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Roles and Responsibilities of the Teacher Candidate


The student teaching experience will provide you with the opportunity to test and apply the theories, principles of learning, knowledge, skills, dispositions, and impact on student learning of your prior field experiences under the guidance and supervision of an experienced, practicing teacher, and a college field supervisor.  

The experience represents a collaborative process where teachers, who have demonstrated teaching competence and approved by the building administrator, mentor teacher candidates. The transition from “student” to “professional educator” involves sharpening your emerging abilities and skills in real teaching situations within the guidelines established by SUNY Plattsburgh, TEAC, and partnering districts.

Teacher Candidates Responsibilities:

  1. As a SUNY Plattsburgh student teacher, you have a professional responsibility to the learning community of your host school. You need to be mindful of your role as an “ambassador” of the SUNY Plattsburgh teacher education program.
  2. Create a TEACH Online Account.
  3. You are required to complete the NYSED Fingerprinting Process BEFORE student teaching.
    • As of July 1, 2009, OSPRA will no longer accept paper fingerprinting applications (OSPRA 101). All applications must be filed online using TEACH Online.
    • Applicants must apply on line.
    • NYSED OSPRA can mail to you “ink and roll” FBI fingerprint cards if needed.
    • Use TEACH to apply for fingerprint clearance online and to check current fingerprint status. (Source: 1.26.10 email from the New York State Education Department, OSPRA Unit, 89 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12234, 518-473-2889, [email protected].)
    • NYSED fingerprinting process.
    • FAQ.
    • For students placed in New York City:
      • Fingerprinting: You are required to complete the NYSED Fingerprinting Process BEFORE student teaching.
        • As of July 1, 2009, OSPRA will no longer accept paper fingerprinting applications (OSPRA 101). All applications must be filed online using TEACH Online
        • Applicants must apply on line.
        • NYSED OSPRA can mail to you “ink and roll” FBI fingerprint cards if needed.
        • Use TEACH to apply for fingerprint clearance online and to check current fingerprint status. (Source: 1.26.10 email from the New York State Education Department, OSPRA Unit, 89 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12234, 518-473-2889, [email protected].)
        • NYSED fingerprinting process.
        • NYSED fingerprinting FAQs.
      • In addition to going through the NYSED fingerprinting process, you will need to fill out five additional forms:
        1. OSPRA 103 Authorization to Forward Criminal History Record Information to the City School District of the City of New York;
        2. I-9 Form Employment Eligibility Verification Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (3.08.13 copy);
          • International students who plan on student teaching in NYC: You must obtain Curricular Practical Training authorization for your student teaching before you go to NYC. If you have prior CPT authorization from your International Student Advisor, you are considered non-immigrant aliens allowed to work in the eyes of the U.S. government. In order to establish both your identity and employment authorization, please submit copies of the following documents with your I-9:1) Form I-20 with the CPT authorization; 2) I-94 card; 3) F-1 visa; 4) passport photo page; and 5) student ID card from SUNY Plattsburgh. We would encourage you to make an appointment with Ms. Jessa Karki, international student advisor, [email protected] or 518-564-3288 for more information and/or assistance.
        3. NYCDOE Fingerprint Referral Form;
        4. NYCDOE Moral Questionnaire Form; and
        5. Student teacher registration: All NYC student teachers must register with the NYC Department of Education via their online registration system.All forms must be mailed to SUTEC. (SUTEC will personally review all of your materials and then hand deliver all forms to NYCDOE.) You do not need to submit a “nomination letter.” The NYCDOE registration confirmation form will suffice.

        The following sections of each form must be completed and mailed to the SUTEC office.

        • Section II of the Fingerprint Referral Form and top portion (place of birth, height, etc.);
        • Sections 1 and 2 of the OSPRA 103 Form;
        • Section 1 of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form;
        • all questions on the Moral Questionnaire must be answered.
        • SUTEC address: Regina Anderson, SUNY Urban Teacher Education Center 111 Livingston Street, Suite 400 Brooklyn, New York 11201 Tel: (718) 802-3337 Fax: (718) 802-3395

      More information will be provided to you in your Student Teaching Placement Packet and by SUTEC.

  4. Self-introduction through correspondence. Included in the correspondence will be a letter of introduction and résumé.
  5. Meet with the professional development educator prior to the first day of class to become familiar with the classroom materials, texts, students, and general expectations.

Prior to the First Day the Teacher Candidate Is Required To:

Contact the PDE and CFS. You need to mail your letter of introduction and résumé. You need to schedule a meeting with your PDEs before the start of each placement:

  • Fall placements:
    • Early June for the First Quarter.
    • First Week in October for the Second Quarter.
  • Spring placements:
    • Early December for the Third Quarter.
    • First week of March for the Fourth Quarter.
The requirements are in place to make sure:
  • The lines of communication are open between student, supervisor, and PDE before the start of the student teaching experience.
  • To help establish a common understanding of your roles and responsibilities.
  • Professional goals for the student teaching experience are clearly understood by your supervisor, your PDE, and you.
  • You have a solid understanding of your PDE’s classroom, teaching repertoire, instructional models, the school district, community, and the students.

During Your Initial Meeting, You Should:

  • Be professional, courteous, and sensitive to the time constraints faced by your PDE.
  • Obtain the PDE’s number and the number of the school office.
  • Request copies of the school/district handbook. It is highly recommended to review teacher’s manuals, textbooks, and other relevant curricular materials.
  • Request a copy of the school’s calendar. Obtain information regarding the official starting/ending times of the school day, the hours of attendance, and other school-related routines. Teacher candidates follow “teacher time,” not “student time.”
  1. Teacher candidates are to be considered as temporary teaching staff members whose role and conduct are guided by the rules, policies, and professional code of conduct of full-time staff members. Teacher candidates are expected to meet assigned responsibilities in a manner consistent with building/district staff and faculty. Lateness, unexcused or excessive absence, failure to observe safety procedures. Lack of initiative, inappropriate dress or conduct, poor human relation skills, and negligence will be viewed as grounds for withdrawing and/or failing student teaching.
  2. Each teacher candidate is expected to be present at his/her assignment for the entire placement period except for legitimate reason (e.g., illness, death in the family, PDE/STS/Administrator-approved attendance at an important workshop, and/or professional development conference). Legitimate absences must include: advance notification of the student’s PDE & STS, and any other appropriate individual designated by the school principal. Lesson plans for which the teacher candidate is responsible are to be forwarded in a timely manner to the PDE, and a letter of explanation written in business form must be submitted to the CFS. The letter will contain the date of absence, justification, persons contacted, and arrangements made for covering the student’s responsibilities for the date(s) in question. Absences exceeding four days in the semester could result in the need to repeat an eight-week or 16-week placement in the next semester.
    • Written documentation provided by the treating health care professional or physician is needed.
    • If the absences exceed four days due to either an illness or an accident, you need to be aware of the college “Medical Withdrawal” policy:

      For Medical/Mental Health Reasons: A medical withdrawal from college for the current semester and/or a medical leave of absence planned for a future semester may be granted by the college physician, based on medical examination at the Student Health Center and/or written documentation provided by the treating health care professional or physician, to any student experiencing serious health problems. At the discretion of the director of Student Health and Psychological Services, in consultation with the Provost or designee, a student receiving a college withdrawal for medical/mental health reasons may be restricted from reenrolling at Plattsburgh for a specified period of time.

      Students who have been given a medical withdrawal or a leave of absence relinquish the right to use all college services and privileges, and their status as withdrawn (W) or leave of absence (LOA), with approved dates, is noted on the transcript. Once the request is processed, a W (withdrawal) grade notation is recorded on the student’s academic record for each course not yet completed. For readmission to the college after a medical withdrawal or leave of absence, students are required to present a statement from the college physician, or his or her designee, based on documentation of the attending health care professional, that they are ready to return to college and must meet any time limitations specified in the college withdrawal. Undergraduate students must also process a readmission application through the Admissions Office, and graduate students must submit an "Intent to Return" form to the Graduate Admissions Office. Students who are in good academic standing at the time of their medical withdrawal or leave of absence do not jeopardize readmission. Time limits for completion of degree requirements for graduate programs continue to apply, however.

  3. Submit all lesson plans and assignments promptly (24–48 hours in advance) and completed in a manner that indicates detailed and thorough preparation.
  4. Participate in all mandatory seminars coordinated by your CFS.
  5. Work with your PDE in the formulation of plans, hours of teaching, schedules, conferences, classroom and school activities.
  6. Provide evidence of a willingness to work, enthusiasm for the assignment, and basic knowledge of teaching techniques. Teacher candidates need to be aware to whom the classroom belongs. The PDE’s primary responsibility is to the classroom.
  7. Strive for open communication. Regular meetings should be arranged and set aside for this purpose.
  8. Participate in all school functions, faculty and PTO meetings, parent-teacher conferences, open house activities, site-based committee meetings, work on implementation of the CCSS/NYS Learning Standards, new assessments, new graduation requirements, etc.
  9. Student teaching is generally 15 weeks, 75 days. The definition of a “school day” will be the schedule of your PDEs, roughly 30 minutes before and after “contractual time’
  10. A teacher candidate must achieve an overall rating of 2.0 by the end of each of the student teaching experiences. Failure to achieve an overall rating of a 2.0 at the end of a placement will result in the student having to withdraw from student teaching.
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