Clinical Practice Information

About

Welcome to Clinical Practice at PLNU School of Education. Clinical Practice is a transformative and crucial phase in the journey of aspiring educators. It marks the transition from theoretical coursework, to practical application in real classroom settings. During this phase in the credential program, teacher candidates have the opportunity to work closely with experienced educators, gaining hands-on experience, refining teaching skills, and developing a deep understanding of the classroom dynamics. It is a time of reflection, growth, and discovery as teacher candidates navigate the challenges and rewards of instructing and nurturing the minds of students. Below you’ll find an overview of our program’s time commitment, responsibilities, assessments, and commitment to professionalism.

TIME COMMITMENT

Clinical Practice Semester Requirements

Teacher Candidates are required to participate in two phases totaling 18 weeks. Therefore, if the school district is on a break or vacation, the CP assignment may need to be extended to accommodate a full 18 weeks.

  • Phase I consists of nine weeks in the classroom and a seminar course. This course will take place the first week of the quad and various times thereafter over the extent of the course. Dates and times of seminars will be provided to teacher candidates prior to the beginning of the quad.
  • Phase II consists of nine weeks in the classroom with a few seminar dates and times which will be provided to teacher candidates prior to the beginning of the quad.

All Teacher Candidates will register for two courses each phase:

Clinical Practice course (4 units)

Specific to the Teacher Candidate’s situation (credential pursuing, traditional vs. intern, and phase), this course represents the Teacher Candidate’s time in the classroom and does not require any time at PLNU.

Seminar course (1 unit)

This course requires visits to PLNU to prepare for, reflect on, and grow from experiences in the classroom. Phase one candidates will attend Seminar the first week of the quad and various times thereafter; phase two candidates will attend Seminar as scheduled per quad.

There is no specific or required timeline for each Teacher Candidate’s transition from observer to teacher. As appropriate, the Teacher Candidate will move from observation to instruction. The pacing is influenced by the group of students, the school’s schedule, and Cooperating Teacher’s judgement and the readiness of the Teacher Candidate.

Within the first phase, Teacher Candidates should have sufficient time to observe and discuss instructional techniques, instructional plans, classroom organization, discipline techniques, and materials before assuming full responsibility of the classroom.

PLNU vs. School Calendar Guidelines

Teacher Candidates are to follow the schedule of the school district for vacations, even when different from the PLNU schedule. This may mean the Teacher Candidate has no official break, especially during the spring semester when PLNU classes may meet during the district’s spring break. Teacher Candidates do not follow PLNU’s calendar for days off from the school district.

Required Daily Hours

Teacher Candidates are to report to and remain at school the same contractual hours required for the Cooperating Teachers. In addition, Teacher Candidates are expected to remain after school or come in early according to the Cooperating Teachers’ preference for planning purposes. Teacher Candidates should expect to spend an additional 2-3 hours outside of the school day for planning purposes. CP hours that are logged by the Teacher Candidate should include direct contact with students, co-planning with a veteran Teacher, department meetings, working with a veteran teacher on grading, analyzing student work, reflecting on lessons and planning for the needs of individual students. General lesson planning done independently or hours spent supervising extra-curricular activities should not be included in the logged hours.

Absences

Teacher Candidates are required to be punctual and consistent in attendance. In the case of an unavoidable absence, the candidate must inform both the Cooperating Teacher and the University Supervisor before school begins and the Field Experience/Clinical Practice Coordinator as soon as feasible. All instructional plans and materials must be taken to the school if needed. Three (3) or more days of absence require a doctor’s note and will require an additional week of Clinical Practice. There are no personal days; absences are appropriate for illness or emergencies only.

Substitute Teaching

Clinical Practice does not imply the use of the Teacher Candidate as a substitute teacher. However, to ensure continued success for both the Teacher Candidate and the students, candidates on the district substitute list may substitute for the Cooperating Teacher for up to three days at the request of the Cooperating Teacher and with approval from the site Principal.

Suggested Timelines

Clinical Practice Suggested Timeline - Traditional Teacher CandidateClinical Practice Suggested Timeline - Intern Teacher Candidate

Responsibilities

Traditional Teacher Candidate

  • Give top priority to the Clinical Practice assignment. Observe carefully, plan thoroughly, and reflect productively for each lesson and day of teaching. Do not work or volunteer during the semester.
  • Check your PLNU email every day during your Clinical Practice experience. PLNU accounts are the exclusive venue for communication between University Supervisors, Teacher Candidates, and PLNU faculty and staff members.
  • Complete all necessary Clinical Practice Training videos and quizzes on time.
  • Review and familiarize yourself with all forms to be submitted over the course of the Clinical Practice experience. Complete all lesson plans, forms, and surveys on time.
  • Maintain a Clinical Practice Binder throughout both Clinical Practice phases. Keep the binder up to date and on hand for the University Supervisor’s review and feedback, and bring the binder to each Seminar meeting throughout the phase.
  • Strive to make an accurate assessment of a lesson’s or activity’s effectiveness and the extent to which it achieved objectives. Practice citing several specific examples from the lesson/activity to support assessment.
  • Seek suggestions and feedback from your Cooperating Teacher and University
  • Supervisor and plan so future actions reflect efforts to incorporate feedback.
  • Participate in activities on-site during Clinical Practice, including PTA meetings, parent conferences, open house, inservice, testing, etc.
  • Work diligently to successfully complete all university requirements, including attendance at Seminar meetings, conferences with the University Supervisor, and triad conferences with the University Supervisor and Cooperating Teacher.
  • Know and follow the school regulations and practices affecting your communications with parents and families of the pupils for whom you are responsible.
  • Observe strict confidentiality with all information about a child, the class, and the school. Be prudent and judicious whenever discussing a child or examining a child’s work. Be aware of all who could overhear or accidentally become privileged to confidential information.
  • Approach the opportunity to work with a Coopearating Teacher and your group of students with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.
  • Submit all required work to your University Supervisor via TaskStream at the end of each phase.

Intern Teacher Candidate

  • Give top priority to the Clinical Practice assignment. Plan thoroughly and reflect productively for each lesson and day of teaching.
  • Check your PLNU email every day during your Clinical Pracitce experience. PLNU accounts are the exclusive venue for communication between University
  • Supervisors, Teacher Candidates, and PLNU faculty and staff members.
  • Complete all necessary Clinical Practice Training videos and quizzes on time.
  • Review and familiarize yourself with all forms to be submitted over the course of the Clinical Practice experience. Complete all lesson plans, forms, and surveys on time.
  • Maintain a Clinical Practice Binder throughout both Clinical Practice phases. Keep the binder up to date and on hand for the University Supervisor’s review and feedback, and bring the binder to each Seminar meeting throughout the phase.
  • Strive to make an accurate assessment of a lesson’s or activity’s effectiveness and the extent to which it achieved objectives. Practice citing several specific examples from the lesson/activity to support assessment.
  • Seek suggestions and feedback from your University Supervisor and plan so future actions reflect efforts to incorporate feedback.
  • Work diligently to successfully complete all university requirements, including attendance at Seminar meetings and conferences with the University Supervisor.
  • Observe strict confidentiality with all information about a child, the class, and the school. Be prudent and judicious whenever discussing a child or examining a child’s work. Be aware of all who could overhear or accidentally become privileged to confidential information.
  • Submit all required work to your University Supervisor via TaskStream at the end of each phase.

PROFESSIONALISM

Teacher Candidates represent Point Loma Nazarene University during Clinical Practice, and as such, our professional expectations for you are high. You should be clearly distinguishable from the students in the school.

Professionalism Standards

  • Maintain a respectful demeanor and and cooperative attitude toward your Cooperating Teacher, paraprofessionals, and University Supervisor
  • Adhere to PLNU policies regarding time commitment and responsibilities
  • Uphold strict confidentiality in dealing with students’ information
  • Refrain from the use of your cell phone in the classroom
  • Refrain from eating, drinking or chewing gum in the classroom
  • Show enthusiasm for your work

Assessment

Clinical Practice Course

A grade of CR/NC (credit or no credit) is recorded for each Clinical Practice experience by the University Supervisor.

Assessment of Teacher Candidate performance is guided by the following instruments:

  1. Clinical Practice Log
  2. Weekly Progress Reports
  3. Daily detailed plans using the PLNU Daily Instructional Plan
  4. Formal PLNU Instructional Plans for five lessons formally observed by the University Supervisor (Formative Assessment Summaries) and three lessons formally observed by the Cooperating Teacher (Pre-Assessment, Midterm Assessment and Final Assessment)
  5. Analysis and Reflection Conference Guides for each lesson formally observed by the Cooperating Teacher and/or University Supervisor
  6. Dispositions and Indicators of Noble Character form
  7. End-of-Placement Reflections on Cooperating Teacher and University Supervisor

For more information on completing and submitting these forms, lesson plans, and surveys, please review the Teacher Candidate Forms page.