EDUC091N Fieldwork Requirements

Complete prior to placement     Complete after placement

Students planning to earn teaching certification in Childhood Education 1-6/Special Education 1-6 are required to participate in a variety of early fieldwork experiences during freshman and sophomore year.

Some of the goals of early fieldwork are:

  • to examine one's own interest in the teaching profession and to make an informed personal decision about it as a career choice.
  • to gain insight into the curriculum and organization of the school and classroom.
  • to allow special education faculty to learn the candidate's aptitude, motivation and personal suitability for teaching.

While many early field opportunities are offered in conjunction with coursework in the first college semesters, all students are required to complete a more extensive field experience prior to admission to upper level courses in the junior year.

Registration for the course EDUC091 Fieldwork in Education signifies that the student is ready to meet this more demanding time commitment in the schools or another educational setting.

EDUC091 Fieldwork in Education

A minimum of 30 hours of fieldwork in a school or other educational setting is required. Students may choose a special education 1-6 or an elementary 1-6 placement and may elect to work with any age or grade level. The significant factor in choosing a site is the opportunity to be an active participant in teaching-learning.

To meet the minimum 30 hour requirement, students may opt to volunteer two hours weekly throughout a semester or to use the college breaks to put together larger blocks of time over a two-week period or longer. Sites may be here in Dutchess County or elsewhere. Frequently, students prefer to do their fieldwork in their home communities during the college's January break or in May/June when elementary schools are still in session.

In all cases, students should discuss the choice of a site and plans for fulfilling the time commitment with the Director of Teacher Education to determine its suitability for meeting this requirement.

While most students find their own fieldwork site, the Office of Teacher Education can offer assistance to students who want to find a Poughkeepsie area placement. Any students in need of this assistance should inform the Director as soon as possible.

FIELDWORK MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE STUDENTS APPLY FOR ADMISSIONS TO JUNIOR YEAR COURSES, USUALLY IN MARCH OF SOPHOMORE YEAR. Therefore, it is recommended that students register for EDUC091 Fieldwork in Education during their second or third college semester. Students who cannot meet this requirement before March of the fourth semester may meet with delay in the processing of their application for junior year courses.

EDUC091 Fieldwork in Education
Directions Sheet


  1. Registration for EDUC091:
    Students preparing to meet this fieldwork requirement should register for EDUC091 during the regular college registration with the permission of the instructor.
  2. Field Site Information Form:
    This form should be completed and submitted to the Office of Teacher Education when your fieldwork arrangements are first made. The form asks for specifics: the Full name and title of the teacher and school location, and the prearranged dates of your placement. (Suggestions for fieldwork activities are listed on the next page of this Fieldwork description. Be sure to read it for ideas about how you might participate with children while you are in the school.)
  3. Volunteer Log Sheet:
    At the end of the fieldwork, all students must fill out a brief form, a set of four questions calling for a description of the teaching-learning that occurred during the extended fieldwork experience. The Volunteer Log Sheet should be obtained from the Office of Teacher Education as soon as the 30 hour experience is completed and returned there as promptly as possible.
  4. Teacher Evaluation Form:
    Upon receiving your volunteer log sheet, the Teacher Education Office will send an evaluation/recommendation form to the teacher or supervisor with whom you worked. This checklist form asks for brief comments about the quality of your work with children and the professional characteristics demonstrated through that work.
  5. The grade of P, signifying satisfactory completion of the fieldwork requirement, is assigned only when both your volunteer log sheet and the teacher's comments have been received in the Office of Teacher Education.
  6. A Note of Encouragement:
    Although the extended fieldwork requirement may be met through this single 30 minimum 30 hour experience, candidates for teaching should look for other opportunities to work in educational settings. All students who are planning a teaching career in special education need to seek out opportunities to work with special education children. Such experiences can better prepare you for entry into the student teaching semester.

Working in the Classroom - Suggested Fieldwork Activities

Discuss with the teacher the kinds of experiences you might assist with in the classroom. These may be based on your own special interests, talents, hobbies, and former experiences with children and/or the needs the teacher perceives in her classroom during the time you will be present and available to assist.

A suggested list of possibilities include:

  • Read a story
  • Assist individuals during work periods
  • Correct tests and other papers
  • Accompany groups on a field trip
  • Teach a game
  • Assist with arts and crafts, projects
  • Assist in routine organization and housekeeping tasks
  • Use AV materials with the group
  • Prepare materials such as bulletin boards, charts, exhibits
  • Assist during recreation or lunch periods
  • Administer pupil assessment or evaluation instruments
  • Teach a small group
  • Observe the teacher presenting new concepts

An extended field experience offers you the opportunity to become aware of the many roles of a teacher and of the many responsibilities you need to prepare yourself to assume as a future teacher. During your hours in the field site, increase your awareness by focusing on answers to questions such as:

  • How does the teacher gain children's interest and guide work habits?
  • How is responsibility for self and group developed?
  • What provisions are made for a wide range of abilities and cultural diversity within the group?
  • What is the basis for grouping the pupils? Is it Effective?
  • How are children encouraged to ask questions and make decisions?
  • What teacher characteristics added to an effective classroom climate?
  • What kinds of communication exist between teacher and pupils? Between the regular classroom teacher and the special education teacher?
  • What teaching methods seem most effective for arithmetic, reading, language arts or other subject areas?
  • Any other questions you think of based on your observations and college courses.