NYSED mandates that secondary student teachers have two student teaching placements (in either order) comprising seven weeks at middle school level and seven weeks at high school level. The dates for both student teaching quarters can be found in the student teaching handbook or their website. During each student-teaching quarter, you will follow the calendar of the public school to which you have been assigned (college calendar has no bearing) and you are required to follow the full daily schedule of your cooperating teacher (arriving late or leaving early is not allowed). You will have the same days off as school faculty according to the school’s calendar.
At each placement, student teachers must be assigned regular 7-12 English classes (no remedial writing or reading, computer lab, etc.) and have no more than five total assignments/classes (or four depending on the district’s contract policy; two to three if school has Block Scheduling). The student teacher must also have no more than three different preparations. Thus, the following combination of classes would not be allowed: 10 (2), 11R (1), 12 (1), AP English (1).
Every student teacher must also have a mentor teacher who is tenured and certified in English 7-12 (not Childhood/Early Childhood with an ELA concentration), and student teachers are expected to attend all workshops, conferences, Open Houses, faculty or team meetings.
All Cortland supervisors require that you use the Standard AEN Lesson Template available on TaskStream in Lesson Builder to build your lessons. At the very minimum, you are expected to provide your mentor teachers a full lesson plan at least 24 hours in advance for adequate feedback. Preferably, however, you will also have plans for extended blocks of time to discuss and tweak each lesson well in advance with your host teacher.
Please note: reading aloud in class day after day does not constitute instruction. Ideally, student teachers will work in cooperation with their host teachers to require at-home reading assignments that support all pupils' literacy learning. Reading silently or aloud day after day in class does not adequately prepare students to read and comprehend complex texts or perform adequately on high-stakes tests. Supervisors will not observe read-alouds for student teacher evaluation.
You will want to work out a reasonable plan with mentor teacher for assuming full load no later than end of the second week of the quarter. Ideally at this point, the student teacher will be responsible for all instruction, but can expect the mentor teacher to be nearby in case of an emergency. Given new mandated teacher evaluation instruments which can determine a teacher’s continued employment based in part on their pupils’ performance on high stakes tests, many teachers are reluctant to let student teachers take over the classroom completely. Your supervisor will work with you and the cooperating teacher to develop a calendar for your solo teaching. Increasingly, in some sites a co-teaching model is making it possible for candidate and cooperating teacher to team to deliver instruction. Some Cortland faculty and supervisors have participated in training in this model and you may be hearing more about this model over the course of your program.
Note: Host teachers and supervisors will be evaluating student teachers at mid-quarter as well as at the end of each placement. Be open to constructive criticism and proactive in addressing identified areas in need of improvement. Take seriously the feedback you receive from both your host teacher and supervisor whether that feedback comes informally or formally.
Finally, you must electronically submit all required evaluations by specified dates. See the following page for additional information.