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Fieldwork Requirements

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WHY DO I HAVE A FIELDWORK REQUIREMENT?

In order to meet the New York State regulations for teacher certification, all students seeking certification after January 2004 are required to complete at least 100 clock hours of field experiences related to coursework, prior to student teaching. The required 100 hours of fieldwork provides you with an opportunity to become a more informed and better prepared teacher candidate. You will have a variety of opportunities to grow including observing professionals who have been designated by their Principals because of their expertise. Depending on your school placement, grade, and setting, you may be allowed to work with students either independently or in small group settings. What you will do, other than observe, is entirely governed by school district, school, and classroom policies. Perhaps most important, your field work experience provides you with an opportunity to build your resume, make professional contacts for later placement or job opportunities, and ensure that you are fully comfortable with your choice of teaching as your professional career.

HOW MANY HOURS DOES MY COURSE REQUIRE?

The number of hours required for fieldwork for your course has been determined by a schedule developed by Long Island University Post and the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. You will receive a “letter of introduction” from your professor at your initial class meeting outlining the number of required hours designated for your course.

WHAT TYPE OF FIELDWORK SETTING IS REQUIRED?

The type of classroom setting depends upon the course and the directives of your Professor. Typically, the experiences are designed to provide you with exposure to a variety of communities and a range of student developmental levels within your desired certification area, as well as the nature of the course content. Your professor will outline your specific requirements including grade level and setting.

ARE THERE ANY REQUIREMENTS FOR FIELDWORK?

Many school districts in recent years have become very selective in choosing students even for fieldwork. All require a letter of introduction from the university. Some may require interviews. Most now require evidence that you have been fingerprinted. In order to be fingerprinted, you first must have a Social Security card. Applicants should then register at the TEACH site. www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert. There is a fingerprinting tab at the top of the home page. Click on, “Applying for Fingerprints,” log in or create an account. Once the credit card payment of $91.50 is received, TEACH will provide a confirmation. This is the State’s fee. Applicants need to print this payment confirmation and either bring it to Post (check with the Dean’s office for dates) or to a local police precinct.

HOW DO I FIND AN APPROPRIATE SCHOOL?

Our best suggestion is to start early and be persistent but professional. Remember that you are competing for a limited number of placement spots with many universities and colleges within a ten mile radius of Post.

Consider your neighborhood schools. Revisit your former Principal or teachers. Think of a specific school where you would genuinely enjoy working. You may also think of everyone you know who currently works in, or formerly worked in, an educational setting. Consider contacts who work as teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, counselors, and support staff. Think of your family members, neighbors, colleagues at work, those who attend the same religious organization as you, etc. Also think of classmates who currently have fieldwork positions, or who had fieldwork positions last year.

Now call, email, or visit schools to ask if they are aware of possible fieldwork opportunities. Ask whom you have to contact. You may be told to speak to the Principal, the Chair, a Teacher, or a School Secretary. You may be also told to go to the District Office. Each District has its own rules. If there are no vacancies either at the school or in the District, ask for suggestions. Be sure to thank each person with whom you speak. Remember, when visiting a school or District Office, always bring your “Letter of Introduction” from your Professor and your Post ID. If you visit personally, always dress professionally and appropriately.

WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES AT MY FIELDWORK SITE?

It is your responsibility to conduct yourself as “an ambassador” from LIU Post. The teacher to whom you have been assigned has volunteered his/her time and efforts to work with you. Your academic responsibilities at the school site are determined by the requirements and mandates of your course professor. But your relationship with the class is determined by the Principal and host Teacher. If you are required to take notes, or wish to use a lap top or other electronic device, please secure permission from the Teacher. Photography is prohibited either in the classroom or the hallways without the permission of the school authorities.

Remember to ALWAYS

  • Carry yourself as a Professional at all times BOTH inside and outside of the classroom
  • Dress appropriately
  • Be positive about your experience; refrain from negativity
  • Plan extra time to travel in inclement weather and to find parking if necessary
  • Carry your Post ID at all times
  • Arrive with enough time to sign in with Security. Sign out upon leaving the building. Notify your teacher of absences.
  • Report when you have been requested. Never show up unannounced.
  • Thank verbally and present a written thank-you note to the teacher and principal after your final observation.
WHAT TYPE OF RECORD KEEPING IS REQUIRED?

At the end of your fieldwork experience, you are obligated to file a Course Log with each of your professors. The course log is a summary of the hours which you have completed for that course. It provides evidence that you have fulfilled the number of hours required for the course. You cannot receive a course grade unless that form is filed. Go to http://ceit.liu.edu for a copy of the form.

You are also required to keep an on-going record of all the courses for which you have submitted course logs on a Summary Form. Once you submit your Course Log, be sure to also secure the signature of your professor.

IMPORTANT: Always make and retain copies of all documents. We suggest that you continually copy and your store your Summary Sheet in multiple locations as you build it prior to Student Teaching. If you are a transfer student who has received credit for courses which had mandated observation hours, you must consult with Professor Kessler to determine the “hour-value” of those courses.

WHAT IF I CANNOT FIND A SITE TO PERFORM MY FIELDWORK?

You should be able to locate appropriate fieldwork experiences within 3-4 weeks, if you follow the steps outlined above. If you have contacted at least 6 sites over the course of a month, and have not experienced success, please download and complete the following fieldwork application and email it to Maria.Cafiso@liu.edu.