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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not listed here, we recommend you go to our Student Teaching Handbook where many questions about the student teaching experience are answered. Or feel free to contact the director of student teaching.

What is student teaching?

Student teaching is defined as a "full-time, supervised, uncompensated classroom experience," to be completed in a continuous sequence of weeks for the designated time period. You will be supervised by a certified and experienced teacher. The primary objective of student teaching is to provide opportunity for demonstration and further development of instructional competence. While the State of Indiana requires a minimum of four weeks of full-time teaching, we recommend a minimum of 50% of the total time scheduled be spent in classroom teaching, ("Full Teach") which you plan and complete under the direction of your supervising teacher.

Directed observation is viewed as a meaningful experience and could include time spent observing the supervising teacher, other teachers in the subject area or grade levels being taught, and other departments, services, or activities of the school. Notes should be made about observations, reflection done, and modifications to own teaching planned as a result of structured observation.

Supervision is essential and is a mutual responsibility of the supervising teacher and the university supervisor. Observation, guidance, constructive comments about the student's teaching experience are invaluable to one's professional growth during the student teaching experience.

Student teaching requires a full-time commitment on the part of the student, and normally only the student teaching seminar course is taken during the student teaching experience. In addition, student teachers are discouraged from holding evening and weekend jobs. These added demands will cut into time that should be spent planning and preparing lessons and materials, and will diminish opportunities for involvement in after-school meetings and extra-curricular activities.

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Who is Eligible to Student Teach?

  • All students must be admitted into the Teacher Education Program of IU South Bend. No placement requests will be made until admitted to TEP.
  • All required coursework complete with grade posted on transcript.
  • Overall GPA 2.5
  • GPA in professional education courses of 2.5
  • No course grade in education course lower than 2.0
  • All incompletes must be changed to grades meeting the following standards posted to the transcript to begin student teaching.
  • All correspondence courses must be complete with grades meeting the following standards posted to the transcript to begin student teaching.

All Elementary Majors Must Also Maintain a 2.0 GPA in the following areas:

  • fine arts
  • language arts
  • math
  • science
  • social studies

All Special Education Majors must also maintain Maintain a 2.0 GPA in:

  • humanities
  • fine arts
  • social studies

All Secondary Majors Must also:

  • maintain a 2.5 in major content area (science for example)
  • all grades in any major, primary, minor or supporting area must be 2.0 or higher

Note: Students are responsible for meeting with academic advisors to be sure that all coursework will be complete in time for student teaching!

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What do I need to do to get started?

Attend application meeting

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Are there any duties that I may not perform?

You may not act as a paid substitute if your supervising teacher is absent. You may maintain leadership of the class if your supervising teacher is absent for a brief time during your full-time teaching period and if the principal designates a teacher-in-charge who is an employee. You are not an employee of the school or under contract with your school system/district. You may not receive any payment from the school during your student teaching experience -- this includes for coaching and other extracurricular activities. As a student teacher, you may not participate in any job actions (e.g., strikes or picketing). You also may not administer or witness corporal punishment. Both of these restrictions are for your own benefit.

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When are my vacations?

You observe the vacation periods and schedules of the school to which you have been assigned, not the University vacation schedule.

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How many absences am I allowed?

There are no "built-in" absences. In the case of illness or injury three days can be missed without extending your placement. These three days are only to be used for the reasons mentioned and are not freebies to be used for frivolous reasons. If you are going to be late or miss a day, notify the school office, your supervising teacher, and your university supervisor. This is very important -- they are counting on you to be at school on time each day. If for reasons beyond your control absences occur, your IU supervisor, the supervising teaching and the Student Teaching Office will make the decision about extending your experience. Excessive absences for any reason will result in termination or an extension of the student teaching period.

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How will I be graded?

Grading for student teaching is based successful completion of the Student Teaching Notebook. This notebook consists of all lesson plans, selected materials, observation forms from university supervisor and classroom teacher as well as various other forms required by IU South Bend. Currently Student teaching is graded on a pass/fail basis.

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What about Snow Days?

Snow days do not need to be made up unless they become excessive (a week or more).

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