SUNY Plattsburgh, Departments of Education, Office of Field Experience/Student Teaching, and New York State Education Department Policies
Recommending Teacher Candidates to the NYSED for Teacher Certification
Each teacher candidate is unique and will be evaluated individually. Through planned experiences, each teacher candidate is expected to demonstrate positive and continuing growth throughout the entire student teaching semester.
Formative and summative evaluations performed by the Professional Development Educator (PDE) and the College Field Supervisor (CFS) will focus on providing guidance that will enable teacher candidates to build on their individual strength. In addition, the constructive comments from the PDE and the CFS will also address any concerns of areas for improvement.
At the end of the student teaching semester, the progress of each teacher candidate will be reviewed by the PDE and the CFS. Successful completion of both student teaching placements will result in the CFS recommendation to the Director of Field Experience. The Director, in turn, will recommend successful teacher candidates for NYS Teacher Certification and for receiving up to 15 hours of college credit (undergraduate) and 12 hours of college credit (graduate).
Unsuccessful Student Teaching Experience
The PDE and CFS work together to provide the necessary strategies for teacher candidates to be successful. There are times, however, that through concerted and collaborative efforts, the teacher candidate is not meeting the standard. Through the evaluation process and based on formal and informal observations, the PDE and/or the CFS may determine that a Professional Growth Plan be established for the teacher candidate. (A Professional Growth Plan will be automatically implemented if the overall rating for the "Mid-quarter Review" is below a "3.") The Professional Growth Plan will identify the skills, behaviors, etc. that need further development. The CFS and PDE will monitor the progress and set a timeframe for the plan.
After the remediation period, teacher candidates whose performance still does not meet the standards required to recommend them to the NYSED for certification or who do not wish to continue pursuing teacher certification will meet with the Director of Office of Field Experience/Student Teaching. If a teacher candidate is removed, a performance review will be conducted. A new setting will not materialize after the PDE, the CFS, and at times, the building administrator, recommend a teacher candidate’s removal.
- Any violation of the Zero Tolerance Behaviors could result in the teacher candidate’s dismissal from student teaching.
- An overall rating below a "3" for the final evaluation for any placement will result in the candidate's removal from student teaching. If the first placement is below a "3", the candidate will not continue to the next placement.
- For situations that warrant the teacher candidate’s removal from the experience, the teacher candidate will need to sign a dated letter of withdrawal.
After a decision is made, students may utilize SUNY Plattsburgh's Academic Grievance Procedure
The student teaching experience is extremely demanding. Teacher candidates are encouraged to refrain from additional, non-teaching activities outside of their immediate placements. Please see your College Field Supervisor if you have any questions or concerns.
Financial Considerations Associated with Student Teaching
Each teacher candidate should plan well in advance for the additional expenses which will be incurred during the student teaching experience. All teacher candidates should anticipate the additional costs associated with commuting, relocation, and incidentals related to their teaching. Good financial planning such as setting aside residual savings/loans and completing the necessary FAF forms will play a vital role in maintaining financial stability during the student teaching semester.
Each teacher candidate is expected to be present at his/her assignment for the entire placement period except for legitimate reason (e.g., illness, death in the family, PDE/College Field Supervisor/Administrator-approved attendance at an important workshop, and/or professional development conference). Legitimate absences must include: advance notification of the student’s PDE, College Field Supervisor, and any other appropriate individual designated by the school principal. Lesson plans for which the teacher candidate is responsible are to be forwarded in a timely manner to the PDE, and a letter of explanation written in business form must be submitted to the College Field Supervisor. The letter will contain the date of absence, justification, persons contacted, and arrangements made for covering the student’s responsibilities for the date(s) in question. Absences exceeding 3-4 days in the semester could result in the need to repeat an eight-week or 16-week placement in the next semester.
- Written documentation provided by the treating health care professional or physician is needed.
- If the absences exceed four days due to either an illness or an accident, you need to be aware of the college Medical Withdrawal policy
School Calendar & Length of School Day
Teacher candidates are expected to follow the calendar of the school district in which they have been placed. Teacher candidates are also expected to attend all staff meetings and participate in all orientation and school opening activities (fall semester). The school day for teacher candidates is at least as long as that of the PDE to whom they have been assigned. Teacher candidates are expected, at a minimum, to arrive 30 minutes prior to the arrival of students and to remain 60 minutes following student dismissal.
NYS Education Law
The following sections of NYS Education Law apply to all student teaching placements:
Education Law, Title 4, Teachers and Pupils, Article 61, § 3023
Section 3023 of the NYS Education Law requires, in effect, that each school district protect all "practice" teachers:
- Liability of a board of education, trustee, trustees or board of cooperative educational services. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, general, special or local, or the limitation contained in the provisions of any city charter, it shall be the duty of each board of education, trustee or trustees, in any school district having a population of less than one million, and each board of cooperative educational services established pursuant to section nineteen hundred fifty of this chapter, to save harmless and protect all teachers, practice or cadet teachers, authorized participants in a school volunteer program, and members of supervisory and administrative staff or employees from financial loss arising out of any claim, demand, suit or judgment by reason of alleged negligence or other act resulting in accidental bodily injury to any person, or accidental damage to the property of any person within or without the school building, provided such teacher, practice or cadet teacher, authorized participant in a school volunteer program, or member of the supervisory or administrative staff or employee at the time of the accident or injury was acting in the discharge of his duties within the scope of his employment or authorized volunteer duties and/or under the direction of said board of education, trustee, trustees or board of cooperative educational services; and said board of education, trustee, trustees or board of cooperative educational services may arrange for and maintain appropriate insurance with any insurance company created by or under the laws of this state, or in any insurance company authorized by law to transact business in this state, or such board, trustee, trustees or board of cooperative educational services may elect to act as self-insurers to maintain the aforesaid protection (http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS).
College regulations do not allow teacher candidates to substitute in classes or groups other than the class or group assigned. (Individual school districts should have specific policies regarding this practice.) Teacher candidates may substitute in their own classes or groups only with the approval of the College Field Supervisor, Professional Development Educator, the building principal, if compliance to Education Law, Title 4, Teachers and Pupils, Article 61, § 3001 is documented. (Teacher candidates shall not receive compensation for substituting.)
- Education Law, Title 4, Teachers and Pupils, Article 61, § 3001
- The provisions of this subdivision shall not prohibit a certified teacher from permitting a practice or cadet teacher enrolled in an approved teacher education program from teaching a class without the presence of the certified teacher in the classroom provided the classroom certified teacher is available at all times and retains supervision of the practice or cadet teacher. Education Law states that a teacher candidate is legally permitted to practice teaching without the presence of the certified teacher in the classroom providing the classroom certified teacher is available at all times and retains supervision of the teacher candidate (http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS).
The Teacher Candidate as a Mandated Reporter
Teacher candidates are required to report any information pertaining to suspected child abuse or neglect. Should a teacher candidate become aware of information in this regard, (s)he is expected to consult with his/her Professional Development Educator immediately. The Professional Development Educator should provide the teacher candidate with the name of the individual designated by the district to report matters of abuse or neglect, and should assist the teacher candidate in the event that a report is filed.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Teacher candidates seeking teacher certification must complete a minimum of two clock hours of instruction in the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment. If this requirement has not been fulfilled by passing SUNY Plattsburgh's HED310 or an approved equivalent transfer course at either ACC or CCC, teacher candidates should contact their local BOCES for further information. A copy of BOCES' official certificate of completion must be forwarded to the Registrar for annotation on teacher candidates' transcripts.
School Violence Prevention and Intervention
Teacher candidates seeking teaching certification must complete a minimum of two clock hours of instruction in School Violence Prevention and Intervention. If this requirement has not been fulfilled by passing SUNY Plattsburgh's HED310 or an approved equivalent transfer course at either ACC or CCC, teacher candidates should contact their local BOCES for further information. A copy of BOCES' official certificate of completion must be forwarded to the Registrar for annotation on teacher candidates' transcripts.
Fingerprinting & TEACH Online:
Teacher Candidates are required to complete the NYSED Fingerprinting Process BEFORE student teaching.
- As of July 1, 2009, OSPRA will no longer accept paper fingerprinting applications (OSPRA 101). All applications must be filed online using TEACH Online.
- Applicants must apply on line.
- NYSED OSPRA can mail to you "Ink and Roll" FBI Fingerprint Cards if needed.
- Use TEACH to apply for fingerprint
clearance online and to check current fingerprint status.
- Source: 1.26.10 email from the New York State Education Department, OSPRA Unit, 89 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12234, 518.473.2889, OSPRA@MAIL.NYSED.GOV
- NYSED Fingerprinting Process
students placed in New York City. In addition to going
through the NYSED fingerprinting process, you will need to fill out two
- OSPRA 103 Authorization to Forward Criminal History Record Information to the City School District of the City of New York;
- I-9 Form Employment Eligibility Verification Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
- NYCDOE Fingerprint Referral Form;
- More information will be provided to you in your Student Teaching Placement Packet and by SUTEC.
Accidents, Illness, and Health Insurance
Regular student health and accident insurance remains in effect throughout the student teaching experience.
As an off-campus student, the teacher candidate is responsible for reporting all instances of accidental injury and/or serious illness to the College Health Office. In the event that a report is filed, the following information must be provided:
- The nature of the illness or injury
- The name of the attending physician
- Whether hospitalization is (was) necessary
- Written documentation provided by the treating health care professional or physician is needed.
- Absences exceeding 3-4 days in the semester could result in the need to repeat an eight-week placement in the next semester.
In addition, the above information must also be reported to the College Field Supervisor.
If the absences exceed four days due to either an illness or an accident, you need to be aware of the college "Medical Withdrawal" policy
For Medical/Mental Health Reasons: A medical withdrawal from college for the current semester and/or a medical leave of absence planned for a future semester may be granted by the college physician, based on medical examination at the Student Health Center and/or written documentation provided by the treating health care professional or physician, to any student experiencing serious health problems. Students unable to pursue a medical withdrawal within a given semester may request a retroactive medical withdrawal provided the request is received by the end of the following semester. Students who have been given a medical withdrawal or leave of absence relinquish the right to use all college services and privileges, and their status as “withdrawn” (W) or leave of absence, (LOA) with approved dates, is noted on the transcript. Once the request is processed, a W (withdrawal) grade notation is recorded on the student’s academic record for each course not yet completed. For readmission to the college after a medical withdrawal or leave of absence, students are required to present a statement from the college physician, or his or her designee, based on documentation of the attending health care professional, that they are ready to return to college. Undergraduate students must also process a readmission application through the Admissions Office, and graduate students must submit an Intent to Return form to the Graduate Admissions Office. Students who are in good academic standing at the time of their medical withdrawal or leave of absence do not jeopardize readmission. Time limits for completion of degree requirements for graduate programs continue to apply, however. http://www.plattsburgh.edu/academics/catalog/files/acadpol.pdf
If the absences exceed four days due to Military Service, you need to be aware of the college policy:
A military withdrawal will be granted to any matriculated student who is called to active duty. A copy of the military orders must be submitted to the Office of Academic Advising (for undergraduate students) or the Graduate Degree Program Chair/Coordinator (for graduate students) to process a military withdrawal. Students returning to the college within one year of the date of discharge from active service may be reinstated by contacting the Registrar’s Office. Failure to register at Plattsburgh within one year of discharge from active service will require undergraduate students on a military withdrawal to apply for readmission through the Admissions Office and graduate students to file an “Intent to Return” form with the Graduate Admissions Office. Time limits for completion of degree requirements for graduate programs continue to apply. http://www.plattsburgh.edu/academics/catalog/files/acadpol.pdf
The SUNY Plattsburgh Career Development Center offers teacher candidates and Plattsburgh State graduates a number of helpful services. Services of interest to teacher candidates include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Reference File Service
- Career Counseling
- Sessions on How to Write a Resume and Cover Letter
- Writing Cover Letters and Résumés
- Sessions on Interviewing Techniques and Targeting Your Job Search
- Contact information: 518.564.2071
All student teachers are required to complete a Learning Experience Portfolio.
Media Use in the Classroom
For any type of media use in the classroom, e.g., videotaping, photography, audio recording, etc., you will be required to follow the district's "media policy" by adhering to district protocol of obtaining the necessary permission/approval before using any audio-visual format for your professional portfolio.
- Sample "media policy" from a partnering school district:
- "Interviews, filming,
or videotaping on district
property may not occur without prior approval from the building
administrator or department head and the Media Relations Department.
Approval may be in the form of an e- mail.
Requests for interviews are generally granted if the individual from whom the interview is being sought agrees to participate. If the individual does not wish to be interviewed or photographed, he or she may decline; however, the individual or the building administrator should notify the Media Relations Department.
Filming, videotaping, and photographing children in classrooms, on campus, or in school-sponsored events are allowed for non-instructional purposes, provided that there is a signed parental consent form or release form for each child who participates in such activities. [Refer to the host school's media policy permission forms.] Signed parental consent forms must be in the school files and accessible upon request. General images of children in which no one student is identifiable do not require parental permission forms. In addition, the filming, videotaping, and photographing of children for classroom instructional purposes or for a purpose related to a cocurricular or extracurricular activity do not require parental permission forms. These provisions are in accordance with - - - -."
- "Interviews, filming, or videotaping on district property may not occur without prior approval from the building administrator or department head and the Media Relations Department. Approval may be in the form of an e- mail.
The Student Teaching and Placement Process
Fall and spring semesters are divided in half so that each teacher candidate might receive two separate, 8-week field experiences across the range of their certificate. Thus, placements are made on a quarterly basis, and involve working with two separate PDEs, often in different locations (e.g., teacher candidates seeking certification in Childhood Education, will receive a placement at the 1-3 level during one assignment, and a 4-6 placement during the second; teacher candidates seeking certification in Adolescence Studies will receive a placement at a 6-8 Middle School level during one assignment, and a 9-12 placement during the second; a teacher candidate seeking dual certification in Childhood and Special Education will receive a Special Education placement at the appropriate developmental level during one assignment, and a Childhood placement at the appropriate developmental level during the second).
Each semester, the Office of Field Experience finalizes placements in eight separate regions:
|Region Title||Region City|
|Region III||Glens Falls|
|Region VIII||New York City|