Clinical Experiences at Eastern Illinois University

General Guidelines

Every teacher preparation program at EIU requires significant time in public school classrooms. Teacher candidates progress from observing the various aspects of teaching and learning to actually teaching full lessons to students in the school. These are valuable experiences and should not be taken lightly. Whether observing, working one-on-one with a student, or teaching to a full class, your professionalism and preparedness are essential.

Instructors determine the kinds of experiences and the amount of time in schools required of teacher candidates in class. Also, instructors determine how experiences are documented and evaluated.

Teacher education programs are specifically designed to help you develop desirable professional dispositions, a strong knowledge base, and appropriate pedagogical skills. Professionalism is paramount. When in the public schools, please follow these guidelines for dress and behavior.

A Glossary of Commonly Used Terms

Admission to Teacher Education
All EIU students wishing to participate in a teacher education program must attend an ";admission to teacher education"; meeting. At this meeting, you will officially apply for admission to teacher education. The process of moving from teacher candidate to certified teacher is explained at this meeting. Dates and times are published and linked on the CEPS teacher education page.

Application to Student Teach
All EIU students wishing to student teach must complete an electronic application (a link to the application is found on the Student Teaching website). Teacher candidates apply to student teach the Fall semester of the academic year (AY) prior to the AY in which they plan to student teach. For example, if you plan to student teach in Fall 2012 or Spring 2013, you must complete an application during fall 2011.

This stands for assessment of Professional Teaching. Most teacher candidates take this test during the student teaching semester. The test is not required for graduation, but it is required by the state of Illinois for teacher certification. This test is administered through Illinois Teacher Certification Testing.

College of Education and Professional Studies
CEPS is responsible for all core professional education courses for all teacher candidates, regardless of major. The dean’s office in this college maintains records of all teacher candidates who have applied for admission to teacher education, content test results, criminal background investigations, etc.

Content Area
This is your major.

Content Area Test
Required of all teacher candidates. This is the test in your content area you must take — and pass — before the end of the semester before you student teach. This test is administered through Illinois Teacher Certification Testing. You will not be allowed to student teach if you have not passed your content test before the end of the semester prior to your planned student teaching semester. There are no exceptions.

Eastern Illinois University contracts with school districts so that observers, practicum students, and student teachers are allowed into their schools. You may check to see if we have a contract with a school by coming to the office of the Department of Student Teaching and Clinical Experiences (2418 Buzzard Hall) and looking in the DIRPRO (directory of Illinois schools).

Cooperating Teacher
The public school teacher with whom the teacher candidate is placed for observation, practicum, or student teaching experiences.

Criminal Background Investigation
Required of all teacher candidates. The first criminal background investigation is done prior to admission to the teacher education program. A second investigation is performed the semester prior to student teaching.

The EIU teacher education electronic portfolio (e-Portfolio) is required for all EIU teacher education candidates. The e-Portfolio is part of EIU's Unit Assessment System and provides students with a structure to file and organize examples of work completed throughout a program of study for assessment and accreditation purposes. The e-Portfolio will also assist students through an exciting opportunity to develop a showcase portfolio to supplement a resume when applying for a teaching position. A private vendor, LiveText, has been selected to provide the technological tools and support for the EIU electronic portfolio.

Goldenrod Sheet
The goldenrod sheet is used by most instructors as a form of documentation of observations and practicum experiences. Be sure to make a copy of your goldenrod sheet for your own files prior to turning it in to your instructor. Note that this file is also available for download under the Forms section of the Student Teaching website.

Illinois Test of Basic Skills
Required of all teacher candidates. This is a test of basic skills that you must take and PASS before you are admitted into teacher education. This test is administered through Illinois Teacher Certification Testing. You will not be allowed to take certain courses, nor will you be selected for admission to teacher education without passing this test. There are no exceptions.

Refers to your EIU course instructor.

Major Department
This is the department that supplies coursework in your content area. Your academic advisor will be in your major department. Your major department may have additional requirements for teacher candidates in your content area.

Many courses require directed observations in public school settings. These may be scheduled for you by your instructor, or you may be required to set them up yourself. For observations at Charleston, Effingham, or Mattoon High School, sign up in the Department of Student Teaching and Clinical Experiences office. For observations outside the immediate area that are not scheduled by your instructor, you must fill out the appropriate paperwork in the Department of Student Teaching and Clinical Experiences office.

May mean the public school student (learner) or EIU teacher candidate.

Teacher Candidate
An EIU student who is enrolled in a teacher preparation program.

Yellow Sheet
Available in the Department of Student Teaching and Clinical Experiences office. For all observations and practicum experiences outside of the immediate area that are not scheduled by your instructor, you must fill out the yellow sheet. Directions are on the reverse side of the sheet. Deadlines apply, so don’t delay.