Termination of Student Teaching Assignment
The student teaching program is a cooperative relationship between the University of Houston-Victoria, cooperating school districts, cooperating teachers, and the student teacher. Each student teacher is to be made aware that her/his presence in the district, and in a particular classroom, is that of a guest. Occasionally, there are circumstances that warrant the termination of the student teaching experience. When such action is deemed necessary, there are specific reasons and procedures that should be taken into consideration cooperatively by all parties involved.
Reasons for Termination
- Mutual consent and agreement for termination by the student teacher, cooperating school, and field supervisor for reasons of illness, injury, or other unforeseen problem.
- Failure by the student teacher to establish and maintain a satisfactory performance level in classroom instruction and management.
- Failure by the student teacher to abide by the policies of the cooperating school.
- Unprofessional conduct towards school personnel and/or students.
Procedures for Termination
Termination of the assignment of a student teacher for the reasons previously stated in the numbers 2-4 should follow these prescribed procedures in a sequential manner:
- The cooperating teacher and field supervisor shall inform the student teacher of any unsatisfactory performances. This shall be done through written evaluations, personal conferences, and written documentation of any infractions of school policy or professionalism. A student teacher may not be terminated for a series of minor or undocumented problems.
- When it is evident that a student teacher does not follow through with prescribed verbal and written suggestions for improvement, a formal Growth Plan shall be initiated by the field supervisor and cooperating teacher and approved by the Director of Field Experiences. (See Evaluation #6 for Growth Plan procedure) The Growth Plan shall be presented to the student teacher during a three-way conference including the student teacher, the cooperating teacher, and the field supervisor. The Director of Field Experiences has the option to attend this conference.
- Within a two-week time frame, the student teacher, the cooperating teacher, and the field supervisor will confer to assess progress. The Director of Field Experiences should be notified of the result of this conference with all supporting data.
- If inadequate progress in teaching effectiveness or unprofessional conduct occurs, the cooperating teacher and field supervisor may request that the Director of Field Experiences administer an observation and evaluation. This may be done on site or via videotape.
- When a student teacher is placed on a formal Growth Plan and reassessment indicates unfavorable progress, the student teacher will meet with the Director of Field Experiences to consider possible options. The options will depend upon each individual case and what is deemed to be in the best interest of the student teacher, the school, the cooperating teacher, and the students in the classroom. Some options that may be considered are:
- Movement to another classroom for the remainder of the semester. This may be in another school or district and will be done only if there are at least five (5) weeks remaining in the semester and if a classroom placement if available.
- Withdrawal from student teaching with the option to reapply for student teaching after waiting at least one semester and no more than three (3) semesters. During the interim time, there will be prescriptive growth experiences created by the Director of Field Experiences that must be completed and submitted for review prior to reassignment for student teaching.
- Withdrawal from student teaching with a decision to complete an education degree without certification.
- Termination of student teaching with a failing grade.
- If a student teacher is terminated or withdrawn from student teaching, s/he will be given a letter stating the decision made, the reasons for that decision, and whether or not an opportunity for application to student teach again at a later date will be permitted. The letter will also specify the growth assignments that are expected prior to reassignment to student teaching. Some examples of prescriptive measures are:
- Serve as a classroom volunteer or teacher’s aide to receive additional, guided experience in a classroom setting.
- Maintain a reflective journal of all classroom experiences.
- Take methods or content courses to enhance knowledge and skill.
- Provide an annotated bibliography of prescribed professional readings.
- Attend and report on professional conferences.
- Develop a portfolio of classroom management or instructional techniques.
- Provide letters of reference from employees and/or professional educators with whom the student has worked.
- Seek personal or career counseling.
- The student will meet with the Dean of the School of Education and Human Development for guidance in withdrawal and re-admittance procedures.
The final decision to terminate a student teacher is the responsibility of the Director of Field Experiences with the consensus and approval of the Dean. This decision will be based upon input from the school principal, the cooperating teacher, the field supervisor, and the student teacher.
If the student teacher wishes to contest the decision to terminate the assignment, specific procedures must be followed.
- The student teacher must submit written appeal to the Director of Field Experiences within three (3) days from the date notified of termination.
- The Director of Field Experiences will convene a panel to process the appeal. This panel will consist of the Director of Field Experiences and at least two of the following:
- Department Chair
- Certification Officer
- Student Teacher Instructor
- Faculty member from student’s program of study
- The committee will review the case consisting of written evaluations, growth and probation contracts, written documentation of student teacher infractions, the procedures followed by the field supervisor and cooperating teacher, and the appeal letter from the student.
- The committee to vote to accept or reject the student teacher’s appeal. The Director of Field Experiences will meet with the student teacher to inform her/him of the decision and recommendation of the committee. A written copy of the decision will be given to the student teacher, the Department Chair, and the Dean.
- The Director of Field Experiences will be responsible for administering all follow-up actions determined by the committee.