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Student Teaching Information

Student Teaching Overview

Student teaching is the capstone clinical experience for our candidates. It provides them with an opportunity to understand all dimensions of teaching and to apply what they have learned through coursework and field experiences leading up to the student teaching experience. All participants in the student teaching program–teacher candidate, cooperating teacher, host school administrator, and University supervisor–play important roles in establishing the environment in which the teacher candidate can demonstrate his or her ability to assume the responsibilities of a full-time teacher.

Student teaching offers each teacher candidate the opportunity to:

  • 1. apply the knowledge and skills acquired in teacher education coursework and pre-student teaching experiences,
  • 2. demonstrate attitudes consistent with good teaching,
  • 3. effectively perform professional duties important in each school setting,
  • 4. explore and apply multiple principles of learning and multiple teaching strategies,
  • 5. prepare, teach, and assess lessons with a specific focus on student learning,
  • 6. explore the role of the teacher in the schools and begin to identify with that role,
  • 7. develop entry level competence in the full range of teaching behaviors,
  • 8. demonstrate awareness and apply principles of professional and ethical behavior, and
  • 9. assess, along with University and school personnel, his or her own competence and potential for growth as a teacher.

University supervision in all student teaching placements is provided either by Morris elementary education faculty or by district personnel who work closely with Morris faculty.

Teacher candidates first complete a three–week beginning student teaching experience in the fall of the school year. They then complete 10–12 weeks of student teaching during the spring semester. In these experiences they demonstrate competencies necessary for effective teaching. Candidates are observed formally by cooperating teachers and University supervisors. Requirements for student teaching include maintenance of GPA, completion of required education courses, and recommendations by faculty members in teacher education.


Student Teaching Options

Student teaching is the culminating experience for Morris teacher candidates preparing for elementary education licensure. It is a powerful and memorable experience that allows candidates to apply their knowledge, skills, talents, and techniques developed and nurtured at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

Elementary education faculty members at Morris share their candidates’ excitement about student teaching. They take pride in Morris’s ability to place teacher candidates in a variety of settings, tailoring placements to the professional interests and needs of each candidate.

Student teaching may be completed in any of the Morris student teaching centers. In Minnesota, candidates can select placement in Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Morris, Osseo, and Willmar districts. Placements are also available in Chicago, Illinois; El Paso, Texas; and the Tiospa Zina Tribal School in Agency Village, South Dakota. The Global Student Teaching (GST) program offers a variety of international placements.

Student Teaching Prerequisites

  • Successful completion of the following ElEd courses in the major:
    • ElEd 3101, 3102, 3103, 3111, 3201, 3202, 3211 or 3212, 4102, 4103, 4104, 4107, 4111, 4112, and Ed 4121
  • a minimum GPA of 2.50 overall and 2.75 in the elementary education major; no grade below C- will be accepted in licensure or education courses
  • satisfactory completion of tutor-aide and practicum experiences
  • approval of teacher education faculty

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I student teach?

The University of Minnesota, Morris Teacher Education Program makes placements for students in UMM Student Teaching Center Schools. Teacher candidates may choose from the following Student Teaching Centers:

Regional Student Teaching Centers

  • Alexandria School District
  • Cyrus Math, Science, and Technology Elementary School (limited placement)
  • Fergus Falls School District
  • Morris Area School District (limited placement)
  • Willmar School District

NonRegional Student Teaching Centers

  • Osseo School District, Osseo, Minnesota
  • Chicago School District, Chicago, Illinois
  • Ysleta School District, El Paso, Texas
  • Tiospa Zina Tribal School, Agency Village, South Dakota
  • Browns Valley

Global Student Teaching (GST)

  • Australia
  • Ghana
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • Poland
  • Spain

More information related to the costs of the Education Programs including student teaching »

Teacher candidates are assigned to a public school districts in which they have not been a student, where they are not well known by school personnel, and where the candidate’s children will not be in attendance.

How do I register for student teaching?

All registration for student teaching is completed through the Division of Education Office.

Do I need liability insurance?

Liability insurance is mandatory for all teacher candidates. Insurance is available through membership in Education Minnesota. The membership form is completed at the application meeting.

Do I need a criminal history background check?

Criminal history background checks are mandatory for all teacher candidates. When you submit your student teaching application materials to the Education Office, you will fill out a form and have it witnessed and notarized. There is a fee for submitting this form to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

When will I know my student teaching placement?

Regional and NonRegional placements are usually confirmed before the end of spring semester. Global Student Teaching placements are confirmed during fall semester.

Where will I live during student teaching?

Because teacher candidates spend long hours at their school and are expected to participate in after school activities and meetings, they are encouraged to live in the community in which they student teach. Teachers or administrators in the school district often have information about temporary living arrangements.

When will I do my student teaching?

The first student teaching assignment for elementary education teacher candidates is ElEd 4111 Beginning Student Teaching. This experience begins with the district’s teacher workshop days and ends in mid-September. During this experience, candidates acquire knowledge that will assist them in planning for their 12-week student teaching assignment. Candidates are expected to take an active role in the classroom. They should follow the schedule of the teachers in the school, arriving at the time required of teachers, and not leaving before the end of the school day. The candidate observes, works with individuals and groups of students, maintains a reflective journal, plans and teaches lessons when appropriate, and assists the cooperating teacher in any way.

ElEd 4201 Directed Student Teaching in Primary and Intermediate Grades is a 12-week experience in one grade level during the spring semester of the final year in the program. Candidates follow the calendar of the cooperating school rather than the University calendar during the assignment. This includes teacher in-service days and parent-teacher conference days. Schedules for candidates in the ElEd 4204 Directed Student Teaching in International School at the Primary and Intermediate Level vary. Refer to the Global Student Teaching Program Handbook for more information.

What are student teaching seminars?

Student teaching seminars are held periodically throughout the student teaching experience and focus on a variety of topics such as parent involvement, special education, classroom management or technology. The seminars are usually held in the school district in which the candidate is completing his/her student teaching assignment. The University supervisor schedules the seminars in collaboration with her/his student teachers. Candidates are expected to attend scheduled seminars.

By whom and how am I evaluated?

The University supervisor and cooperating teacher complete multiple formative evaluations of the candidate’s lessons. The formative evaluations are placed in the teacher candidate’s file in the Division of Education Office. At the conclusion of the student teaching experience, the University supervisor and cooperating teacher complete summative evaluation forms. The summative evaluations are based on the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice and are submitted to the Division of Education Office.

In addition to scheduled observations, the University supervisor may make unscheduled visits.

What if I am absent for illness or other extenuating circumstances?

First, notify the school office, cooperating teacher, and University supervisor as soon as possible. If you have materials that your cooperating teacher may need, make arrangements for him/her to get them. Teacher candidates who are absent from their assignment for more than a total of three days are required to confer with the cooperating teacher and the University supervisor to determine if make-up days are required or if the assignment will be terminated.

Am I allowed to be a substitute teacher?

Teacher candidates are not to be used as substitutes for the regular teacher who is absent from school. However, they may teach under the guidance of a qualified substitute. While it is desirable for the cooperating teacher to be away from the classroom for short periods of time, this should not occur until a judgment is made by the cooperating teacher that the candidate is capable of handling the class and is adequately prepared for situations that might arise during the time of absence.

May I accept extracurricular assignments in the school district?

Yes, candidates may accept extracurricular assignments that appeal to their interests. These activities enhance marketability if they do not detract from classroom performance, which is your first responsibility. At the discretion of the school, a candidate may be paid for supervising extracurricular activities. However, the local teacher collective bargaining contract may forbid this or specify conditions under which it is permissible.

What do I do if I withdraw or am removed from student teaching?

Teacher candidates may withdraw voluntarily at any time during their assignment. They will inform the cooperating teacher, principal, and University supervisor. The University supervisor and discipline coordinator will guide the candidate through the process, which will include an immediate verbal notification and a follow-up written statement from the candidate.

Teacher candidates may also be removed from student teaching. The procedures outlined in the Communication of Concern for Preservice Teachers are followed prior to removal except in extreme or unusual cases where the public school requests an immediate removal of a teacher candidate. A conference is held with the discipline coordinator within one week of withdrawal. During the conference, options are discussed to determine a plan of action for the candidate.

When a candidate withdraws or is removed from his/her student teaching assignment after the assignment has begun, it is the candidate’s responsibility to withdraw from the course via the University registration system. If it is past the withdrawal deadline, a written notice is sent to the Records and Registration Office with a copy going into the student’s file.

Candidates wishing to reapply for student teaching should contact the discipline coordinator who will explain the procedure.