in the Moravian College Education Department.)
Graduates of Moravian's teacher education program are eligible for certification in a number of other states through various interstate reciprocity agreements. Since many states, like Pennsylvania, are changing their policies, procedures, and requirements, you should consult with your Education Department adviser if you are interested in teaching in another state. Several directories of public and private schools are on file in the Education Department office, and a member of the Education Department faculty can help you secure current information on certification in other states.
All states maintain a department of education. Check their websites for updated information.
Establishing a Teacher Placement File
Seeking a teaching position involves establishing a file of personal information, recommendations, and evaluations which can be sent to prospective employers at their request. At Moravian, this process is a function of the Education Department, not the Counseling and Career Planning Office. At the beginning of the student teaching term you will be given forms to complete as a part of your teacher placement file, and we encourage you to establish such a file whether or not you plan to seek a teaching position after graduation. Procedures for establishing a file and making it available to prospective employers will be outlined at an early meeting of the student teaching seminar.
The contents of the placement folder are listed on the Teacher Certification Checklist. A copy of this list is in the appendices. The following sections describe in detail some of the pieces of the placement folder.
Resume and Recommendations
Your resume is the first thing employers will see when they open your placement folder. It should look good. To facilitate copying, put the resume on white paper. If you prefer, you can supply multiple copies on specialty paper.
Quality letters of recommendation are equally as important as your resume. You will receive forms for attaining recommendations. Since your cooperating teachers and your College supervisor(s) will automatically fill out an evaluation, you should not ask them for additional letters of recommendation. A good strategy is to have two Moravian professors write a letter which attests to your competency in the subject area. A third letter should be more of a character reference. This could be filled out by a former employer, someone in the clergy or someone who knows you well.
Criminal Background Check
Pennsylvania Act 34 of 1985 requires all candidates for teaching positions in Pennsylvania to submit to a criminal history background check. If you are a Pennsylvania resident, this is done through the Pennsylvania State Police. You will receive a form (SP 4-164) for this purpose in your seminars. The form is completed and sent with a $10.00 certified check or a money order made out to "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," to the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository. The address is on the form. If you are a resident of another state, the check is done through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The F.B.I. check requires the taking of a set of fingerprints, which can be done by arrangement with the Bethlehem Police Department. The necessary forms and instructions for completing them are available in the Education Department office and will be distributed at the beginning of the teaching term. There is a $10.00 state fee for all applicants and an additional $24.00 fee for those requiring the F.B.I. check. In addition, some districts require a completed form for student teaching.
If you plan to teach in another state, you should find out whether such a check is required there.
Once the form has been returned, bring it to the Education Department office so we can make a copy for your file. Never give away your original. The criminal check will be sent out with the rest of your placement file.
There are three different forms which require some physical examination. You may want to have all three forms filled out by the doctor at the same time. You can have the physicals and the TB test done at the College Health Center, or you may use your own physician.
o TB Test - Pennsylvania state law requires that all school personnel, including student teachers, be tested for TB. A form will be provided for this purpose. The form must be signed by a nurse or a physician. The signed form must be in the possession of the Education Department before student teaching begins. Some school districts will ask to see a copy of this. Have one ready to submit.
o Physical for Certification Form - As part of the certification form, you must have a physical done by a licensed physician. Make sure that the physician provides all information requested, including the physician's number and signature.
o School Personnel Health Record - The "School Personnel Health Record" is needed for employment. Some districts will request that you send a copy to them with your resume or completed application. A copy of the form will be distributed before the start of student teaching. It is your responsibility to keep the form and have it sent out when requested.
Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
You also need a completed child abuse clearance to teach in Pennsylvania. In addition, some districts require student teachers to have this form completed to teach in their schools. This form also costs $10.00 for processing. A copy of the form will be given to you at the start of student teaching.
When you receive the completed form back from the state, bring it to the Education Department so we can make a copy for your file. Never give away your original. The child abuse clearance will be sent out with the rest of your placement file.
Initiating the Employment Process
The employment process generally includes the development of a personal resume and cover letter, a review of your placement file, and an interview. If you have not already done so, you should develop a good draft of a resume. Both the Moravian College Placement Office and the Education Department hold workshops on resume development.
Initial contact with prospective employers should be made through a cover letter to the school district in question explaining who you are, expressing an interest in possible positions in that school district, and requesting an application. You should enclose a copy of your resume with your introductory letter. Addresses of area school districts and districts in other states are available in the Education Department office and further information will be provided in the student teaching seminars.
Policies Relating to the Placement Folder
An interested school district may request a copy of your placement file directly from the Education Department office, but you may also make the request by giving the name and address of the appropriate person or office to the Education Department secretary who will send a copy of your folder. Your placement folder will contain an unofficial copy of your current transcript, so you do not need to request one from the Registrar for each school district. If a school district requests an official transcript, you must have it sent out through the Registrar's office.You will receive a form at the start of student teaching entitled the Education Department Policy Concerning Teacher Placement Files. A copy is in the appendices.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
Student teachers are graded on a Pass/No Credit System, and the written evaluations of cooperating teachers and supervisors have much to do with whether or not a student teacher finds a position.
It will not be sufficient in today's job market to merely "get by." Those who excel in student teaching are typically those who go beyond what is simply "required." In the final analysis, you have a great degree of control over your level of success. Get into the task from the start, be enthusiastic, be flexible, have a sense of humor, experiment, work hard and above all else, enjoy what you are doing.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE
As a cooperating teacher, you share in the final stages of the teacher preparation process at Moravian College. It is through your competence, professionalism, and sensitivity that our students are introduced to the "real world" of teaching. The student teachers are ready to synthesize their studies with all their talents and energies in the process of teaching children. Moravian asks that you accept only the best from its students and that you do this in an atmosphere of gentleness and support.
PENNSYLVANIA STANDARDS FOR PROGRAM APPROVAL AND TEACHER CERTIFICATION
All cooperating teachers are selected because of their willingness to mentor, their excellence in teaching, and their devotion to their profession. In accordance with the laws of Pennsylvania, cooperating teachers are selected based upon the following criteria:
1. Have at least three years of teaching experience, one of which is in the school entity to which the teacher candidate is assigned,
2. Have a teaching assignment appropriate to the subject competency of the teacher candidate and
3. Have completed a program of preparation on observation and evaluation skills developed by the College for the cooperating teacher.
SETTING THE STAGE
Obtain copies of curriculum guides and textbooks for the student teacher. Prepare a desk or table with other appropriate teaching supplies and school schedules and calendars. If you are willing to share your professional library and supplies, provide a system for checking them out. Make the student teacher feel welcome to your classroom and school. Introduce the student teacher to the principal and other school personnel, to school/classroom policies and procedures, and to your students. Always use the student teacher's professional name with students.
You may assume that your student teacher has come prepared to work. Although the schedule will vary according to the student's preparedness and your judgment and preferences, the following is a rough estimate:
First two days: Observation. Try to structure the student teacher's observations by having him/her concentrate on specific topics such as:
1. Motivation techniques
2. Establishing clear learning objectives
3. Appropriate learning tasks
4. Approaches to use in developing learner confidence
5. Giving rewards and feedback
6. Provisions for sequential practice
7. Teaching for transfer
8. Lesson introductions
9. Lesson closures
10. Classroom management techniques
11. Questioning techniques
12. Giving directions and assignments
13. Planning teaching-learning strategies in each curriculum area
14. Integrating curriculum areas
15. Planning independent work
16. Alternative teaching strategies
17. Provisions for individual differences
18. Management of multiple groups
19. Handling of classroom conditions: lighting, seating, and ventilation
20. Student assessments including test construction
21. Self-evaluation of teaching
22. Using and extending curriculum materials
23. Using technology
24. Encouraging student participation
25. Working with building supervisors and specialists
26. Creating effective instructional aids and display areas
27. Homework assignments
28. Differences between large and small group instruction.
By day three the student teacher should start taking individual lessons.
By the end of the first week the student teacher should have several lessons or specific groups as a regular responsibility.
By the end of the third week the student teacher should have the equivalent of halftime responsibility.
Within the fifth week the student teacher should have assumed nearly full responsibility.
During the sixth and seventh weeks the student teacher should have assumed almost total responsibility for the classroom. This does not, of course, preclude team teaching between you and the student teacher. The planning and organization, however, should be primarily the student teacher's responsibility.
PREPARATION AND PLANNING
All student teachers have had experience writing lesson and unit plans and are expected to write detailed lesson plans during student teaching. Unit and lesson plans must be presented prior to teaching the unit or lesson. A lesson plan must be submitted two days prior to the teaching of that lesson. The plans must be word processed. Please make comments right on the plans, initial, and date so the College supervisors know you have had input. Unit plans should be discussed and critiqued while being written prior to beginning the unit. Samples of Lesson and Unit Plan Outlines are given in the appendices.
When student teachers have half the teaching responsibility, and with the consent of the cooperating teacher and the College supervisor, they may switch to block plans. The cooperating teacher should continue to initial and date these plans for the College supervisor.
If a student teacher has moved to block plans and is teaching a new subject, she/he must write a minimum of two long plans for each new subject. Sample block plans are in the appendices.
The monitoring of student behavior&emdash;the "discipline issue&emdash;is often a source of anxiety for beginning teachers. Classroom management should be considered as much a part of the student teacher's planning responsibility as subject content and method, something that requires an analysis of the personal and group dynamics of each class for which the student teacher is responsible. Time is spent in student teaching seminars considering various ways of diagnosing and resolving behavior problems, but you are in the best position to see how these general propositions apply in the specific circumstances of your school. Since you have already established certain norms and procedures for your students, be sure that the student teacher knows what they are and uses them as a framework for his or her decisions. As incidents arise, help the student teacher analyze the situation, determine his/her own course of action, and assess the results. Unless the situation is particularly urgent, resist imposing your own solution before the student teacher has tried to work things through. If problems seem persistent or if the student teacher is unresponsive or ineffective in dealing with them when they arise, initiate a conference with the College supervisor right away.
THE STUDENT TEACHER'S
The student teacher is expected to share your administrative and extra-curricular responsibilities insofar as it is reasonable to do so. This may include but not be limited to, such things as taking attendance, supervising recess and lunchrooms, and attending parent conferences. The College requires the student teacher to attend faculty and in-service meetings, unless they conflict with a required College activity.
USE OF STUDENT TEACHERS AS SUBSTITUTES
Under no circumstances is a student teacher to be used in place of a certified, paid substitute for an absent teacher, including the cooperating teacher. The only exception to this policy might be an emergency which arises during the school day making it necessary for someone to cover a class or an activity temporarily. If the student teacher is given this responsibility, it should only be done with the authorization of the principal, and a regular teacher should be designated to help the student teacher if necessary.
Because we live in an increasingly litigious society, classroom teachers must be attentive to their "duty of care." Whether or not they are legally liable, student teachers should be held to that same duty. You should help your student teacher recognize the specific applications as they relate to your school. This is particularly important if student teachers are involved in a student activity or laboratory setting where there is a potential for injury. Be sure that the student teacher understands and follows basic safety procedures and knows what steps to follow in case of an emergency. Most important, insist that the student teacher fulfills his or her responsibility for monitoring student behavior.
SUPERVISING AND EVALUATING
Like the induction year, we can view the student teaching experience as one more stage in this future teacher's development. This is the context in which supervision should be viewed. All of the supervisors, including the cooperating teachers need to help student teachers identify strengths and weaknesses in order that they may improve their instructional quality. The most useful student teaching supervision is that which you do from day to day. It is most helpful if you provide daily informal feedback in either written or verbal form. Having an established time and mechanism for this is essential.
A cooperating teacher has much to contribute to one of the main objectives of student teaching&emdash;helping the prospective teacher begin to develop a personal teaching style. This requires striking a balance between your own experience, professional judgment, and knowledge of your students; and the need for a student teacher to explore different ideas and techniques. Try to introduce your student teacher to a variety of methods and materials and, within limits, encourage the student teacher to be imaginative as he or she begins to gain confidence.
The post-observation conference then becomes extremely important. It is a time for you and the student teacher to actually discuss his or her teaching. It is important for the student teacher to think in terms of his or her own view of good teaching and how his or her own practice fits into that view and where his or her practice falls short. The student teacher may also discover that his or her view is limited, that what he or she thought was good teaching does not generate the results he or she had hoped for. It is hoped that you and the student teacher will have time to discuss teaching in both a theoretical and practical sense.
Because evaluation and feedback are essential elements of the student teaching program, some recommendations and guidelines for evaluating a student teacher's performance are provided in a separate section of this handbook. That section also describes the forms and procedures to be used when reporting on the student teacher's progress. You will be sent evaluation forms geared towards observations of particular classes. These forms encourage the observer to focus on events in one class. Starting with the first week, forms should be sent to the College supervisor weekly through the student teacher. Each evaluation sheet produces three copies; two should be given to the student teacher and one retained for the cooperating teacher's record. The student teacher will retain one of the two copies and give the other to the College supervisor. If you would rather provide the College supervisor with general comments concerning the student teacher's performance, not tied in with one class, you could do so. You could use the form and just mark weekly report to indicate it covers the performance over the week. Please note that the weekly form does not become a part of the student teacher's placement file. It is a means for you to chart the progress of the student teacher, to provide meaningful feedback to the student teacher, and to communicate with the College supervisor.
In addition, at the end of the experience there is a form which will help you to summarize the supervision. Prospective employers give substantial weight to the cooperating teacher's final evaluation. Your evaluation becomes a part of the student's placement file exactly as you send it to us and will be included with the other information that is sent to prospective employers at their request. For this reason, your evaluation should be carefully considered and based upon frequent observations and conferences with the student teacher. Please share all evaluation reports with student teachers. This will be useful feedback for them.
Because the student teaching period is brief, it is important to resolve problems quickly. You should feel free to act independently and attempt to resolve these difficulties directly with the student teacher whenever possible. If a conference with the College supervisor seems called for, one can be quickly arranged by calling the Education Department office (861-1558). If you need to talk directly with a College supervisor, a list of their telephone numbers is included in this handbook. Please feel free to call them at their homes or in the offices.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
The Education Department of Moravian College considers sexual harassment to be a serious offense which will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment is any repeated or unwanted verbal or physical sexual advance, sexually explicit derogatory statement, or sexually discriminatory remark made by someone in the workplace which is offensive or objectionable to the recipient, or which causes the recipient discomfort or humiliation or which interferes with the recipient's work performance. This is only one of many definitions of sexual harassment. All definitions, however, share three characteristics:
1. Sexual harassment is unwelcome. This means the victim is not asking for it.
2. The victim does not have the overt power to end the harassment. This characteristic indicates that sexual harassment is a power play.
3. Sexual harassment interferes with productivity.
Student teachers and cooperating teachers are encouraged to report any instance of sexual harassment to the College supervisor immediately.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE
The role of the College Supervisor will be to support the student teacher's performance in the schools. To this end, the supervisor will formally observe a minimum of four lessons during each experience. The student teacher will select the first three lessons to be observed. During the third observation, the supervisor will also videotape the lesson. There will be conferences after most visits. Although possibly arranged with the cooperating teacher, the fourth observation will be unannounced. If any problems or concerns should develop, please contact the College Supervisor immediately either at the office or at home.
Dr. Connie Unger Home: 610/262-4176 Office: 610/625-7902
Dr. Sandra Fluck Home: 610/760-1759 Office: 610/861-1556
Camie Modjadidi Home: 610/86-8475 Office: 610/861-1473
Vicky Wanner Home: 610/967-4475 Office: 610/861-1558
Rosemarie Reinhard Office: 610/861-1558 Fax: 610/861-1696
Contact for: Forms, applications, and teacher placement files
EVALUATION OF STUDENT TEACHERS
THE PURPOSE OF EVALUATION
Evaluation of student teachers has two primary purposes. The first is developmental, to help the student teacher become increasingly effective by reinforcing evident strengths and working to overcome initial weaknesses. The second is more explicitly judgmental, to assess the certification candidate's potential for future success in teaching. Balancing these two, sometimes conflicting purposes is a complex and subtle task, one requiring the cooperation and attention of College supervisors, cooperating teachers, and the student teacher. Although experienced teachers would probably agree that the competencies and characteristics listed below are consistent with effective teaching, no attempt is made here to digest the research on teaching and reduce it to a comprehensive, unambiguous, and universally agreed upon list of characteristics. The following list is simply intended to provide a framework for evaluation with the understanding that any such framework will need to be adjusted to the circumstances of particular schools and particular student teachers. Those involved in a given student teaching assignment will need to work together to reach an understanding of how these common dimensions apply in the special circumstances of the assignment.
Consistent with the notion of reflective practice, there is no one model of instruction being promulgated. Students have been introduced to a variety of strategies. They also will learn some new strategies by working with teachers in the field. Maybe they will create some new strategies. Teachers need to develop their own style of effective teaching within a set of beliefs. A central concern, therefore, is how well the students can analyze and improve their instruction. If pre-service teachers are able to analyze their own instruction, they will continue to grow after their student teaching experience.
TEACHING COMPETENCIES TO BE
DEVELOPED AND EVALUATED
The student teacher should work to develop and refine the following characteristics of effective teaching to a degree that justifies confidence that she or he can undertake the independent responsibilities of a first-year teacher.
The Student Teacher:
1. Has sufficient knowledge of the content and subject area to be able to:
ß Present content accurately, clearly and coherently;
ß Present lessons at an appropriate level of skill and complexity;
ß Explain concepts and principles in different ways when necessary to enhance student understanding;
ß Illustrate concepts and principles by drawing upon students' experiences and prior learning whenever possible.
2. Plans thoroughly and consistently, demonstrating the ability to:
ß Identify instructional objectives in terms of student learning outcomes;
ß Plan adequately;
ß Develop focused and coherent plans;
ß Develop objectives at different cognitive and affective levels;
ß At various times and where appropriate include objectives at a high cognitive level;
ß Develop instructional procedures and evaluation strategies which are consistent with stated objectives;
ß Use an appropriate variety of methods and materials;
ß Incorporate the use of available technology;
ß Use student performance on evaluation measures to identify and respond to individual differences among students;
ß Use student performance on evaluation measures to assess the effectiveness of teaching strategies and materials;
ß Demonstrate an awareness and knowledge of students through appropriate planning.
3. Demonstrate effectiveness in the classroom itself in that she or he can:
ß Use questions effectively to test students' understanding to elicit their involvement;
ß Provide feedback to students using an appropriate balance of praise and criticism;
ß Provide adequate practice for the learning of new skills;
ß Make effective use of available instructional time, engages the students in meaningful learning;
ß Establish a classroom atmosphere of mutual trust and respect;
ß Use language accurately and clearly to convey information and expectations; Relate to students in ways that are free from racial, ethnic, gender, or religious bias;
ß Display self-control, poise, and emotional balance;
ß Use firm but positive approaches in shaping appropriate student behavior;
ß Complete administrative duties efficiently and accurately;
ß Demonstrate awareness and knowledge of students through decisions made during lessons;
ß Effectively monitors and controls student discussions;
ß Include active student involvement where appropriate.
4. Can critically analyze instruction in that student teachers are able to:
ß Discuss beliefs concerning teaching, learning, schooling in general;
ß Describe and put into practice a teaching style consistent with beliefs;
ß Identify inconsistencies between beliefs and practices;
ß Make decision concerning beliefs and practices on a significant basis (research, other professionals, experience);
ß Adjust belief and practice appropriately;
ß Can use information related to student performance to adjust beliefs and practices.
5. Establishes consistent and appropriately high expectations of students with respect to achievement and behavior.
6. Communicates commitment to and enthusiasm for both teaching and the students.
7. Interacts effectively and professionally with students, cooperating teachers, other teachers and school staff and College supervisors.
8. Respects the legal rights and responsibilities of teachers and students.
9. Participates in the total school program in appropriate ways.
10. Maintains a high personal standard of health and hygiene.
11. Cares for the appearance of the classroom and the maintenance of instructional equipment and materials.
Toward the end of the student teaching experience, the College will send the cooperating teacher a form to be completed as the final evaluation of the student teacher's work. A sample of this form is given in the appendices. College supervisors will also be asked to complete a written evaluation of the student teacher. Since these evaluations will be included as part of the student teacher's placement file exactly as they are received from the cooperating teacher and College supervisors, we ask that you have them typed or word processed so that they can be photocopied for prospective employers who will utilize your evaluation in their decision making process. If you would like to have the form on a disk, make arrangements with the Education Department secretary. It is Moravian College's policy to allow student teachers to read their final evaluations before they are entered in the placement file, so cooperating teachers and College supervisors should discuss their evaluations with the student teacher to resolve any questions and differences.
Moravian College grades the student teaching experience on a Pass/No Credit basis, leaving particular details of the student teacher's strengths and weaknesses to the written evaluations. When the student teacher's work is of sufficient quality to justify confidence in him or her as a first-year teacher, the student will be assigned a grade of "Pass" and will be recommended for Pennsylvania's Instructional I certificate. If the student teacher has made a responsible and conscientious effort but has not achieved the competence required of a beginning teacher, the student will be assigned a grade of "Pass" but will not be recommended for certification. The grade of "No Credit" will be assigned when the student teacher's sense of responsibility and effort are in serious question.
Final determination of the grade rests with the College supervisor, and the decision concerning certification ultimately rests with the College's Teacher Education Committee. The cooperating teacher will be consulted in all cases, and a conference will be held if there are significantly different perceptions of the student teacher's work. In the case of a recommendation that certification not be granted or that no credit be given for the experience, the student may petition for reconsideration by the Teacher Education Committee. If the issue is still not resolved, the student may appeal the decision to the Dean of the College and to the President. The student teacher may also ask the Pennsylvania Department of Education to review the College's decision when the College's appeal process has been exhausted. At each step of the appeal, the student is entitled to a hearing at which he or she may present information on his or her own behalf and respond to the information upon which the decision was based. The student should discuss the appeal process with the chair of the Teacher Education Committee.
REVIEW OF TEACHER PLACEMENT FILES
Although permanent teacher placement files are the property of the College and may not be removed from the office, a student has the right to inspect the content of his or her file. To guarantee confidentiality and appropriate use of the placement file, the Education Department will release copies only to prospective employers at their request or at the student's request. A copy of the Education Department's Policy concerning Teacher Placement Files is given in the appendices.
A student may challenge any material in the file that he or she judges to be inaccurate, misleading, unfair, or capricious. The student may insert a statement in the folder to correct, clarify, or explain comments made in an evaluation, or recommendation. Materials may be removed or amended by mutual consent of the student and the writer of the evaluation or recommendation. In the event that the student and the writer cannot agree on the accuracy or propriety of the statement, the student may petition the Teacher Education Committee for a hearing. The Committee can decide to exclude the disputed material from the file or to retain it verbatim. Under no circumstance will the Committee change the wording of an evaluation. In all cases, the writer of the disputed material will be informed of the student's objection and given the opportunity to respond and to attend any Committee hearing of the matter.
Placement files will be kept on file in the Education Department for ten years. After ten years, the records will be destroyed. The Education Department will maintain a database of your student teaching experience. Please keep the department secretary informed of any changes in your status. Official transcripts may be requested of the Registrar at any time.