The 45-Hour Pre-Professional Experience is the initial field experience in teacher education. You will spend 45 hours observing a state certified teacher (host teacher) in a PK-12 classroom. Non-contact hours such as travel to and from the school, preparing materials for classes, attending school meetings, lunch time, etc., cannot be included in the 45 contact hour requirement. You should be observing and if possible, interacting as directly as possible with the students. When you are in a classroom setting, the more "teacher roles" you can try, the more likely it is that you will experience what it is really like to be a teacher. You should learn as much as possible about classroom structure and management, teaching, planning, preparing, organizing and adapting for individual differences.
As you complete the pre-professional experience, be sure to ask the teachers why they use certain approaches and techniques, as this will help you see the importance of the concepts and knowledge base in the professional education courses. In addition, notice how the teacher is learner-centered. In other words, how does the teacher relate the activities, content or tasks to the interests of the youth? Notice how the teacher identifies and meets individual differences of the children. In addition, try to identify the many roles the teacher plays. When is the teacher coaching, assisting, instructing, leading, tutoring, counseling, listening, advocating, etc.?
It is important that you experience the classroom environment and observe how teachers use their professional knowledge to engage learners. By having this kind of experience early in your professional preparation, you can assess your interest in and talents for teaching. Also, you will be able to relate these experiences to concepts presented in your professional education courses. Those who are passionate about being part of the learning environment and helping students learn will find this an enjoyable experience. If this is not an enjoyable experience, it may be an indicator that a teaching career is not the best choice for you.
The teacher education Field Experience/Observation Hours Instruction Sheet will guide you as you make observations in the classroom. After completion of your observation hours for each classroom, you must complete and submit our online form located at: https://ehsportal.cmich.edu/forms/css-field_experience.php. All hours must be completed in a PK-12 classroom setting and supervised by a certified teacher (host teacher). Submit the form as soon as possible after observing so that the host teacher will remember your visit. Observation hours that cannot be confirmed by the host teacher will not be valid. The old paper observation hour forms are no longer accepted by the Center for Student Services.