Part 1: The Penn State Student Teaching Program

  1. Definition of Student Teaching
  2. Teacher Education Performance Framework
  3. Your Responsibilities as a Student Teacher
  4. Responsibilities of the University Supervisor
  5. Role of the Mentor Teacher
  6. Role of the Principal and Other School Personnel
  7. Policies and Procedures
    1. Courses and Deferred Grades
    2. Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators
    3. Guest-Host Relationship
    4. School/Community Norms
    5. Academic Integrity
    6. Presentation of Self
    7. Attendance and Participation Obligations
    8. Teacher–Student Interaction
    9. Grading
    10. Internet Personalities and Professionalism

1. Definition of Student Teaching

As the final clinical component of your teacher preparation program, student teaching is a fulltime, full-semester experience. Student teaching provides you with a carefully mentored experience to help you gain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions helpful in becoming a great teacher.

Student teaching is a cooperative endeavor. Our host schools work closely with the CIFE office here at Penn State to provide beneficial experiences for you. Hosting a student teacher in a school classroom is a major professional commitment on the part of our host schools. Individuals from Penn State and the host schools work together closely to provide you with outstanding opportunities.

2. Teacher Education Performance Framework

As a student in the Penn State teacher certification program you follow the Penn State Teacher Performance Framework. This framework addresses proficiencies in the following four areas:

  • Planning and Preparing for Student Learning
  • Teaching
  • Analyzing Student Learning and Inquiry into Teaching, and
  • Fulfilling Professional Responsibilities.

Note: A copy of this framework can be found in Appendix A. of this handbook.

3. Your Responsibilities as the Student Teacher

Because of the demands on you during the student teaching semester, no additional coursework is permitted without approval from the CIFE office. For the same reason, you are strongly  discouraged from holding down a job while student teaching. Among your responsibilities,  successful completion of student teaching requires that you:

  1. Be an active, honest, and tactful communicator with your mentor teacher, your university supervisor, and others with whom you work alongside. Clear communication provides the first steps toward improvement and growth.
  2. Display initiative: You display initiative by learning school procedures, volunteering for duties inside and outside your assigned classroom, and continually asking what more you can do to improve schooling for your students.
  3. Be reliable: You must fulfill the expectations of your mentor and supervisor, including, for instance, (a) arriving promptly at school each day, and remaining until the mentor teacher is scheduled to leave the school; (b) maintaining a calendar of meetings and assignments; (c) keeping records of your assignments and other expectations; and (d) responding quickly to emails and other correspondence.
  4. Be prepared for employment as a teacher. By the start of student teaching you should establish an active eCredentials file with Penn State Career Services. It is your responsibility to activate the file by contacting the Career Services Office at: (814-865-5131) in 105 Bank of America Bldg., University Park, PA 16802. See:
  5. Being Responsible: There are many tasks, assignments, and types of paperwork associated with student teaching. You must familiarize yourself with the expectations that you will be held to and complete all tasks to the best of your abilities. Maintaining a highly organized and accessible filing system to keep track of all paperwork and assignments will facilitate successful completion of
    assignments. By the start of the practicum you should have established an active eCredentials file with Penn State Career Services. It is your responsibility to activate the file by contacting the Career Services Office at:(814-865-5131) in 105 Bank of America Bldg., University Park, PA 16802. (
  6. Display a professional disposition and appearance. Your reputation as viable teaching candidate rests in large part on the care you take in your appearance, choice of language, and rapport with the adults and students with whom you have contact.

4. Responsibilities of the University Supervisor

Each university supervisor of student teachers is either a faculty member in Penn State’s College of Education or is a doctoral candidate in the college. Because your supervisor resides in the general vicinity of the student teaching placements, the supervisor is readily available to you and school personnel for consultation and assistance.

Prior to Student Teaching

  • University Park Interviews: During the semester prior to student teaching, prospective student teachers and university supervisors meet for the first time. Information is collected and reviewed that helps the supervisor find a suitable placement for you.
  • Procuring School Placements: Each university supervisor, in compliance with individual school district protocol, seeks and procures specific school placements for each student teacher assigned to her/his cohort. Your classroom mentors, who are often called Cooperating Teachers, must have approval by their principal as well as their school board.
  • University Park Orientation: Each university supervisor conducts an orientation session at the University Park campus during the latter part of the semester preceding student teaching. At this orientation, your supervisor will provide you with information about your specific school placement, housing options, transportation, and important dates for your calendar, among other essential details.
  • Orientation in the Field: At the beginning of the student teaching practicum, each university supervisor conducts an orientation session for her/his cohort at a location central to the school placement sites. In this orientation, your supervisor will detail program requirements and expectations and help you complete administrative tasks.
  • Mentor teacher Orientations: Prior to, or during, the first week of student teaching, the university supervisor provides practicum orientation for mentor teachers to ensure a collaborative process for merging school and University curricula and expectations.

During the Practicum

One of the benefits of having local supervising faculty is the opportunity for frequent observations and conferences with each of you throughout the student teaching experience. The observation-conference-goal setting cycle is critical to your progress and ongoing professional development. The role of the supervisor during the practicum includes:

  1. Observing Performance: The university supervisor observes you in a variety of teaching-learning situations on a regular basis during the student teaching experience. Observation records are used as a basis for helping you analyze the teaching-learning process.
  2. Conferencing: Direct and regular feedback are provided through conferences between you, your supervisor, and your mentor teacher.
  3. Initial Conference: The supervisor holds an initial conference during the first week of student teaching to discuss adjustments to the student teaching practicum.
  4. Post-Observation Conference: The supervisor conducts a conference as soon as possible after a teaching observation. Three-way conferences, which include the mentor teacher, are scheduled when appropriate. Observation data are used to help identify appropriate goals for change and improvement. Self-evaluation is stressed to help you understand the impact of teaching behaviors upon students’ learning and development.
  5. Mid-Semester Conference: The supervisor schedules a three-way conference (student teacher, mentor teacher, university supervisor) near the midpoint in the semester. The purpose of this conference is to review evidence about your performance at this stage. You will be asked to provide evidence of your accomplishments in each domain and participate in setting goals for the rest of the experience. This evidence is also part of your portfolio conference held mid-way through the semester.
  6. Final Conference: A final three-way assessment conference is scheduled near the end of the student teaching experience. You will be required to present evidence demonstrating the extent to which you have accomplished each of the standards of the Performance-based Assessment. Mid-semester goals will also be reviewed to determine achievement in the areas targeted for growth.
  7. General Conferences: Two-way and three-way conferences are held as the need arises throughout the semester to help you become the most effective teacher you can become.
  8. Weekly Seminars: The university supervisor plans and conducts weekly seminars that focus on your needs and concerns, as well as current educational issues. Topics will include assessment, classroom management, instructional strategies, differentiated instruction, special education topics, educational law, etc.
  9. Resource for the Mentor teacher: Throughout the practicum, the supervisor acts as a resource for mentor teachers to assist them in their role as mentors.

After the Practicum

The university supervisor ensures that practicum grade reporting, the student teaching cumulative file, and final assessments completed by the supervisor and mentor teacher are filed appropriately with the University. Thanking the mentor teacher and the school district for hosting you is also done at this time.

We expect student teachers to become capable of teaching independently during the student teaching experience. That said, co-teaching with the mentor teacher is our preferred model of teaching whenever possible. In addition to co-teaching, the student teacher should  experience some solo teaching.

Supervisor Responsibilities for Short-Term Student Teaching Abroad, 2012-2013

Note: The role and responsibilities of the supervisor when the student teaching is engaged in the Student Abroad Program is similar, yet varies somewhat from that of our other supervisors.

  1. The U.S. student teaching supervisor will complete a PDE 430 at the mid- point of the semester and a final PDE 430 at the end of the U.S. experience.
  2. The U.S. student teaching supervisor, mentor and student will complete ST-1 assessments and participate in conferences at the mid-point and at the end of the U.S. experience.
  3. In order to leave the U.S. placement and go abroad, the student teacher’s performance must warrant at least a satisfactory rating at the end of the U.S. experience. The U.S. supervisor will give the final performance rating with consultation from the mentor. (Students are required to purchase trip insurance so that they will not forfeit the travel money if they are not able to go to the host nation placement.)
  4. At the end of the U.S. experience, elementary supervisors will recommend a grade for CI 495D based on the student teacher’s performance to date.
  5. Short-Term Student Teaching Abroad begins after a twelve-week experience at the initial student teaching site. Supervisors determine the concluding date for the twelve-week experience based upon the starting date for their cohort. Student teachers planning to take advantage of the Short-Term Teaching Important: Abroad opportunity should request the anticipated concluding dates for the twelve-week experience before making travel arrangements to go abroad.
  6. While at the host nation school, the student teacher will send weekly journals via email to the U.S supervisor from the list of suggested topics (see Required Assignments). The student teacher will also complete the Final Performance Framework Portfolio Assignment and will submit it to the supervisor for evaluation through Taskstream.
  7. At the end of student teaching, elementary student teaching supervisors will assign a grade for CI 495F while secondary student teaching supervisors will recommend a grade for CI 495E that is based on performance in the classroom in the U.S. as well as the required student teaching assignments, submission of weekly journals, and the final portfolio.
  8. The Elementary CIFE Coordinator, Secondary CIFE Coordinator, and the Director of CIFE will assign the final grade for CI 495D or CI 495E based on the supervisor's recommendation and information about the student teacher's performance abroad.
  9. U.S. supervisors, international supervisors, and mentor teachers will write letters of reference for the student teacher using the eCredentials process. The student teacher will need to request the letters through eCredentials.

Suggested Schedule - Short Term Student Teaching Abroad

Week 1 Observing, assisting, and possible co-teaching
Weeks 2-3 Co-planning and co-teaching 1 to 2 lessons per day
Weeks 4-5 40-60% of co-teaching and co-planning responsibilities
Week 6 Mid-term Conference
First PDE 430 completed
First ST-1 completed
Weeks 7-8 75-90% of co-planning and co-teaching responsibilities
Weeks 9-11 Full time co-planning and teaching co-responsibilities
Week 12
Last week in U.S. placement

Final Conference
Final ST-1 completed
Second PDE 430 completed

5. Role of the Mentor Teacher

The classroom mentor teacher exerts a powerful influence over your values, attitudes and practices. The mentor begins by setting the stage so that the classroom environment is favorable to your success and then provides on-going guidance. In accepting a student teacher as another professional in the classroom, the mentor will be sharing planning and teaching responsibilities with you. The mentoring relationship seeks the delicate balance between modeling the mentor’s practices, and affording opportunities for encouraging your particular talents. The mentor’s role involves the following:

Welcoming You to the Classroom

Prior to and during the first few weeks of student teaching, the mentor teacher can help you adjust to the school setting in some of the following ways:

  • Helping you become acquainted with the student teaching requirements.
  • Informing the students that there will be another teacher in the room. This helps both you and the classroom students adjust to the new situation.
  • Conversing informally in order to get to know you as an individual.
  • Making introductions to faculty and other school personnel.
  • Providing you with a work area and a space for personal belongings, and making available copies of student texts, teacher’s editions, district curriculum guidelines, etc.
  • Acquainting you with instructional supplies, teaching aids, and available equipment (e.g., audio-visual equipment, computer hardware and software, copying machines).
  • Encouraging you to learn the names of the students as quickly as possible.
  • Helping you to become acquainted with people in the community.
  • Sensitizing you to the community and its educational resources.
  • Familiarizing you with district policies and procedures

Enhancing Observation and Participation

Early in the practicum, you will be observing carefully. The mentor teacher can provide assistance with effective observation and comfortable participation by doing the following:

  • Encouraging you to observe with a purpose. Suggested foci include how lessons are introduced and closed, strategies to maintain students’ interest and management techniques.
  • Providing opportunities to observe and study classroom routines, procedures and rules.
  • Introducing you to classroom management styles and teaching procedures, and discussing different ways to handle problems.
  • Encouraging involvement in preparation and discussion of daily and long-term planning, including assessment and record keeping techniques.
  • Inviting you to participate in activities that will build confidence, generate interaction with pupils, and acquire organizational skills (e.g., taking roll, administering tests, reading aloud, giving individual help to students, grading papers and recording grades).
  • Involving you in school meetings.
  • Appropriately including you in conferences with parents.
  • Familiarizing you with routine classroom duties apart from preparing and implementing lessons.
  • Introducing you to record-keeping procedures and practices.
  • Utilizing a variety of observation techniques and sharing the data collected with you.

Providing Support as You Move into a Full-time Teaching Role

By the end of the practicum, you will be expected to experience all aspects of full-time teaching responsibilities. Throughout the experience, the mentor teacher will be available to provide support, suggestions, alternatives, and guidelines.

Supervising Performance

A key component of success in student teaching is the quality of the daily supervision. High quality supervision includes all of the following actions:

  • Observing on a regular basis and in a variety of situations.
  • Providing feedback on the performance of professional responsibilities (lesson planning, implementation and assessment, classroom interaction, maintenance of records).
  • Including both positive and negative perceptions of performance.
  • Helping relate teaching theory to teaching in the classroom (e.g., reasons for selection of certain instructional materials and methods).
  • Identifying the ways in which basic principles of learning are applied.
  • Encouraging good preparation and organization by requiring all lesson plans at least 24 hours in advance of all planned teaching.
  • Discussing each plan and offering suggestions prior to teaching; encouraging independent, creative thinking in planning, use of materials, motivation, and teaching approaches.
  • Withholding criticism during a lesson except when a correction would be in the best interest of the classroom students.
  • Helping to develop consistent classroom management techniques that support learning, self-control, and respect for others.
  • Encouraging a working environment in which you feel poised and confident.
  • Modeling ways to address individual differences so that the students in the classroom develop a sense of affiliation, security and achievement.
  • Supporting the habit of constant self-assessment, including post-lesson analyses.
  • Encouraging and supporting rapport between you and the classroom students; cultivating a collegial, professional working relationship.

Conferencing With You

  • Regularly held conferences promote your successful development during the student teaching practicum.
  • Conferences may involve two or more individuals (e.g., mentor teacher, student teacher, university supervisor, building administrator).
  • Conferences can be scheduled or can be spontaneous; they can be formal or informal.
  • Each participant should understand the purpose of the conference and should feel free to play an active role in contributing, suggesting, and listening.


  • Weekly written observation feedback and/or updates are necessary for your continual growth throughout the experience.
  • Letters of reference are to be written by both the mentor teacher and the university supervisor and are included with the final assessment. These letters go into your credential file and are referenced by prospective employers.

The following evaluation forms* will be completed in order to report your performance:

FormCompleted ByAt MidtermAt Final
Penn State Performance-Based Assessment (Form ST-1) with accompanying narrative at final University supervisor
Mentor teacher
Student teacher (optional at the direction of supervisor)
PDE 430 University Supervisor ONLY YES YES
Midterm Goals Sheet Student Teacher YES NO
Penn State Discipline-Specific Form (SECED and WL ED only) University Supervisor
Mentor teacher

* Information regarding assessment forms and guidelines for their use are found in Appendices B-H.

6. The Role of the Principal and Other School Personnel

The principal or building administrator either places you in the school or delegates this responsibility. The principal and other school personnel may orient you to the school culture in various ways, including some of the following:

  • Making introductions to relevant faculty and staff.
  • Discussing school policies, rules, regulations, and general procedures, including use of school resources, attendance at school district in-service, lunch and transportation procedures, etc.
  • Sharing a brief history and description of the school.
  • Providing an orientation to the physical layout of the school.
  • Providing information on the school calendar, including holidays, half-days, parent conference dates and faculty meetings.
  • Establishing a place for receiving mail and school announcements.
  • Acquainting you with the role of school administration as it applies to teachers, students, parents, school board and community.
  • Meeting occasionally to determine how the student teaching experience is progressing. The principal or department chair may wish to observe you.
  • Inviting participation in school functions.

7. Policies and Procedures

In order to ensure an optimal student teaching experience and to be in compliance with state and national accreditation expectations, the following policies and procedures guide Penn State student teaching:

7.1. Courses and Deferred Grades

Student teaching is a full-time activity with all stakeholders holding the expectation that this practicum take precedence for the duration of the student teaching semester. We strongly discourage additional course registrations other than those designated for the student teaching practicum and accompanying seminar, as our experience has taught us, such enrollment severely jeopardizes your field experience. This policy extends to concurrent enrollment in courses described as correspondence, independent learning, distance education, online, continuing education, evening, weekend, and other resident credit courses taken at Penn State or other institutions. Exceptions to this policy, are allowed only when due to truly extenuating circumstance. These exceptions are extremely rare and will be made only upon consensus of relevant faculty and school district personnel, including your supervisor, mentor teacher, building administrator, university advisor, and CIFE coordinator. Petitions for exceptions must begin with your academic advisor.
Deferred grades must be completed before the start of the student teaching semester. Students enrolled in an Independent Learning course must complete all lessons prior to the beginning of the student teaching practicum.

7.2. Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators

Professional educators in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania believe that the quality of their services directly influences the nation and its citizens. Professional educators recognize their primary responsibility to the student and the development of the student’s potential. Central to that development is the professional educator’s valuing the worth and dignity of every person, student and colleague alike; devotion to excellence; development of knowledge; and democratic principles. To those ends, you will engage in continuing inquiry to best serve the interests and needs of students. Professional practices are behaviors and attitudes that are based on a set of values that the professional education community believes and accepts. These values are evidenced by your conduct toward students, colleagues, mentor teacher, university supervisor, and others in the education community.
As you become a professional educator, you will be expected to abide by this code. Pennsylvania’s Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators can be found at 22 Pa. Code §§ 235.1 - 235.11 or Violation of the Code may constitute basis for reprimand and/or removal from the student teaching practicum.

7.3. Guest-Host Relationship

Acceptance of an invitation to teach within a particular school creates a guest-host relationship. It is important to note that a “host” school district and classroom teacher accept a student teacher as a “guest” who is learning to teach. Your acceptance of a placement assignment is predicated on the following understandings about the Guest/Host relationship:

  • That you are expected to act in a professional manner at all times;
  • That you need to abide by the regulations, procedures, instructional practices, living up to professional and personal expectations of the particular district to which you have been assigned; and
  • That, if personal or professional behavior or ability to work as an effective prospective teacher in the learning environment is not compatible with the expectations of the school district, you may be asked to leave by either the University or the host school district.

In addition, the guest-host relationship requires proof of the following documents that protect your welfare as well as that of members of the school community:

  • FBI Clearance
  • Guest-Host Relationship Form
  • Act 34 Criminal History Clearance
  • Act 151 Child Abuse History Clearance
  • Tuberculosis Test Report
  • Professional Liability Insurance

Information about these forms and clearances is available online at:

7.4. School/Community Norms

You are accountable for a standard of care regarding the welfare of your students. The expected standard of care for teachers of school-age children is influenced by several factors including student age, compulsory attendance and the power differential between teacher and student. What might be considered appropriate for the professor in a university classroom might not be appropriate for the teacher in a K-12 classroom.

Considering the following questions will be helpful in reaching a wise conclusion about your reasonable course of action when it is necessary for you to make a decision about the welfare of a student:

  • Who should be made aware of the situation?
  • Who should be consulted for advice?
  • Who has the authority to act in response to the situation?
  • Who is ultimately responsible for the outcome?

7.5. Academic Integrity

Penn State students are expected to act with civility and personal integrity; respect all others’ dignity, rights and property; and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through their own efforts. Penn State believes that an environment of academic integrity is requisite to respect for self and others and a civil community. This perspective on academic integrity also applies to the student teaching semester.

Academic integrity includes a commitment to personally avoid acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty may include cheating or copying, plagiarizing, submitting another person’s work as one’s own, using Internet sources without citation, fabricating field data or citations, “ghosting” (having another person complete work or assignments), tampering with the work of another student, facilitating other students’ acts of academic dishonesty, etc.

Penn State students charged with a breach of academic integrity will receive due process and, if the charge is found valid, academic sanctions may range, depending on the severity of the offense, from F or no credit for the assignment to F for the course.

The University’s statement on academic integrity is available at

7.6. Presentation of Self

Presentation of self, including physical appearance, helps establish a reputation and authority among students and colleagues. Creating and maintaining a professional demeanor should be a full-time goal while working in the school setting.

Physical appearance is a concern for you and the school when it distracts from student learning. (Concerns most frequently involve hairstyles, jewelry, tattoos, and piercings. Immodesty, casualness, grooming, and hygiene also could be causes of concern.) When in doubt about what the your school or university finds appropriate, you should check with the mentor teacher or the university supervisor before wearing or doing something you might later regret. Schools vary widely in their expectation of what constitutes appropriate attire and grooming and will often enforce their individual codes.

7.7. Attendance and Participation Obligations

7.7.1. Calendar

The University Supervisor will specify the starting and ending dates of the student teaching experience. It is possible that these dates will not completely correspond to the Penn State fall or spring semester calendar. In addition to following the school district calendar, you are expected to follow the mentor teacher’s daily schedule. You are not permitted to participate in any job actions such as strikes, walk-outs, or picketing.

7.7.2. Holiday and Vacations

The Penn State student teacher follows the calendar of the host school district, including holidays and vacations. You are not permitted to take vacation time during the student teaching practicum unless it is scheduled in the host school district calendar and approved by the university supervisor.

7.7.3. Absence/Tardiness

The practicum is a full-time obligation and is designed to meet the requirements of state and national accreditation agencies. You have responsibilities to the mentor teacher, the district’s students and the university. Because of these responsibilities, fulltime, punctual attendance in the school placement is expected and required.

Although there are no “sick days” or “personal days” in student teaching, absences from the school placement may be excused for personal illness and/or death(s) in your immediate family. Documentation may be required. You must do the following if it is necessary for you to be absent:

  1. You must telephone the mentor teacher as soon as an absence is imminent.
  2. You must also notify the university supervisor as well as any additional personnel specified by the mentor teacher, university supervisor, or building principal as soon as possible.

Attendance at your weekly seminar also is expected. An absence may be excused for a personal illness or a death in your immediate family only. The university supervisor should be notified in advance of any absence.

Unexcused absences or tardiness in school placement and/or weekly seminar will negatively affect your evaluation, particularly in the area of “Fulfilling Professional Responsibilities.” Excessive absences and/or tardiness will result in termination of the student teaching experience. If an extenuating circumstance should occur that would impact attendance, the university supervisor should be contacted immediately. The university supervisor will consult with the mentor teacher, building principal, and teacher education program staff at University Park about ramifications.

7.7.4. Substitute Teaching, Coaching, etc.

Penn State does not permit student teachers to act as paid substitute teachers while the mentor teacher is absent. You are permitted and encouraged to teach and assume leadership for a classroom when the mentor teacher is absent, as long as the school district has provided a paid employee as a teacher-in-charge.

You are encouraged to participate in coaching and extracurricular activities to the extent these duties do not interfere with the primary student teaching responsibilities and expectations. At no time during the official student teaching experience may you receive payment from the school for such duties.

7.8. Teacher – Student Interaction

7.8.1. Confidential and Privileged Information

You will be exposed to various sources of confidential and privileged information, including student records, school and classroom problems, and faculty and parent-teacher meetings. Public disclosure of confidential information is a violation of human dignity and rights. In most circumstances, it is considered a breach of professional ethics.

You should seek out the school’s regulations and procedures about the handling of confidential information. For example, parents and students have legal rights that help regulate the type and amount of testing, taping, and interviewing in which students may participate. Students identified with special needs, too, have specific legal rights. It is extremely important that all privileged information be treated with honor and respect.

7.8.2. Corporal Punishment

Penn State student teachers may not administer nor participate in the administration of corporal punishment at any time. Not only is it against Penn State’s philosophy and regulations, corporal punishment is illegal in Pennsylvania.

7.8.3. Suspected Child Abuse

Student teachers are obligated to report suspected child abuse to the mentor teacher because it is the mentor teacher’s responsibility to report such suspicions following district policy and procedures. You also should discuss suspicions of child abuse with the university supervisor. You, as a student teacher, should not address these kinds of problems by yourself.

7.8.4. Private Interactions

Penn State student teachers should always meet with students in a visible public location, even for one-on-one tutoring, conferencing, or interviewing. Special care must be taken to ensure that the mentor teacher is aware of all of your interactions with students. You may not transport students in your own vehicle or visit students at their homes or non-school locations. Likewise, you should not meet with parents at non-school locations or without your mentor teacher being present.

7.9. Grading

The ultimate responsibility for your grade for the practicum rests with the university supervisor. Student teaching is graded on a letter basis (e.g., A, A-, etc.), not pass/fail. The full range of grades, including pluses and minuses, is available to the university supervisor. The final grade is based on the supervisor’s overall assessment of your performance in the classroom and on other tasks, assignments, and expectations associated with the student teaching practicum and seminar.

The university supervisor consults with the mentor teacher concerning the final grade and may seek input on performance from you and other relevant school or university personnel in order to make an informed decision about the final grade. Final grades less than “C” are considered unsatisfactory, and mean that you would need to repeat the student teaching semester in its entirety in order to be eligible for initial teacher certification. See Section 3.5 FINAL GRADE for specific criteria for the awarding of final grades.

7.10. Internet Personalities and Professionalism

Privacy and free speech rights permit you to maintain and submit information on the Internet, including postings on, and other similar websites; however, you must consider how the information you post may be interpreted and used by colleagues, parents, administrators and, above all, students. When you decide to post personal and private information on the web, you run the risk that the information will be used publicly, and its use may not be to your benefit. Any school district that learns of publically available postings that put into question the character of those working alongside the students of the district, may refuse a placement, or continued placement in that school.

Please consider:

  • Administrators, parents, and mentors browse postings on sites such as Facebook or Twitter, forming impressions and judging the moral character of pre-service and practicing teachers.
  • You cannot control how others judge you, fairly or unfairly, but you can control the information from which others make judgments.
  • Students look to their teachers to model appropriate behaviors and choices. Students may not be able to distinguish between adult choices and appropriate behaviors for children. Further, behaviors and choices that may seem appropriate in private contexts may be inappropriate in public and professional situations.

Professional Guidelines:

  • Maintain separate sites for professional and personal use.
  • Do not share your username or personal web-addresses with students.
  • If you do have personal web-space, such as Facebook or Twitter, arrange for it to be password protected and readable only by friends or chosen members.
  • Do not permit anyone to post on your site without your approval.
  • If you know that a student has accessed your personal site, make it clear to the student that this is an inappropriate way to communicate with you.

Voice mail messages:

Please be sure that your answers and messages are professional. Your answering machine message or voice mail message may be your first introduction to your supervisor, mentor teacher or a potential employer.