Students pursuing a minor in education gain practical experience in teaching throughout
their program at Randolph-Macon College completing preliminary fieldwork placements
and student teaching. Each fieldwork assignment is a required placement in a public
school classroom completed in conjunction with an education class. The following
courses require a fieldwork experience: EDUC 220/221, EDUC 233, EDUC 227, EDUC 228,
EDUC 321/322 and EDUC 225/226 (see course
offerings). Fieldwork is not the same as the student teaching experience.
Student teaching is the capstone experience of teacher preparation and involves
a full-time placement in a classroom in which the preservice teacher takes on all
teaching, administrative and management responsibilities of a classroom with guidance
from the professional classroom teacher and a college supervisor. In contrast, fieldwork
placements are shorter classroom assignments (i.e., 10 or 20 hours) most often completed
in multiple one to two-hour classroom visits over the span of each semester. During
fieldwork placements, education students observe, serve as instructional assistants,
and teach at least one lesson in their assigned classroom.
Randolph-Macon College enjoys a collaborative relationship with Hanover County Public
Schools, a national award winning school district. Preliminary fieldwork placements
and student teaching assignments are completed in Hanover County Schools. The school
system serves approximately 20,000 students in 25 schools, all of which are accredited
by the Virginia Department of Education (http://www.doe.virginia.gov/).
Hanover County reports high-standardized test scores and a dropout rate below 1%.
According to their website (http://www.hcps.us),
over 99% of the teachers in Hanover County Schools are highly qualified as defined
by the No Child Left Behind Act.
During fieldwork, the student is matched with a host teacher. The preservice teacher
is responsible for scheduling classroom visits with the host teacher and completing
assignments related to the placement specific to the education course in which they
are enrolled. Students should expect to arrange for transportation to and from local
schools for fieldwork and student teaching assignments. See the following link for
the fieldwork application.
Student teaching is the capstone experience of Randolph-Macon College’s teacher
preparation program. Student teaching includes a full-time placement in a classroom
where the student teacher assumes all teaching, administrative, and management responsibilities
of a classroom with guidance from the professional classroom teacher and a college
supervisor. Student teaching is a minimum of 10 weeks. Elementary student teachers
are assigned to two different grade level placements within the student teaching
Student teaching occurs during the spring semester of the student’s senior year
and requires the student’s full-time attention. Employment is not recommended during
the student teaching experience. Student teachers enroll in Senior Seminar during
the same semester. The seminar meets one evening each week during the spring term.
The seminar complements and extends the professional development of student teachers.
Content includes current topics in teaching, sharing of classroom teaching experiences,
and creation of individual electronic professional portfolios. The portfolios promote
use of technology, increased reflection on teaching, as well as compilation of teaching
activities to assist in the job searches. The Education Department and the Center
for Personal and Career Development- EDGE (http://www.rmc.edu/offices/career.aspx)
work collaboratively in assisting the students in their job search and preparing
for the interview process. Student teachers are invited and encouraged to participate
in education job fairs during the student teaching experience.
During student teaching, students will have to provide their own meals and housing
for one week during the spring semester because the spring breaks of the local schools
and the college do not normally coincide. Often off-campus housing can be arranged
through faculty or other students. However, student teachers are responsible for
making these arrangements, and the college will not cover the costs of meals and
housing during its spring break.