Definition of Opening School Experience
The Opening School Experience is an initial component of the student teaching practicum for Georgia Southwestern State University student teachers. During Opening School Experience the student teacher must attend all preplanning days and the entire first week of school at the site of his/her fall or spring student teaching placement. The purpose of the Opening School Experience is to provide the student teacher with procedures, rules, and organizational tips to prepare for a successful school year.
The student teacher must contact his/her Master Teacher to ensure arrival on the first day of preplanning or the first day scheduled for student teachers by the GSW school liaison or school Principal. The student teacher must attend all day, every day of preplanning and the first week of school. The student teacher must notify his/her University Supervisor, the Office of Field and Clinical Experiences, the Master Teacher, and school secretary if there are any exceptions such as GSW class conflicts. If GSW classes meet during this time, student teachers are not excused from GSW classes.
Definition of Student Teaching Practicum
The student teaching practicum is a 15-week culminating clinical experience for students in the Georgia Southwestern State University School of Education seeking initial teacher certification. The purpose of student teaching is to provide the student teacher with a mentored environment to improve upon knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential for the teaching profession.
Student teaching is a full-time job that requires commitment and dedication. It should be a priority during the student teaching practicum. Other jobs and coursework are discouraged, as student teaching requires full participation. Student teachers will need adequate time to prepare, plan, and reflect on teaching during this essential part of teacher education.
Opening School Experience Orientation
An Opening School Experience Orientation is required for all fall and spring student teachers. This orientation provides information about the requirements and expectations for preplanning and the first week of school. Items such as a criminal background check, liability insurance, and LiveText field experience management account should be obtained prior to the student teacher entering the host school for the Opening School Experience. Student teachers without background checks or liability insurance will not be allowed to enter host schools. Fall and spring student teachers are expected to log Opening School Experience hours in their LiveText field experience management account time logs. Student teachers are also expected to complete assignments such as a self-CaPE evaluation, reflection, information sheet, and letter of introduction to the host school students and/or families as part of the Opening School Experience. The Student Teaching Handbook and Student Teaching Calendar will be made available via LiveText at the time of the Opening School Experience. Student teachers are expected to read the Student Teaching Handbook and sign the affirmation form indicating that they have read and agree to the Student Teaching Handbook prior to the Student Teaching Orientation.
Student Teaching Orientation
Student teachers are required to attend a Student Teaching Orientation prior to the first day in the student teaching practicum. This Student Teaching Orientation reviews the policies and procedures as well as assignments and expectations of the student teaching practicum as listed in the Student Teaching Handbook and the Student Teaching Calendar. Student teachers are required to turn in an affirmation form indicating they have read and agree to the Student Teaching Handbook at the Student Teaching Orientation. University Supervisors will also meet with their student teachers to explain the Student Teaching Syllabus and get acquainted. University Supervisors will discuss student teaching assignments and expectations as well as attendance and grading policies.
Master Teacher Orientation
Master Teachers are required to attend one orientation a year hosted by the GSW School of Education Office of Field and Clinical Experiences and GSW university personnel. The Master Teacher Orientation is a way for university personnel and Master Teachers to maintain relationships and discuss policies, procedures, and updates for the Student Teaching Practicum. The Master Teacher Orientation includes LiveText Field Experience Management Module training, Candidate Progress and Evaluation form training, and tips for being an effective Master Teacher.