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Student Teaching (Clinical Practice)


Teacher candidates are required to complete a student teaching internship of at least 75 full days. These internships must be divided approximately equally between the middle (7-9) and high school (10-12) levels. TESOL requires P-6 and secondary (7-12) experience.

As previously mentioned, students should plan well in advance to have a car or other pre-arranged transportation during the student teaching semester

To qualify for student teaching, candidates must have completed all major and individual program and GPA requirements. It is also recommended that students take and have passed the NYSED required Educating All Students Test (EAS), and a relevant Content Specialty Test (CST).

Student teachers are expected to follow the schedule of the public schools, not that of the University, and to be in the schools whenever they are open. However, the student teaching seminar meets according to the University schedule of classes. In order to complete the 75-day requirement, fall placements should begin no later than the first day of classes and, wherever possible, student teachers should attend the superintendent's conference days before the start of classes. Students may be required to continue their assignment into January based on the schedule of classes for the individual district. Spring student teachers should plan to begin their student teaching in early January. All student teachers are required to complete 75 days and are required to continue beyond the end of the University semester in order to satisfy this requirement. If the University Supervisor has concerns about whether the teacher candidate has met D-TALE candidate proficiencies, the teacher candidate may be required to remain in the placement for additional time.

After a brief orientation period, teacher candidates are encouraged to assume as much responsibility as quickly as possible for lesson planning, instruction, and other professional duties. D-TALE expects that teacher candidates will teach an average of two to three classes per day over the course of the semester and that they will assume complete responsibility for the daily schedule by the end of the placement. Teacher candidates may wish to continue in their placements through the end of the public school semester. This provides valuable experience in writing and grading final exams (the Regents exams, in particular); it provides a sense of closure and accomplishment; and it demonstrates initiative and concern on the part of the teacher candidate.

Application and Placement

Teacher candidates will be assigned by their respective department's Director of Field Experience and Clinical Practice to work with one or more tenured cooperating teachers in our partnership schools. Teacher candidates are not permitted to arrange their own placements.

The deadline for applying for student teaching is October 15 for spring and, for fall, March 15 of the preceding semester. Applications and supporting materials must be submitted to the program Director of Field Experience and Clinical Practice by those dates or field experience may be delayed. Review application forms and information on the D-TALE website. Teacher candidates will be notified by the Director of Field  Experience and Clinical Practice once their placements have been arranged. 

The Interview: What To Expect

Most schools require an interview with the principal or department chair before the teacher candidate is formally accepted. Contact the school immediately after receiving information about your placement. At the interview, be prepared to address questions that include the following:

  1. Tell us about yourself.
  2. Why do you want to become a teacher?
  3. Describe your content area knowledge
  4. What did you learn from your previous field experiences?
  5. What are your goals for student teaching?
  6. What strengths do you bring to the classroom?
  7. What else would you like us to know about you?

Students should research the district in its demographics ahead of time and be prepared to discuss and ask questions about the school, its educational philosophy and, community resources:

  • What specific courses will I be teaching so that I can prepare in advance?
  • Can you describe the culture or the educational philosophy of the school?
  • Are there any school-wide or departmental programs underway to improve teaching and learning?
  • How involved are the parents and parents of the English Language Learners?
  • To what extent does the school district draw on the linguistic and cultural diversity of the community in its activities?

Student Teaching in New York City

Teacher candidates may request student teaching assignments in the New York City schools through the SUNY Urban Teacher Education Center (SUTEC), which coordinates student teaching in the New York City schools for all SUNY campuses. Assignments in New York City are contingent upon sufficient registrations. Students will need to arrange their own New York City housing needs.

Applications for student teaching in New York City must be submitted through the respective departmental Director of Field Experience and Clinical Practice.

Student Teaching Policies
  1. Completion of Coursework: All courses required for certification (both major and education courses) must be completed prior to student teaching.
  2. Determination of Placement: Student teaching placements should provide the teacher candidate with diverse experiences and ensure that s/he receives constructively critical feedback and unbiased assessment. Therefore, teacher candidates are generally not placed in districts where: a) they attended school, or b) where relatives are employed or attending school.
  3. Employment: Since student teaching is a full-time commitment, teacher candidates are strongly discouraged from working during this semester. Teacher candidates should try to arrange their finances so that outside employment is not necessary during this semester. If it is absolutely necessary to work, it is important to keep priorities straight and not to jeopardize professional success to meet short-term financial needs.
  4. Travel: Teacher candidates are solely responsible for arranging transportation to their teaching assignment.
  5. Documentation of Required Days: Cooperating teachers will be required to verify that teacher candidates have completed the required number of days.
  6. Withdrawal: If a teacher candidate must withdraw from student teaching either before or after the beginning of the placement, they must immediately notify the Program Director. Teacher candidates should also be aware that the University has strict guidelines governing withdrawal from courses and tuition refunds. For further information, teacher candidates should consult with the Office of the Bursar and/or the Registrar.
  7. Changes in Placement: Once the semester has begun, student teaching placements will only be changed in case of serious difficulties other extreme extenuating circumstances.
  8. Student Teaching in Private Schools: Teacher candidates may do student teaching in private schools if the cooperating teacher has permanent New York certification, a master's degree, and at least three years of teaching experience.
  9. Discontinuation of Placement: The Program Director may change or discontinue the placement if the teacher candidate violates University or host district policies or if the actions of the teacher candidate have a negative impact on the learning environment or the safety of the students, as determined by the cooperating teacher. If a placement is discontinued, the University Supervisor, Program Director, and a D-TALE representative will meet with the teacher candidate to make sure that s/he is aware of the seriousness of the situation and will allow the candidate to give his/her explanation of the problem. After this conference, one of the following options will be recommended by the committee: a) a second placement will be arranged; b) the teacher candidate will be required to withdraw from student teaching but permitted to repeat the placement the following semester; or c) the teacher candidate will be discontinued from the program. The teacher candidate will be informed in writing of the decision. The teacher candidate may appeal any decision in writing to the D-TALE Professional Review Committee.
  10.  Submission of Grades: Grades for student teaching will not be submitted until cooperating teacher stipend forms have been returned to the seminar instructor.
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