Teacher Candidate FAQ

Professional Year Frequently Asked Questions

Methods and Student Teaching are the culminating experience in the professional year for the aspiring teacher.  It is designed to be an intensive classroom experience that allows the pre-service teacher to further develop and refine the skills, competencies and dispositions needed to be an effective educator in today’s schools.  Teaher Candidates work closely with experienced classroom mentor teachers and university mentors to become reflective professionals who create environments, organize content knowledge, and teach in ways that promote student learning.

The teacher candidate’s effectiveness and success in his/her assignment will be promoted by: 

1.   Learning and following the rules and policies of the partner school. 

2.   Getting acquainted with the classroom mentor teacher at the earliest opportunity. 

3.   Learning the names, strengths, and weaknesses of the pupils with whom he/she is to work, but being professional in his/her relationship with pupils.
4.   Holding in confidence personal observations regarding the pupils and the schools. 

5.   Recognizing the legal responsibilities and authority of the classroom mentor teacher. 

6.   Being aware of one’s responsibility as a representative of the university. 

7.   Demonstrating an interest through active participation in the school and community activities. 

8.   Being informed on matters of school policy as these relate to school organizations, management, and administration in general, and to student teachers/interns in particular.         
9.   Setting an example for pupils in personal habits, conduct, and dress. 

10. Developing an effective speaking voice and proficiency in the use of communicative skills. 

11. Maintaining a professional attitude and manner. 

12. Approaching the learning and the teaching situation with a positive attitude. 

13. Recognizing the professional responsibility of presenting points of view without imposing a personal bias. 

14. Being receptive and accepting of constructive criticism. 

15. Recognizing the need to maintain acceptable standards of discipline, as agreed upon by the classroom mentor teacher. 

16. Maintaining, at all times, a courteous, cooperative, and professional relationship with the entire school staff. 

17. Acquiring an initial understanding of the curriculum not only on the level on which the actual teaching is done but for all other levels. 

18. Preparing long-range unit and daily lesson plans for approval by the classroom mentor teacher in advance of their use.  Daily lesson plans should be prepared and presented to the classroom mentor teacher at a time designated by the classroom mentor teacher.  One of the primary causes of failure is lack of effective planning and proper preparation for teaching.  Planning helps to eliminate haphazard procedures, aids in the organization of materials, and provides a feeling of security for the teacher candidate. 

19. Following the moral and ethical standards of the profession.

20. Knowing/Being aware of the Professional Year Handbook.

A teacher candidate is a regularly enrolled university student who has been declared eligible to be assigned for the guided methods/student teaching experience by the Office of Educator Preparation and Partnerships of the College of Education and Human Development in the chosen area of preparation.  To obtain a methods/student teaching assignment, the student is evaluated on the following eligibility factors: 

1.   Filed an application for methods/student teaching in the Office of Educator Preparation and Partnerships following a program sign-up meeting held the semester preceding the anticipated methods/student teaching experience. March 15th is the application deadline. 

2.   Fully admitted to the College of Education and Human Development. 

3.   Fully accepted in a College of Education and Human Development program either as an undergraduate or baccalaureate degree holder. 

4.   Completed 90 semester hours of university credit by July 1st

5.   Completed all additional program-specific requirements by July 1st

6.   Earned the accumulative grade point average required by the College and the program area (with no incompletes in courses prior to the beginning of methods/student teaching) and the designated major grade point average as assigned by the respective program area by July 1st.

7.    Evidence of individual program test requirements by July 1st

8.    Evidence of a current (not expired) and valid BCI&I and FBI background checks by July 1st.

Student teaching/internship may be deferred or denied by the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development upon the recommendation of the Student Success Team.

Teacher candidates may not make their own placement arrangements. Teacher candidates may not request a placement change based on: district, building, grade level, subject area, teacher, or location.  

Applications for student teaching outside the university radius area will be accepted for extreme circumstance cases only.  These written appeals must be submitted well in advance on an application for Transient Student Teaching, along with all required documentation, and approved by the program coordinator and the Office of Educator Preparation and Partnerships.  Transient application may be obtained from OFE in 101 Education Building.

Mandatory sign-up meetings are held at the beginning of each semester and students must attend the appropriate meeting, as directed by their program coordinator, one to two semesters prior to the term in which they intend to enter the professional year.  It is the student’s responsibility to follow the procedures and timelines established by their program faculty and to seek timely advice from college and program advisers so they know their particular eligibility requirements.  Online Applications and Personal Data Records must be thoroughly completed and submitted no later than March 15th to be accepted into the placement process.

Teacher candidates are to interview with their classroom mentor teachers prior to the start of methods and student teaching unless they are assigned to the same teacher for the methods experience. Upon notification of the school site and classroom mentor teacher, the teacher candidate is to call the school and ask for a date and time for an interview with the classroom mentor teacher.  If possible, the interview schedule should allow time for observation of the classroom mentor teacher working with a class in addition to the opportunity for discussion of teaching goals and philosophies.  Interview forms, after being signed by the classroom mentor teacher or the principal, are to be returned to the Office of Educator Preparation and Partnerships.  No placement is finalized until a successful interview has been completed.

Teacher candidates do not need to submit evidence to the Office of Educator Preparation and Partnerships that they have been tested for tuberculosis.  

A criminal background check (fingerprinting) by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI&I) and a FBI criminal history record check is a requirement for Ohio licensure and for field experience placements.  Valid BCI&I/FBI background check must be provided to the Office of Field Experiences by July 1st for methods/student teaching eligibility. 

BCI-FBI Background Check Information

Fingerprinting is available for a fee at the BGSU Book Store (Bowen-Thompson Student Union), (419) 372-7784, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. - 7 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.  

Teacher candidates are also expected to review the Professional Year Handbook, direct the classroom mentor teacher(s) to the Handbook site, and should become thoroughly familiar with the policies and procedures prior to beginning the experience.

You must notify the Office of Educator Preparation and Partnerships and your program coordinator immediately so the school and classroom mentor teacher can be notified.  Our ability to provide quality placements and mentor teachers depends on maintaining good relationships with our school partners, and we cannot maintain those relationships unless we communicate important information like this in a timely manner.