What is a field experience?   

A field experience is an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom with supervised practice in the field.  The primary model of field instruction is a concurrent model, meaning you take classes at the same time you are in the field.  State law requires 50 hours of field experience before one student teaches.

What is involved in a field experience?

Each field experience will be different as they have their own objectives and goals.   Your initial experiences require you to observe students in the classroom and how the teacher teaches.  Over time the expectations pertaining to your involvement increase as you become more knowledgeable and comfortable with the teaching profession.  Eventually, you will create and teach your own lessons.  The progression of the field experiences is steady and will vary based on the ability and comfort level of each student.

How does the decision for field placement occur?

The Director of Teacher Education is responsible for the field experience placements.  Every effort is made to place you in a setting that provides you the maximum potential to grow personally and professionally. 

Who are the teachers who act as mentoring teachers for these field experiences?

The teachers who serve as mentoring teachers do so voluntarily.  They understand and value the opportunity to work with pre-service teachers.  These teachers are selected by the Department of Education faculty and the Director of Teacher Education based on their expertise, experience, passion for education and support for the Cornell educational program.

Will I need a car?

Yes.  Due to the sheer number of placements made and the requirements of the placements, students will need to have access to transportation to perform field experiences.  Carpooling is an option.

Can I complete my practicum or student teaching anywhere I want to?

Generally, placements are made within 40 minutes.  It is not the policy of the Education Department to allow off-site student teaching other than the international experience.  If there are extenuating circumstances regarding a special placement request, please consult the Director of Teacher Education.

Can I request a change of placement?

Field experiences are made with the interest of all parties considered.  These placements are NOT negotiable.  However, if an extenuating circumstance occurs please contact the Director of Teacher Education. 

Am I graded on my field experience?

During the methods courses the grade for the practicum experience will be part of the overall grade for the methods course.  During student teaching, a grade of Credit, No Credit will be given at the end of each block.

What happens if I misplace a form for my placement?

Many of the forms that are needed for field experience and student teaching can be found on the home website for the Department of Education.  If a particular form cannot be located, please contact the Director of Teacher Education.

How are student teaching placements determined?

Student teachers complete a web-based form which provides vital placement information such as grade level/content area, background information and blocks preferred for student teaching.

Once this information is gathered, student requests are compared to the available placements.  Variables such as grade level, content area, transportation, etc. must be considered when making these placements.  Additionally, the personality and interests of the field experience student and teacher are factored into placements.

Once all placements have been made, a meeting will be held the spring of junior year, so that the student teacher can be given all of the pertinent information such as teacher name, school, grade, and content area.  An interview sheet will be provided at this time.

Students will be required to contact the mentor teacher to set up a meeting prior to the end of the school year.  If the meeting does not occur, the student can be denied the opportunity to student teach.  This meeting serves as an opportunity for the student to meet the mentor, see the classroom and obtain any materials the mentor feels would be useful for the student to review over the summer.  If there is difficulty in setting up the meeting, the Director of Teacher Education must be notified.

During the student teach experience, a supervisor will make regular visits to observe and provide constructive feedback to the student regarding performance.  If students are not fulfilling the expectations of the field experience and the standards set forth by Cornell College and/or the partner schools, the placement may be terminated.

At the end of every block, the student will be given a grade of Credit or No Credit. 

Direct any other question you may have to the Director of Teacher Education.