Student Teaching

Student Teaching in Parent Education is the culminating field experience in which licensure and certificate students assume increasing responsibility for teaching in parent education while under the supervision of an experienced, qualified cooperating parent educator (CPE). Student teachers are required to log 100 hours of field experience throughout the program, most of which is accomplished during student teaching. These hours are divided as follows:

  • 10 to 20 indirect or direct hours prior to student teaching through program requirements or self-directed experiences (e.g., program observations, parent or parent educator interviews, facilitation practice, and development of curriculum & assessments). These hours are typically accomplished automatically through program coursework prior to the student teaching placement. 
  • 30 to 40 indirect hours including everything parent educators do outside the presence of parents (e.g. in-services, planning, meetings, etc.), and 
  • 50 to 60 direct hours including the time that student teachers spend in contact with parents (e.g. during classes, home visits, consultations, phone calls, etc.).

In order to meet the hour requirements, most students need to student teach in two parenting classes over the course of the semester. If the hourly requirements are completed before the end of the placement program’s classes or semester, some programs want student teachers to stay until the classes end. This is recommended in at least one of your classes in order to experience group closure and the conclusion of the class. Student teachers should consult with the CPE and the program administrator. If the classes at the placement end after the university semester ends, this is not a problem. Communicate this to the course instructor in order to develop a plan.

 FSoS 5949 Student Teaching in Parent Education (2 credits)

In addition to the field experience, students are required to enroll in the 2-credit, online course FSoS 5949 Student Teaching in Parent Education. Eligible students will be given permission to register for this course in late November – early December to ensure fall coursework is completed. Permission information will be provided via UMN email.

 Eligibility and Application to Student Teach

Students must complete the Student Teaching Application survey by September 15 to assure a student teaching placement can be found for spring. Application materials will be sent via email on August 15. All parent education courses, except FSoS 5942 OR FSoS 5946 must be completed prior to beginning student teaching placement. Child development credits must also be completed. Human Relations and Alcohol and Drug Education coursework, and the teacher licensure exam are not required to be completed before student teaching.

Choosing a Site or Program for Student Teaching

This process varies depending on the student. For some students, like those who participated as a parent in an ECFE program, the decision might be easy. Some students select a site or program where they would like to work, or a field in which they would like to work someday. Of course, there may be issues that limit the options (e.g., your geographic location, number of programs, schedules). For students outside of Minnesota, choosing a site or program can be more complicated.

Because student teaching is such an important part of the development of parent education students, it is important to be thoughtful and purposeful in the decision-making process. Here are a few questions to consider: Who would I like to work with as a student teacher? What kind of program do I want to work in someday? Are the beliefs and vision of the organization similar to mine?

Determining if a program can meet my student teaching hour requirements

A good place to start is to review the program catalogue to get a sense for the classes offered and the schedule of offerings, to be sure there are offerings that match your availability. Keep in mind that direct hours with parents must total 50-60 across the semester, which typically works out to 2-3 classes per week.

Placement Determination

Below is the typical placement process:

  • Placement coordinator (PC) compiles the applications and begins by contacting the program administrator where you would like to student teach, or where the PC determines would be a good fit based on your availability, location, and preferences stated in your application along with program quality.
  • If the program is willing to host a student teacher, the administrator will ask his/her staff to see if a teacher is willing to supervise a student teacher. The program administrator contacts the PC with the names of potential Cooperating Parenting Educators (CPE - supervising teacher with whom you will be working).
  • The PC contacts the student to inform him/her that we have a potential placement. At this point, the student will email or call the program. The purpose of this first contact is to introduce yourself and make sure that your schedule is compatible with the potential CPE.
  • The student contacts the PC after this to confirm that the placement will work for him/her.
  • The student and PC complete the placement confirmation form. When this form is signed by the PC and the program administrator, then the placement is official.
  • Introductory emails and student teaching documents related to FSoS 5949 are sent out in December.

In short, the placement coordinator is responsible for setting up placements. The placement coordinator works with programs and sets up placements starting in middle to late October. When a confirmation is made, the placement coordinator will contact students via email. Placement confirmations occur between late October and early December. The student has a supportive role with the confirmation and completing the information on the placement confirmation form. When it is time to student teach, the placement coordinator will provide students with more information.

Regional Faculty Supervisor

For students in Minnesota who are pursuing the teaching license, an additional match will be made to a Regional Faculty Supervisor (RFS). The RFS will be someone other than the CPE or the FSoS 5949 course instructor. The RFS is another experienced, licensed parent educator who resides near the placement location, and will serve as another professional mentor in addition to conducting two observations of the student’s teaching practice approximately mid-way through and near the end of the spring placement. Additional information specific to the various roles and expectations of each is provided below.

Responsibilities of each person involved in student teaching in parent education

Student teaching is a collaboration between the teacher candidate, the cooperating teacher, the Regional Faculty Supervisor, and the University of Minnesota instructor/placement coordinator. Each has important responsibilities.

Student/Teacher Candidate (TC)

Cooperating Parent Educator (CPE)

Placement Coordinator/ University Instructor (PC/I)

Regional Faculty Supervisor (RFS)

·   Apply for student teaching placement

·   Enroll & participate in FSoS 5949 during placement

·   Design work plan with CPE, including schedule and activities, and submit to PC/I for approval.

·   Keep time logs and submit tri-weekly to PC/I via email.

·   Participate in Online Discussions & Chats

·   Submit Learning Reflections.

·   Practice teaching skills.

·   Arrange for onsite visit by RFS Modules 3 & 5 (teaching licensure students) or videotape a parent education session (Certificate students) & submit to PC/I.

·   Write and submit Assignment Two Paper.

·    Site Orientation

·    Mentor and coach TC.

·    Work with TC on his/her work plan.

·    Provide continuous feedback.

·    Review time logs.

·    Communicate with RFS & PC/I as needed.

·    Conduct mid-term & final progress review.

·    Write a Letter of Reference for student to submit to PC/I.

·      Work with TC to secure and approve student teaching site.

·      Approve work plan.

·      Complete initial dispositions assessment.

·      Review time logs.

·      Facilitate Online Discussions and Chats.

·      Respond to Learning Reflections.

·      Review student videos and provide feedback (certificate students).

·      Secure & Coordinate with RFS who will observe TC at student teaching site.

·      Review TC Assignment Two Paper.

·      Submit final grade.

·      Coordinate with OTE to ensure alignment with all teacher licensure standards/requirements are met.

·      Submit copies of all signature assessments to OTE.

·      Attend RFS training

·      Conduct initial conference with TC & CPE.

·      Conduct 2 observations of TC at student teaching site (including post-observation debrief)

·      Complete two Evaluation of Student Teaching forms and Final Disposition Assessment & submit to TC & CT.

·      Serve as additional mentor to TC.

  Student Teaching – FAQS

 Am I eligible to student teach?

All child development and parent education courses must be completed prior to beginning student teaching. FSoS 5942 or FSoS 5946 can be taken simultaneously with FSoS 5949 with adviser permission. The student teaching coordinator will determine your eligibility for student teaching based on your student teaching application.

 How is the placement made?

When you complete your student teaching application, you have the opportunity to list sites where you would like to student teaching, as well as availability preferences. 

Once your student teaching application is approved by the student teaching coordinator, he/she will coordinate your student teaching site with you and will confirm your placement.

 How do I choose a site or program where I would like to student teach?

This process varies depending on the student. If you are already familiar with the program and specific sites, you may list specific sites or educators you would like to work with. For those who are less familiar with the program (or out of state students), you can work with your adviser and student teaching coordinator to find a suitable placement.

Throughout your program, we encourage you to explore parent education happening in your community to begin identifying potential student teaching sites. This is also a great opportunity to develop relationships with parent educators in the field and begin building a professional network.

 What is the timeline leading up to the start of FSoS 5949?

Applications are due September 15th the semester before you plan to student teach. Students will be notified by September 22nd if they are eligible for student teaching. In most cases, placements will be confirmed between October 30th and December 15th. Students must also register for the online course. Permission for course registration will be made available in November.

Once your placement is confirmed you are expected to initiate communication and to set up an initial meeting with your cooperating parent educator (CPE). The purpose of this meeting is to get to know each other and make sure schedules fit. If both the student and CPE agree that the placement is a good fit, a Placement Confirmation form is sent to the student. The student and CPE will complete and sign the form and return it to the student teaching coordinator. If you feel like the student teaching placement is not a good fit, contact the placement coordinator as soon as possible.

 How do I know if a program can meet my student teaching hour requirements?

Most students can complete their direct hours with 2-3 classes per week and their indirect hours with prep time and lesson planning. You are expected to meet with your CPE to determine how you are going to meet the required hours as specified.

EXAMPLE: The Terrific Toddlers class is two hours long and runs for 15 weeks. You are expected to arrive 30 minutes before class for prep and have 30 minutes after class for clean-up and lesson planning. This class would provide you with 30 hours of direct time (15 weeks x 2 hours) and 15 hours of indirect time (15 weeks x 1 hour). Students are expected to work with their CPE to fulfill the remaining hours.

 Do I need to complete student teaching if I am currently teaching?

All students in the licensure and certificate programs need to participate in student teaching even if they are currently teaching. M.Ed. students who wish to take the student teaching course also need a placement even if they are already teaching.

If you are currently an early childhood teacher you will need to complete student teaching in our program since you will be working with a different population. If you are currently teaching parent education on a variance, we would like to place you with a different population for student teaching in order to gain experience in a new setting and get the most out of your student teaching experience.

 Is it possible to do student teaching outside of Minnesota?

Yes! Student teaching can be done outside of Minnesota for students pursuing the certificate or M.Ed. only programs. Students pursuing a Minnesota teaching license must complete the placement in a Minnesota ECFE program. For those outside of Minnesota, you will need to work with your assigned adviser and the student teaching placement coordinator to find a placement outside of Minnesota. We have had many out-of-state students that were able to successfully complete their student teaching!

  Who can I contact if I have questions about student teaching?

Your placement coordinator is Heather Cline. Please address all student teaching related inquiries to Heather via the program email or phone (612) 624-1294.