Field Placement Guidelines

Guidelines for Teacher Candidates During Field Experiences

As guests in schools and other educational settings, your presence should reflect professionalism.  Early fieldwork, practicum courses, and student teaching must be given first priority over other personal obligations and commitments. The following will help to guide you in your site visits as teacher candidates and as representatives of New Mexico State University:

  1. As soon as you receive confirmation of a placement, please contact the school and make arrangements for the visits. Please be considerate of the cooperating teacher’s schedule and begin to fulfill your hours as soon as possible.  Indeed most course instructors will expect you to start immediately.
  2. Before arriving, be prepared to communicate field experience expectations to your placement teacher and/or principal.  You might receive a syllabus or handbook from your specific program that outlines the expectations.  If not, then write a brief introduction about yourself and the expectations of the placement by summarizing the practicum assignments from all your coursework.
  3. Teachers rely on your commitment and punctuality. If for some reason, you are unable to attend the agreed upon times and days for your field experience, please contact the practicum teacher or school/site office and the NMSU practicum Directors to let them know of your absence. In case of emergency, please contact the school and leave a message the day the emergency occurs.
    Director of Early Childhood Dr. Betsy Cahill – 646-5702
    Director of Elementary Education Dr. Blanca Araujo – 646-1282
    Director of Secondary Education Dr. Jamie Baker – 646-4161
    SPED – Contact your SPED Director Dr. Randa Keely – 646-2348
  4. Field experiences are the beginning of a professional career in teaching. Principals, directors and teachers may be asked to provide recommendations for your future employment. Thus professional conduct and appearance are important. Follow the standards of professional conduct and appearance as specified by the school’s teacher handbook or by the administrator in charge. If you have any questions, please consult with the Assistant Director of your licensure program.
  5. When in the schools you must always wear your NMSU identification badge.
  6. Transportation is your responsibility. Biking, public transportation and car pooling are encouraged whenever possible because of the limited parking available at schools/sites.
  7. For your first visit, go to the office, introduce yourself, state your purpose for being there, and ask about sign-in procedures. It is recommended that early in the semester you introduce yourself to the Principal.
  8. When in the classroom, follow the teacher’s lead for interactions and classroom involvement with the students. Teachers and schools expect that NMSU guests not “chit chat” while in their classrooms and remain on-task. No food or beverages are to be consumed in the classroom unless approved by the teacher.  No cell phone use or text messaging.
  9. When it is time to end the visit, please leave quietly.  An appreciated and courteous gesture is to thank the teacher when possible.
  10. If you write an observation report (as a course requirement), write what you saw or heard, without recording judgment or criticism. Remember to omit names of teachers, children, other school personnel and the school name and district so as to maintain a professional policy of confidentiality.
  11. At the end of your field experience, write a thank you note to your cooperating teacher for sharing expertise with you.