EDU-508-syllabus-spring-2009) and EDU – 508-syllabus-fall-2009 were two courses designed to provide students with support, supervision, and feedback as they began their first sustained teaching experiences in schools: 6 weeks in the Spring and 12 Weeks in the Fall. EDU 508 is a separate course with its own set of requirements—the first of two such courses in their journey to certification. Upon successful completion of the six-week field experience and related requirements, students received a provisional “V” grade to be replaced by a “P” upon successful completion of their 12-week placement in the Fall.
Their experiences as a student teacher nested within their work in SED 413/613 English Methods & SED 415/615 Teacher Development in English, where I worked with Dr. Kelly Chandler-Olcott as a teaching assistant.
The primary responsibility assigned to me in EDU 508 was to visit schools to observe my students in action, to document their work, and to make assessments. Each student was visited three times in the Spring and four times in the Fall. In anticipation of the student teachers and their mentors have difficulty keeping up with the goals of EDU 508, I created a checklist for their use EDU 508 Checklist – to assist mentor teachers and students. In addition, their mentor teachers and I held post-observation meetings to discuss progress and areas to think about with the students after observations. I chose to write running field notes of the observations (see sample) so student teachers would have a timed account of what occurred in their room (an extra set of eyes). This style of observation was very beneficial to them, and also assisted my assessments.
After each observation, I completed an observation document form to assess a student’s teaching which was provided to Syracuse University (see sample). The assessment forms are designed to meet the proficiencies design to measure their candidacies.
In the Fall placements, I began a newsletter to send to student teachers entitled, “The Express(ion).” The newsletter was a way of communicating to student teachers important information. Lisa Pye, another graduate student, and I contributed to the newsletter weekly throughout their placements. The title The Express(ion) was chosen in reference to the movie about Syracuse University football star, Ernie Davis, and was a timely way for supervisors to express information to students.