Students who are in a teacher-training program are required to participate in 100 hours of Field Experience. It is the student’s responsibility to find field work placements that meet the requirements of their courses each semester. The professor for each of your classes will outline the kind of field work experience he/she expects you to conduct. You must complete your Field Experience prior to Student Teaching. Field experiences provide hands-on experiences in a classroom setting, which will allow you to build your resume, make professional contacts for later job placement opportunities, and ensure that you are fully comfortable with your choice of professional career. You will experience different learning environments that include K-12 teachers, administrators, parents and children.
Your field work experiences should be designed to provide you with exposure to a variety of communities and a range of student developmental levels, within your desired certification area. You must seek out experiences in high-need schools, working with one or more of the following student populations:
- students who are socio-economically disadvantaged
- students who are English language learners
- students with disabilities
To find professionally useful and stimulating field work opportunities it is important to complete each of the steps outlined below:
- Assess your needs – Make sure you are clear as to the fieldwork requirements you must fulfill for your courses each semester and what kinds of skills you can offer to schools.
- Network with others – Create a list of everyone you know who currently works in, or formerly worked in, an educational setting. Consider contacts who work as teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, counselors, and support staff. Also, think of classmates who currently have fieldwork positions, or who had fieldwork positions last year.
- Contact Schools – Usually you will have to contact a number of schools before you can get a field experience assignment. There is a database of potential field experience sites that has been compiled by students and faculty which will be updated throughout the year. If you have contacted six schools and still have not found a placement, please contact Dr. Michelle Szpara (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance in securing an assignment.
- Remember: As you conduct your Field Experience, make sure that you maintain a positive relationship with a potential future employer!
For more information, certification application and requirements, consult the LIU PostCollege of Education, Information and Technology Teaching Certification Web portal.