FIELD EXPERIENCE | STUDENT TEACHER
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Atlanta Public School System works diligently to ensure that the student teaching program is a rewarding experience for all parties involved. It is important to build upon the relationships with our college/university partners and identify ways to continuously improve the K-12 field experience program.
In an effort to manage the school sites and number of requests that are made within our school district, Atlanta Public Schools requires that all requests come directly from the college/university field experience supervisor to the APS Human Resources Talent Management Recruiter who serves as the district liaison for field experience/student teacher placements. Requests must be submitted to Rita Simmons at email@example.com.
Fall placement requests are due by April 1st. Spring placement requests are due by November 1st. This process applies to all request types including but not limited to: field observations, practicums, counseling internships, speech pathologist placements, and student teaching. Requests should not be submitted directly to APS principals or their staff. Principals who receive direct requests from students or universities should refer interested parties to Rita McGlothin Simmons at the aforementioned email or via office line at 404-802-2387.
TYPES OF FIELD EXPERIENCE
The observation student typically observes classroom instruction and management. They may also assist with small group tutoring and tasks such as making copies, and/or creating bulletin boards, etc. Observation placements are usually one-to-two weeks or by a sum total of hours for a short period of time.
This is generally completed a semester before a student teaching or internship and requires classroom interaction at least once per week. Most second or third level practicum students will assume full teaching responsibilities under the tutelage of the cooperating classroom teacher.
Student teachers also referred to as pre-service teachers, typically begin their pre-service placement with observing and tutoring. They will then gradually move from teaching mini lessons into assuming full time classroom teaching responsibilities for the duration of the semester. All classroom interaction remains under the supervision of the cooperating teacher.
Counseling and Speech/Language Pathologist Internships
Counseling or Speech/Language (SLP) Internships are very much like practicums and student teaching placements. We coordinate our placements through the Atlanta Public Schools Counseling or Special Program Services Coordinator/Director. The students will be placed with a recommended cooperating school counselor or approved SLP to experience the full scope of K-12 counseling or speech/language responsibilities. They will see operations in three broad domains: self-knowledge information; educational-occupational information; and career planning information.
NOTE: Each college/university will have varying program completion requirements.
Principal/Building Supervisor Responsibilities and Expectations
The principal or building supervisor of the school will ensure that the Office of Human Resources-Talent Management has properly on-boarded the field placement candidate (i.e. background checks, University clearance, and/or current employee time schedule conflicts) before approving the placement in their school.
The principal or building supervisor will identify teachers in the requested grade level who desire to supervise field experience candidates. Additionally, the cooperating teacher must meet the following Supervising Teacher Qualifications:
- Accepts and agrees to participate as a cooperating/supervising teacher
- Possesses current and clear renewable certification for present teaching assignment
- Three or more years of successful teaching experience
- Displays teacher leadership and/or identified as a lead teacher
The principal/building supervisor will ensure that the cooperating teacher and field experience candidate has a clear understanding of school and district policies. Cooperating teachers and field experience candidates may request your approval and signature for specific placement documents. The cooperating teacher and candidate will be required to participate in an orientation session hosted by the Office of Human Resources.
Changes in placement will be made only by the Human Resources Field Placement liaison and the University, in cooperation with the local school principal. Any mid-placement changes in the assignment must be communicated in writing/email to Atlanta Public Schools’ Office of Human Resources. Any placement concerns should be immediately addressed to the Human Resources Field Placement liaison.
The number of field experience candidates placed at one school will not exceed ten (10) unless approved by the Executive Director of Human Resources Talent Management.
Cooperating teachers are not required to take on a field experience student. They must be willing to share their expertise and mentor the future educator. The cooperating teacher must be recommended by their principal and will need to have a minimum of three years’ experience as a certified teacher. Cooperating teachers must possess a rating of effective or higher on their most recent TKES evaluation. In addition, they should be comfortable with standard observation tools and with providing coaching and feedback on classroom management and instructional skills.
Some general responsibilities for student teachers and field experience students are listed below:
Field Experience Student Responsibilities
- Adheres to district rules and polices: http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/Domain/94
- Adheres to student media release rules, policies and procedures for Atlanta Public Schools and University standards. Photos, audio and/or video recordings of students should only be used for specific curriculum requirements only. General digital transmittal or sharing of student images is strictly prohibited.
- Adheres to the local school site protocol set by the building administrator and/or principal(Ask for a School Handbook upon arrival)
- Takes on the cooperating teacher’s class load as well as any other duties carried out during regular school hours (lunchroom duty, hallway monitoring, etc.) as deemed appropriate by the field experience type
- Corresponds with cooperating teacher in a timely and appropriate manner
- Establishes goals and objectives with the cooperating teacher for the in classroom experience
- Exercises good judgment and reasonable care at all times and especially when safety concerns are heightened
- Maintains a professional relationship with all Atlanta Public Schools’ students, staff, and community
- Keeps student information confidential
- Digital citizenship and all school rules regarding cell phone use applies to the student teacher
Cooperating Teacher Responsiblities
- Provides daily support and encouragement to the student teacher
- Models a variety of strategies for effective instruction and classroom management
- Provides an opportunity for the student teacher to assume the appropriate responsibilities in the classroom by encouraging the student teacher to engage in activities which may include:
- One-to-one tutoring
- Evaluating and documenting student’s work
- Completing administrative tasks
- Creating bulletin boards and displays
- Supervising students
- Team Teaching
- Leading discussions
- Obtaining resources
- Explains school safety protocols and the importance of never leaving students unattended
- Provides opportunities for the student teacher to successfully complete the field experience requirements
- Monitors the student teacher’s interaction and engagement with the students
- Shares the APS teaching philosophy and best practices (i.e. Attendance, Time Management, Lesson Planning, Teacher Keys, Common Core Standards, Georgia Milestone requirements, and School-wide Achievement Plan Expectations).