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Conceptual Framework

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

Requirements and Process

New York State Regulations

The field experience candidate pursuing a 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 experience placements. The CFSPTC may consider suggestions, but requests cannot be guaranteed. Field experience candidates are not permitted to contact potential mentor teachers, building principals, or superintendents to request placements or in any way attempt to secure their own experiences. Questions related to the placement process may be directed to teachereducation@potsdam.edu

Field Experience Candidate Preparation

Preparing for Field Experience 

Before beginning any field experiences, 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. 

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, and payment of the fee may be made upon scheduling or at time of appointment. 

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.  

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. 

Initial Programs 

Category 1 – Demonstrates value of content discipline. (Specific to Secondary Education)
Category 2 – Works well with others.
Category 3 – Takes responsibility.
Category 4 – Fosters positive relationships.
Category 5 – Behaves in a professional manner.
Category 6 – Maintains a high level of competence and integrity.
Category 7 – Willing to take risks and be flexible; shows comfort with uncertainty.
Category 8 – Recognizes and respects diversity.
Category 9 - Demonstrates ongoing growth and proficiency with the use of technology (productivity and digital tools). 

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 Director of The Center for School Partnership and Teacher Certification (315-267-2450 or teachereducation@potsdam.edu) to discuss accommodations that may be helpful to complete field experiences. 

Field Experience Candidate Expectations

Expectations

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 

Mentor Teacher Expectations

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.

Benefits

Hosting and mentoring a SUNY Potsdam field experience candidate truly makes a difference in the preparation of our future teachers. In recognition of your commitment to our teacher education program, we offer classroom teachers the following: 

  • SUNY Potsdam ID Card

  • Access to Libraries and Fitness Center 

  • Discounts at College Store, Community Performance Series, and Campus Dining Facilities 

  • Parking Permit 

Concerns or Questions

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

University Faculty Expectations

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.  

Field Experience Coordinator Expectations

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.