Like all Teacher Education programs, field experience is at the core of the FLTE curriculum.

Teacher candidates undergo two types of field experience: 

  • Early Field Experiences (EFE) during the first two semesters of the program
    • EFE hours provide teacher candidates with the opportunity to gain knowledge and acquire skills in lesson and unit planning, instructional methods, assessment/evaluation, and interacting with students and the greater school community in advance of Student Teaching. Observing the impact of professional dispositions, teacher expectations, and classroom climate on effective teaching and learning is a foundational component of each of the three EFE courses as well. During EFE, the teacher candidate's classroom responsibilities increase gradually, beginning with observational tasks, and progressing to instructional delivery of full lessons and multi-week units.

  • Student Teaching during the last semester of the program
    • During Student Teaching, teacher candidates continue working with their Cooperating Teacher, but they gradually assume responsibility for the Cooperating Teacher's full class load. Full takeover should happen no later than the sixth week of Student Teaching, though, in most cases, it happens during the first 3-4 weeks. Candidates must register for 12 credits of EDPR 422: Educational Practice in Secondary Education, and they must receive a grade of "Satisfactory" (S) to meet licensure requirements. For more information about Student Teaching, please consult the Student Teaching handbook.

For more detailed information about hours, requirements, and selection of placements, please click on the headings below to expand each section.

Number of EFE hours required per course

FLTE 471 (Spring semester) is considered the first EFE course; it requires 50 EFE hours.

FLTE 475 (Fall semester, concurrent with 478) is considered the second EFE course; it requires 55 EFE hours.

FLTE 478 (Fall semester, concurrent with 475) is considered the third EFE course; it requires 65 EFE hours.

Requirements for school placements

The Council on Teacher Education (CoTE) requires all teacher education candidates to complete the following before being placed in a school setting: 

  • Bloodborne pathogens training

    • You will receive an e-mail from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation with the link to take the training.

  • Criminal background checks

    • ​​​Each school district handles background checks differently, so you will need to follow the instructions from the school where you are placed. 

  • Mandated reporter training

    • This training will be provided at the mandatory CoTE orientation meetings held in the fall and spring semesters.

  • Teacher safety training

    • This training will be provided at the mandatory CoTE orientation meetings held in the fall and spring semesters.

Activities that count as EFE hours

You should report EFE hours when engaged in any of the following activities:

  • Observing your Cooperating Teacher at work with the students;
  • Co-teaching with your Cooperating Teacher;
  • Leading a lesson on your own;
  • Preparing materials or lessons at the school site;
  • Collaboratively planning lessons or other activities with your Cooperating Teacher;
  • Reviewing and evaluating student work at the school site.
  • Attending staff meetings, department meetings, or parent-teacher conferences;
  • Attending assemblies with students during the school day to assist with supervision;
  • Recess supervision;
  • Fire drills;
  • Field trips;

Grading and planning qualify ONLY if it’s being done collaboratively with continuous active engagement of the cooperating teacher, either on the school site or while virtually connected with the teacher. For instance, it counts if you are discussing a lesson plan together, or comparing and discussing how the two of you graded student work. However, grading and planning that is completed independently by yourself at home or off the school site without continuous active engagement of your cooperating teacher does NOT qualify.

The following do NOT qualify: Volunteer or paid participation in extracurricular activities; participating as a chaperone for an optional school trip; attending a multiple day professional conference with/without the cooperating teacher; observing a school board meeting; attending an event at a school (i.e., a musical performance or sports event).

How placements are determined

Our program relies on its established partnerships with World Language Teachers throughout the state of Illinois, from Champaign to Chicago. Placements are determined by a number of factors, but primarily based on the availability of Cooperating Teachers of a given language in the community.

As much as we take into account the teacher candidate's preferred instructional setting (e.g., Middle School versus High School) or location (e.g., Champaign, Monticello, Chicago suburbs, etc.), it is not always possible to accommodate all requests.

We also strive to provide students with a variety of experiences; however, in some cases, the teacher candidate might be placed in the same school for all three semesters.

Performance evaluations

During your Early Field Experiences, your Cooperating Teacher will submit at least two evaluations: a midterm and a final. There is no “passing” score for these assessments; however, in order to continue into student teaching, the candidate must be recommended for continuation at the bottom of the form.

You will also submit two self-evaluations through the CoTE portal (midterm and final), where you should reflect on your progress within each domain, as well as areas where you have room for growth.

During Student-Teaching, your performance will also be formally evaluated by your University Supervisor. These evaluations determine your grade in EDPR 422. Supervisors will rate candidates within each area of the four domains on a 1-4 rating per component, with 1= unsatisfactory and 4= distinguished. To earn a grade of "S" (Satisfactory), which is required to obtain your teaching license, you must have a cumulative score of 44 or higher with no ratings of 1.