Policies and Procedures
Length of Semester
The Student Teaching semester has been designated as thirteen (13) weeks or 66 days in the classroom setting. Upon the approval of the cooperating teacher and the field supervisor, student teachers may be released after the completion of thirteen weeks or 66 days in the classroom. If it is determined that the student teacher will benefit from more time in the classroom, the semester will be extended to fifteen (15) weeks. Professional Seminar dates do not count as part of the 13 weeks or 66 days of student teaching.
Student teachers are expected to be in attendance at their cooperating school each day. Leaving the school campus during the school day is not permitted without prior approval. It is the responsibility of the student teacher to inform the cooperating teacher, field supervisor, and school office as early as possible in case of an illness or forced absence. All absences are to be made up by the student teacher following the required 66 days of student teaching.
Holidays and Staff Development Days
During the student teaching semester, student teachers will observe the holidays scheduled by the school system to which they are assigned regardless of the holidays observed by UHV. Student teachers are expected to be at school on staff development days and to participate in any professional development programs when appropriate.
Relationships with Students
Student teachers should exercise extreme caution against becoming too familiar with students under their direction. It is inappropriate to have a relationship with high school students within the district to which the student teacher is assigned.
Corporal is a sensitive issue in many schools and student teachers must not resort to this method of behavior control. The University of Houston-Victoria policy requires that if corporal punishment is recommended, it is to be administered by the cooperating teacher or other appropriate certified personnel.
Some school districts require a tuberculin test and certificate before allowing student teachers to teach in their schools. Tests and certificates may be obtained from your private physician or from a county health clinic. You will be required to provide the school with the results of the tuberculin test if the school in which you do your student teaching requires this test.
Professional development seminars are mandatory for all student teachers throughout the student teaching semester. These dates are not counted as part of the 13 weeks or 66 days of student teaching. If you must miss a seminar, points will be deducted from the final seminar grade. Points will not be deducted if a doctor’s note is provided.
Student teaching is considered a full academic load. If you must take an additional course for financial aid or insurance purposes, you must have approval from your advisor.
Employment during student teaching is not advisable due to the tremendous time commitment expected for preparation. If financial needs require that some employment be assumed, this should be limited to 10-12 hours per week, preferably on weekends. Weekday afternoons should be free for faculty meetings, curriculum planning, and faculty duties. Any issues concerning employment during student teaching should be discussed in advance with your field supervisor.
Written documentation of the student teacher’s performance is vital and should be both specific and systematic with suggestions for improvement. Evaluations are shared with the student teacher, UHV and the principal of the school where the student teaching placement is being conducted. The university supervisor is required to submit their forms to the Director of Field Experiences within two weeks of the end of the semester.
Student teachers must have taken and passed the two required state exams prior to beginning their student teaching semester. These tests include:
- Core Subjects EC-6 or Core Subjects 4-8 or Content Exam (7-12 certification students)