UTD Teacher Development Center
Q. Why does UTD require early field experience for teacher certification candidates?A. Early field experience is an important part of a student's preparation to become a teacher. It is designed to allow you to spend time in the schools working with teachers and students and becoming familiar with the culture of the school community. State law requires that educator preparation entities provide evidence of on-going and relevant field-based experiences in a variety of educational settings with diverse student populations. This experience of being in a school with an observation template helps a student focus their inquiry and gives them an opportunity to learn from "best practices" (or sometimes even from "worst practices"). This provides time for students to examine their own philosophy of teaching and consider the practices they will use in their own classroom. Students who have not worked in a classroom may be entering a career path for which they are not suited but they may not realize that unless they are given an opportunity to work with students in a school setting. Even those who know for sure that they are committed to teaching as a career benefit from the opportunity to examine schools without the responsibility of being "on the job". Once the student is actually working in the school, it is very difficult to take the time to just look at their environment with a dispassionate point of view.
Q. What should I expect from early field experiences at UTD?
A. The goals for early field experiences in teacher certification at The University of Texas at Dallas are:
Q. Does every student have to participate in the early field experience
requirement associated with the course? Is anyone exempt?
Q. How do I receive my field experience school assignment?
Students are guests and learners in UTD partnership schools. Teachers in the schools are sharing their time, talents, and classrooms. UTD students should respect that privilege and always fulfill any obligations or agreements. Early field experience will be what each student makes of it .