Secondary Education & Youth Services (SEYS)


Student Teaching Guide


Placement Interview at School:

Most schools require an interview with the principal or department chair before the teacher candidate is formally accepted.Contact the school (or District Office when dealing with Long Island placements) immediately after receiving information about your placement.At the interview, be prepared to address the following questions:

  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 our 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 demographics ahead of time and be prepared to discuss and ask questions about the school, its educational philosophy and community resources:


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

Professional Conduct:

The student teacher should be considered a professional member on the school staff.Conduct expectations should be appropriate to the position, conforming to the morals and customs of the school.Any conduct considered inappropriate to the position may render the student teacher questionable as a teacher candidate.Removal of the student teacher from the school by any representative of the school for any reason will bring the student teacher under review by the Program Faculty Advisor.

A Student Teacher:

v      will wear clothes appropriate to the role of a professional educator, conforming to the dress code of the faculty at the assigned school,

v      will be at the school during the hours required of the teaching staff and be punctual,

v      will abide by the regulations and rules of the school system,††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

v      will practice sound professional ethics and hold all information concerning children in confidence,

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v      will honestly engage in conduct involving the performance of professional duties,

v      will behave in a manner that could not be construed as sexual harassment of students,

v      will refrain from placing inappropriate and ill-advised personal information on internet websites to which students might have access,

v      will treat every student equally, without regard for race, color, creed, sex, national origin, ethnic background, disabling condition, or sexual orientation,

v      will not exploit professional relationships with students, colleagues, parents, school patrons, or school board members for personal gain or private advantage,

v      will not use coercive means, or promise or provide special treatment to students.

Be Flexible:Remember that the cooperating teacher has pressures upon them just as you have your own pressures to deal with.If you normally teach only 3 classes and the cooperating teacher asks that you take on extra classes one day because s/he has an important meeting to attend, look at this as your chance to get even further experience while impressing your dedication to your cooperating teacher.

Following School Rules:This might seem obvious to some but it is important that you do not break school rules.For example, if it is against the rules to chew gum in class, then do not chew it yourself.If the campus is Ďsmoke free,í do not light up during your lunch period.This is definitely not professional and would be a mark against you when it comes time for your cooperating teacher and school to report on your abilities and actions.

Plan Ahead:If you know you will need copies for a lesson, do not wait until the morning of the lesson to get them completed.Many schools have procedures that MUST be followed for copying to occur.If you fail to follow these procedures, you will be stuck without copies and will probably look unprofessional at the same time.

Befriend the Office Staff:This is especially important if you believe that you will be staying in the area and possibly trying for a job at the school where you are teaching.The opinions of these people will have an impact on whether or not you are hired.They can also make your time during student teaching much easier to handle.Donít underestimate their worth.

Maintain Confidentiality:Remember that if you are taking notes about students or classroom experiences to turn in for grades, you should either not use their names or change them to protect their identities.You never know who you are teaching or what their relationship might be to your instructors and coordinators.

Donít Gossip:It might be tempting to hang out in the teacherís lounge and indulge in gossip about fellow teachers.However, as a student teacher this would be a very risky choice.You might say something you could regret later.You might find out information that is untrue and clouds your judgment.You might even offend someone without realizing it.Remember, these are teachers you could be working with again some day in the future.

Be Professional With Fellow Teachers:Do not interrupt other teachersí classes without an absolutely good reason.When you are speaking with your cooperating teacher or other teachers on campus, treat them with respect.You can learn a lot from these teachers, and they will be much more likely to share with you if they feel that you are genuinely interested in them and their experiences.

Donít Wait to the Last Minute to Call in Sick:You will probably get sick at some point during your student teaching and will need to stay home for the day.You must remember that the regular teacher will have to take over the class during your absence.If you wait until the last minute to call in, this could leave them in an awkward bind making them look bad to the students.Call as soon as you believe you will not be able to make it to class.