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Pre-Student Teaching Handbook

INTRODUCTION

This Pre-Student Teaching Candidate Handbook includes information that answers the most frequently asked questions concerning policies and procedures that serve as the guidelines for the mandated field experience prior to student teaching.

Adapted by Teacher Education Council (TEC) – Reviewed and updated annually
Last update August 2021


Liability Protection for Teacher Candidates

"New York State Education Law section 3023 requires school districts to insure teacher candidates against financial loss arising out of any claim or lawsuit for alleged negligence resulting in accidental personal injury to any person or property damage while the teacher candidate at the time of the accident or injury was acting in the discharge of their student teaching duties. A teacher candidate who is involved in any accident or incident where there is personal injury or property damage while they are student teaching should immediately inform their cooperating teacher and notify the college supervisor as soon as possible. A teacher candidate who is served with legal papers involving any accident or injury that occurred in the course of their student teaching placement must immediately forward a copy of such papers to the college supervisor and to the school administrator where the student teaching took place."


SUNY Cortland is committed to upholding and maintaining all aspects of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

If you are a student with a disability and wish to request accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services located in Van Hoesen Hall, Room C-17 or call 607-753-2066 for an appointment. Any information regarding your disability will remain confidential and will only be divulged with your written permission. Because many accommodations require early planning, requests for accommodations should be made as early as possible. Any requests for accommodations will be reviewed in a timely manner to determine their appropriateness to this setting.


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SUNY CORTLAND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK LEARNING OUTCOMES 2010

Knowledge Base

Liberal learning Tree

Teacher candidates will:

  1. Demonstrate a solid foundation in the arts and sciences;
  2. Possess in-depth knowledge of the subject are to be taught;
  3. Understand how students learn and develop;
  4. Manage classrooms structured in a variety of ways to promote a safe learning environment;
  5. Know and apply various disciplinary models to manage student behavior.

Professional Commitments

Teacher candidates will:

  1. Collaborate with other staff, the community, higher education, other agencies, and cultural institutions, as well as parents and other caregivers, for the benefit of students;
  2. Continue to develop professionally as ethical and reflective practitioners who are committed to ongoing scholarly inquiry.

Standards

Teacher candidates will:

  1. Know state and national standards, integrate curriculum across disciplines, and balance historical and contemporary research, theory, and practice;
  2. Demonstrate appropriate professional dispositions to help all students learn.

Diversity

Liberal learning List

Teacher candidates will:

  1. Apply a variety of teaching strategies to develop a positive teaching-learning environment where all students are encouraged to achieve their highest potential;
  2. Foster understanding of and respect for individuals’ abilities, disabilities and diversity of variations of ethnicity, culture, language, gender, age, class and sexual orientation.

Assessment

Teacher candidates will:

  1. Use multiple and authentic forms of assessment to analyze teaching and student learning and to plan curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of individual students.

Technology

Teacher candidates will:

  1. Demonstrate sufficient technology skills and the ability to integrate technology into classroom teaching/learning.

Teacher Education Dispositions

Teacher candidates in all programs of study are expected to develop and reflect the dispositions that are delineated in professional, state and institutional standards and that are implicit in these themes. Teacher candidates are expected to conduct themselves as professionals in every respect. If there are any questions about what constitutes professional conduct, teacher candidates are urged to consult their course instructors and/or host teachers. Teacher candidates are reminded that they are subject to the College’s Code of Student Conduct (PDF) both on and off campus.

SUNY CORTLAND ADVANCED TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS (INCLUDING MSED & CAS) TEACHER CANDIDATE DISPOSITIONS ASSESSMENT

Categories of Assessment:

  1. Integrity
  2. Emotional Maturity
  3. Work Ethic
  4. Fairness and Empathy
  5. Collegiality
  6. Respect for Policies and Procedures

EPP Disposition Rubric SUNY Cortland

Teacher Education Candidacy

Teacher Education Candidacy:  If during enrollment at SUNY Cortland, teacher candidates are convicted of a crime and/or have any judicial or academic integrity violations, they must notify the Associate Dean of the respective school at once. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the teacher education program.  Failure to provide truthful information may result in dismissal from the teacher education program and may result in academic dishonesty charges.

(Source:  SUNY Cortland Teacher Education application)

Teaching to Higher Standards: New York’s Commitment (Early Fieldwork)

Purpose of 100 Hours Field Work Prior to Student Teaching Experience

In 1999, the New York State Board of Regents adopted new standards for teacher certification, published in “Teaching to Higher Standards: New York’s Commitment.” One of the new requirements for all candidates in a teacher education program is completion of 100 hours of field work prior to the student teaching experience. This mandate is found in 52.21(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

In 2001, the Chancellor of the SUNY System reaffirmed the commitment of all SUNY teacher preparation programs to require 100 hours of field work prior to the student teaching experience. This is published in the Chancellor’s Action Agenda, “A New Vision in Teacher Education.”

The purpose of the 100-hour requirement is to prepare every teacher candidate to teach all students in New York State. By providing early field/observation and participation in classrooms in a variety of school environments, teacher candidates are able to confirm early in their program their desire to teach. The variety of teaching settings required by NYSED provides early exposure to teaching students from diverse populations and different socioeconomic backgrounds. These hands-on experiences better prepare candidates to teach all students and enrich the pre-student teaching experience. At the same time the field work provides a solid foundation for the capstone student teaching experience.

Beginning fall 2011, teacher education programs must include a minimum of 15 of the 100 clock hours of field experience to focus on the needs of students with disabilities. This regulatory change strengthens the requirement as it relates to students with disabilities to ensure that there is a direct attention, with objectives and purposes carefully selected and planned by program faculty, toward meeting the needs of students with disabilities in a range of settings - not required to be in a separate setting.

Please note that some programs require more than the minimum of 100 hours.

Description of Field Work

As stated by NYSED in 52.21(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the field experiences must provide candidates with:

  • experiences in a variety of communities and across the range of student developmental levels of the certificate
  • an opportunity for practicing skills and interacting with parents or caregivers
  • an opportunity to work in high-needs schools, and an opportunity to work with each of the following student populations:  socioeconomically disadvantaged students, students who are English language learners, and students with disabilities

Courses and Attached Field Work

According to the NYSED mandate, all field work must be attached to coursework. The minimum 100 hours are divided into, up to four components attached to separate courses.  Assignments for the field work may include keeping a journal of the experiences, performance-based activities, and other activities as assigned by each course instructor. The experiences are usually sequential in nature, beginning with such activities as one-to-one tutoring, progressing to small group work and later assisting the classroom teacher with other activities. Some teachers permit the candidate to teach micro-lessons. The assignments for the 100 hours of field work reflect the 13 Learning Outcomes of the SUNY Cortland Conceptual Framework.

Teacher candidates maintain an Early Field Experience Log Sheet (PDF) that is signed by their host teachers at the end of each visit. At the end of the course, teacher candidates submit the completed logs to their course instructors to be retained by their respective department for a period of seven years. 

Grades for coursework with the attached field work component are assigned by the course instructor.  Failure to complete the field work component results in failure of the course. In that case, the teacher candidate will be required to retake the course.

The required Teacher Candidate Data Sheet (TCDS) for each course with a field component must be completed and submitted, electronically, to the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office by the designated deadline to ensure a placement (one week after registration). Teacher Candidates will receive an email with the link following registration for an early field course.

For early field placements made during break, complete the Teacher Candidate Data Sheet, electronically, for Winter/Summer placements. Teacher Candidates will receive an email with the link following registration for an early field course.

Field Work Placements

To ensure that all NYSED regulations concerning field work have been met, all placements are coordinated through the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office. Teacher candidates may make suggestions for placement locations, although they cannot be guaranteed. Under no circumstances should teacher candidates make any contact with school personnel without approval from the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office.

PART I - THE TEACHER CANDIDATE

Professional Conduct

In addition to demonstrating good moral character and ethical behavior, teacher candidates are expected to conduct themselves as professionals in every respect. This topic is extensively addressed at the informational meeting and/or introductory class meeting prior to the beginning of the observation period. If there are any questions about what constitutes professional conduct, teacher candidates are urged to consult their course instructors, host teachers and/or the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office. Teacher candidates are reminded that they are subject to the College’s Student Code of Conduct.

Note: Conduct unbecoming to a professional will result in removal from the field experience.

Professional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • dressing in appropriate professional attire consistent with host school personnel policy
  • demonstrating professionalism through the use of appropriate language
  • arriving on time each day
  • asking questions, getting help or eliciting more information to avoid confusion or miscommunication
  • assisting the host teacher whenever possible
  • participating in daily activities
  • avoiding excessive class time conversations with other teacher candidates during placement
  • avoiding personal usage of technology (internet, cell phone, iPad, etc.)

Absences

Teacher candidates are expected to report to their assignments each day that school is in session during any given observation period. If teacher candidates become ill, they are responsible for notifying their course instructors and host teachers as soon as possible prior to scheduled arrival time, method to be determined after first day’s visit. The teacher candidate’s attendance will be recorded and monitored by both the course instructor and host teacher. It will be necessary to make up the missed day/class period to fulfill the requirements for the placement of the course.

Upon Receiving Confirmation of Placement

Teacher candidates must:

  • make contact with host teacher
  • schedule initial start date
  • discuss procedures for initial school visit, identification, sign-in, and parking.

Initial Professional Contact

On the first day of each field experience, the candidate must:

  • arrive promptly as scheduled
  • report immediately to the office of the building principal
  • learn the daily schedule of the host teacher
  • become familiar with the building and its emergency procedures
  • learn the general policies by which the school and faculty operate

Orientation of the Teacher Candidate to the School

It is recommended that host teachers meet with teacher candidates during their first few days in the school     to discuss both immediate and long-range plans.

Items to be discussed include the following:

  • School regulations and policies (handbooks, emergency procedures, school calendar, classroom visitor’s policy)
  • Classroom materials (textbooks, state and local curricula, library books)
  • Resource contacts (assistant principals, librarian, counselors)
  • Policies regarding responsibility for materials/equipment (teaching aids)

SPECIAL NOTE: Teacher candidates are reminded that it is their personal and professional responsibility to return all borrowed materials before leaving their early field experiences.

Suggested Sequence of Experiences for the Teacher Candidate

  • College courses and departmental policies vary. Teacher candidates are to share course syllabus and/or course expectations with the host teacher.
  • The experience could include, at the discretion of the host teacher:
    • taking charge of certain routines
    • becoming familiar with classroom materials
    • engaging with students at the discretion of the host teacher
    • creating bulletin boards and displays
    • assisting with supervision and/or enrichment
    • reading stories/literary selections to the class
    • observe students’ behavior
    • observe and assist in classrooms, library, halls, cafeteria, and playground
    • assist with individual and/or small group instruction
    • begin to handle matters pertaining to classroom management
    • take responsibility for activities such as announcements, opening exercises and directions, or even mini-content lessons, as appropriate
  • Sometime during the first day, the host teacher and the teacher candidate should confer about the day’s work and review upcoming visits in future weeks, if time allows.
  • The host teacher and the teacher candidate should agree on the activities for which the teacher candidate will (or will not) assume responsibility.

Substitute Teaching

Substitute teaching cannot be counted toward the required hours of field work.

Early Field Experiences and Employment

Placements will be made based on your academic schedule. We will not take into consideration employment schedules when seeking/scheduling early field experience placements for teacher candidates.

Housing and Transportation

Housing and transportation during the field experience are the responsibility of the teacher candidate. Commitments, such as jobs, bear no influence on the location or scheduling of placements.

Teacher Candidates Seeking or Arranging their Own Field Placements

The Field Experience and School Partnerships (FESP) Office will coordinate all field placements. The FESP Office may consider suggestions, but requests cannot be guaranteed. Teacher candidates are not permitted to contact potential host teachers or building principals to request placements or in any way attempt to secure their own experiences.

Grades

The teacher candidate should be expected to be evaluated. All persons connected with the teacher candidate’s assigned placement can evaluate competencies as identified in the course and field work objectives. The final evaluation of the teacher candidate is the responsibility of the college instructor(s) with input from the host teacher.

Course Evaluation

 Teacher candidates will receive a grade between “A-E” depending upon the quality of and the completion of course requirements and field work. Teacher candidates who fail a course with an attached field work component will have to repeat the course and the field experience. Both components must be successfully passed for the student to receive credit for the 100 hours. The exception to this is those courses designated S/U.

Incomplete

Teacher candidates who receive an incomplete (INC) in the course to which part of the 100-hour requirement is attached will not receive credit for completing that part of the 100-hour requirement until they have completed the course. Even if teacher candidates have completed the 100-hour field component for that course, they must complete the course to receive credit for the field experience. Failure to complete the component of the 100-hour requirement attached to the course results in automatic failure of that course.  Therefore, both the 100-hour requirement attached to a specific course and that course must be repeated.

Withdrawal

If a teacher candidate wishes to withdraw from the course with an attached field placement, the grade awarded depends upon the performance of the teacher candidate at the time of withdrawal.

  • If the teacher candidate’s performance is satisfactory at the time of withdrawal, their will receive a grade of “X”, which carries no credit and does not affect the grade-point average
  • If the teacher candidate’s performance is not satisfactory at the time of withdrawal, their will receive a grade of “XE” or “U”.

Withdrawals must be approved by the Associate Dean of the respective school in which the teacher candidate is majoring (School of Professional Studies, School of Education or School of Arts and Sciences). No “X” may be used for withdrawal from a course during the change-of-schedule period.

Termination of the Field Experience

The teacher candidate will be removed at any time during the field experience when the course instructor and/or host teacher determine that:

  • the teacher candidate’s performance is not satisfactory and that minimal competence cannot be achieved, or
  • the teacher candidate’s presence in the classroom is a detriment to the public/private school class.

In each case, the teacher candidate will receive a grade of “E” (failing) for the field experience and course.

DASA / CARR / SAVE Requirements

Teacher candidates are required to complete the mandatory workshop courses prior to student teaching. Students are to register for the following mandated workshop courses at the time of registration:

If a P-12 student discloses any form of child abuse, neglect, or harassment/discrimination from another student to a teacher candidate, the teacher candidate is required to report this to their cooperating teacher immediately and follow the directive of the school concerning filing a report. In addition, they are also to notify their College Supervisor immediately.

Fingerprinting Requirements

fingerprintSUNY Cortland recommends that all teacher candidates complete the fingerprinting requirements (PDF) process upon acceptance in to a teacher certification program. All teacher candidates are required to be fingerprinted prior to student teaching. All teacher candidates must apply for fingerprinting through IdentoGO’s website at identogo.com or by calling 1-877-472-6915. IdentoGO is the only vendor to process fingerprinting for certification. IdentoGO will request an NYSED ORI code. This code is 14ZGQT. Total fee for fingerprinting is approximately $102.

Contract Negotiations and Job Actions

It is important that College Supervisors, teacher candidates, and personnel in our cooperating public-school districts understand the official position of the College relative to teacher strikes and other job actions. The official position of the College is non-involvement.

The teacher candidate is a guest of the school district and, as such, should not participate in or openly advocate any position in cases of strikes or actions. In no case should the teacher candidate enter a public school building or serve as a substitute teacher when the Teachers’ Association is officially on strike.  Conversely, the teacher candidate should not serve on a picket line or overtly support the strike in any way.

If “Work to Rule” is in effect, teachers have decided to perform no more than their contract has stipulated; typically, they enter the building en masse at the contractually appointed moment (no earlier) and leave the building at the contractually appointed moment (no later), teaching only their required classes and performing only their required duties. This usually means that the teachers will not be participating in extra-class or after-school activities or in lesson preparation at home. 

Coaching of after-school athletics seems to be an exception in schools involved in work slow-downs. The College has the obligation to provide the teacher candidate with a complete student teaching/clinically rich early field experience and, if necessary and feasible, the teacher candidate may be reassigned to another school district. 

Teacher Candidate Fair Process Policies

Teacher candidates should be familiar with all respective Fair Process Policies and Procedures for review of Professional Competencies in Teacher Education:

Policy for Transfer Credit for Pre-Student Teaching Field Experience

Most teacher candidates will complete all pre-student teaching field experience requirements while enrolled in SUNY Cortland courses. Some teacher candidates may have completed field experiences while enrolled at another institution. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to individual departments on the evaluation of these field experiences completed at another institution. Departments also have the option of requiring that all field experiences be completed under SUNY Cortland supervision.

  • If SUNY Cortland has a formal articulation agreement for a specific program with another institution, the courses and associated pre-student teaching field experiences should be described in the agreement. The teacher candidate can receive credit for the field experiences and associated hours as specified in the agreement.
  • A department/program can recommend acceptance of credit for individual courses from other institutions that meet the field experience requirements. A teacher candidate who has completed that course will be given appropriate field experience credit along with course credit following the established procedure for transferring credit.
  • A teacher candidate can individually petition to have a field experience completed in conjunction with a course at another institution count toward the SUNY Cortland program field experience requirements of a specific course. The teacher candidate must: 
    • supply sufficient documentation showing the specific days, hours, and location for the field experience.
    • show that the field experience activities were the same (or equivalent) as those required by the SUNY Cortland program.

The determination of the acceptability of these experiences will be reviewed by the department chair and/or program coordinator with final review by the Associate Dean of the respective school. If the field experience hours are accepted, it is the responsibility of the Cortland course instructor, to which the hours are applied, to report the field experience detail to the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office by the end of the semester, using the established reporting procedure.

Approved by TEC, October 6, 2005

Questions/Problems

Any questions or problems related to the observation experience should be first discussed with the teacher candidate’s course instructor. If the situation requires further attention, the program/department coordinator should be contacted. If unable to reach either party, contact the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office.

PART II - THE HOST TEACHER

Criteria for Host Teachers

  • Mentors/Positive role models
  • Professionally active
  • Full-time at grade level preferred
  • Experienced teacher – tenured and master’s degree preferred
  • NYS certified – within discipline
  • School district / building administrator recommendation
  • Positive reviews of previous host experience
  • District specific hosting requirements

Expectations

  • Review of the information, policies, and procedures presented in this handbook
  • Prepare for the teacher candidate’s pre-student teaching field experience:
    • Before the teacher candidate arrives, it is important to convey to the students that they should look upon the teacher candidate as another teacher rather than as a student.
  • Respond to the teacher candidate’s initial contact
  • Welcome the teacher candidate into the school, introducing him/her to students and colleagues
  • Orient the teacher candidate to the school
  • Integrate the teacher candidate into the school
  • Arrange for observations of host teachers and other teachers
  • Plan for the teacher candidate’s first day and first week
  • Provide initial assistance to the teacher candidate in making lesson plans, if applicable
  • Develop a long-range plan with the teacher candidate that aligns with the course’s field component
  • Monitor the teacher candidate’s attendance and report absences on the Field Work Log provided by the teacher candidate
  • Guide the teacher candidate toward available resources
  • Complete a final, written evaluation which the teacher candidate will provide to be returned to the college instructor via the teacher candidate (this may vary according to program requirements)

Suggestions for Developing a Positive Relationship

  • Mutual respect for opinions and values held by the host teacher and the teacher candidate should create a feeling of confidence which will encourage a teacher candidate’s initiative, enthusiasm, creativity and self-reflection.      
  • The host teacher may facilitate the teacher candidate’s self-confidence by sharing professional literature, discussing professional experiences and creating an atmosphere conducive to professional growth.

Cases of On-Site Injury/Illness of the Teacher Candidate

If a teacher candidate suffers an injury or illness on school property during the course of their early field experience, the host teacher should immediately contact the building principal and the Director of the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office at 607-753-2824. 

Recognition of Contributions of a Host Teacher

Your professional contributions as a host teacher truly make a difference in the preparation of SUNY Cortland’s future teachers. In recognition of your commitment, the Professional Courtesies Brochure, which provides a list of privileges and benefits, is available for faculty associates.

PART III - THE COLLEGE FACULTY

  • At the end of the semester, teacher candidates are required to submit individual, completed Field Work Log to their course instructors.
    • indicate total number of hours completed
    • check boxes for appropriate criteria (A-F) met
    • verify placement information (school, host teacher, grade level)
    • sign tally sheet provided by FESP Office
  • Course instructors are required to verify the data on each teacher candidate’s log sheet and transfer the information to the class tally sheet provided by the FESP Office.
  • Teacher candidates must complete each prerequisite course with a field component prior to enrolling in the next course in the sequence.
  • Teacher candidates who receive an incomplete (INC) in the course to which part of the 100-hour requirement is attached will not receive credit for completing that part of the 100-hour requirement until they have completed the course. Even if a student has completed their 100-hour component for that course, they must complete the course to receive credit for completing that part of their 100-hour requirement. However, failure to complete the component of the 100-hour requirement attached to a course results in automatic failure of that course. Therefore, both the 100-hour requirement attached to a specific course and that course must be repeated.
  • Teacher candidates who fail a course in which a component of the 100-hour requirement is attached will have to repeat the course as well as that part of the 100-hour requirement attached to that course.
  • The tally sheet must then be returned to the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office by the end of the semester.
Approved by TEC, February 6, 2003.

Description of the Pre-Student Teaching Field Experience Committee

The Pre-Student Teaching Field Experience Committee discusses issues related to the policies and procedures governing implementation of the SUNY Chancellor’s Action plan and New York State Education Department Regulations 52.21 (b) requiring “at least 100 hours of field experiences related to course work prior to student teaching practica.” The committee regularly reviews the policies and procedures for the pre-student teaching experience and assesses their impact on SUNY Cortland’s teacher candidates and faculty, as well as on public/private school administrators, faculty and staff. Based on its review and assessment, the Committee recommends modifications to the policies and procedures and submits the recommendations to the Teacher Education Council for approval.

Approved by TEC, May 5, 2005.

RESOURCES

  • New York State Teaching and Learning Resources
    engageny.org