Student Teaching Information


Student Teaching Guidance

Student Teaching Module

A Checklist for Student Teaching - Initial Licenses

This checklist is designed to provide you with a checklist of items that must be completed prior to your application for student teaching. Please use it to plan ahead for a positive student teaching experience.

  • Official transcripts of the additional subject area courses, if any, identified on the Major Equivalency.
  • Evidence of a DPI Substitute Permit sent to Project Teaching office.
  • Content Knowledge Proficiency met or  Praxis II tests taken. Passing scores received at Educate-WI.  You must prove your competencies to teach in Wisconsin, which means you cannot become licensed unless you have met proficiency or passed your Praxis II exam in area(s) of desired certification. **Use recipient code #1390 for Educate-WI.
  • Course fees must be paid in full. (Student Teaching fees will be billed after placement is confirmed)
  • All coursework and assignments completed.

The rules for teaching with a two-year permit are different. If you believe you are eligible to teach with a two-year permit contact the Placement Officer at Project Teaching

Required Teaching

Student Teaching: Candidates who have successfully completed the program coursework must complete student teaching - full days for a full semester following the school district calendar. (Wis. Stats. 118.19(3)(a)). If you are currently teaching fulltime under a 1-year license with stipulations, you will be evaluated as a student teacher.

 Placement for Student Teaching

Placement assignments reflect the content field(s) and building level(s) of your certification areas. It is not uncommon for these placements to be in different classrooms with different cooperating teachers when multiple certifications are sought.

The placement process is managed by the Program Administrator who often tries to accommodate your choices, but does not fully control the process. Preliminary placements are often made early in the process, but no placement is finalized before all student teaching requirements are met and districts have given their formal placement approval. Districts may require a placement contract.

In some cases, fees are assessed by the district and/or stipends are paid for cooperating teachers. You must pay these fees and stipends as an additional cost of student teaching. The Program Administrator will notify you of any additional fees.

The sooner you complete the requirements for required teaching, the sooner you can be placed. Because school districts require considerable advanced notice for placement, our due dates for requesting placement are:

  • March 15th for students wishing to be placed in the school district's fall semester.
  • October 15th for students wishing to be placed in the school district's spring semester.

In some cases, even these dates do not give districts enough time to make student teaching placements. Your placement as a student teacher cannot be guaranteed even if you meet the cut-off dates.

Once placement is finalized, you will receive notification from the Project Teaching Program Administrator. 

Roles and Responsibilities in Required Teaching

We ask each cooperating teacher, student teacher, and principal to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

Student Teacher

Under Wisconsin Statute 118.25, a school district may require you to undergo a physical examination, including a chest X-ray or tuberculin test, as a condition of student teaching.

Your primary role during student teaching is to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential to successful practice. This is a developmental process which requires you to pay close attention to the 10 Wisconsin Teaching Standards . Your performance is observed and evaluated by a team of educators which includes one or more cooperating teachers from the school(s) in which you teach and a supervising teacher designated by Project Teaching Team conferences are held periodically.

Like all teachers in your building, you are supervised by your building principal and must follow the established administrative procedures for reporting incidents, concerns, and complaints. Feel free to ask your administrators for advice, particularly when you feel you may not have handled a situation appropriately. Contact your administrator immediately if you have had an altercation with a student, parent, or other staff member - or when anyone says to you, I am going to report this to the principal [or other administrator]. *Remember, the school district is potentially liable for everything that occurs on school property. This includes any action you may have taken as a student teacher!

It is your responsibility to comply with the policies and procedures described in the student teaching agreement and memorandum of understanding signed by you and a district representative before you begin required teaching. All school rules and procedures applicable to certified teachers in your placement schools must be followed by you as well, including but not limited to: complying with dress codes, enforcing school discipline codes, submitting lesson plans, filing mandated reports, etc.

You must be in attendance during school hours as established by the district. You may be absent in the event of illness, injury, or personal emergency, but absence of more than five days may have to be made up during the following semester, if the Placement Officer requires it. You must contact your cooperating teacher to report absences prior to the beginning of the school day; if the district requires, you must also contact your administrator or designee in a timely manner.

You should attend all functions required of contracted professional staff such as staff meetings, parent-teacher conferences, in-service sessions, and team meetings.

Permission to be absent from student teaching for job interviews must be obtained in advance from the cooperating teacher and Program Administrator and reported to school representatives the same as for illness.

Cooperating Teacher

Your district and Placement Coordinator have worked together in assigning your cooperating teacher. The cooperating teacher's role is to help to connect you to your school and school staff. He/she will introduce you to administrators and other teachers. They will help you to become informed as to your specific building principals, school guidance counselors, central office staff, department chairs, school liaison officers, instructional aides, special education teachers, and other personnel in your area. Take advantage of your cooperating teacher's expertise. Watch their techniques and ask to observe others in your area.

Your cooperating teacher plays a key role in your student teaching experience. Remember that this is an experienced teacher and you are a guest in their classroom. As you and your cooperating teacher work together try to establish a good working rapport.

The cooperating teacher will be supportive but hold high expectations in regard to your performance. He/she will share with you the approach they will take to evaluate the 10 teaching standards used in the evaluation rubric. Student teachers must score a 43 or higher on at least one of the two cooperating teacher's evaluations, with no score lower than a 3.

At the beginning of your placement you and your cooperating teacher will set a timeline for the semester/quarter. You should establish a comfort level for your transition to full time teaching responsibilities. This could happen in the first couple of weeks.

You will be responsible for setting up at least two conferences between you, your supervising teacher and the cooperating teacher during the semester. During these conferences you may be presented with ideas and suggestions for improvement as well as an evaluation. Ask questions and look for suggestions regarding your mastery of the 10 standards.

By the end of the student teaching experience your cooperating teacher should feel comfortable writing a recommendation for you that is fair and accurate. Should problems or concerns arise between you and your cooperating teacher, please feel free to contact your supervising teacher or the Placement Officer for assistance.

Building Administrator

Establish a rapport with your building principal or administrator. Ask to be introduced or introduce yourself early in your placement. He/she is trained to provide guidance in developing teachers. This is the individual that has the overall responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the school district or building. They have a different perspective and responsibility in dealing with the "big picture". Learn what his/her role is and how you will interact with the administrator during your student teaching experience.

As you attend new teacher orientations at the beginning of the year, pay particular attention to the rules, expectations, paperwork, chain-of-command, etc. discussed by the administration. Your administrator may choose to talk with you to let you know his/her teaching expectations regarding curriculum and classroom management. The administrator or other designee may also walk you through the process for turning in lesson plans, reporting absences and tardiness, making student referrals, contacting parents, following the school code of conduct and the implementation of safety and emergency plans.

In order to assure that the quality of the instructional program is being maintained, the administrator may choose to observe your classroom and participate in your conferences with the cooperating and supervising teacher. Invite the administrator to stop by your classroom and give you feedback during your student teaching experience. New teachers are often uncomfortable with the role of the administrator dropping in for a visit. Understand that the administrator is a part of the team. His/her role is to help you develop the skills necessary for successful completion of your student teaching experience.

Supervising Teacher

All student teachers will be assigned an Educate-WI Supervisor. Their role is to provide evaluation from a higher education perspective. It is also to ensure that the legal requirements for student teaching defined primarily in Wis. Stats. 118 and administrative rule PI34 are being met.

The supervising teacher will be making formal observations of your student teaching classroom performance. They are seasoned teachers and administrators who are familiar with the requirements set forth by Project Teaching and the State of Wisconsin. You will be formally observed three times.

Your supervisor will contact you via phone or email, prior to making any formal observations. At this time, you should be prepared to review with the supervisor the following: school calendar, school handbooks, your schedule of classes, types of students you are working with and any other pertinent information. He/she will help verify that the practicum meets requirements for certification in all desired areas and grade levels. At this time it would be important to introduce your supervisor to your cooperating teacher.

You and your cooperating teacher will determine the timeline and inform the supervisor as to when you will be taking over the classroom responsibilities. At that time the supervisor will set up your formal evaluation. Please understand that your supervisor may be traveling a distance and you should report any changes in time immediately. (You should check the school activity calendar prior to scheduling.) Each visit will last an hour or more. The supervisor may wish to utilize a prep time for follow-up discussion so keep this in mind when scheduling.

The supervisor will request a copy of your lesson plan or other materials you will be using during the observation.   It is important that you maintain communication with your supervisor and provide the requested documentation in a timely fashion.  At least a day in advance.  Remember, they are evaluating you based on all  10 Wisconsin Teaching Standards. If you receive a score of less than a three (3) on any standard, you are required to write a goal for that standard.

In the post-conference, your supervisor and cooperating teacher may discuss what went on in the classroom during the formal observation. They will talk about how things are going in general. 

Look at the post-conference as a constructive way to grow and develop as a teacher. It is important for you to ask for advice and assistance when needed. We all began where you are and grew through our experiences.

Applying for an Initial Educator's License

Once you have completed all requirements for your teaching license, the program administrator will upload information to the DPI licensing web site. You can then apply for you license online.

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