Teacher Candidate Responsibilities During DT

WGU expects students to act professionally at all times and work in a cooperative manner with their host teachers, clinical supervisors, cohort facilitators, and professional colleagues. The goal of the demonstration teaching (DT) experience is for students to have the maximum opportunity to perform to the degree which their personal interests, abilities, and individuality allow. DT is a full-time commitment. Students should consider participation in all education activities of the school to be an integral part of the DT experience, not optional or supplemental. During the DT experience, students:


  • Participate in activities in the classroom and school;
  • Participate in the weekly cohort seminar; and
  • Continually reflect upon and document their experience and professional growth through the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) and professional portfolio.

Students are expected to observe standards of professionalism and adhere to the Code (opens new window) at all times.


Meeting Clinical Supervisor Expectations

The clinical supervisor is your WGU representative and a support for you during your DT experience. It is important for you to communicate with your clinical supervisor regularly and inform them of any questions or concerns. Please keep in mind that your clinical supervisor may be supervising several WGU students as well as supervising for other local colleges and universities in your area. It is also possible that your clinical supervisor is a current or previous principal or superintendent who has a lot of influence in the district where you are completing DT. As such, your clinical supervisor may have limited time and availability due to other work or personal obligations. Additionally, some clinical supervisors must travel a great distance to complete the observations. The following is a list of items for consideration as you work with your clinical supervisor:


  • Always be patient and flexible when scheduling the observations with your clinical supervisor, keep in mind that you are one of your supervisor’s many priorities.
  • Utilize patience and understand that the turn-around time with clinical supervisors from the world of education may not be as quick as what you are accustomed to with WGU.
  • Many clinical supervisors have outside commitments due to work or personal obligations. Keep this in mind as you work with your clinical supervisor as well as your host teacher to schedule the observations.
  • Always treat your clinical supervisor with courtesy and respect in written and verbal communications. Remember that your clinical supervisor may have influence in your local educational community, and you will want to be able to use your clinical supervisor as a job reference once you complete DT.
  • Make sure you hand in your lesson plans to your clinical supervisor at least 3 days prior to a scheduled observation to get feedback to improve your lesson plan within plenty of time so you can make revisions before your observation.
  • Whether you agree with the clinical supervisor’s scores and comments on your observations and evaluations, remember that your role during DT is that of learner and the supervisor’s constructive criticism is provided to help you improve. Ask for clarification, strategies, and examples in a polite and considerate manner so you can understand the clinical supervisor’s expectations.

Meeting Host Teacher Expectations

You are an invited guest in the host teacher’s classroom. Accordingly, you should act professionally, be prepared, and be respectful at all times. Always consult with your school regarding specific policies or if you have questions. The following is a list of items for consideration as you enter your assigned school(s):


  • Acknowledge the host teacher as the ultimate authority in the classroom and assume only authority delegated by the host teacher. The host teacher is legally responsible for the program of instruction in the classroom.
  • Recognize that a huge part of demonstration teaching is learning how to work with and get along with all types of personalities of host teachers as well as other school staff.
  • Become familiar with and follow the host teacher’s record keeping, grading, and reporting methods.
  • 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 clinical supervisor and host teacher. Always prepare lesson plans for the host teacher to review prior to implementing lessons. Co-planning and co-teaching are pre-requisites to assuming full planning and instructional responsibilities.
  • Get approval from the host teacher 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 host teacher is unwilling to have the instruction or management plan modified, graciously accept the decision.
  • Inform the host teacher of all parental contacts and the nature of pertinent communications with parents. Communicate in a professional manner with students, parents, and other professionals.
  • Share concerns and issues with the host teacher before they develop into more serious problems.
  • Seek advice, feedback, and constructive criticism from the clinical supervisor and host teacher. Allow ample time to confer regularly with the classroom host teacher.
  • Take on all aspects of teaching in the classroom (planning, instruction, assessment, guidance, and classroom management) for a minimum of two weeks.

Make arrangements for classroom observations of other teachers through the host teacher. The school may have a policy that the principal must approve observation in other classrooms. You may be responsible, once the approval of teachers has been given, for arranging a specific time for the observation with the teacher who you will be observing.