Introduction to the Student Teaching Handbook

Dear Teacher Credential Candidate,


Welcome to the Teacher Credentialing Program!  You are about to start one of the most challenging, demanding, yet rewarding parts of your credential program.  For 16 weeks, you will have the unique opportunity to observe your cooperating teachers implement many of the educational theories, teaching methods and instructional strategies you have learned about in your credential courses.  Upon observation of your assigned cooperating teacher and performing a variety of single classroom activities, you will assume full teaching responsibilities.  You will be in charge of classroom instruction.  However, you will not be alone.  Your entire field experience will be guided and supported by your cooperating teacher and your USU supervisor, under guidance of the College of Education, Program Director and the Dean of the College of Education.  Under the guidance of this team of coaches, you will have an opportunity to practice and implement the important requirements by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.


They are:

  • The Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE’s)
  • The California Department of Education K-12 Common Core State Standards


You are encouraged to make concerted efforts to prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally, as you embark on the challenge of student teaching.  While the teacher credentialing experience is a great responsibility, if prepared, you will be able to take the greatest advantage of every opportunity provided to you.  Thus, you will be the best teacher you can be.  During the semester of your field experience, you will have to rely not only on the support and guidance of your master teacher and university supervisor, but also, on your own initiative, enthusiasm, patience and hard work.


District employed supervisors, known as “cooperating teachers”, are extremely gracious by allowing you into their classrooms and allowing you to work with their students.  To show your appreciation and collaborative spirit, we encourage you to support your cooperating teacher by offering to make copies, grade student work, gather supplies and prepare materials and lessons.  It is important to remember that the classroom belongs to the cooperating teacher and you are a guest.  Teachers work as members of a school team.  Likewise, you will be a member of this team during the time of your student teaching assignment.  Introduce yourself to the school principal, teachers and support staff.  Attend meetings and professional development sessions, as appropriate.  Learn the roles and responsibilities of all of the staff involved in the education of your assigned students.  These staff members include librarians, reading specialists, psychologists, instructional assistants, the school secretary, the custodian, etc.  They will all play very important roles during your student teaching assignment.


However, the three key members of the school team who will work with you closely until you successfully complete your field experience assignment are your cooperating teacher, University supervisor and the program director.  They will offer you guidance, advice, suggestions and recommendations.  Also, they will assess your teaching performance and give you positive and constructive feedback.  Therefore, feel free to ask them questions regarding any aspect of your student teaching experience. Make sure that you collect and submit the evaluation at the end of each module.  These must be included in your permanent file.

Have a wonderful and successful experience!


  • The United States University Faculty and Staff