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The early childhood program includes two classroom placements. These placements will not only give you experience working with young children in diverse settings, they will also help you solidify your decision to work with young children.
Field experiences are a key part of your development as a professional educator. They help you begin to make more informed career decisions, observe experienced teachers working with students, and try focused instructional and assessment strategies with support. Placements are always related to a course, helping you to link theory and practice, bringing coherence to your teacher preparation, and giving you a way to reflect on what you are experiencing.
As an elementary preservice teacher seeking a ZS endorsement, you will have at least two (2) early childhood classroom experiences prior to student teaching. These build sequentially, based on program levels, allowing you to develop and refine your professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions as you progress through the program and prepare for student teaching.
Early placement experiences are in local schools generally no more than a 20 minute drive from campus, with local public transportation options for those without a car. You will have a variety of experiences to ensure you see different teachers, grade levels, and school contexts. This breadth and diversity of experience helps prepare you for teaching all children. You will be placed with experienced, recommended classroom teachers.
ZS field experiences prior to student teaching are for 30 hours across the semester. This extended duration allows you to observe teaching routines and structures over time and to observe student learning and development.
What will I learn and do?
Each field experience is concurrent with one or more courses. Expectations for your classroom activities are related to course objectives and assignments provide a developmental sequence.
How am I evaluated?
For each field placement, the teacher completes a midterm and final evaluation and a dispositions form. Teachers are also asked to give oral and written feedback to candidates. All evaluations include common components addressing professionalism and working with young children. Each course also has specific expectations focused on particular knowledge, skills, and competencies.
Child Dev and Learning: Birth - Age 8
Examination of physical, cognitive, social, emotional and other types of development in infancy and early childhood. Addresses the development of children with special needs and linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds. Students complete 30 hours of field placement in an early childhood setting. Required for Early Childhood Endorsement. Fall only.
Curriculum & Methods: Early Childhood
Preparation for planning and facilitating developmentally appropriate learning experiences for young children in the content areas of language, literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, health and safety. Techniques for adapting instruction to culturally diverse learners and those with handicapping conditions. Preparation in appropriate management and guidance techniques, and designing appropriate physical environments and schedules for young children. Students practice integrating systematic observation of young children’s behavior with instructional design and assessment and program evaluation techniques. Students learn techniques for working cooperatively with families in the care and education of their children and with community services and referral procedures for children. Includes a 30-hour practicum in an early childhood site. Required for Early Childhood Endorsement. Classroom placement included. Fall only