The fall semester will bring a whole new frontier and a restructured UNI field experience program following the closure of Malcolm Price Laboratory School. UNI is deeply grateful to you and to all of our school partners for your ongoing commitment to teacher education and your outpouring of support during our transition process. We are excited to be positioned to offer the services of a new cadre of UNI Field Experience Coordinators, who will provide mentoring support and guidance to UNI field experience students, support and assistance to mentor teachers, and participation in your school's learning communities. These new Coordinators will soon be 'in residence' in your school, will be available to assist you with recruiting teachers and planning orientations, and will be depending on you as Site Coordinators to better understand your school community and to begin building strong relationships with your teachers and administrators.
In this new model, you will continue to be a critical part of our teacher education team, but your role will probably evolve and change over time in collaboration with the Field Experience Coordinator(s) at your school. If you are at an elementary, you will be working primarily with one coordinator, who will provide support for multiple field experiences at your school and to develop new long-term partnerships. If you are at a middle school or high school, you will probably be working with several coordinators who will specialize by content area. I'm sure that this first semester will be a little bumpy, but we hope that with your help and the assistance of our coordinators, we can iron things out as quickly as possible.
YOUR FIELD EXPERIENCE COORDINATOR(S)
I am finalizing the school placements for our coordinators and will communicate these out to you soon.
You and your field experience coordinators will work together to recruit teachers for fall. Ideally, your principal will give you some time during the first PD/inservice days to distribute the revised and more detailed sign up forms (you can find these on our Site Coordinator webpage under Resources and Tools). You can also use the Google Doc link to submit these. Please return these sign ups ASAP or by August 20th.
The Level 1 field experience will be shifted primarily to Waterloo schools and surrounding communities and private schools, although Cedar Falls schools may also continue to participate depending on teacher preferences. Field Experience Coordinators will provide a more extended version of the Level 1 supervision that was available in some schools using retired teachers who worked part time. The new model will allow us to extend supervision to all of our Level 1 schools to provide better support to your teachers and to more closely monitor our Level 1 students. Close supervision of early field experiences is unique and we are proud to be positioned to offer this to our students and our school partners.
The Level 2 field experience will be shifted from Price Lab School to Cedar Falls schools and Waterloo schools in closes proximity (Carver, Central, Becker, and Lowell) for Level 2 field experience placements. In May, I visited these schools and gave a brief overview of Level 2 and collected the names of interested teachers. These teachers have been invited to register for Level 2 Mentor Teacher Workshops on July 30, July 31, August 3, or August 8. Participating teachers will receive a $50 stipend for this half-day event. Level 2 mentor teachers will also be compensated $50 for each Level 2 student. Field Experience Coordinators will provide intensive supervision of the Level 2 students and will be responsible for responsive journaling with the students and ongoing assistance with lesson planning, implementation, and reflection, in collaboration with mentor teachers. Level 2 students are required to plan and teach two related formal lessons, and this process is captured in a written product called the Level 2 Teacher Work Sample.
The elementary and middle level version of the Level 3 field experience (a 1-week immersion in the classroom) will shift more to schools outside of the local area, but will continue to be an option for local teachers who prefer hosting this experience. The secondary version of the Level 3 field experience varies by content area in terms of length and structure, but will also shift more to schools outside of the local area.
OTHER FIELD EXPERIENCES
To protect our local school partners from a potential deluge of field experiences The UNI Executive Council on Teacher Education passed a temporary moratorium on 'supplemental' field experiences in CF and Wloo schools for the fall semester. This policy applies to any field experience that is not required for licensure or endorsement previously placed in Cedar Falls or Waterloo public schools. Exceptions may be requested by you and your principal if there are experiences that you believe are important to maintain at your schools. If you want to seek an exception for one or more of these experiences, please contact me with the details of the experience (professor's name, teachers involved, general structure and schedule of the experience) and a brief rationale/justification for why this experience is important to your school.