What to Do Before, During and After the Field Experience
Before the Field Experience
- Plan an introduction of yourself to the class so students know who you are and why you are there—relationship building is critical.
- Prepare a letter of introduction for your cooperating teacher and the students.
- Do your research prior to your field experience start date: review the school website to help gain a better understanding of the school community you will be working in.
- Contact your cooperating teacher beforehand to set up an introductory meeting.
- Reflect upon and evaluate what it is to teach and to learn.
- Explore possible extracurricular activities that interest you and are manageable within your field experience. Getting involved in activities that extend beyond the regular classroom setting will result in a more complete understanding of other aspects of teaching and learning in the school community.
- Bring an open mind.
During the Field Experience
- Observe and interact in the teaching/learning situation under the direction of your cooperating teacher.
- Observe in a thorough, reflective, nonjudgmental way.
- Be open to suggestions and new ideas and willing to readily implement them.
- Maintain a positive relationship with all school personnel, including all support staff.
- Participate in activities organized by the school community.
- Be present, prepared, punctual, respectful and, above all, professional.
After the Field Experience
- Remit all marked assignments to the cooperating teacher, with rubrics attached, as well as all resources lent to you during your field experience, keys and so on.
- Ensure that all pictures taken to be used in your professional development portfolio have FOIP permissions attached.
- Express your thanks to the cooperating teacher, administration, students, parents and the school community who welcomed you. This can be done in writing, preferably in a card, which is more personal and appreciated than an e-mail.
- If you are seeking a reference letter, stay connected—your cooperating teacher or colleagues could become your future mentors.
Faculty of Education, University of Alberta. 2020. “Field Experiences.” www.education.ualberta.ca.