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Protocol & Professional Requirements

Curriculum & Instruction Field Experiences (CIFE) provide you with opportunities to observe and participate in the professional activities of a teacher. The field experiences are cooperative ventures that rely on the support of people from the schools as well as Penn State. As a representative of Penn State, you have a responsibility in the development of this relationship. Being fully aware that the school environment will place many new demands on you is the first step in forging this relationship.

Understanding the Guest-Host Relationship

Penn State’s College of Education works with a large number of school districts each year to provide field experiences. Pre-service teachers are placed in a particular district only after that district has invited them and has agreed to work jointly with Penn State. Penn State students as well as Penn State Faculty Supervisors are always there as guests of the host district. Each school district with which Penn State has a working relationship maintains its own regulations, procedures, instructional practices, professional philosophies, and personal and professional expectations that influence the teachers and pre-service teachers working their district.

Your acceptance of a placement assignment indicates an understanding of this Guest-Host Relationship, and, that you are expected to abide by the school calendar, regulation, procedures, instructional practices, and professional and personal expectations of the particular district to which you have been assigned. An inability to meet these district expectations may result in your withdrawal from the placement.

Professional Behavior

Your professional behavior manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Maintaining an excellent attendance record.
  • Showing initiative in your involvement with students and adults in the classroom and school.
  • Developing rapport with students and other professionals.
  • Being prepared to teach your lessons.
  • Maintaining appropriate confidentiality and always acting ethically.
  • Meeting all deadlines for assignments.
  • Using standard spelling and grammar in communications with student, mentors, and parents.


In the schools, professional attire and deportment is required. Professional dress in schools varies somewhat from school to school. Unusual hairstyles, piercings, tattoos, and clothing styles, and in particular, those that the school recognizes as a distraction to learning, must be avoided. The school faculty’s dress often provides you with guidance about what is appropriate to wear at the school.

Identification Requirement

You must prominently display your University photo ID when you are in the schools as a security measure. In addition, some districts will require you to wear a visitor's badge and sign in and out of the building office on each visit. Please follow school policy on this.