Common Standard 3
Course of Study, Fieldwork and Clinical Practice
MSMU programs engage candidates in observation/participation and supervised teaching in Pk-12 school sites within Los Angeles County. These schools represent the diversity of the State of California and provide opportunities that prepare candidates to implement research-based strategies to improve teaching and learning for all students within community schools. As part-time programs, our candidates are typically enrolled for two years. Over the arc of their program they complete early fieldwork and supervised teaching in multiple school sites increasing their opportunity to experience issues of diversity that affect school climate.
Selection of school sites and school site personal that support our candidates is a dynamic process. Program directors regularly pursue new and diverse school sites for candidate experiences. The fieldwork coordinator establishes agreements with districts and school sites to permit candidates to observe and practice effective teaching and learning, work with the full range of learners, and demonstrate their competencies toward the Teaching Performance Expectations as novice teachers.
Working with school site administrators and district personnel, the fieldwork coordinator matches candidates with cooperating teachers that hold a Clear Credential in their content area and at least three years of teaching experience. These cooperating teachers are recommended by their principal and provide information about their teaching experiences, professional development, and experience mentoring adults. Many cooperating teachers repeatedly volunteer to support our candidates. We continue to place candidates with cooperating teachers that work collaboratively with us in support of our students’ preparation to teach Pk-12 students in California. We pay a stipend to cooperating teachers that is but a small recognition for the contribution they make to the preparation of future teachers.
Cooperating teachers supporting student teachers for the first time are initially oriented to our program(s) and provided professional development in the areas of supervision and support of adult learners, inclusive education, and current instructional strategies for all learners. They are oriented to the CalTPA so they understand acceptable and unacceptable support of candidates preparing cycle responses. Our programs are part of the Intersegmental Project and use the Professional Development for Mentor Teachers as part of our orientation of cooperating teachers. Each semester the fieldwork coordinator meets with all cooperating teachers to assure that they receive the support they need and remain current with candidate needs and program expectations.
In the spirit of on-going program improvement, the fieldwork coordinator gathers feedback from university supervisors, cooperating teachers, principals, and candidates about the supervised teaching experience each semester. This feedback is discussed annually at the fall credential assessment meeting and program directors use the feedback to inform decisions within our programs.