Below are some of our general expectations for endorsement candidates during the internship.
Getting Off to a Good Start
- Connect with your cooperating teacher right away: set up an appointment to meet face-to-face; find out their typical daily schedule; find out when they would like you to be there; make an agreed upon schedule and stick to it.
- Create a procedure for informing your cooperating teacher of an unplanned absence (e.g., illness).
- Ask your cooperating teacher questions to get meaningful experience right away. If you are teaching in their classroom, you might ask, What would you like me to do today? Would you like me to teach this lesson? Lead this activity? Set up this project?
- Dress appropriately: take your cues from the majority of teachers at the school, dressing similarly or slightly better; treat the experience like an extended interview.
- Learn and follow the school rules, including emergency protocols (e.g., fire drills, lock down, earthquake drills, reporting abuse); ID badges and signing in/out procedures; social media, texting, and cell phone usage policies.
Setting a Schedule
- Participate for at least the 90-hour minimum. It’s best to plan for at least a few extra hours in case an emergency arises later in the term.
- Teach the same class(es) for most of the term.
- Inform your cooperating teacher of any need to vary from your agreed upon schedule with as much lead time as possible.
- If you were scheduled to teach in your cooperating teacher’s classroom and need to take a sick day, be prepared to share your lesson plans as you would with a substitute teacher.
- Set up your formal observations with as much lead time as possible for your university field supervisor and cooperating teacher. Email them lesson plans at least 24 hours in advance of an observation.
- Stay in close communication with your cooperating teacher, university field supervisor, and internship instructor. Respond to email requests from your university field supervisor and/or internship instructor within 48 hours.
Professionalism and Protecting Youth
We use OSU’s Youth Safety Policies and Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) Standards for Competent and Ethical Performance of Oregon Educators as our guidelines for appropriate professional behavior that protects youth. Endorsement candidates who fail to meet these expectations may be dropped from the endorsement program, become subject to OSU disciplinary action, and, if appropriate under Oregon Administrative Rule 584-020-0040, reported to TSPC for disciplinary action. Below are some highlights to keep in mind. Please refer to the full documents for more details (linked above).
- Create an open, welcoming environment, where others may easily observe and feel welcome to enter. School district staff, OSU faculty, and parents are invited to visit internship sites at any time.
- Avoid situations where you are alone with one, unrelated youth. When this is unavoidable, work in a highly visible location with the door open.
- The physical and emotional state of all youth is observed each time they participate. Signs of injury or suspected child abuse must be reported. In the event that a child discloses that they have been abused, listen to them but under no circumstances can you tell them that you will not disclose the information that they gave you. Ask no questions of any kind and recite the following four statements: Thank you for telling me; I believe you; You have done nothing wrong; I will get help for you (not I will help you). Often it is expected that you inform a school administrator and/or counselor when making a report, but you are ultimately the one responsible for calling law enforcement or child protective services. Basic information on reporting requirements is available at http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/children/Pages/abuse/cps/report.aspx.
- Personal space is respected for all participants. Appropriate touching is always visible, open, and not secretive. Appropriate touching avoids contact with private body parts. Touching should be in response to the need of the child – not the needs of the adult.
- Use positive techniques of behavior management. Disciplinary measures never include use of physical punishment or failure to provide necessities of care, nor should punishments single out an individual for group ridicule.
- Recognize the worth and dignity of all persons and respect for each individual. Respond to children, staff, and parents with respect and consideration. Bullying, hazing or secret initiations are never allowed.
- Demonstrate a willingness to be flexible in cooperatively working with others and skill in communicating with administrators, students, staff, parents, and other patrons.
- Strive for continued improvement and professional growth.
- Maintain the dignity of the profession by respecting and obeying the law, exemplifying personal integrity and honesty.
- Profanity, inappropriate jokes, and sharing of intimate details of your personal life in the presence of children is prohibited. Doing such with other staff is unprofessional and always is at risk of being overheard.
- Giving children personal contact information, including, but not limited to social networking websites, personal e-mail or home addresses and phone numbers is prohibited.
- Keep the confidence entrusted in the profession as it relates to confidential information concerning a student and the student’s family.
- Posting photos or information about children without parent or guardian permission is prohibited.
- Internship students must be free of contagious conditions that may adversely affect any child’s physical or mental health. If you are feeling too sick to go to your internship site, please stay home and follow your agreed upon protocol for informing your cooperating teacher (including sharing your lesson plans as necessary).