Field experiences provide wonderful opportunities to learn about the role of the teacher and the teaching profession. This opportunity comes with responsibilities. When you participate in a field experience, you are representing the University of Delaware and expected to act in a professional manner. Please remember that you are a guest in your placement and your actions impact the learners and clinical educators with whom you work. The following are some responsibilities that will help you be successful in your field experience.
- Engage in the behaviors outlined in the Professional Dispositions of Effective Educators – Candidate Form. Your course instructors, field instructor (supervisor), and/or clinical educator may rate you on the dispositions and/or complete the Professional Dispositions of Effective Educators – Evaluator Form during your field experience. If you exhibit behaviors inconsistent with the dispositions, then your program coordinator may hold a dispositions meeting with you.
- Follow the expectations described in the University of Delaware Student Code of Conduct. Teacher candidates in violation of UD’s Student Code of Conduct may be removed from their field placement and/or prohibited from future field placements as determined by the Professional Education Conduct Board.
- Hold information concerning learners and school personnel in confidence. The Federal Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents you from sharing information about learners with others. For example, the names of learners should be removed from all of their work when it is submitted to University course instructors.
- Report information related to the safety and well-being of learners to your clinical educator, field instructor (supervisor), and/or the Office of Clinical Studies. You may be instructed to report the information to state authorities.
At the beginning of your placement, obtain the school/site handbook that includes the policies and procedures that you will need to follow. Below are some specific guidelines that you will want to adhere to carefully.
- Communication. Be discrete about your personal life and review the social media policy at your field placement site. Do not make your social media activities public so that they are visible to the learners, clinical educators, and other school personnel with whom you work. Do not communicate with learners outside of the classroom (e.g., phone, text, social media).
- Professional Dress. Dress professionally and review the dress code at your field placement site.
- Safety. Review the safety policy at your field placement site and collect safety information during the first days of a field placement, including student teaching.
Conduct at the School/Site
- Keep cell phones turned off during the school day.
- Do not engage in personal use of the internet during the student day.
- Wear UD student identification badges at all times in the placement.
- Follow the procedures of signing in/out of the school.
- Contact your field instructor (supervisor) and clinical educator as soon as possible if you will be late or absent due to an illness or emergency.
- Be fully prepared when you arrive at school, including any materials and/or supplies.
- Be actively engaged in the classroom at all times. If you are not teaching lessons or observing activities, you should be involved with the learners and not sitting, talking with others, working on future lessons, or completing other college work. Demonstrate initiative, such as saying to the clinical educator, “Is there anything that I can do?”
- Show respect and empathy for all individuals at your school/site: clinical educators, learners, field instructors, school personnel, and other teacher candidates. They all have a very complex job to do.
- Keep your course instructor, field instructor, and/or clinical educator informed of any issues.
Dismissal From a Placement
If your conduct prompts the clinical educator, principal, or field instructor to determine that your presence in the placement has become detrimental to the learners with whom you are working, then you may be asked to leave the school/site and your placement may be terminated. The University of Delaware is not obligated to provide you with another placement in order to complete the field experience. Contact your program coordinator if you believe that you may be in danger of being dismissed or if you are dismissed from a placement.