The student must first have met the basic requirements for admission and retention in the teacher education program to be approved for student teaching. The requirements to be approved for student teaching are summarized below. Exceptions may be granted for student swhose participation in college-sponsored activities (e.g., athletics) may interfere with their full-time student teaching responsibilities. The requirements are also listed in …And Some Are Teachers…, the policy guide handbook for the Dordt College Teacher Education Program.


1.    Formal application to student teaching completed.

2.    Grade point average of 2.60 or above.

               3.    Grade point average of 2.60 or above in each endorsement major or minor.

               4.  Full admission into the teacher education program for at least one semester prior to student teaching.

5.  Successful completion of level 2 education courses with grades of “C” or better in each course.

6.  Successful completion of the Professional Portfolio and level 2 competencies as indicated in …And Some Are Teachers…

7.  Acceptable professional dispositions (Christian lifestyle) based on recommendations from Student Services, Education 239 cooperating teachers, and the Education Department.

8.  Successful completion of graduation requirements excepting student teaching.

9. Updated resume. 

Application for student teaching is made with the Director of Teacher Education. The Teacher Education Committee, in consultation with the Education Department, approves the student for placement. Placement assignments are assumed to be in local schools (schools within driving distance from campus). Students may request a non-local placement as well. Certain additional requirements are set for approval of non-local placements (e.g., 3.00 cumulative GPA).


The assignment to a cooperating school is made well in advance of the beginning date of student teaching. Dordt College has an ongoing cooperative relationship with most local public and non-public schools. The responsibilities of each institution regarding the student teaching experience are listed in the document Agreement Between Dordt College and the Cooperating School.


It is expected that the student teacher will meet with the cooperating teacher(s) several weeks before the opening day of the practicum experience. The Director of Teacher Education and the assigned college supervisor prepare and orient the student teacher from the perspective of the college, and the cooperating teacher or building principal is expected to provide orientation materials applicable to the assigned cooperating school.




The student should view the student teaching experience as the beginning of a professional career. Responsibilities are similar to those of full time employees of a school system. Student teaching is full time work and other activities cannot be excuses for neglecting any of the demands of student teaching. The student teacher must be familiar with the duties and expectations of the particular cooperating school to which he/she is assigned and must abide by those expectations. For example, the student teacher should know what time teachers are expected to arrive in the morning, how long they are expected to be available after school, what kind of dress and grooming are appropriate, what procedure is expected for notifying the school in case of illness, whether or not attendance is expected at extracurricular activities, and other procedures and policies related to professional responsibilities. In no case should the student teacher consider him/herself an exception to these expectations because he/she is a student teacher.


While the student teaching experience marks the beginning of a professional career, the student teacher is still an apprentice. The student teacher’s role does not include the policy-setting role of a veteran teacher, and he/she should not try to assume a dominating role among his/her "colleagues" or in the faculty meetings attended. On the other hand, the student teacher should try to become as much a part of the school system as is appropriate. He/she should get to know other teachers, administrators, and staff. The student teacher should not be a stranger on the school campus.




The following guidelines for the total student teaching experience are intended to support student teachers, cooperating teachers, and college supervisors as they carry out their responsibilities.


General responsibilities


Arrangements for transportation are to be made in advance. It is Dordt College policy to provide partial reimbursement to the student for transportation expense incurred traveling to locally assigned schools that are at least 15 miles from campus. No reimbursement is paid for transportation expense to non-local schools.


On the first scheduled day of each session the student teacher must arrive on time, be dressed appropriately, and be ready to meet students and other school personnel. He/she should report to the principal or to the cooperating teacher, as was arranged during the introductory visit.


The student should expect gradual involvement in the teaching process. At first, some time should be spent in orientation and observation to ensure awareness of the total teaching process (e.g., teacher responsibilities, schedules, routines). Actively assisting with routine activities and participating in supervisory duties gradually familiarizes the student with the school setting. As confidence and competence grows, more responsibilities should be assumed. Provided that there is careful supervision and planning, the student teacher is typically ready to engage in some teaching very early in the experience. Prolonged observation in the classroom for more than two weeks is not encouraged.


When the student teacher has become more familiar with most classroom duties and has had opportunities to make, execute, and evaluate lesson plans in various subject areas, he/she should be ready to assume the total daily load of teaching. The cooperating teacher, the student teacher, and the college supervisor plan the full time teaching experience during which the student teacher is responsible for all classroom activities for at least one full week per session. When structured appropriately, the experience should build the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that characterize successful beginning teachers.


Specific responsibilities:

During the internship experience the student teacher should grow professionally, which implies a wide range of experiences to develop teaching competencies. The student teacher is expected to complete the following activities during the student teaching experience:


a.       Provide the college supervisor with an accurate class schedule for each session.

b.       Write and teach a Teaching Unit Learning Impact Project for each session of student teaching and for each endorsement areas (excepting the coaching endorsement). Requirements for the Teaching Unit Learning Impact Project are found under Specific Student Teaching Assignments below.

c.       Prepare written lesson plans. The student teacher should share these plans with the cooperating teacher before the lesson is taught and should file them to share with the college supervisor during the site visits.

d.       Complete required assignments for the student teaching course. A list of required assignments is found below. Additional information concerning the assignment requirements is available in the student teaching syllabus.

e.       Read handouts, policy manuals, curriculum guides, and other materials to gain a better understanding of the cooperating school's philosophy and purpose that guides the overall program of the school.

f.        Become familiar with routine procedures such as the school schedule, attendance checking, distribution and collection of materials, use of school resources, and opening and closing procedures.

g.       Observe and discuss various teaching strategies with the cooperating teacher(s) and with other classroom teachers, specialists, and administrators.

h.       Become familiar with instructional materials used in the classroom and available in the school or through service agencies. Textbooks, manuals, tradebooks, games, manipulatives, pictures, globes and maps, reference materials, computer software, videos, teaching kits, teacher-made units, and other instructional materials are all essential in the educational process. Media of various kinds (Smartboard/Promethian technology, projectors, TV's, VCR's, computers, audio-tape players, as well as other tools) can enhance the instructional process.

i.        Understand the importance of basic physical factors such as lighting, ventilation, seating arrangements, and room decor as part of the learning environment.

j.        Develop and use self-designed instructional materials and use creative teaching strategies. This may be accomplished through preparation of teaching units and lesson plans, designing bulletin boards and learning centers, creating games, and in a variety of other ways.

k.       Evaluate pupil progress through a variety of assessment and evaluation strategies, including the use of self-developed assessment and evaluation instruments, and communicate progress to pupils and parents.

l.                Gradually assume responsibility for classroom management.

m.            Assume full time teaching responsibilities for a significant time (minimum of one week) per session.

n.       Become acquainted with the school staff members and become familiar with the services they render (e.g., other teachers, reading specialists, special education teachers, aides, volunteers, secretaries, and custodial staff).

o.       Become acquainted with the pupils in the classroom. Knowing names, backgrounds, achievement records, behavior patterns, and special needs of learners is essential to meet student learning needs.

p.       Supervise the work of students during study periods.

q.       Supervise out-of-class activities in the lunchroom, on the playground, in assembly programs, and on field trips.

r.        Experience working with individual students, with small groups of students, and with whole class groups of students.

s.         Attend and participate in functions involving other faculty members, parents, and community members by attending faculty meetings, in-service workshops, professional meetings, PTA meetings, and conferences with parents.

t.          Complete a dispositions for teaching evaluation form at the close of session I of the student teaching experience.

u.    Complete the Iowa Teaching Standards Self Evaluation Form toward the close of session II. The Mock Evaluation Interview Form familiarizes the student teacher with the 8 Iowa Teaching Standards and 42 Criteria and provides an initial and natural transition from pre-service program standards to in-service professional standards.


      Although not a requirement for the student teaching experience, some college supervisors and/or cooperating teachers require student teachers to keep a reflective log/journal of responses to the entire student teaching experience. The journal should be shared with both the cooperating teacher and college supervisor. The student teacher should check with his/her supervisor and cooperating teacher regarding their expectations.


Specific Student Teaching Assignments:

During the student teaching experience, the student teacher is required to complete several course assignments. These assignments are intended to allow the student to document competencies related to the Dordt College Teacher Education Program Standards. Descriptions of required assignments are listed below (more detailed descriptions can be found in the student teaching syllabi). Specific standards addressed by each item are suggested in parentheses. The college supervisor is responsible to ensure that the assignments have been completed satisfactorily


1.  Teaching Unit Learning Impact Project (this project can be used to demonstrate competence in most of the TEP standards and goals.)

 In efforts to improve teaching and learning, the education profession has recently focused attention on measuring the impact of instruction on K-12 student learning; additionally, the state of Iowa requires that the Iowa Core Curriculum (ICC) effective teaching initiatives (assessment for learning, meeting the needs of all learners, integrating appropriate educational technology) be integrated into all teacher education programs. In response to these efforts and initiatives, The Dordt College Teacher Education Program has implemented this teaching-learning project. The student teacher must complete one Teaching Unit Learning Impact Project for each session of student teaching and for each endorsement area pursued (excepting the coaching endorsement).

 Objectives: Student teachers will be able to…

a.                Reflectively consider the impact their instruction has on PK-12 student learning

b.                Analyze and interpret assessment data, both formative and summative, to inform their instruction

c.                Implement principles of differentiation

d.                Integrate technology appropriately for learning purposes

e.                Create instructional strategies and learning activities that support the learning goals of the school and of the Iowa Core Curriculum or of national or other state/provincial curriculum

The Teaching Unit Learning Impact Project is based on the Dordt College Teacher Education Standards and Professional Dispositions that outline the knowledge, skills, and critical dispositions needed for effective teaching and learning. Proficiency will be demonstrated not only by the development of the unit itself, but also by student responses to specific directed questions and required artifacts (charts, graphs, plans, reflections) that may become part of the student’s Professional Portfolio.

 This project is focused on the unit plans candidates write and teach during their student teaching experience. Candidates will identify learning goals based on the Iowa Core or on national or other state/provincial curriculum, create an assessment plan designed to measure student performance before (pre-assessment), during (formative assessments), and after (post-assessment) teaching the unit, and plan for instruction that integrates principles of differentiation. As candidates teach the unit, they will analyze student learning and reflect on and evaluate their teaching.

 Very early in the student teaching experience, candidates will need to meet with their cooperating teacher to select an appropriate topic for a unit plan (the college supervisor may be included in the planning and must ensure compliance with this requirement). The specific requirements for this project will need to be clear to the entire team (student teacher, cooperating teacher, college supervisor) as the Teaching Unit Learning Impact Project will require feedback from all parties. The cooperating teacher and college supervisor are expected to assist the candidate in choosing appropriate learning goals, in the development of the assessment plan, in the implementation of differentiation principles, and in choosing appropriate technology that supports student learning. The assessment plan will include a pre-assessment instrument and the differentiation plan will include a student observation Instrument (See Observation/Analysis of Student Learning Needs form, page 47), both of which must be administered well in advance of the unit. The candidate will be using the results of the pre-assessment and student observation instruments to design the unit plan.


Specific Requirements for the Teaching Unit include:

A.    Title page

1.                the topic of the unit

2.                your name

3.                grade level

4.                subject area(s)

5.                cooperating school

6.                dates

B.     Thematic statement

1.                Describe the importance of the unit.

2.                Indicate how the unit fits in the curriculum (including how it addresses the school’s curriculum guide and/or the content of the Iowa Core Curriculum or national or other state/provincial curricula).

3.                Include a statement regarding how your worldview shapes the content chosen, instructional strategies used, and assessment of this topic.

C.     Outline/Table of Contents

1.                Indicate the major concepts to be taught in outline form.

2.                Organizes the lessons in sequence.

3.                List the sections and artifacts (supporting evidence) included in the TULIP.

D.    Unit Goals

1.                List expected outcomes in terms of student learning.

2.                Select at least two learning goals that are appropriate for your unit, that are aligned with the Iowa Core Curriculum or with national or other state/provincial curricula, and that you will be tracking for the purpose of demonstrating student learning.

E.     Lesson Plans

1.                The TULIP must include a minimum of five lesson plans.

2.                Use the standard format required by your school (if no format is required, use the format suggested on page 42 in the Guide to Student Teaching).

3.                Be sure to integrate appropriate educational technology.

F.     Assessment Plan

1.                Complete an Observation/Analysis of Student Leaning Needs during the first few days of the student teaching experience.

2.                Develop a pre-assessment instrument that will be implemented in advance of the unit.

3.                Use assessment for learning (formative assessment) that will be implemented as the unit proceeds.

4.                Develop a post-assessment instrument that will be implemented at the end of the unit.

5.                Provide an assessment report (make charts/graphs of quantative data to provide clear, concise evidence of your teaching performance and that demonstrate a direct relationship to student learning and/or write a descriptive report based on qualitative data). You will need to analyze the results of the pre- and post-assessment instruments using descriptive statistics (determining the mean, mode, median, and range) and/or describe the impact of instruction based on student learning outcomes.

G.    Reflection Report (focus on the following questions)

1.                Why did you choose this unit?

2.                How did you design the teaching of this unit?

3.                How is this unit connected to prior and future learning?

4.                How is your unit aligned with the Iowa Core Curriculum or with national or other   state/provincial curricula?

5.                What did you do to identify student understanding and progress?

6.                How did your pre-assessments inform your lessons and your assessment choices? (What did you learn about your students? How did your pre-assessment inform instruction?)

7.                How did the teaching of your unit change based on your formative assessments? (E.g., how did you modify your teaching to meet the learning needs of a particular group of students?)

8.                How was technology incorporated into your lessons?

9.                Was there adequate evidence of student learning? Explain. (Which students made the most progress and why? Which students made the least progress and why?)

10.             How did collaboration with colleagues and families support student learning in the teaching of this unit?

11.             How will this teaching impact project influence your teaching in the future?

2.      The following additional assignments are required:

 a.                Videos of two lessons (one from each session of student teaching) with an Analysis of Instruction form completed for each lesson. The Analysis of Instruction must include the original lesson plan of the lesson being analyzed as well as a redesigned lesson plan based on suggestions made in the Analysis of Instruction form. (Standards D, F)

b.                A Classroom Management Strategies Form. (Standard F)

c.                Iowa Standards Mock Interview Form. (Standards A-J)

d.                A Professional Collaboration form. (Standard I)

e.                Philosophy of Education paper (completed during the interim seminar or in Education 300). (Standard H)

f.                 Reflection Paper on Strengths, Areas for Improvement, and Professional Dispositions for Teaching (see syllabus). (Standard I)

 Professional Portfolio


The professional portfolio is a collection of best work emerging from a student’s course work and practicum experiences in the Teacher Education Program. The portfolio is based on the Dordt College Teacher Education Program Standards described above. The Standards define the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that beginning teachers should possess. The portfolio artifacts are intended to demonstrate competence in all ten program standards.


The professional portfolio is an ongoing project while completing all teacher education courses.  Certain key artifacts from core education courses are required to be present in the portfolio at levels one and two. Other artifacts are included by student choice. The professional portfolio required for exiting the teacher education program should demonstrate a student’s best work throughout the program. It is understood that the required artifacts or artifacts first selected may not necessarily be the best artifacts to demonstrate competence in any given standard; therefore, at level three in the program students are especially encouraged to include artifacts from the student teaching experience, the capstone course in the teacher education program. See Chapter three in the Teacher Education Handbook, …and some are teachers… for details concerning the portfolio development process. The Handbook is available from the Director of Teacher Education.


The following items may have been completed during the student teaching experience and are suggested for inclusion in the professional portfolio:


1.    Pictures of bulletin boards or learning displays

2.    Learning centers

3.    Notes to parents (or other communication samples)

4.    Teaching journal reflections

5.    Video(s) of lessons

6.    Examples of learning contracts (or other motivation strategies)

7.    Documentation of field trip(s)

8.    Anecdotal records

9.    Classroom photographs

10.Technology samples

11.Grading records/spreadsheets

12.Photographs of projects

13.Writing samples

14.Personal webpage



It is a goal of the Teacher Education Program to support the student teacher in every way possible during the internship. Therefore, the Director of Teacher Education and college supervisors arrange for class visitations, group meetings, and individual meetings. The student teacher should feel free to ask questions about expectations for student teaching. The successful student teacher is one who recognizes problems, discusses them with others, formulates a plan of action, and then carries it out. In order to meet the goal of assisting and supporting the student teacher we have the following expectations:

1.    Communication with the college supervisor: because you may often return to campus after office hours, you may feel free to call your college supervisor at home to discuss concerns or to arrange for an appointment. It is a good idea to contact your college supervisor at least once a week.

2.    Communication with the cooperating teacher: your cooperating teacher should set up a regular    conference schedule to review your teaching growth. A daily review is most helpful. If the cooperating teacher does not schedule this, you should suggest it.

3.    College supervisor visits: You should expect and welcome several on-site visits by the college supervisor. Supervisors are encouraged to make at least seven visits during the full semester student teaching experience (one visit every two weeks).

a.       Visit one typically takes place during the first two weeks of the student teaching experiecne. This visit is designed to check on adjustment to the student teaching environment and also includes a classroom visit.

b.       Visit two takes place during the third or fourth week of the experience. This visit typically includes a classroom visit and a discussion of the Midterm Evaluation Form.

c.       Visits three through seven will be scheduled at appropriate times during the remaining weeks of student teaching. The exact arrangements for these visits should be set up with the college supervisor.


NOTE: The college supervisor usually attempts to arrange and schedule visits in consultation with the student teacher; however, unannounced visits are appropriate.


NOTE: The college supervisor is expected to visit with both the cooperating teacher and the student teacher after each site visit to listen to their assessment of progress and to share observations and suggestions.

NOTE: The college supervisor is expected to periodically visit with the building principal and obtain his/her views about the student teaching assignment(s).

NOTE: Education 37X: Student Teaching may be accessed through the courses@dordt Course Management System. Please check the site regularly for announcements, course documents, and other information.



Final evaluation forms and letters of recommendation should be completed at the close of each separate session of student teaching. The final evaluations and letters of recommendation should be given to the Director of Teacher Education by the college supervisor. After reviewing the documents, the Director submits them to the Placement Office for filing. In rare instances a student teaching assignment may need to be terminated before the experience is complete.


Please consult the Guide to Student Teaching frequently. It has information and copies of forms to cover most situations. There is also an appeals process for a student to follow if at any time she/he feels she/he has been treated unfairly. If the Guide does not cover the question or issue under consideration, please contact the Director of Teacher Education.

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