Guidelines for All Teacher Candidates

The Office of Field Experiences Policies can be found in their entirety in the Clinical Experience Handbook.

  1. ATTENDANCE -- During the clinical practice assignment, the teacher candidate is expected to attend regularly except when prevented by illness or other unavoidable circumstances.  The teacher candidate is allowed three documented and unavoidable absences per semester. During the clinical experience assignment, the teacher candidate is expected to attend regularly except when prevented by illness or other unavoidable circumstances.  The teacher candidate is allowed one documented and unavoidable absence per semester. Additional absences (in the event of extenuating circumstances such as surgery or the death of a family member) must be made up by arrangement with the Office of Field Experiences, the clinical educator, and the clinical supervisor.

  2. A FULL-TIME JOB – Teacher candidates who are in clinical practice are expected to regard their assignment as a full-time responsibility during which they are required to work all hours of each school day for the entire experience.  Teacher candidates will follow the same teaching schedule as the clinical educator.  Employment and other outside activities should be reduced to a point where the teacher candidate is not unduly fatigued, and which permits ample time for conferences with the clinical educator, thorough daily preparation, and participation in the whole program of the school.  Teacher candidates should not request to leave early or to be absent from the cooperating school due to outside employment or coursework.

  3. CELLPHONE/PERSONAL COMMUNICATION DEVICES - Restrict the usage of personal communication devices, such as phones and tablets when working with students, clinical supervisors and clinical educators, as well as during observation (exception: when the device is the property of the school and is being used under supervision for instructional purposes)

  4. SOCIAL MEDIA - Review all social media accounts to be sure that the content associated with you is representing you in the way you wish to be viewed.  Take care when posting on social media as inappropriate material and/or conduct posted on social mediate sites (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) can adversely affect the teacher candidate’s clinical experience.  Confirm privacy settings on all social media as these can change without notice.

  5. PROFESSIONAL DRESS AND APPEARANCE -Dressing appropriately and professionally and being well-groomed is expected.  Dress for the position you hope to obtain.  You are expected to follow the dress code of the district in which you are placed.  Below is a typical dress code from a local school district.

     *  Female teaching staff members may wear dresses, skirt or pant suits, or skirts or pants with blouses or sweaters.  
    *  Male teaching staff members may wear suits or slacks with or without jackets; male teaching staff members must wear a dress shirt with necktie or a turtleneck shirt or sweater with a jacket.

    The exceptions are student physical education teachers who have their own expected dress codes.

  6. SEMINAR - Teacher candidates who fail seminar but pass clinical practice must repeat seminar during the next semester in which it is offered.  If the seminar grade is included with the clinical practice grade, the teacher candidate will receive an “IN” (incomplete) grade for clinical practice/seminar.  Once the teacher candidate has successfully completed seminar, the grade will be changed to a “P” grade.  It is the responsibility of the seminar instructor to change the grade through the Registrar’s Office.

  7. CLINICAL EDUCATOR QUALIFICATIONS --The clinical educator must be fully certified and should have at least four years of experience as a teacher.  

  8. SUBSTITUTING -- Some school districts may wish to use very competent teacher candidates as substitutes whenever a regular teacher is absent.  However, the university must take the position that none of its teacher candidates can be assigned as a substitute, with or without compensation.  The essential purpose of the clinical practice program is to provide learning experiences for the pre-service teacher under the guidance of a certified and experienced teacher.  The use of teacher candidates as substitutes is inconsistent with this purpose and is of questionable legality.

  9. SCHOOL STRIKES -- Since a school experiencing a teacher strike is not considered an optimum learning center for a clinical experience, teacher candidates will be withdrawn from the school during the period of the strike.  Such candidates will call the Office of Field Experiences at the university for an appropriate interim assignment.