Field Observations

Candidates preparing to teach in secondary schools (seventh through 12th grades) are required to observe classrooms (educative settings) for 100 hours prior to student teaching. The 100 hours is divided among five education courses (see figure 3, page 13 of the handbook). Each course requires that you spend two periods a week in a school setting for a minimum of 10 weeks.

This preliminary experience is intended to introduce you, as a professional, to a school setting where you observe and work with secondary school teachers and students. The experience will provide you with an opportunity to integrate theory and practice and to test your interest and aptitude for teaching.

Our teacher candidates have been consistently grateful for this experience, which prepares them gradually to assume the role of teacher.

Process Overview

  1. We will send an official letter to the school requesting your placement. Frequently, students know administration and faculty at the school who facilitate this placement. When accepted, you are responsible to contact the school to arrange a specific time for your weekly visits.

  2. You must bring a second letter of explanation to the school’s cooperating personnel.

  3. Once your hours in the school are arranged, please be faithful to this arrangement. If you must be absent for a serious reason, call the school and leave a message for the teacher. Since holidays, field trips or other school events may alter the schedule, you should check each week to ascertain that your group or students will be there the following week.

  4. Ordinarily, you will spend time observing the teacher. You may at times, however, be assigned to work with a student or groups or to perform another assigned task. Use every opportunity to learn.

  5. Submit your field reports as instructed. Keep all your reports together so that at the end of the semester you can present them with an evaluation of the experience. The final document will contain 10 entries. Each entry in the field report will include your observations (what did I see?) and reflections (what was my reaction based upon my professional knowledge and course readings?).

  6. Each day’s entry will end with an answer to the following questions:

    • What did I learn about the act of teaching?

    • What did I learn about the learners and the learning process?

    • What are the implications of my learning (responses to questions 1 and 2) for my future work as a teacher candidate?

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