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Department of Secondary Education

Fieldwork Program

Our Fieldwork Vision: The Secondary Education Department is working with other departments at SUNY New Paltz to develop partnerships with schools that will serve our mutual needs. Our teacher candidates are required to have 100 hours of pre-student teaching field experiences. Faculty research, teaching, and service also benefit from active involvement in area schools. Area schools wish to partner with SUNY New Paltz for a variety of reasons, including a desire to preview teacher candidates, gain instructional and curricular assistance, share their own expertise, mentor novice teachers, increase opportunities for professional development, and obtain research support to address their own issues and concerns.

For more information about a few of our fieldwork school partners, please view the school sites below:

The Secondary Education Department's developmental fieldwork program includes three levels. Teacher candidates are encouraged to be proactive and to assist schools and teachers in a variety of ways. Schools are encouraged to communicate their professional development and research needs to the Secondary Education Department Chairperson (257-2850).

Fieldwork Level 1: Orientation to a Secondary School and School District
Co-Requisite Course: Curriculum and Assessment

Teacher candidates immerse themselves in secondary school settings and cultures by observing, interviewing, assisting, and interacting with students, teachers, administrators, and staff. This is a semester-long field experience that ideally gives teacher candidates opportunities to work at both the middle and high school levels.

Sample Activities: receive and review copies of student and faculty handbooks; participate in orientation sessions with school principals, guidance counselors, and social workers; shadow a student, teacher, or staff member; supervise students in hallways, cafeteria, and study halls; tutor students during class or outside of class time; facilitate small group work during class; work in academic intervention programs (AIS); perform clerical tasks common to teaching; research issues of interest to the school district; attend faculty, school board, and PTSA meetings

Time: Tuesday mornings, 8:30-11:20, throughout the 15-week semester. (Teacher candidates may be asked to adjust this time to better suit a particular school district's schedule.)

Fieldwork Level 2: Orientation to a Department and the Teaching of a Particular Discipline
Co-Requisite Courses: Discipline-Specific Methods & Technology in the Classroom

Teacher candidates immerse themselves in disciplinary departments by observing, interviewing, assisting, and interacting with students, teachers, administrators, and staff. This is a semester-long field experience that ideally gives teacher candidates opportunities to work at both the middle and high school levels.

Sample Activities: work in classrooms with individual students and students in small groups; work in academic intervention programs (AIS); tutor students during class or outside of class time; supervise students in hallways, cafeteria, library, and study halls; develop classroom curriculum; support the integration of technology; provide internet resources and materials; evaluate student work (even if just photocopied sets); maintain a gradebook and attendance record (even if not official records); research issues of interest to the middle and high school departments; attend department meetings and school-wide faculty meetings (if appropriate)

Time: Thursday mornings, 8:30-11:20, throughout the 15-week semester. (Teacher candidates may be asked to adjust this time to better suit a particular department's schedule.)

Fieldwork Level 3: Orientation to a Specific Classroom and Teacher in a Middle School and High School
Co-Requisite Course: Student Teaching Seminar

During the week immediately preceding each student teaching placement, teacher candidates will engage in a variety of experiences intended, first, to familiarize them with the overall organization of the placement school, and, second, with the particular classroom environment in which they will student teach. This will involve observing, interviewing, and interacting with students, teachers, administrators, and staff in a broad range of "normal" school-related activities. Students will spend at least six hours per day for five days during each of these pre-student teaching field assignments.