To qualify, all GPA and program requirements must be met; TCs must be fingerprinted by the State and, if teaching in NYC, by the City. It is also recommended that students take and have passed the exams required for certification: Educating All Students Test (EAS) and the relevant Content Specialty Test (CST). Review our Certification page for more information on how to complete these requirements.
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. The deadline for applying for student teaching is October 15 for spring and, for fall, March 15 of the preceding semester. TCs will be notified by the Director of Field Experience and Clinical Practice once their placements have been arranged.
TCs 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. Applications for student teaching in New York City must be submitted through the respective departmental Director of Field Experience and Clinical Practice.
The experience of student teaching is meant to prepare you to run a classroom on your
own. Thus, the expectations are as high as the support is strong. The University
assesses its Teacher Candidates by standards called Candidate Proficiencies, listed below. Through coursework and assessment, students of Stony Brook's teacher
prep program become comfortably familiar with these expectations long before the student
teaching semester. It is possible, however, that a TC struggling to meet the proficiencies could
be asked to remain in placement until they are met.
Following a brief orientation period, it is encouraged that TCs assume as much responsibility as quickly as possible for all aspects of teaching: instructing about three classes per day, lesson planning, and other professional duties. TCs 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.
Since student teaching is a full-time commitment, you 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.
Teacher Candidate Proficiencies
- Understand how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
- Understand the individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
- Work with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
- Understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) s/he teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
- Understand how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
- Understand and use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher's and learner's decision making.
- Plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills and pedagogy as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
- Understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
- Engage in ongoing professional learning and use evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the learning community), and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
- Seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth and to advance the profession.
The most effective way to prepare yourself to be a teacher is to assume as much responsibility and be as open to mentorship as possible during your student teaching semester. In this way, the role of the Cooperating Teacher (CT), and a positive relationship between the TC and the CT is vital to a successful student teaching experience. The resposibility for cultivating such a relationship falls to both parties; review our Cooperating Teachers page to understand how the University guides CTs. On your end, it is best practice to:
- Communicate with your CT and/or department chair before your student teaching semester begins to determine which courses you are responsible for teaching; prepare as best you can.
- Initiate development of lesson plans and instructional materials. Be sure to review them with your CT, who may be willing to share ideas and materials with you, at least a day before the lesson is taught.
- Keep in mind that the CT is legally responsible for the class and the students. In this legal sense, be an assistant to your CT. Remain working and at school for the entirety of the day.
- Student teaching is a unique opportunity in that it may be your only opportunity to work with and learn from a more experience colleague on such a close basis. As such, be engaged, flexible, courteous, and open to constructive criticism.
- As a Stony Brook student, you have been exposed to diverse and progressive teaching approaches. In consultation with your CT, exercise these pedagogical tools.
- Maintain open communication with your CT about lesson plan review, questions, and concerns; she or he may not be able to diagnose your needs as a new teacher, but it is important that you speak with she or he rather than other school personnel. However, if you encounter difficulties in working with your cooperating teacher, contact your University Supervisor, not the department chair or principal.
- Always act ethically and professionally. Become familiar with the teaching profession code of ethics, NYSED and INTASC dispositions.
- Engage with the school community by attending faculty meetings, professional development, and planning meetings.
- If it's necessary to call out of work, notify your CT in advance.