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Important information about our programs
Kearney offers an on-line program for teacher certification.
The College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation
Nebraska does not have an exit test required for licensure.
About Teacher Education at UNK
Frequently Asked Questions of Student Teachers
When do I apply for student teaching?Teaching candidates planning to student teach in the fall semester should apply for student teaching by the first Tuesday in February. Teaching candidates planning to student teach in the spring semester should apply by the first Tuesday in September. The first step, participation in a Student Teaching Instructional Session, is mandatory. You should plan on attending an Instructional Session one year before you plan to student teach.
EXAMPLE FOR A STUDENT WHO WANTS TO STUDENT TEACH IN THE FALL OF 2014:Fall 2013 Attend an Instructional Session
Spring 2014 Apply for Student Teaching by the first Tuesday in February
Fall 2014 Student Teach
What are the Instructional Sessions I have to attend? When are they?The Instructional Sessions are held 4-5 times every semester. These meetings explain the placement procedure and outline the process of application. Attending one of these meetings is required. The dates of these meetings will be posted around campus and given to your advisor. They are approximately 1 hour in length. You can also stop by the Educator Certification Office (formerly KASE) to find out the dates of the Instructional Meetings.
How long is student teaching?Most student teachers will student teaches the entire semester, 16 weeks. Some students may have a 20-week placement depending on their endorsements. Check with your advisor or ask in the Educator Certification Office if you aren't sure.
What if I have two endorsements?You will student teach half of the time in one endorsed area and half of the time in the other area. This may be two 8-week assignments, or run concurrently (mornings in English, afternoons in History).
What if I miss the Instructional Sessions?If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled meetings, you must set up an appointment with the Director of Field Experiences. Those doing so after the deadline for application are not guaranteed placement.
How many copies of my Application do I need to turn in?We only need one copy of the application. Be sure to keep a copy for your files.
How many copies of my Personal Date Sheet do I need to turn in?We need 4 copies of your Personal Data Sheet for each endorsement (do not count minors or supplemental endorsement). We send one copy to the administrator when we request placement, give one copy to your cooperating teacher, and provide another copy to the University supervisor. The final copy is for your teacher education file. Be sure to keep a copy for your files.
How many copies of my transcripts do I need to apply for student teaching? How do I obtain a copy of my transcripts?We need 4 copies of your transcripts. We ask that you only request ONE copy from the Registrar's Office, and then make copies. We do NOT need an original. You can request transcripts from the Registrar's Office in Founders Hall free of charge.
Where should I student teach?The College of Education has 34 "Partner Schools" that work collaboratively with us in creating high-quality field experience. Many of their teachers have extensive experience in working with student teachers and are familiar with our program and expectations. We strongly encourage student teachers to choose one of the following schools for their student teaching assignment:
Kearney Public SchoolsKearney CatholicLexington Public SchoolsGrand Island Public Schools(Jefferson Elementary, Walnut Middle School, Grand Island Senior High)Amherst Public SchoolsGibbon Public SchoolsShelton Public SchoolsPleasanton Public SchoolsElm Creek Public SchoolsHoldrege Public SchoolsMinden Public SchoolsAxtell Public SchoolsWilcox-Hildreth Public Schools
That depends on where you are placed. Some schools return our requests within a week or two; other schools may take a month or two. As soon as we receive the signed contract from the school, we will send you a confirmation letter. Please feel free to stop by the Educator Certification Office to inquire about your placement anytime.
Why didn't I get my first placement choice?There are a variety of reasons. The school may not have an eligible teacher. An eligible teacher is one who has three years experience in that school. It may be that the principal and staff have decided to take a break from student teachers to work on curriculum issues. Or perhaps the assignment was given to another student.
When will I know who my supervisor is?Most student teachers will not know who their supervisor is until the first two weeks of student teaching. Some supervisor are faculty at UNK, others may be retired administrators or teachers.
What if I can't get along with my cooperating teacher?You need to get in touch with your university supervisor and discuss ways to approach this. Many times it's simply a matter of unclear communications and expectations. Once agreements have been made between you and your cooperating teacher, you may find that things run more smoothly.
How do I apply for my certificate?Normally, we assist you in that process during the Seminar for Student Teachers, which is held at least once every semester. You can finalize that in the Educator Certification Office, which is in the College of Education Building, C128.
Can I substitute teach during my student teaching?Any educator responsible for teaching students and/or the supervision of professionals engaged in teaching or administration must have a current and valid Nebraska teaching certificate. There is no provision for an individual to be in "professional practice" without the certificate. If the absence of your cooperating teacher occurs at a later time in the experience, the school systems may have you assume more responsibilities in the classroom, but only under the supervision of a qualified licensed substitute teacher. If you have a substitute certificate, and you decide to substitute teach during your student teaching experience, please know that your placement duration will be extended as many days as you substitute.
Do I follow UNK's schedule for breaks?No, you must follow the schedule of the school where you are student teaching. This includes parent-teacher conferences, in-service workshops and faculty meetings.
How soon will I begin to teach?The student teaching handbook gives some examples of how you and your cooperating teacher might design a schedule for easing in and out of teaching responsibilities. You should, however, make sure you have at least 2-3 weeks of full time teaching, where you are responsible for everything in the classroom. The more time you spend teaching, the better prepared you will be for your first teaching job.
Can I work in the evenings and on weekends during student teaching?Teaching can be very exhausting, and it must come first. While employment during student teaching is not prohibited, it is strongly advised against. The student teacher is expected to maintain regular faculty hours and follow the cooperating school's calendar of workdays, holidays, vacation, etc. In addition, the student teacher is expected to participate in the appropriate extra-curricular and professional activities of the cooperating teacher. These activities may take place in the evenings and on the weekends. Failure to maintain these hours for any reason may result in a termination and/or failure of the student teaching field experience.
How do I go about setting up my credential file?We suggest you visit Career Services on campus or go to their web page for more information.
Are their any websites that might be helpful to me during student teaching?Yes! Visit some of the teaching sites listed in the Student Teaching Handbook.
Have any other questions? Sent them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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