Student Teaching Policies and Procedures

In this section of the handbook, you will find:

General Policies

The following policies and procedures shall apply to student teaching:

  1. Cooperating teachers must hold a continuing license in the field and at the level in which they supervise and have at least three years teaching experience.
  2. A student teacher shall, during the course of the student teaching experience, be familiarized with and given an opportunity to participate in duties and activities related to the teaching experience, including primary responsibility for substantial classroom instruction, related preparation and evaluation.
  3. A student teacher shall not act as a substitute teacher in the district or act as a replacement for a school employee.
  4. While serving as a student teacher in the district, the St. Olaf student shall:
    • Follow all reasonable directives of administrative and supervisory personnel
    • Follow all school district rules, regulations, policies and directives.
  5. A student teacher may be suspended immediately for any of the following grounds:
    • Immoral conduct or insubordination
    • Failure without justifiable cause to perform assigned duties
    • Gross inefficiency, incompetence, or incompatibility
    • Willful neglect of duty
  6. Termination of student teaching by the university may be made upon request of the student teacher and/or the college supervisor.
  7. Minnesota statutory provisions, applicable to public school districts, provide that student teachers shall be deemed employees of the public school district in which they are rendering services for purposes of worker’s compensation.  Liability insurance is provided for other district employees in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, Section 23.41, and legal counsel in accordance with the provision of Minnesota Statutes, Section 127.03.
  8. In the event of a district-wide work stoppage, student teachers will not report to their assigned schools.  Under no circumstances are they to cross picket lines or participate.  Communication should take place between the school staff and the Director of Field Experiences or the college supervisor.  Student teachers are not to be used as substitutes during the strike period.

Procedure for Dealing with a Student Teacher Experiencing Problems

During the student teaching experience, difficulties may arise.  Most difficulties can be resolved through the normal conferencing process, but the following measures are in place for other situations.

Student Teacher Concern Communication Form.

The Student Teacher Concern Communication Form is a tool that should be utilized at the earliest sign of concern.  The host teacher and college supervisor will complete this form.  Then they will meet with the student teacher to discuss the concerns outlined in the form.  Suggestions and recommendations will be made. A copy of the Student Teacher Concern Communication Form will be given to the Director of Field Experiences.

Student Teacher-Individual Development Plan (ST-IDP)

If difficulties continue, a ST-Individual Development Plan is necessary.  A special conference involving the student teacher, cooperating teacher, and college supervisor will be called to discuss the situation and develop a plan of action. At the conference, they will complete a ST-IDP that outlines area(s) of concern, personal objectives, steps/activities to work toward/achieve objectives, indicators of success, and a plan for review.  The ST-IDP will be entered in Tk20, and a copy of the ST-IDP will be given to the Director of Field Experiences.

ST-IDP Review. On the planned review date (usually a week or two after the ST-IDP was created), the designated attendees will review the student teacher’s progress on the ST-IDP goals.  The supervisors will determine if the student teacher successfully met the goals outlined in the ST-IDP.  If the student is successful in completing the ST-IDP, then he/she can continue in the student teaching program.  If the student is unsuccessful in completing the ST-IDP, one of the following will happen:

  • the ST-IDP may be revised or extended.
  • a meeting involving the student teacher, college supervisor, and Director of Field Experiences will be called.  Possible actions to be taken by the Director of Field Experiences include:
    • removal of the student teacher from the student teaching placement;
    • reassignment of the student teacher to a new student teaching placement;
    • recommendation to student to discontinue pursuing teaching licensure;
    • establishment of appropriate developmental activities for success of the student in the student teaching experience.

At this point, the student may choose to withdraw from the program.

Unsuccessful Student Teaching and Recommendation for Licensure

Students may fail student teaching if they are unsuccessful in completing their ST-IDP, if their host site removes them from their placement, or for other reasons involving unprofessional behavior.

Unsuccessful student teaching may result in the loss of academic credit (potentially affecting completion of graduation requirements for undergraduates), tuition and fees, financial aid, and health insurance.

Completion of student teaching does not guarantee recommendation for a teaching license.

A student may have to successfully complete a second student teaching experience in order to be recommended for a teaching license.  A student requesting to student teach a second time must receive approval from the Director of Field Experiences and the Department Chair.  In some instances, a student may not be allowed to student teach a second time.

In a case where a student teacher receives ratings of “Emerging” on the Final Assessment Form completed by his/her supervisors or earns a grade lower than a B- for student teaching, the Director of Field Experiences and Director of Assessment will obtain input from all supervisors and then determine whether the student teacher will be recommended for a teaching license.