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Observation FAQs
Are there guidelines to follow in the 45-Hour Pre-Professional Experience?
Yes. When visiting schools for observation, the following guidelines should be observed:
  • Make visitation arrangements and secure approvals in advance with school administrators. 
  • Dress professionally. 
  • Bring supplies needed to take notes. 
  • Follow all school policies such as obtaining a visitor's pass and parking permit. 
  • Arrive on time. 
  • Ask the teacher how you should position yourself in the room. 
  • Refrain from any criticism of the host teacher and school.
  • Do not discipline students. 
  • Take notes and discuss classroom observations with your host teacher.
  • All cell phones should be turned off or on silent. Do not text or use electronic devices while in the school. 

Where should I do the Pre-Professional Experience?
The in-classroom hours should be with students in the K-12 setting at the age level that you intend to teach. You should select observation experiences that will introduce you to various teaching methods and learning opportunities. All diversity requirements must be meet by the time you apply for MDE certification.

How does the completion of EDU 107 affect the 45-Hour Pre-Professional Experience requirement?

Through successful completion of CMU’s EDU 107: Introduction to Teaching, with a “B” or higher, you may earn a maximum of 10 in-classroom hours toward your 45-Hour Pre-Professional Experience requirement (15 hours in EDU 107H).

If I observed more hours than what was required in EDU 107 can I count them toward my 45-Hour Pre-Professional Experience?
Yes. If you spend more than the required number of hours, you can use those additional hours towards your pre-professional experience. However, you must submit a Online Field Experience Form for only those hours that exceeded the 10 hours required for the class.

If I have taken an equivalent course for EDU 107, or a teaching practicum course at another college, how are my pre-professional hours documented?

You must submit to CSS an online Transfer Course Observation Hours Form indicating the number of hours you earned via your EDU 107 equivalent or practicum course. You may only receive credit for contact hours spent in the K-12 classroom with the Host Teacher. This form is only for those students who took the course at another institution.  If you spent additional time on your own in the K-12 classroom that was not part of the college course itself, you will need to submit the regular Online Field Experience Form to claim those hours. 

Are there any restrictions to the number of hours I may count?
Yes.  Because most schools conduct classes for the same number of hours each day, you are limited to counting 6 1/2 hours for any one day (reflects a deduction for lunch periods). Although it is a valuable experience for you to be a part of other duties of a host teacher (i.e., class preparation, teacher meetings) only the hours spent observing the host teacher in the classroom teaching his/her students can be counted.

Do substitute teaching hours count?

Yes. However, you must document 30 hours within the same school building in order to count it toward the diversity requirement. The Online Field Experience Form must have the principal's or school secretary's email (whichever can verify your time spent in the school) instead of the host teacher.

May I complete the hours outside of the State of Michigan?

Yes. You may acquire hours anywhere as long as you follow the guidelines described above.

Can I complete my observation hours at a camp or similar non-classroom environment?

No. All 45 hours must be in a K-12 school and classroom setting and supervised by a certified teacher (host teacher).

May I use my own high school experiences?
No.  All experiences must be completed after you graduate from high school.
May I submit a single Online Field Experience Form that includes my observations of more than one host teacher in the same school?
No.  You must submit a separate form for each host teacher you observe. 

It is recommended that you observe in one school for at least 30 hours in order to count it toward your diversity requirement (see Diversity Information).

The Center for Student Services sends a confirmation email to all Host Teachers to verify observation hours. Please be sure that the information provided on the form is correct and can be substantiated by the teacher with whom you completed the specified hours.

You must supply the Host Teacher's email address at the school at which he/she is teaching (you should obtain this address at your first visit).  We cannot accept a personal email address for the teacher. When submitting the online form, please double-check the email address you type for any errors.  If we receive an incorrect or a personal email address for the Host Teacher, you will be notified by email and you will need to resubmit the online form.  We will not be able to give you credit for those observation hours until we can send a confirmation email to the Host Teacher.  

If you have questions about the experiences you are planning for the 45 hours, you should contact the CSS Office at (989) 774-3309.

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