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Potsdam Prepared: Spring 2022 Updates

The field experience candidate is expected to read and understand the information, guidelines, and expectations below. If the candidate has any questions or needs clarification, they should contact teachereducation@potsdam.edu.

Prior to beginning any field experience, the candidate will be required to acknowledge they understand and agree to all expectations and guidelines listed in the guidebook. An acknowledgment form will be provided prior to the field experience semester.

Candidates in professional education certification programs are expected to demonstrate values and attitudes that are consistent with the highest professional standards. Candidates must continuously demonstrate these qualities in concrete ways in their interactions with their peers, with college faculty, with personnel in the cooperating schools, and especially with school students. Candidates will be assessed on their dispositions throughout their education program by faculty and cooperating teachers. Additionally, Candidates will complete guided dispositional self-assessments several times during the program. Conduct unbecoming of a professional teacher, or reasonable belief that the candidate is unfit to be a teacher may be grounds for dismissal from a field experience or an education program.

Professional Disposition Framework:

 

  1. Demonstrate Value of Content Discipline by expanding discipline-specific, professional, and personal reading practices; and exhibiting consistent enthusiasm for varied areas of focus within the content discipline
  2. Work Well with Others by encouraging others to share ideas; participating in group/team collaboration; accepting consensus; offering assistance where possible; and making their resources available to aid the group’s task.  
  3. Take Responsibility for One's Own Actions by following through on responsibilities and tasks in a timely manner; accepting and acting on constructive suggestions; following directions, and not blaming others.
  4. Behave in a Professional Manner by exhibiting personal integrity; being punctual; dressing professionally; respecting personal boundaries with regard to sharing or seeking information of a personal/intimate nature, and teaching using correct language grammar and avoiding colloquialisms. 
  5. Foster Positive Relationships by modeling effective interpersonal behaviors and communication; providing positive reinforcement when appropriate; seeking to solve problems; and seeking involvement in after-school activities. 
  6. Maintain a High Level of Competence and Integrity in One’s Practice by engaging in ongoing self-reflection while seeking constructive criticism to improve teaching; identifying his/her strengths and needs and working to update skills/knowledge accordingly; organizing information and materials to facilitate student success; consistent preparation through both long and short-term planning. 
  7. Willing to Take Risks; Be Flexible; Show Comfort With Uncertainty by adapting to changes in the workplace (i.e. schedules, snow days, etc.); taking advantage of the teachable moment; trying unfamiliar techniques, and encouraging students and peers to take appropriate risks.
  8. Recognize and Respect One's Own Diversity and That of Others by purposively using instructional resources that incorporate alternative points of view; using instructional practices that respectfully reflect the diversity of both the community and beyond; responding respectfully to diverse opinions and lifestyles; providing participants opportunities to share cultures, and creating a climate of inclusivity in the classroom.
  9. Demonstrate Ongoing Growth and Proficiency with the use of Technology by exploring the use of new and emerging technologies; seeking appropriate ways to employ technology to support assessment and address learning.

Teacher education has been and continues to be central to the mission of SUNY Potsdam. The college community and the College’s PreK-12 school partners work together to develop tomorrow’s teachers today. Field experience candidate experiences are developed to prepare candidates to meet the needs of today's schools and develop into the educational leaders of the future. Whether the schools are in the immediate College service area, or a part of the program’s broadening urban and international partnerships, graduates are prepared as well-educated citizens, reflective practitioners and principled educators to serve, individually as teachers and collectively as life-long learners, the diverse needs of the communities in which they live and work. It is with this mission that the following conceptual framework is utilized.

Well-Educated Citizen
  • critically analyzes and solves problems
  • organizes thought and communicates effectively
  • understands history and our social and political institutions
  • understands and respects diverse cultures and our intercultural world
  • understands the impact of science and technology on our lives
  • uses technology appropriately for research, analysis, and communication and exhibits information literacy
  • has experience creating and appreciating the arts
  • has a broad and deep understanding of the subject matter one teaches
  • models the skills, attitudes, and values of inquiry appropriate to one’s discipline
Reflective Practitioner
  • models inquiry, practice, and reflection
  • uses research to inform curriculum, instruction, and assessment effectively
  • meets the diverse learning needs of students
  • applies knowledge of local, state, national, and professional standards
  • utilizes instructional and assistive technology effectively
  • promotes inquiry, critical thinking, and problem solving
  • creates positive learning environments for all students
  • uses research, reflection, and discourse throughout one’s career
  • prepares to become an instructional leader
Principled Educator
  • behaves in a professional manner
  • maintains a high level of competence and integrity in one’s practice
  • demonstrates a willingness to take risks, be flexible, and show comfort with uncertainty
  • works well with others
  • takes responsibility for one’s own actions
  • recognizes and respects one’s own diversity and that of others
  • fosters positive relationships with students, parents, administrators, colleagues, and agencies in the community to support student learning and well-being
New York State Regulations

For the field experience candidate pursuing teacher certification, it is important to be knowledgeable of the regulations as it pertains to New York State Certification. Below you will find links to web pages you should bookmark and access for certification regulations and other resources.

http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/

Program Requirements

To view the most current program requirements, please visit the following web page:

https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/SOEPS/teacher-education/programs-study

Securing Placements

The Center for School Partnerships and Teaching Certification (CFSPTC) initiates and secures all field-based placements. All requests for cooperating teachers are submitted by the Director directly through district contacts as indicated by the building principal, superintendent, or designee. The CFSPTC will consider suggestions from faculty and candidates, but requests cannot be guaranteed. Faculty may direct questions from districts and/or candidates related to the placement process to teachereducation@potsdam.edu. Relationships are encouraged between candidates, faculty, teachers, and administrators as it is these relationships that strengthen the teacher education preparation program and partnerships. As discussions arise related to possible placement opportunities, such information should be shared with the CFSPTC so that formal requests may be sent to district placement contacts to ensure that we are following district protocol.

Employees of School Districts

The candidate must schedule time for their field experience as this is an academic requirement. If the candidate is employed by a school district, they may request for their field experience placement to be completed at the district they work, however, this is not guaranteed. With this said, the candidate must make arrangements with the district to have release time to complete this requirement, normally done through the District Office. The candidate must also submit the request to the CFSPTC Assistant Director so that an official request may be made to the superintendent. Approval of the request will be communicated back to the candidate.

Teacher education candidates are required to complete an application for field placement the semester before the scheduled field experience. For questions related to the application, please email teachereducation@potsdam.edu.

Read the following prior to completing the application.

  • All placements must be secured through the Center for School Partnerships and Teacher Certification. Candidates are not to reach out to teachers/schools to secure their own placement.
  • If a teacher education candidate is an employee of a school district and would like to request their placement at their place of employment, they must email teachereducation@potsdam.edu along with completing the application so that administrator approval must be secured. In addition, the responsibility is on the candidate to secure the necessary time off to complete the hours required for certification and program expectations.
  • All teacher education students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate field experience courses must complete this application by the due date indicated in their welcome email/letter to secure a placement. If the application is submitted after the due date, the placement confirmation and start date may be delayed.
  • Placements should be secured by the first day of classes of the planned field experience semester if the application is completed by the due date.
  • The Center for School Partnerships and Teacher Certification will review the application, reach out to school district administrators for possible placements, and will notify the field experience candidate of their approved placements through a confirmation email.
  • Candidates may contact teachereducation@potsdam.edu if they have any questions.

The field experience application must be completed the semester prior to all planned field experience semesters to allow enough time to prepare and secure placements. If a candidate has two field experience semesters, they are to fill out an application one semester before each scheduled field experience.

Application for Field Experience

Before the end of the semester leading up to the field experience, the candidate must attend a mandatory field experience preparation meeting with the Assistant Director for Field Experiences.

RSVP for Field Experience Preparation Meeting

After attending the meeting, the candidate will be required to submit an acknowledgement on the Field Experience Placement Preparation program on Taskstream agreeing to the expectations, requirements, and deadlines.

Before beginning any field experience, there are certain requirements that need to be met by the field experience candidate. This process for preparation should be started the semester before starting the field experience semester.

Taskstream Portfolio Software Subscription

In order to access resources needed for success during field experience and student teaching, candidates must subscribe to Taskstream by visiting https://taskstream.com/pub/Enroll/ and follow the instructions to enroll or renew if necessary. The cost of Taskstream is the responsibility of the candidate and the subscription must be active from the semester before the first field experience (or earlier if the enrolled education program requires it) through graduation. (Cost: 1 year - $50 or 7 years - $139)

After subscribing to Taskstream, the candidate will need to email teachereducation@potsdam.edu to request to be enrolled in the Field Experience Placement Preparation program on Taskstream.

Subscribe/Renew Taskstream

Fingerprinting  

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) requires that any individual applying for New York State Certification be fingerprinted. Additionally, SUNY Potsdam requires that candidates complete the NYSED fingerprint clearance process before the start of any field experience. To schedule an appointment to be fingerprinted visit http://www.nysed.gov/educator-integrity/fingerprinting or call 877-472-6915. There is a fee associated with this process ($102) and is the responsibility of the candidate. Payment of the fee may be made upon scheduling or at the time of appointment. After Fingerprinting is received by NYSED, the candidate will need to submit verification on the Field Experience Placement Preparation program on Taskstream.

Schedule Fingerprinting

TEACH Account 

All field experience candidates are required to create a freeTEACH account in the New York State Education Department Office of Teaching Initiatives. Candidates will be required to access their TEACH account several times throughout the teacher education program and their teaching career.  Visit http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/teach/ for instructions and to create a TEACH account. NOTE: Ensure that you only create one account and be sure to remember your username and password.  After creating the TEACH account, the candidate will need to submit verification on the Field Experience Placement Preparation program on Taskstream.

Create TEACH Account

Dispositions 

Dispositions are the principles or standards that underpin a teacher's success in the classroom. These include the values, commitments, and professional ethics that govern how a teacher acts with students, families, colleagues, and communities.  A field experience candidate is responsible for maintaining the Professional Dispositions listed below. If at any time a field experience is not maintaining any of the dispositions, they may be placed on a Professional Development Plan (PDP) to set goals and activities that will build and maintain the dispositions.

Elementary Education

Secondary Education

Prior to beginning the field experience semester, the candidate will need to complete a disposition self-reflection and acknowledgment form on the Field Experience Placement Preparation program on Taskstream.

Professional Development Plan (PDP) Process 

If the field experience candidate struggles in a course and/or field experience to include, but not limited to, academics, content, writing, and dispositions, a Professional Development Plan (PDP) will be created to offer suggestions that may help improve the identified areas.  Successful completion of the PDP is required to continue in the course, field experience, and student teaching.  If successful completion on the PDP is not achieved, the candidate may need to retake the course or complete a Remediation Program to continue in the program.  

Accommodative Services 

SUNY Potsdam will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. The field experience candidate should notify the Office of Accommodative Services, Sisson Hall Room 128 (315-267-3267 or oas@potsdam.edu), and the Assistant Director of The Center for School Partnership and Teacher Certification (teachereducation@potsdam.edu) to discuss accommodations that may be helpful to complete field experiences. 

Field experience candidate general expectations may be found here. For program-specific expectations, the field experience candidate should refer to their syllabus and field experience course instructor.

Contacting the Mentor Teacher 

The field experience candidate must contact the mentor teacher within one week of receiving the field experience placement assignment via email from the field experience coordinator. This contact must be sent via a professional email confirming dates/times of placement, communicating any dates not attending due to academic breaks, and requesting any dates the school is not in session.  

When communicating with the mentor teacher the field experience candidate must use a professional tone and structure in their writing. Special attention should be made to avoid any spelling or grammatical errors. If you are unsure if your email is ready to be sent, please utilize your course instructor or email a draft to teachereducation@potsdam.edu and the field experience coordinator will review and make suggestions. Additional tools that are helpful include using spell check and Grammerly.com. 

Communication During Field Experience 

The field experience candidate must contact the mentor teacher during the semester as necessary to maintain a professional relationship. Candidate communication is an area that impacts their ability to maintain the professional dispositions required to remain in the teacher education program.

Communicating with Your Mentor Teacher - including email templates

Additional Resources

Writers’ Block: https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/resources/tutoring/writers-block 

How to Write a Professional Email: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-write-a-professional-email 

Prior to beginning the field experience semester, the candidate is to create the first draft of their teaching resume. The resume will be reviewed during the field experience semester(s) and approved to be submitted prior to student teaching.

The candidate should review the following resources submit their resume on Taskstream in the Field Experience Placement Preparation program.

Expectations

Candidates are expected to attend their placement every week throughout the entire semester based on their program requirements.

Illness

It is understandable that illnesses occur and that these situations cannot be anticipated. When this happens, the candidate must notify the mentor teacher via phone, as soon as possible or within 12-24 hours’ notice of the assigned placement day/time. An effort should be made to make up the placement visit within the same week or the week after missing the scheduled visit. The candidate must notify their university supervisor as soon as possible or within 12-24 hours’ notice of the assigned placement day/time of the absence, the reason, and the scheduled make up day/time.

Reliable transportation during the field experience semester is the responsibility of the field experience candidate. If a field experience candidate is not able to guarantee reliable transportation, they should reach out to teachereducation@potsdam.edu for guidance.

If a field experience candidate does not complete their required field experience hours during the scheduled academic semester, they will receive an incomplete for the course and will need to complete the hour requirement and receive a passing grade for the course prior to moving on to the second field experience or student teaching. If this occurs, the field experience candidate will need to contact the Assistant Director immediately to discuss placement opportunities and/or arranging additional hours during the second field experience semester. More information on certification requirements may be found here.

Criteria 

The mentor teacher must hold a certificate in the certificate title the field experience candidate is enrolled, is rated effective or highly effective in their most recent annual professional performance review, and is approved by the building administrator of their respective school district.

Main Role

The main role of the mentor teacher throughout the field experience is to guide and assist the field experience candidate in understanding and adapting to the classroom setting.  These include content knowledge and delivery, classroom management skills and styles, and overall professionalism.    

Expectations

Mentor Teacher general expectations may be found here.

Concerns or Questions

Any questions or concerns may be directed to the Coordinator for Field Experience at teachereducation@potsdam.edu.  

Main Role

The main role of the university faculty throughout the field experience is to teach, supervise, and provide feedback to the field experience candidate in understanding theory and applying it to practice.  These include content knowledge and delivery, classroom management skills and styles, and overall professionalism.  

Expectations

University Faculty general expectations may be found here.

Concerns or Questions

Any questions or concerns may be directed to the Coordinator for Field Experience at teachereducation@potsdam.edu.  

Main Role

The main role of the field experience coordinator is secure field experience placements for teacher education students in public schools by working collaboratively with SUNY Potsdam faculty and school district administrators and mentor teachers. Specific expectations are listed below. 

Expectations

Field Experience Coordinator general expectations may be found here.