This 16-week, all-day experience immerses teacher candidates in the K-12 environment. Working closely with a cooperating teacher and university supervisor, the teacher candidates implement the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they have acquired in their preparation program.
UNO encourages a collaborative approach to clinical practice. The model utilizes instructional coaching and co-teaching during clinical practice. The cooperating teacher and the teacher candidate collaborate to meet the needs of students in the classroom. The two share responsibility for planning, instruction, and assessment. This allows for increased collaboration and reflection on teaching and learning. Coaching is strategically embedded throughout the experience by the university supervisor with support from the cooperating teacher.
Co-teaching early in the semester, the teacher candidate might serve as an assistant to the cooperating teacher or present portions of lessons. The teacher candidate might also work with individuals or small groups of students who need special or additional help. For certain activities, the class might be divided in half to reduce the teacher-pupil ratio.
As the semester progresses the cooperating teacher will gradually give the teacher candidate more and more of the planning and teaching responsibilities and begin to perform some of the functions the teacher candidate did earlier in the semester. Near the end of the semester, the teacher candidate will be primarily responsible for leading teaching to include solo teaching, much as the cooperating teacher was doing at the beginning of the semester. With co-teaching the amount of time the teacher candidate is left totally alone is reduced so that cooperating teachers can take advantage of having an additional trained adult support instruction.
Candidates are formally observed, coached and provided written feedback a minimum of five times by the university supervisor. Seminars and journals/video analysis bridge the gap between visits increasing communication, reflection and progress checks throughout the semester.
Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of assessment strategies and candidate impact on K-12 student learning in an assessment presentation. A formal three-way evaluation with a university supervisor and the cooperating teacher is attended at midterm and the conclusion of the experience.
During these evaluation conferences, candidates receive formal written feedback aligned to a comprehensive set of state and national professional competencies.