IB/M Guidelines For Clinic Experiences
Clinic experiences – working in classrooms and schools with children and in collaboration with skilled, experienced and certified teachers – is a central activity in the IB/M program. Over the course of the IB/M program, students complete the equivalent of six semesters, an average of 1200 hours, of clinic-based experiences. The experiences become increasingly complex and demanding as students make their way through the program.
Clinic experiences are designed to complement the university course work IB/M students are taking concurrently with their clinic placement. Each semester students are also enrolled in a small seminar with other students who are at the same phase in the IB/M program. In these seminars, students are expected to talk and write about what they are doing in and learning from their clinic placements, how they are learning in clinic is related to their learning in their university courses, and how their understandings of students, teachers, schools, and teaching is changing as a function of their varied learning experiences. The goal of the Clinic/Seminar/Core structure that runs throughout the IB/M program is to provide the students with the knowledge, skills and supervised practice needed to engage in substantive analysis of and reflection upon the enormous and complex task of educating the youth of this country.
Common Expectations for All Clinic Experiences
The IB/M program is highly dependent upon the success of the clinic experiences in which students participate each semester. Successful clinic experiences are largely a collaborative effort, one that involves the coordination of the IB/M student, the clinic teacher, and the university supervisor/seminar leader. These three individuals make up the clinic team.
While clinic experiences across the IB/M program vary greatly in terms of the focus and expectations placed upon the students, there are many expectations that are common to all clinic placements. Therefore, this section of the handbook will address those expectations for the clinic experience, the IB/M students, the clinic leaders/teacher, and the seminar leaders/university supervisors that cut across all clinic experiences and assignments.
All clinic experiences should:
- be active learning experiences with IB/M students spending a minimal amount of time sitting in the back of the room observing what others are doing;
- challenge the IB/M students to think for themselves and perform independently in a manner consistent with their level of experiences and preparation;
- help teachers or clinic leaders accomplish tasks or meet goals that they could not have accomplished without the participation of IB/M students.
All students in a clinical experience should understand that they are in a school at the invitation of the school. Every student has a responsibility to maintain a high level of professional conduct. The CSDE Professional Code of Conduct can be found on Neag School of Education website.
All IB/M students should:
- contact the clinic teacher/leader prior to the beginning of the clinic assignment to discuss their schedule and expectations of the clinic teacher/leader;
- attend regularly, be punctual to, and participate fully in the clinic assignment;
- report necessary changes in the clinic schedule or unavoidable absences to the clinic leader/teacher in advance;
- make up all missed clinic days (discuss details with the clinic leader/teacher);
- be aware of and comply with the school’s standards of appropriate teacher dress, language, and style;
- adhere to all school rules, policies, and practices including emergency or temporary decisions and guidelines as related to current local, state and/or national occurrences (Examples: safety concerns and/or pandemic protocols)
- follow the school’s guidelines concerning the length of the teachers’ day and the school calendar
- learn the roles and responsibilities of the clinic leader/teacher;
- fully engage with the school community, including attending school functions whenever appropriate and possible (i.e., faculty meetings, parent conferences, PPT meetings, in-service staff development programs, curriculum workshops, athletic events, school plays, home visits, family and community events and programs.
- attend and participate fully in all of their university courses and seminars;
- keep a professional portfolio of their work, including their reflective journal and other writings, materials prepared for clinic placements, and assignments completed for university courses.
- refrain from scheduling personal plans during the timeframe of clinic experiences and responsibilities
All clinic teachers should:
- accept overall responsibility for structuring and scheduling the IB/M student’s time and work in the school;
- provide the IB/M student with a range of experiences based upon what the student has already done, what is proposed by university faculty, and the needs of the classroom or program to which the student has been assigned;
- be a resource to the IB/M student, provide advice about how to function successfully within the school setting;
- communicate and collaborate with UConn faculty (i.e., PDC coordinator and IB/M student’s seminar leader), as well as with school or district personnel closely associated with the PDC effort (i.e., district facilitator of placements), to ensure that placements are appropriate and productive for all concerned;
- communicate honestly and regularly with IB/M students about expectations for, assessments of, and insights related to their work in the school;
- provide IB/M students with a formal critique of their performance midway into the semester and at the semester’s end, the final evaluation is submitted to the IB/M student’s seminar leader for inclusion in a semester grade.
- Sample evaluation forms can be found on Neag’s Clinical Evaluations Website under your designated cohort year. All formal evaluations will be completed via online survey software, Qualtrics. If there are concerns that warrant a discussion with the seminar leader or PDC Coordinator, the clinic teacher should feel free to contact him or her at the University.
All seminar leaders/university supervisors should:
- plan and suggest clinic assignments in cooperation with the clinic teachers and instructors of the core courses students are taking at the university that semester
- visit and confer with each student and clinic teacher at the school site at least twice during the semester (with the exception of student teaching which requires a minimum of three (3) formal observations of the teacher candidate teaching), providing oral and/or written feedback to the student concerning her/his work in clinic and seminar;
- clarify any questions or concerns of the clinic teachers concerning the IB/M program generally and the clinic experiences specifically;
- encourage students to use their discussions and writings to analyze and reflect upon the relationships they see between their university course work and their experiences in clinic;
- assign a seminar/clinic grade to each student that reflects the evaluations of that student made by both the seminar leader and the clinic teacher;
- facilitate, when possible, the participation of clinic teachers in the seminars;
- attend UConn staff development meetings for seminar leaders.