Most students completing this program do so in their own classroom. If you are not currently teaching in a classroom, you may need to work with a host teacher to complete your practicum activities as a guest in their classroom. The host teacher (HT) is the cooperating teacher in the school who has invited you to participate in his or her classroom. He or she has an experienced teacher and has, in most instances, has experience mentoring candidates like you. You should remember that you are a guest in the HT’s classroom and school and should always behave accordingly.
The following is a list of the kinds of items you should consider as you enter your assigned school(s). Always consult with your school for its specific policies or if you have questions:
Acknowledge the HT (if applicable) as the ultimate authority in the classroom and assume only authority delegated by the host teacher. The HT is legally responsible for the program of instruction in the classroom.
Get approval from the HT prior to experimenting with any new or novel approach in delivering instruction and dealing with student conduct or behavior. This includes modification of classroom management systems and procedures for maintaining materials, resources, and schedules. If the HT is unwilling to have the instruction or management plan modified, graciously accept the decision.
Learn as much as possible about each student, especially those with special needs or whose first language is not English.
Adequately plan and organize academic and other classroom activities.
Prepare and submit lesson plans as directed and prescribed by the HT and clinical supervisor (CS). Always prepare lesson plans for the HT to review prior to implementing lessons.
Communicate in a professional manner with students, parents, and other professionals.
Share concerns and issues with the HT before they develop into more serious problems.
Seek advice, feedback, and constructive criticism from the HT and CS. Allow ample time to confer regularly with the classroom HT.