Second-Year Clinical Experience

IB/M Second-Year Clinical Experience (Seniors)

Clinic Placement (Fall Semester)

The purpose of the fall semester clinic placement in the second year is to provide the student with opportunities to focus on teaching in their chosen certification area, to work directly with a teacher who is TEAM trained and professionally licensed in the chosen certification area, to gather instructional ideas and materials, and to practice the development and delivery of instruction under the guidance of a certified teacher and a subject-specific specialist.

In the second year, students are assigned to clinic placements in their chosen area of certification and must spend at least six hours per week in the clinic site. How students meet the six hour requirement varies depending upon their specialization area.

Students in elementary or secondary education will remain in their fall placement for their student teaching semester. Elementary students will rotate between clinic and methods courses during the fall semester.

Because this clinic experience is the last one before the IB/M students’ student teaching semester, the more teaching experience the students get during this clinic experience the better. The amount of actual instructional time for which the students take responsibility varies greatly and is negotiated between the clinic teacher, the student, the seminar leader, and often the student’s advisor or methods instructor.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Second-Year Clinic Team

The general guidelines for clinic placements appear in a later section of the handbook. Please review them. Unique expectations of each clinic team member that apply to subject and grade-level specific clinic experiences in the second year are listed below.

IB/M students should take full advantage of the subject-specific grade-level clinic placement. This experience is the last opportunity students will have to get teaching experience before going out to meet the challenges of student teaching. Professionally licensed, clinic teachers with at least four years of successful teaching experience, have been carefully chosen because of their knowledge and skill in instruction, classroom management, and content area expertise. Therefore, students who take full advantage of the opportunity can garner ideas and materials for the future.

Both clinic teachers and seminar leaders should be aware of the critical importance of the fall semester’s clinic experience in the overall preparation program. IB/M students are now focusing on teaching in their area of concentration. They expect to obtain a teaching position much like the one in which they are working this semester. Clinic teachers and seminar leaders should focus on careful evaluation of performance as well as preparation, providing specific feedback, and assessing the teacher candidate’s grasp on what to teach, how to teach, and why.

In addition, seminar leaders, advisors, and methods instructors will be examining each student’s readiness to meet the demands of student teaching. IB/M students who do not seem ready to student teach are counseled with regard to their future in the program. Thus, the fall placement has a special importance in the preparation of the prospective teacher; many students in the program describe it as a turning point.

The Student Teaching Experience (Spring Semester)

Student teaching is a continuation of the focus on learning to teach in their certification area, and perhaps, the most challenging experience in the teacher preparation program. The overriding purpose of the student teaching experience is for the teacher candidate to develop and demonstrate competence as a classroom teacher under the guidance and mentoring of a TEAM trained, professional licensed cooperating teacher, a university supervisor who is an experienced, often retired, educator, and a university seminar leader. The student teaching assignment lasts approximately 12 weeks, beginning officially during the second week of UConn’s spring semester and ending on the last day of UConn’s spring semester classes.

Specifics regarding the number of classes or subjects teacher candidates take over, how soon the teacher candidate takes over responsibility for the teaching of those classes or subjects, and how involved the cooperating teacher is in the planning and direction of the teacher candidates’ efforts vary greatly. Overall, the goal is for teacher candidates to experience continuous, sustained, and extensive responsibility for planning and delivering instruction as well as managing all aspects of day-to-day life in the classroom. The teacher candidates will be supported through rich and varied experiences that are also challenging; this encourages the teacher candidates to build both resilience and self-efficacy.

IB/M students who return to student teach in a classroom in which they completed their fall clinic placement are expected to take on more extensive responsibilities earlier than students who are student teaching in a new placement.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Student Teaching Clinic Team

The support team for the Student Teaching semester is comprised of the teacher candidate, the cooperating teacher, the university supervisor, the student’s faculty advisor, and the EDCI/EPSY 4150/4115 instructor-of-record. Teacher candidates may also consult with CLAS faculty with regard to content clarifications and resources. Because the student teaching experience is full-time, the expectations of each clinic team member are significantly different from the other clinic experiences.

For IB/M Students

Prior to the beginning of the actual student teaching assignment:

  • Contact your cooperating teacher as soon as you have been instructed to do so by the clinical placement coordinator. Normally, this contact is made in April or May of the spring semester prior to the student teaching experience scheduled for the following spring.
  • Visit the school and cooperating teacher to whom you have been assigned before leaving for summer break if at all possible. We suggest that you call and set up a specific meeting time before you visit to make sure that your cooperating teacher will be available to spend some time with you. When visiting, be sure to stop by at the school office and introduce yourself as a teacher candidate. At the introduction meeting, you will get books and other curricular materials you can use to prepare over the break.
  • Present yourself as a professional. Be enthusiastic, inquisitive, and appropriately dressed.

During the actual student teaching assignment:

  • Be enthusiastic and energized in the classroom, showing genuine pleasure in being a teacher.
  • Plan teaching assignments in advance with your cooperating teacher, using informal lesson plans each day. Check in with your cooperating teacher regarding their preference for the lesson plan format they would like you to use.
  • Act in an ethical manner in all situations, especially with respect to student confidentiality and confidentiality with fellow educators.
  • Place the Professional Core Practices Observation Tool in a Google Doc so that you, your university supervisor and your cooperating teacher are all able to access it in order to keep it current (once your student teaching experience is over, it is your responsibility to upload this document into TaskStream so that your academic advisor can check that it is complete).
  • You will be expected to provide formal, typed lesson plans to the observer at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled formal observations with your Cooperating Teacher and University Supervisor.
  • Be aware of and utilize Connecticut’s Common Core of Teaching.
  • Confer regularly with your cooperating teacher about your performance to date and what you need to do to improve.
  • Leave a small legacy of your talents and efforts with the class, by developing and sharing a particular interest (e.g., places traveled, a hobby or craft, a video, a sport interest or musical talent, storytelling, something concerning UConn, etc.).
  • Become a positive influence in the life of your school by communicating and collaborating with your cooperating teacher, other teachers, administrators, staff, students, parents, and other members of the school community.
  • Participate not only in your assigned classroom, but in the school community overall.

The student teaching assignment includes some special attendance requirements listed below.  In addition to being routinely punctual and present,

  • Abide by your cooperating teacher’s daily schedule, including arrival and departure times. Plan to arrive at school early and plan to stay late. The instructional day – the times that classes are conducted – and the teacher’s day often differ significantly in length. Plan to take work home with you every night and every weekend.
  • Observe your assigned school’s calendar and vacation times; teacher candidates do not take UConn’s spring break.
  • You must notify your cooperating teacher of any absences as soon as possible, as well as your university supervisor, your seminar leader, and your building principal. Know and follow your school’s procedures for calling in sick. Set up a notification with your cooperating teacher at the beginning of the student teaching assignment.
  • Keep in mind that your student teaching hours are monitored by UConn and a certain number of hours are required by the state of Connecticut. Extensive absences may require an extension of your student teaching placement.
  • Have lesson plans available for the cooperating teacher or substitute to follow whenever you are absent.
  • Attend all professional development activities, school-wide events, and parent meetings during and after school hours.

In addition to meeting the general expectations for all clinic teachers published in the Guide for Clinic Experiences section in the handbook, cooperating teachers should:

  • Provide a specific workplace in their classroom or in an office for the teacher candidate to work.
  • Help their students learn to regard the teacher candidate as a real teacher with genuine authority.
  • Orient the teacher candidate to the school and classroom. Provide a copy of the school’s staff handbook and any attendance or disciplinary forms the teacher candidate will need to use.
  • Introduce the teacher candidate to other members of the school staff and treat the teacher candidate as a colleague.
  • Inform the teacher candidate of your philosophy of teaching, your curriculum, your planning strategies and classroom management procedures, as well as the unique needs of students in your classes.
  • Model teaching and classroom management strategies for the teacher candidate.
  • Review, critique, and approve the teacher candidate’s plans, including daily lesson plans and longer-term unit plans.
  • Share your methods of assessment and grading.
  • Encourage the teacher candidate to experiment, reflect upon his or her teaching, and ask questions.
  • Formally observe a lesson at least four times during the semester using the Professional Core Practices Observation Tool.
  • Participate in a mid-term and final evaluation conference involving the teacher candidate and the university supervisor.
  • Use the Student Teaching Evaluation form to evaluate the teacher candidate at midterm and at the end of the student teaching, communicating clearly and honestly with the teacher candidate and the university supervisor about the progress of the teacher candidate. The need to communicate in an honest, yet supportive, manner is especially important when the teacher candidate is experiencing significant difficulties meeting the demands of the position.

The university supervisor is a qualified professional hired by the university to provide ongoing supervision—observation, feedback, evaluation, and coaching—to the student teacher. University supervisors have a wide range of teaching and supervisory experiences in public schools that complement what the cooperating teacher offers to the student teacher.

In order to facilitate the effective functioning of the clinic team, the university supervisor should promote communication, reflection, lesson planning, observations, sustained teaching, three-way meetings, evaluation and grading.


    • Provide guidance to the cooperating teacher and the teacher candidate regarding expectations for and procedures of the student teaching experience.
    • Initiate face-to-face contact with the teacher candidate as often as possible. This may take the form of informally stopping by the classroom to check in, or informally observing for a brief time.
    • Send weekly update emails regarding expectations and observation schedules.
    • Copy PDC coordinators on any emails that reveal an issue with performance, attitude, attendance, evaluation, etc.
    • Attend an orientation meeting in January in order to meet your teacher candidate.
    • Attend at least two meetings of university supervisors, during the spring semester, in order to discuss progress, ask questions, communicate concerns, and share ideas.


    • Use a supervision model that includes pre-conferencing, observing and post-conferencing for the purposes of encouraging reflection. Whenever possible and appropriate, include the cooperating teacher in post conferencing.
    • Implement the Professional Core Practices Observation Tool as a way to observe that professional standards are being met and to encourage the teacher candidate to reflect on those practices.
    • Encourage teacher candidates to analyze and judge their own teaching performances in an effort to promote analytical and reflective thinking.

    Lesson Plans

    • Support teacher candidates in their attempts to use Connecticut’s Common Core of Teaching and the academic standards outlined in the CT Common Core Standards to write meaningful lesson plans.
    • Provide regular and prescriptive feedback throughout this process


    • Support students in the successful understanding of edTPA tasks as evidenced in classroom practices (Example: lesson planning, reflections, and assessments).


    • Informally observe as frequently as possible.
    • Formally observe a lesson at least three (3) times during the semester using the Professional Core Practices Observation Tool. Observations may include small group lessons as well as whole class meetings or instructional times. Formal observations should be spaced throughout the semester and include at least one or two during the teacher candidate’s sustained teaching time.
    • The Observation Tool may be electronically communicated as a Google Doc back and forth between the supervisor, the student and the cooperating teacher, or it may be done using a hard copy, in which case, the teacher candidate is responsible for typing it so that it can be uploaded into TaskStream.

    Sustained Student Teaching

    • Support the teacher candidate’s planning by providing feedback regarding developmental appropriateness, content-rich focus, organization, time management, anticipated obstacles, etc.
    • Observe the teacher candidate at least once during sustained teaching time.


    • The cooperating teacher and the teacher candidate should meet and confer on a regular basis to discuss the candidate’s performance and growth. Both formal and informal conferencing are effective, but we recommend that you set aside a time for a formal conference each week.  Most conferences will be between the teacher candidate and the cooperating teacher; some will involve the university supervisor, as well.  The teacher candidate should be an active participant in these sessions.
    • All members of the clinic team should review the Professional Core Practices Observation Tool and use the items on the Student Teaching Evaluation as a basis for feedback and conferences. Any questions or uncertainties about observation or evaluation criteria should be discussed and resolved early on in the student teaching experience to ensure clear and effective communication during the evaluation conferences.
    • Teacher candidates benefit most when provided with information concerning their progress on a regular and frequent basis.

    Three-Way Meetings

    • Schedule and participate in three three-way meetings with the teacher candidate and the cooperating teacher.
    • Hold the first meeting during the first two weeks of February in order to set timelines and expectations, the second in mid-March for the midterm evaluation and the third at the end of April in order to complete the final evaluation.


    Come to the second 3-way meeting prepared to discuss the teacher candidate’s progress by using the mid-term evaluation instrument. Ask the cooperating teacher to generate specific comments about the teacher candidate’s performance as appropriate, and record these on the form.

    Ask the cooperating teacher to score the Teacher candidate Evaluation Rubric before the final 3-way meeting. (The teacher candidate should also score one as an exercise in self-assessment). At the meeting, go through each standard and discuss the score given by the cooperating teacher. In the event that there is a discrepancy, you will need to intervene and make the final decision.

    Midterm and Final evaluations need to be uploaded into Qualtrics and sent, electronically.


    Assess the teacher candidate’s midterm progress and assign final rubric scores (a letter grade is not assigned at the midterm), while considering the perspectives of the cooperating teacher and the teacher candidate.

    Teacher candidates will have a formal review of their progress at the midterm and final using a hard copy of the IB/M Student Teaching Evaluation Form, even though the university supervisor will be responsible for uploading an electronic Qualtrics survey version of the evaluation.  It is the responsibility of the teacher candidate and cooperating teacher to complete hard copies, prior to meeting with the university supervisor for the formal evaluation. The scores on the evaluation form should represent a consensus between the cooperating teacher and the teacher candidate.

    A three-point scale will be used to evaluate the teacher candidate:

    Score 1:  Emerging (Awareness, articulation, identification)

    Score 2:  Target (Puts into practice, implements)

    Score 3:  Exemplary (Builds on reflection, makes changes to improve practice, expands, connects)

    Midterm:  A letter grade is not issued on the midterm evaluation, and there will be a column added to indicate that the practice being evaluated may not yet have been observed. However, if a teacher candidate has more than five #1’s (“Emerging”), the University Supervisor and/or Cooperating Teacher need to contact Dr. Sandra Quiñones, Director of School-University Partnerships ( in order to work with the teacher candidate to create an Action Plan.

    During the last week of student teaching, the university supervisor should lead a formal evaluation meeting involving the clinic teacher and the teacher candidate. The Student Teaching Evaluation form should be used to guide this evaluation conference and arrive at an agreed upon grade for the teacher candidate. The university supervisor will also note the strengths and weaknesses they have observed, make additional comments on the form, and negotiate any disagreements in scores between the cooperating teacher and the teacher candidate. The official student teaching grade submitted to the instructor of record should reflect the combined judgment of the cooperating teacher and the university supervisor. The university supervisor electronically submits the form to the Assessment Office, so that the grade can be recorded with the university registrar. Once the form has been submitted, all stakeholders will receive a copy.

    Final: “Target” is developmentally appropriate for this learning experience; therefore, teacher candidates need to aim for a minimum rating of “2” as they seek to meet each standard.  On the final, if the teacher candidate has mostly “2’s” and five or more “3’s,” s/he will receive a grade of A.  If the candidate has predominantly “2’s,” a grade of A- is awarded.  If the candidate has mostly “2’s” and three “1’s,” s/he will receive a B+.  If the candidate has four “1’s,” s/he will receive a grade of B and if five or more #1’s, the teacher candidate will receive a grade of B- or below.

    Grading Guidelines

    A          means that the teacher candidate has performed in a consistently superior manner during the student teaching experience and is an outstanding beginning teacher.

    A-        means that the teacher candidate has met the “Target” standards during the student teaching experience and is in the process of becoming an excellent beginning teacher.

    B+        means that the teacher candidate has met most of the “Target” standards during the student teaching experience and although s/he has some areas that continue to need work, the candidate is in the process of becoming a competent beginning teacher.

    B          means that the teacher candidate has met many of the “Target” standards during the student teaching experience, but will require continued opportunities for growth and support.

    B-         means that the teacher candidate has met many of the “Target” standards during the student teaching experience, but will require continued, and perhaps intensive, opportunities for growth and support.

    Students performing below a B- level on the final Student Teaching Evaluation will not be recommended for CT State Certification/Licensure.

    Withdrawing from Student Teaching

    Students who are having serious difficulty as a teacher candidate may choose to withdraw from the experience. University supervisors may also recommend such withdrawal to students. A student withdrawing from student teaching may receive credits for Directed Observation and Participation.

    Often, a student may have enough total credits (120) and credits in professional education (12) to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from the Neag School of Education. Of course, the student would still need a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.2. Although the student earning a Bachelor’s degree would be a graduate of the Neag School of Education, he or she would not be eligible for a Connecticut teaching certificate.

    Procedures for Withdrawing from Student Teaching

    • Students who wish to withdraw from student teaching should meet with their university supervisor. The university supervisor will discuss the problem with the cooperating teacher, the student’s Faculty Advisor, the Director of School-University Partnerships and the Director of Teacher Education Programs.
    • The student is informed of any action by the university supervisor.
    • Arrangements for adding and dropping courses will be completed by the Assistant Dean & Certification Officer, Dr. Ann Traynor.

    Credit can be assigned commensurate with the time spent in the student teaching experience. When this action is taken, the student becomes ineligible for certification but retains the possibility of satisfying graduation requirements.

    Second-Year Seminars

    In the fall semester, second year students take the EGEN 4100 Methods of Teaching seminar (or EGEN 4200 for elementary education students). The seminar, designed to integrate with the methods courses and the assessment course, helps students to reflect on their clinic experiences through a lens of various approaches to teaching. The 4100/4200 seminars are taught by methods faculty who have a wealth of knowledge on principles and philosophies of teaching a specific subject area as well as their practical applications. Seminar sections are organized around certification area, so, for example, all secondary English majors participate in the same EGEN 4100. Certification-specific groupings allow students to reflect on and analyze each other’s work in the content area and to share specific strategies and challenges associated with teaching their specific subject and grade level.

    The seminar helps students work on curriculum, instructional strategies, unit and lesson planning, assessment strategies, differentiation of instruction for different learners, and many day-to-day issues of classroom and instructional management. Students work with their seminar leaders to continue to develop a reflective stance and practices that will support their growth as professional educators. Activities are specifically geared toward helping students construct and develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they will require for a successful student teaching experience.

    While specific clinic assignments for students will vary depending upon their seminar leader, some assignments that students have been expected to complete at this phase of the program in the context of their clinic placement include the following:

    • Design and implement a lesson on a topic that is negotiated with the clinic teacher. Also, develop an assessment tool for discerning how well students learned or mastered the objectives of the lesson.
    • Collect samples of assessment tools used in the school. Discuss the tools in terms of what they do and do not assess and what they revealed about student learning when employed.
    • Videotape yourself teaching a lesson to a small group or the entire class. Review and reflect on the video and submit a detailed analysis of your teaching and your areas of improvement.
    • Develop a unit of instruction plan, including rationale for implementation, a calendar of activities daily lesson plans, handouts, overheads, assignment sheets, assessment tools, and other materials for each day of the unit, and an assessment plan.

    Students continue to gather and create materials for their teaching portfolios in the EGEN 4100 seminar. Teachers in the clinic setting can be helpful in providing instructional materials to add to the portfolio – just ask!

    Student Teaching Seminar (Senior Spring)

    Students enroll in EGEN 4110: Analysis of Teaching seminars by subject area. Seminars address issues related to the act of teaching, the teaching profession, and the role of professional educators within the community. Specific agendas vary depending upon the needs and interests of the students, cooperating teachers, and seminar leaders. Cooperating teachers and administrators are invited and encouraged to attend the student teaching seminars to participate in collaborative reflection with teacher candidates.

    The EGEN 4110 seminar provides a framework for two very important activities for IB/M students: building the teaching portfolio and preparing a teaching-focused portfolio segment in TaskStream, focused on self-assessment and based on Connecticut’s Common Core of Teaching principles.

    Building the teaching portfolio. All students in the IB/M program are expected to build a professional portfolio, documenting their work and progress in the IB/M program. The expectations about specific items to be included in the portfolio are dictated by the students’ advisors. The student teaching experience provides an exceptional platform for gathering and creating many resources – unit plans, instructional differentiations, instructional materials, assessment tools, examples of student work – to add to the portfolio. Teacher candidates should take advantage of all avenues open to them during their student teaching assignment to gather input, ideas, and materials from teachers.

    Preparing the TaskStream Portfolio. All IB/M students have a TaskStream account as part of the Neag Technology Initiative. During the student teaching semester, teacher candidates, build an electronic portfolio consisting of a lesson plan including assessment strategies, student profiles, student work samples, examples of feedback to students, videotape of a lesson being taught by the teacher candidate, analysis of student work, and reflective analysis of the entire portfolio segment. Specific requirements for the TaskStream portfolio are discussed in the 4110 seminar.