Skip navigation

Pre-Student Teaching

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Training and equipping future educators is a vital part of Central Michigan University. The Pre-Student Teaching program places education students in P-12 classrooms throughout Michigan. 
​​

​Teacher Cand​​idates

  • Observe classroom teachers
  • Gain experience in working with individual students and small groups of students
  • Experience planning, teaching and evaluating of activities
  • Develop an awareness of practices used by experienced classroom teachers concerning classroom management and the maintenance of a positive classroom learning environment
  • Experience some of the other aspects of teaching, such as preparing bulletin boards, developing teaching materials, correcting papers, evaluating projects and attending special functions
  • Develop an awareness of the total school environment​​​​​
  • Actively participating, learning, and interacting with students and the Cooperating Teacher
  • Reflect on the experience and how it will make them a better educator (Through the use of thoughtful journaling and writing reflections (appropriate length and error free) about the time in the field, teacher candidates will develop a better understanding of how to apply what they have learned in their college courses. Journal topics are assigned by faculty members as part of the Pre-Student Teaching coursework.)
  • The Pre-Student Teaching experience is the second of three field components in the Teacher Education program.
    • Each Elementary Teacher Education Candidate will be placed within a partnership school, located inside a 60 mile radius of the main campus. 
    • Each Secondary Teacher Education Candidate will be paired with a classroom educator in a local school for a 10 week, 30-60 hour commitment.
    Candidates will not be placed in a district they have attended, or placed in a school or district where they have an immediate family member working.
  • Once admitted to the Teacher Education Program, candidates will be able to enroll in their Pre-Student Teaching course.  Admission to the Teacher Education Program from the Center for Student Services must be received prior to enrolling in the class.  Additional information can be found on the Center for Student Services (CSS) website​

    The Pre-Student Teaching Field Experience is the second of three field components in the Teacher Education Program. The Teacher Candidate in Pre-Student Teaching is in the midst of their Professional Education coursework and is taking content method, theory, and management coursework. The CMU Teacher Education Program provides opportunities for teacher education students to be in the field as much as possible, with certified and recommended teachers. Seasoned educators are essential to this process, and their advice and guidance are invaluable to teacher candidates. 

    Each education candidate is partnered with a P-12 Cooperating Teacher in a school for a wide-ranging classroom experience.  Elementary Teacher Candidates are placed in partnership schools and Secondary Teacher Candidates are placed regionally (within an hour of Mount Pleasant).

    The Director of Clinical Experiences or Coordinator of Clinical Experiences will distribute necessary information and forms to each Teacher Candidate in Pre-Student Teaching during the initial weeks of their University pre-student teaching course.  P-12 field assignments and additional information will be available on the Student Information (SI) sheet, soon after the start of the semester. 

    • Elementary education candidates will enroll in their Pre-Student Teaching course during the first semester after being admitted to the Teacher Education program. 
    • Secondary education candidates will enroll in their Pre-Student Teaching course reflecting their major content area after being admitted to the Teacher Education program.
    • Special Education candidates will do Pre-Student Teaching for general education and Special Education. The general education Pre-Student Teaching Experience is generally completed the semester prior to Special Education Pre-Student Teaching (SPE 324).

    Please be monitoring and responding to your CMU email account. 
  • During course registration, the Center for Clinical Experiences determines the eligibility of candidates to be in their specified course. Candidates are made aware of the application process the semester prior to fieldwork. It is the responsibility of the teacher candidate to be aware of the time and expectations that the fieldwork commitment demands.

  • Elementary Education​​​
    ​Name​
    EDU 380 WI: Interdisciplinary Methods & Pre-Student Teaching
    Secondary​ Education​​​
    ​Name​
    ART 343: Art in the Elementary School Grades K-4
    ART 346:  Secondary School Art and Midtier Observation
    BIO 502: Teaching Biology
    CHM 507: Field Experience in Teaching Chemistry and Physics
    COM 493: Field Experience in Speech Education
    ENG 456: Teaching Composition in the Secondary School
    ESC 400: Earth Science Education
    FRN 412: French Practicum: Secondary Field Experience (on hiatus)
    FRN 422: French Practicum: Elementary Field Experience (on hiatus)
    GEO 400WI: Geographic Education
    GER 412: German Practicum: Secondary Field Experience (on hiatus)
    GER 422: German Practicum: Elementary Field Experience (on hiatus)
    HSC 413: Field Experience in School Health Education
    ​HST 300: A Midtier Experience for History Majors: Teaching History in Secondary Schools​
    MTH 462: Capstone on Teaching and Learning Mathematics for Secondary Teachers
    MUS 431: Instrumental Classroom and Rehearsal Methods
    MUS 433: Secondary Choral & General Music Methods
    PES 395: Pre-Student Teaching  Field Experience
    PHY 507: Field Experience in Teaching Chemistry/Physics
    PSC 305: Midtier Teaching in Political Science
    ​SCI 400: Teaching Integrated Science K-8 
    SPN 412: Spanish Practicum: Secondary Field Experience (on hiatus)
    SPN 422: Spanish Practicum: Elementary Field Experience (on hiatus)
    ​​***Refer to signed major and bulletin for official program information.

  • Minimum Qualifications of Cooperating Teachers:
    • Demonstrated mentorship dispositions, exceptional communication skills, and experience providing adults feedback for improvement. 
    • Knowledgeable of subject matter and able to model effective pedagogy
    • Sensitive to diverse perspectives
    • Involved in educational committees or professional advisory councils
    • Valid Teaching Certificate with three years successful teaching experience (minimum) or recommendation by CMU faculty
    • Approval by building administrator
  • Desired Qualifications:
    • Master’s Degree in Education 
    • Familiar with the teacher education process
    • Participates in local, regional, state, and/or national professional organization
  • Candidate’s fieldwork placement can be viewed by logging onto the Student Information (SI) sheet online.  Host school website information is also listed. Please be sure to research the school district online prior to the first visit.  
  • Teacher Candidates in Pre-Student Teaching must have a minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA to be in the field. 
  • Teacher Candidates in Pre-Student Teaching must have Bloodborne Pathogens Training successfully completed through Blackboard prior to entering the P-12 setting.  See Bloodborne Pathogens in the Experiences Overview.
  • Teacher Candidates in Pre-student Teaching are free to request or suggest schools for placement on their applications, but are NOT permitted to set up their own placement. Only the Center for Clinical Experiences is allowed to make placement arrangements. 
  • The Center for Clinical Experiences works with building Principals to make placements. Every attempt is made to fulfill requests of those students asking to meet diversity.
  • Each school system has the opportunity to request teacher candidates based on district policies. 
  • Find the school district calendar to determine any school cancelations that may fall on the assigned dates of fieldwork. It is the Teacher Candidate’s responsibility to make up and arrange an alternate field visit to make up field hours missed. 
  • Placements are not official until the Cooperating Teacher and/or Principal has met the Teacher Candidate.   
  • Teacher Candidates in Pre-Student Teaching must contact the Cooperating Teacher at least 4 days prior to the first scheduled visit. Each teacher candidate will receive an announcement via Blackboard when it is time to contact a host teacher via email.
  • The Pre-Student Teaching Field Experience is to be extended over the semester. Exceptions must be cleared through the course instructor and the Director of Clinical Experiences or Coordinator of Clinical Experiences.  
  • The Cooperating Teacher’s preparation time is precious. Candidates should seek out another Cooperating Teacher to observe during that time, or work under the direction of the Cooperating Teacher with students. 
  • The Teacher Candidate in Pre-Student Teaching is responsible for the prompt return of all materials borrowed from the Cooperating Teacher. The CMU Park Library and the College of Education Learning Commons have teacher education resources available for short term use. 
  • During this semester Teacher Candidates in Pre-Student Teaching have the opportunity for classroom field experiences during which they can:​​
  • Observe classroom teachers.
  • Gain experience in working with individual students and small groups of students. 
  • Experience planning, teaching and evaluation of activities. 
  • Develop an awareness of practices used by experienced classroom teachers concerning classroom management and the maintenance of a positive classroom learning environment. 
  • Experience some of the other aspects of teaching such as preparing bulletin boards, developing teaching materials, correcting papers, evaluating projects, and attending special functions. 
  • Develop an awareness of the total school environment. 
  • Actively participating, learning, and interacting with students and the Cooperating Teacher.  
  • Reflect on the experience and how it will make them a better educator. Through the use of thoughtful journaling and writing reflections (appropriate length and error free) about the time in the field, teacher candidates will develop a better understanding of how to apply what they have learned in their college courses. Journal topics are assigned by faculty members as part of the Pre-Student Teaching coursework.  ​
  • If instructional issues arise in the classroom during a clinical experience, the onsite Clinical Faculty (Cooperating Teacher, CMU faculty, and/or University Coordinator) will develop an “Action Plan” in collaboration with the Teacher Candidate and CCE staff. The “Action Plan” will be submitted to the Director of Clinical Experiences.  The Clinical Faculty, Cooperating Teacher, and the Teacher Candidate will work collaboratively to resolve the issues at hand. At the end of term, if the goals of the Action Plan have not been met, the Director of Clinical Experiences will meet with the Teacher Candidate regarding next steps. 
  • When a problem in the field persists, a written plan of action must be developed.  Prior to completing the official “Action Plan”, the University Coordinator or Cooperating Teacher may:

    • Conduct formal and informal visits to the assigned classrooms/schools to observe and assess the Teacher Candidate's work based on identified criteria 
    • Document and discuss identified strengths and areas of growth for the Teacher Candidate
    • Share observed strengths and needs with the Teacher Candidate and allow for a period of attempted improvements.
  • If growth is not demonstrated, a written Action Plan should be submitted. The Action Plan is a standardized CCE form and can be found on the CCE Pre-Student Teaching page.  The development of an Action Plan includes the following steps:

    1.   Communicate the need for an Action Plan to the designated CCE contact, enlisting support and guidance as necessary, and sharing history of the issue and previous interventions, if any.

    1. Student Teaching Action Plans should be directed to the Director of Clinical Experiences.
    2. Pre-Student Teaching Action Plans should be directed to the Coordinator of Clinical Experiences.

    2.  Develop a written Action Plan with input from the Teacher Candidate and Cooperating Teacher identifying the concern(s), the goal(s) for improvement, a defined timeline for improvements including a deadline for review, and specific action steps needed to achieve the stated goal.

    3.  Submit a signed Action Plan to The Center for Clinical Experiences, and provide copies of the signed plan to the Cooperating Teacher, Teacher Candidate, and appropriate CCE contact (see #1).

    4.  Clinical Faculty shall evaluate the Teacher Candidate’s progress by documenting actions taken and noting whether the goal has or has not been completed by the deadline.

    Teacher Candidates who have a valid concern relating to their placement or evaluation by their University Coordinator should contact the Director of Clinical Experiences or Coordinator of Clinical Experiences.
  • Be on time.  Teacher Candidates are responsible for understanding the start time of their day and how long staff members are to remain after school.  They are to be on time for all appointments and express a willingness to stay longer than what is expected. 
  • Attendance should be perfect. Teacher Candidates are expected to be at their placement every scheduled day and to follow the school calendar.  Teacher Candidates should determine the procedures for absences due to illness or other emergencies.  Teacher Candidates may be required to extend their placements to make up for time missed.  
  • Cooperating Teacher expectations. Teacher Candidates are expected to work collaboratively with their Cooperating Teacher to positively impact student learning and develop as a pre-service teacher in preparation for their future classrooms. 
  • Demonstrate professional conduct. Teacher Candidates should speak professionally about students, their assigned school, colleagues, the university, its programs, etc.
  • Be prepared.Detailed lesson plans will be expected and provide Teacher Candidates with the confidence necessary to present themselves as competent teachers. 
  • Dress in good taste.  Wear clean clothes that are acceptable in the classroom.  No flip flops, low tops, tight clothing, tummy skin, t-shirts, hats, or jeans.  Shirts are tucked into pants.  Business casual is the acceptable dress.  Clean body and hair is a must.  Tattoos and piercings are covered or minimized from distraction. 
  • Be a good listener.  Teacher Candidates are expected to welcome feedback from the Clinical Faculty, Cooperating Teacher and/or University Coordinator. Additionally, students may also provide pertinent feedback that can assist the Teacher Candidate in connecting with students and forwarding their learning.
  • Become involved in extra-curricular activities.  Teacher Candidates are encouraged to extend their availability to assist the Cooperating Teacher, to help coach and supervise after school activities, or to tutor students as needed.
  • Teacher Candidates are guests in the P-12 schools.  Teacher Candidates are encouraged to remember that the school’s facilities and materials are for professional use and to act as good stewards.
  • Recognize that all teachers have different philosophies of education. Teacher Candidates are in field experiences learning to be reflective practitioners, not evaluators of teachers. Negative criticism and opinions are not a part of the fieldwork experience.
  • Seek the respect of students through competence. Establishing a relationship with every student is essential for learning.  Being prepared, dressing professionally, planning engaging and relevant lessons, establishing rules and procedures, being fair, and finding something positive about each student assists the Teacher Candidate in establishing positive relationships with students and demonstrating competence as a developing pre-service teacher.​​​​​​
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​ ​​

​For more information

Center for Clinical Experiences
College of​​ Education and Human Services
Central Michigan University
421 Education Building
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859


 ​989-774-7662 ​​
 ehscce@cmich.edu​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​​ ​​​
College of Education and Human Services | Central Michigan University | ehs@cmich.edu | 195 Ojibway Ct | EHS 426 | Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859 | (989) 774-3079