Module 1: Shared Language and Definitions

Module 1 Progress

How active and involved are early field experience students?

The process for scheduling school visits also varies, and may require a set schedule (e.g. certain days/times each week) or may be a total number of hours that must be individually planned, tracked, and completed. The required number of hours varies in early field placements depending on institution, program, and course. In any case, Mentor CTs will be contacted by either a coordinator, a principal, a faculty member or university supervisor, and/or the PST directly to coordinate schedules.

The range of activities and teaching roles in which PSTs are expected to participate is intended to build over the duration of each experience and from one field placement to the next. Initial early field placements are typically shorter-term experiences where PSTs are able to see what occurs in a classroom, observing the Mentor CT and/or the behaviors and interactions of one or more students in the classroom.

Observation involves inquiry and analysis. PSTs will actively focus on content, classroom management, strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners, instructional techniques and/or assessments. Observation may be the starting place in an early field experience that leads to more active engagement. Even during primarily observational early field experiences, PSTs should actively help their Mentor CT with administrative tasks and/or individual or small group tutoring or instructional support.

Practicums are usually longer-term experiences connected to specific coursework where PSTs will need to employ a more active teaching role in the classroom. The primary expectation of a practicum experience is to be a learning opportunity for the PST in which they work directly with students in the classroom as well as collaborate with a Mentor CT. The PST will work with their Mentor CT to construct plans that meet the requirements of the practicum field experience and can also support their Mentor CT in whatever ways are most needed.

Supervision and evaluation of PSTs in early field placements varies, and each PST will share expectations with Mentor CTs regarding expectations. Mentor CTs may be asked to observe, give feedback, and/or evaluate instruction and/or dispositions of their PST. Occasionally teacher education faculty or supervisors visit classrooms to observe PSTs as related to coursework. A Mentor CT should contact the college or university if there are any concerns.

Note to Pre-Service Teachers

Remember that you are responsible for record keeping tasks and course requirements.