Student Teaching 

Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Field Experience Guiding Principles

  • Field experiences are designed and delivered for candidates to make explicit connections with content areas, cognitive development, motivation and learning styles.
  • Field experiences allow teacher candidates to observe, practice, and demonstrate coursework competencies, under the supervision of education program faculty and under the mentorship of certified teachers.
  • Field experiences must allow teacher candidates to progress from observation to teaching small groups of students under the mentorship of a certified educator at the pre-student teaching level, to the culminating student teaching experience.
  • Field experiences are on-going throughout the program, aligned with coursework, and include varied experiences in diverse environments.
  • Candidates need time to learn and demonstrate the complex competencies and responsibilities required by teachers.

Rationale and Design at Wilkes University Education Department for Field Experiences

Based on the regulations, guidelines, directives of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Wilkes University Education Department’s field experiences are embedded in the requirements for designated Education courses in order to provide Teacher Education candidates the opportunity to assess their interest in and aptitude for teaching and to begin developing professional competencies throughout their professional studies. Field experiences occur in area preschool and K-12 classrooms and are based on the students' certification area(s). Teacher Education candidates spend designated hours at the assigned placement over the course of the semester.

Field Experiences provide Teacher Education candidates with opportunities:
  • first, to assess, explore, and reflect upon their interest in teaching,
  • next, to begin to develop professional competencies in conjunction with professional studies, and, finally,
  • to practice skills of an emerging educator prior to the student teaching experience.
Field Experience assignments are varied so candidates may experience different:
  • Grade levels
  • Diverse student populations
  • Skill levels
  • Classrooms
  • Building organizations
  • Teaching styles

The Field Experience Program: A Partnership of University, Schools, and Teachers

The Wilkes University Education Department will provide Teacher Education candidates with:

  • classroom experiences that initiate and prepare them for the field experience placement,
  • meaningful, reflective assignments that relate to the field experience placement,
  • fair assessment and monitoring of their progress in the field experience placement.

The Host School is asked to provide a brief orientation for the Teacher Education candidate that includes:

  • information about the school calendar and daily schedule,
  • the teacher’s class schedule and duties,
  • school and classroom policies and procedures (e.g., sign in-sign out, emergency drills, security and technology policies),
  • location of school facilities,
  • provisions for students with disabilities.

The Mentoring Teacher is asked to assure a quality field experience for the Teacher Education candidate by:
  • assuming an active role as the lead professional by sharing knowledge, experience, strategies for success in the classroom,
  • providing accurate, timely feedback and assessment of the Teacher Education candidate’s participation and performance


  • It is understood that the Wilkes University Teacher Education candidate is a pre-professional guest of the host school and shall abide by all the rules and regulations of that school.
  • The Teacher Education candidate has obtained the required clearances needed to be in an educational setting. These include: Act 34 (State Police Criminal Record Check Clearance), Act 151 (Child Abuse History Clearance), and Act 114 (F.B.I. Fingerprinting and Check). Some districts may require additional documentation.
  • The host school and the mentoring teacher(s) shall provide a supervised, thorough and challenging experience in the field for the Teacher Education candidate.
  • The candidate shall be assigned to appropriate tasks and duties that are within the scope and sequence of the level of coursework for the course in which the candidate is enrolled at the University. A list of suggested and approved activities is included in the handbook.
  • If there are concerns or a need for additional information, the teacher or school official should contact the Wilkes University Education Department Office of Field Placements.


  • The Teacher Education candidate must successfully complete the required number of hours and submit the properly documented, signed log of field experience school visits as part of the course work of the designated Education class. All hours must be completed during the semester of the coursework.
  • Usually the Teacher Education candidate is expected to spend a minimum of three hours per week at the assigned school. However, there be may be circumstances that allow for an alternate schedule of hours to accommodate the non-traditional Teacher Education candidate in the program.
  • The Wilkes University Education Department seeks to prepare Teacher Education candidates to be professionals in the classroom in accordance with the criteria mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the expectations and requirements that have been established by the Wilkes University Education Department. To this end, candidates are held accountable to aspire to high standards, to learn best practices, and to maintain responsible and consistent effort.
Education Courses requiring a Field Experience Component Hours
All Education Majors and Minors  
ED 190 Effective Teaching with Field Experience 40
EDSP 225 Special Education Methodology I with Field Experience 30
ED 390 First two weeks of student teaching semester 40
Elementary and Early Childhood Education - Pre K - 4 w/ reading experience
ED 263 Child Development & Cognition with Field Experience 15
ED 264 Child Development & Cognition with Classroom App. 30
ED 321 Literacy Foundations I with Field Experience 30
ED 325 Literacy Foundations II with Classroom App. 15
Middle Level: All Candidates Enroll in ED375 and the courses related to the concentration
ED 371 Teaching Methods in Science with Field Experience 40
ED 381 Teaching Methods in Social Studies with Field Experience 40
ED 381 Middle School Methods 40
ED 393 Teaching Methods in English with Field Experience 40
MTH 303 Teaching Methods in Mathematics with Field Experience 40
Secondary Level: Candidates enroll in course related to area of certification
ED 300 Teaching of Foreign Languages with Field Experience 40
ED 371 Teaching of Science with Field Experience 40
ED 381 Teaching of Social Studies with Field Experience 40
ENG 393 Teaching of English with Field Experience 40
MTH 303 Teaching of Mathematics with Field Experience 40
Special Education
EDSP 226 Special Education Methodology II with Field Experience 20
EDSP 227 Behavioral Management with Field Experience 20

Recommended Classroom Activities for Field Experiences

The Teacher Education candidate should be assigned to as many as possible of the listed activities during the course of the field experience placement.

Class and Instructional Materials and Methods

  • After being introduced to the class, learn the names of the students and how to pronounce them correctly.
  • Become familiar with the Mentoring Teacher’s lesson plans and educational materials.
  • Identify the various teaching styles and methods employed by the Mentoring Teacher and the learning differences demonstrated by students

Active and Engaged Observation

  • Observe instruction and activity in the class from a variety of locations in the room to become aware of many aspects of student behavior and engagement.
  • Observe and assist with supervision of students in the classrooms, in the library, in the halls, in the cafeteria or lunchroom, in the gymnasium or on the playground.
  • Become aware of the diverse needs of the classroom and how the Mentoring Teacher addresses them, including special education, ESL (English as a second language), instruction for the gifted, inclusion of students with disabilities and with special needs

Tutoring and Microteaching

  • Provide one-on-one or small group tutoring to address students’ academic needs.
  • Prepare and present a micro-lesson to small groups or the entire class.

Educational Practices in Assessment

  • Review and check workbooks, class exercises, and written homework.
  • Score objective assessments of student work.
  • Assist in test administration and monitoring.
  • Prepare profiles of student progress and record teacher-assigned grades.

Technology and Educational Laboratories

  • Secure and operate audio-visual equipment, computers and software, and other technology devices.
  • Assist in preparing the laboratory or other educational areas for student instruction and/or activities.
  • Assist in supervising students using computers and instructional technology devices.

Classroom Management Skills

  • Begin to handle routine classroom management procedures such as attendance, homeroom practices, passes, announcements, end of class or end of day or dismissal.
  • Prepare and assemble bulletin boards, learning stations, computer-based activities, exhibits or displays to augment concepts, lessons, or goals.

Professional Conferencing

  • Confer with Mentoring Teacher to discuss learning practices, student needs, and other educational issues relevant to the field experience placement.
  • Observe educational meetings such as team teaching planning sessions, parent conferences, or reports provided by learning evaluators or specialists.
  • Attend an I.E.P. conference. Required for all Special Education Teacher Candidates.
  • To register for a course with a field experience, Teacher Education candidates must have attained the required GPA and have obtained departmental permission.
  • To obtain departmental permission, a Field Experience Placement Form must be completed at the time of pre-registration, be signed by the advisor, and be submitted to the Coordinator of Field Placements.
  • The Coordinator of Field Placements arranges for all placements. Teacher Education candidates may not arrange for or change placements by contacting school officials. Violations of this policy may result in being dropped from the course and/or review of retention in the Teacher Education Program.
  • All clearances must be submitted to the Education Department prior to final assignment. Failure to do so by the deadline may result in the candidate being dropped from the course and forfeiting the placement.
  • Because clearances may take up to two months to be processed, Teacher Education candidates need to apply for all clearances in a timely manner.

All required clearances must indicate that there are “no offenses” *

Before a Teacher Education candidate may enter the assigned school, all districts require three clearances:

1. Act 34: Police Criminal Record Check

2. Act 151: Child Abuse History

  • How to apply: Paper form only and it must be mailed to Harrisburg. You may download the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form CY-113 at (Click on form at left side of site.) This clearance takes the longest to obtain; send in request at least 4 -6 weeks prior to start of semester.

3. Act 114: Federal Criminal History Record

  • How to apply: Register for fingerprinting anytime online at Fingerprinting sites are also listed there. After registration and payment, print the registration form with the confirmation #, SSN, and DOB. This must be presented at the fingerprinting site.

*Clearances are valid for all field experiences and student teaching as long as the Teacher Education candidate is continuously enrolled in the Teacher Education Program at Wilkes University.