Clinical Experience Guidelines EDU 105
Tuesday, 08 June 2004
Guidelines for Clinical Experiencesin the Biddeford Public Schools Exploring Teaching (EDU 105) Essential Question – What’s it really like to teach in the public schools in this day and age? 

Backward Design Lesson Planning:

 Why is this learning experience important?  (i.e. What’s the point?) 

(1) To provide opportunities for you to reflect and clarify your thinking about teaching and learning as you explore whether teaching is really for you at this time in your life,

(2) To build our learning community by sharing your experiences and insights,

(3) To put the “I” in your response writing and to demonstrate your competence in written English,

(4) To address some of the Critical Thinking dimensions (listed on page two) in the UNE Core Curriculum, and

(5) To address Maine’s Standards One, Six, and Eight for Initial Certification.

Standard One - Demonstrates knowledge of the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful to students.

Standard Six - Creates and maintains a classroom environment which supports and encourages learning.) 

Standard Eight - Understands and uses a variety of formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and support the development of the learner. 

What will you know or be able to do or demonstrate when you are done? You will demonstrate in writing your understanding of teaching and learning in the public school classroom.   You may have the option of teaching a lesson.


            How will I know that (i.e. assessment)?  I will read for clarity, focus, the use of examples and specifics, and attention to the conventions of the English language.  If the writing is not satisfactory or you would like to raise your point total, you will have the opportunity to rewrite and resubmit your paper once. 



The classroom observation requirement for this class is important.  Nothing else will acquaint you with the "real world" of teaching as effectively. To enhance your learning in the university classroom, you need to observe, participate, and possibly teach for a minimum of twelve hours in a Biddeford School classroom. Deb Choroszy, Program and Assessment Coordinator of the Biddeford Schools, will assign you to one classroom at your grade level of interest based on your application.  You can be involved for twenty or more hours in the classroom and teach a lesson, if you so choose and your Biddeford teacher agrees you are ready. 


            During your visits, note the following,

1.  How did the teacher(s) make or not make the subject matter meaningful to the students? – Maine Standard 1 of Initial Certification.

2.  How did the teacher(s) create and maintain or not create and maintain a classroom environment which supports and encourages learning? - Maine Standard 6 of Initial Certification.

3.  What informal and formal assessment strategies did the teacher use to evaluate and support the development of the learner? - Maine Standard 8 of Initial Certification.

(How does the teacher know the students are really learning?  Identify the various assessments in bold and comment on the effectiveness of each one.)

 Response Writing Once having completed your visit, write a three paragraph, full page, single-spaced, typed reflection about your experience.  Put a space between each paragraph.  Edit your paper so you have all three paragraphs on one side of the paper. 

On the top line, write your name, the course number, the number of the clinical experience paper, identify the grade of the classroom, and the Standard you are addressing. 

(e.g., Tom Brady, EDU 105, CE #2, Grade 4, Maine Standard 1).


In paragraph one, address the assigned Standard (see above) and the Critical Thinking dimension – Identify and assess the quality of evidence [Your observations are examples of meaningful evidence.]  Be specific about what you have observed and include the reaction and interaction of the students and teacher.


In paragraph two, give your opinion and analysis about the teaching and learning that you described in paragraph one.  In so doing, you will address the Critical Thinking dimension – Present own point of view or hypothesis in relation to the issue. Your analysis could include what you especially liked and why or what you would do differently if it were your classroom.  You might start a sentence, “If I were the teacher, I would…”


In paragraph three, write one thing you learned about teaching and learning during the observation/participation and why that learning struck you as important as you think about your future as a teacher.  In so doing, you will address the Critical Thinking dimension – Identify and assess conclusions, implications, and consequences.   It can be a positive or negative understanding.  You can also include a question with a possible response.


Send me an electronic copy of your paper by Word attachment as well as bring a hard copy to class on the date due.  When I respond to your response writing, I will highlight in red and underline parts in your letter that strike me as important or are key points.  Though you may resubmit your response writing once to address questions of content that I raise, errors in grammar and spelling will be reflected in your score.  Therefore, submit a grammatically correct paper the first time.  I encourage you to read your paper aloud to catch any errors.  Use the Learning Assistance Services on the University Campus in the LAS Building (across from Alfond), 602.2443, or on the Westbrook College Campus in the Proctor Center of Proctor Hall, 221.4247, if you know that writing is not an area of strength of yours. 


The due dates for the response papers are:

#1 focused on Standard One – October 2nd 

#2 focused on Standard Six – October 23rd   

#3  focused on Standard Eight – November 6th   

The Record Sheet with all twelve hours listed and signed by your Biddeford teacher is due by November 29th.

 (This will be sent to you electronically during the first week of the semester.)


Each of the three papers is worth ten points.  If there are extenuating circumstances why you won’t meet the deadline, let me know prior to the due date.  There are three papers due, but you have a minimum of twelve hours of classroom visits.


Each additional hour (up to ten hours) of classroom observation, participation, and/or teaching is worth one point for up to an additional ten points.


If you teach a lesson to a small group or the entire class and write up the experience based on the same three paragraph response paper guidelines, you can earn an additional ten points.

Going to the Biddeford classroom

1.      Fill out application form.

2.      Be in class when Deb Choroszy introduces the clinical experience program to you.

3.      Once you have been assigned to a Biddeford public school teacher, contact her/him to set up a regular schedule of visits to the classroom in one, two, or three hour blocks of time.


On the day of your visit to the school, dress professionally (i.e. as if you were teaching at the school [no jeans]).   Also remember, it all counts.  You never know who will be the one to select you for a teaching position or support you in getting a teaching position, if you decide to teach.  Deal with everyone at the school as if you were in the midst of an extended job interview.  That fact is, you are.  

             This clinical experience is a serious commitment of time and energy to your Biddeford teacher and, especially, your public school students who will look forward to and count on your faithful attendance.  Of course, UNE students should not go to the public school classroom if they are ill.   Dan Rothermel, PhD

Department of Education

University of New England
Last Updated ( Friday, 31 August 2007 )