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EDUC091N Fieldwork Overview

Complete prior to placement Complete after placement

Candidates 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 major 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 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 candidates are required to complete an initial field experience prior to admission to upper level courses in their junior year. Completion of the course EDUC 091 Fieldwork in Education signifies that the candidate is ready to commit to the field of education.

FIELDWORK MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE CANDIDATES APPLY FOR ADMISSIONS TO JUNIOR YEAR COURSES, USUALLY IN MARCH OF SOPHOMORE YEAR. Therefore, it is essential that students register for EDUC 091 Fieldwork in Education during their second or third college semester. Candidates 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 Description

A minimum of 20 hours of fieldwork in a school or other educational setting is required. Candidates may choose a special education K-6 or an elementary K-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 20 hour requirement, candidates 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 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/March breaks 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 Coordinator of Clinical Teacher Preparation (course instructor) to determine its suitability for meeting this requirement. If you plan to meet these requirements within a 25 mile radius of Marist College, it is essential that the Coordinator make the placement arrangements. Please see procedures below.

EDUC091 Fieldwork in Education Procedures:

  1. Registration for EDUC 091:
    Candidates preparing to meet this fieldwork requirement should register for EDUC 091 during the regular college registration with the understanding of meeting the requirements for EDUC 101. Register to take EDUC 091 in your second or third college semester. You must complete the fieldwork along with all paperwork in the semester you are registered for EDUC 091.
  2. If you plan to complete your fieldwork within the 25 mile radius of Marist College, you will need to make the request on the 091 ilearn site* prior to the beginning of the semester so the Coordinator of Clinical Teacher Preparation can make arrangements for you. If you prefer to complete the requirements during a break at home, please be mindful to contact the principal for permission to volunteer in the building. Please contact the Coordinator if the principal requires a form letter inquiring about the fieldwork placement.
  3. Field Site Information Form:
    Before you begin your fieldwork, the field site information form should be obtained, completed and submitted on the 091 ilearn site. 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.)
  4. Volunteer Log Sheet:
    At the end of the fieldwork, all candidates must fill out a brief form, with a few questions reflecting the teaching-learning that occurred during the extended fieldwork experience.
  • a.Describe below the kinds of classroom activities which you participated in with pupils during these weeks.
  • b.Which activities did you find most enjoyable? Least interesting? Any particular reason?
  • c. What did you learn about yourself, about children, or about teaching from your experiences during these weeks?

The Volunteer Log Sheet should be obtained, completed and submitted on the 091 ilearn site as soon as fieldwork is completed.

5. 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.

6. The grade of P, signifying satisfactory completion of the fieldwork requirement, is assigned when your paperwork has been submitted on the 091 ilearn site and your teacher or supervisor completes and submits the evaluation form.

7. A Note of Encouragement:
Although the extended fieldwork requirement may be met through this single 20 minimum hour experience, candidates for teaching should look for other opportunities to work in educational settings. All candidates who are planning a teaching career in special education are encouraged to seek out opportunities to work with special education children. Such experiences can better prepare you for entry into the student teaching semester.

*The 091 ilearn site will be available to you soon after you register for the course.

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 his/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 mathematics, reading, language arts or other subject areas?
  • Any other questions you think of based on your observations and college courses.