The faculty in the College of Education and Human Development at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) ascribe to the belief that educator preparation is a shared responsibility among our teacher preparation programs, our school partners (local Pre-K, elementary, middle/junior high and secondary schools), our national and international partners, and our clinical educators. In this spirit of partnership, our responsibility is to provide basic preparation and instruction in both the general education and the areas of specialization and professional theory. The local schools, as well as national/international partners, provide the laboratory facilities for observation, participation, and student teaching internship; laboratory settings should offer teacher candidates access to high quality classrooms with educators who model appropriate instructional techniques and classroom management systems. Supervision in laboratory settings is completed by our clinical educators, identified as Field Faculty, Classroom Mentor Teachers and University Mentors.
Mutual understanding and respect are key factors in a partnership of this nature. To secure these desirable attitudes, there must be a clear understanding and an acceptance of certain “action” principles. Lines of responsibility must be defined in written agreements and lines of communication must be kept open between all personnel involved in the professional year programs.
Teacher candidates participate in a variety of field experiences during their teacher preparation program. Typically, during the freshman year, teacher candidates will experience a variety of school types in the Introduction to Education (EDTL 2010) class. Also during the freshman year, most programs offer an Introduction to the Profession course aimed at providing early field experiences in the teacher candidate’s area of interest/specialization. During the sophomore year, teacher candidates experience one-on-one and/or small group instructional opportunities through their Educational Psychology class (EDFI 3020) and some programs offer additional field experiences. During the junior year, teacher candidates’ field experiences diversify to meet the needs of the various program areas/content specializations. The senior year has traditionally been labeled “the Professional Year” as that is when teacher candidates complete their teaching methods classes and the student teaching internship.
Each of these various field experiences requires appropriate supervision, and assessment/evaluation of the teacher candidate’s performance while in the field setting. The roles and responsibilities of the various clinical educators can be described as follows: