Field Experiences and Student Teaching
The location of Messiah University affords great opportunity for students to observe and teach in a wide variety of school settings. Within easy drive of the University are numerous suburban, rural, and urban school districts. The Teacher Education Program regularly places students in as many as twenty different school districts each year and enjoys positive, collaborative relationships with these districts.
Each teacher education student has three or more placements in public school settings during the four-year program. An attempt is made to have placements in varied settings. Every effort is made to provide the teacher education candidate with opportunities to work with students at various grade levels within the certification range of the program.
All arrangements for placements in school settings are initiated and secured through the Field Placement Coordinator. Students and faculty should not negotiate placements on their own. Official placements are the responsibility of the Placement Coordinator and the designated school district representatives. Students with special requests/suggestions regarding their placement should convey those to the Placement Coordinator in writing. Even though such a request will be considered, there is no guarantee that students will be placed in the exact setting requested. Typically, placement for student teaching will not be made in the district from which a student graduated or a site of an earlier field experience.
Placement assignments are usually kept to within an approximate 30 minute drive from campus.
Students are subject to and required to comply with any additional rules, regulations, and/or expectations as may be imposed by the district to which they are assigned for field experiences and/or student teaching.
Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from field experience and student teaching sites. No University transportation will be available to students who are enrolled in field-based courses or student teaching. In sophomore field experience only, students are placed with carpooling possibilities in mind.
State law requires that all school personnel be tested for tuberculosis. TB screening can be conducted at the College Health Center for a small fee, or you may have it completed by your physician. Evidence of a negative test result must be turned in as directed in order for you to be permitted to visit in schools.
It is highly recommended that students who plan to become teachers be immunized against Hepatitis B.
Any time you leave campus in the role of a teacher education student, you are a representative of Messiah University and the Teacher Education Program. It is expected that you will always use common sense, courtesy, and good judgment in any professional setting. Any behavior or act that might be perceived by the university and/or the school district as unprofessional, inappropriate, or otherwise questionable may be cause for your removal from the experience and/or the Teacher Education Program. As a guest in the school setting, you are expected to represent yourself and the college well by:
- Remembering that you are a visitor in the school and should behave at your personal/professional best.
- Being punctual, reliable, and responsible when you are expected to be somewhere or do something. Attendance is required when you are scheduled to be in the school setting. If you are too ill to attend, you must notify your school and your instructor/supervisor in advance of absence.
- Demonstrating interest, courtesy, and appreciation for the expertise and opportunities made available to you through your host school.
- Presenting yourself in appropriate professional attire.
- Demonstrating professional conduct in all situations including sending a written note of thanks to a school professional following your period of visits.
- Being prepared to show evidence of all required clearances (PA Child Abuse, PA Criminal Record Check, FBI Background Check) and current TB screening results as required by the assigned school district. These documents should be in hand, along with a driver's license or other photo ID, on the first day you visit an assigned placement site.
Students must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program to be eligible for enrollment in any TEP, EDUC or major-specific field-based course beyond TEP 210. Students will not be eligible for enrollment in any Teacher Education Program course with a field-based component if they are in violation of the Good Moral Character standards. Students must be admitted to the Professional Semester to be eligible for enrollment in any Professional Semester course and student teaching.