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Student Teaching Handbook


“Life as a teacher begins the day you realize that you are always a learner,” wrote Robert John Meehan. As you begin to embark upon your student teaching journey please know that I, as a member of our community of learners, am here to support you along the way.

This handbook serves as a guide to the nuts and bolts of this critical semester. I encourage you to become familiar with it as it can save you some sleepless nights and unnecessary anxiety. The handbook provides practical information for you as you enter the student teaching practicum field experience. There is also information included in this handbook regarding mentor and supervisor responsibilities. Because each member of this triad plays a vital role in creating the best possible field experience, each handbook (student teacher, mentor, and supervisor) has identical information concerning assignments, assessments, roles, and policies included to ensure that everyone has congruent expectations.

The student teaching semester is one of the most challenging and rewarding components of the teacher education program at Penn State. As the capstone experience of the teacher preparation program, the student teaching practicum provides you with unique opportunities to improve the lives of students as you hone your teaching skills and understandings.

Each of you will be mentored and guided on this journey by an experienced classroom teacher and a supportive, university-based faculty member who will serve as your coach/supervisor and university-school liaison. The university coach/supervisor will provide you with a course syllabus detailing the specific requirements for each particular placement and assignment. You are to read both the handbook and the syllabus carefully, and share them with your mentor teacher. Refer to them often.

Best wishes for a successful, productive, and rewarding student teaching experience!

Dr. Alicia McDyre

University Policies and Disclaimers

A. Overview: The Penn State Student Teaching Program

  1. Definition of student teaching
  2. Teacher Education Performance Framework
  3. Your responsibilities as a student teacher
  4. Responsibilities of your University supervisor
  5. Roles and responsibilities of your mentor
  6. Role of the principal and other school personnel
  7. Policies and procedures

B. The Student Teaching Assignments

  1. Overview of the assignments
  2. Orientation to the placement
  3. Assignments

C. Assessment of the Student Teacher

  1. Overview
  2. Penn State performance-based assessments
  3. Pennsylvania performance-based assessment
  4. Grading


  1. The Penn State Teacher Performance Framework
  2. Guidelines for using the Penn State Performance-based assessment
  3. Penn State Performance-based Assessment
  4. Guidelines for Using the Pennsylvania Statewide Evaluation form (PDE-430)
  5. The Pennsylvania Statewide Evaluation form (PDE-430)
  6. Mid-Semester Goals and Strategies for the Second Half of the Semester
  7. Additional Discipline-Specific forms for SECED program