Fieldwork Information


Teacher preparation programs are designed to prepare candidates for the complex activities and procedures of classroom life and instructional practices. Most candidates gain some initial experience of the teacher’s perspective of classroom life by participating in course presentations, by tutoring other students, or by working informally as an instructional assistant or classroom substitute. Direct experience with the K-12 classroom to learn the instructional methods of effective instructional techniques is the single most powerful component of teacher preparation. Consequently, Point Loma Nazarene University’s School of Education considers the fieldwork experience to be invaluable to the education and preparation of future teachers.

The aim of the field experience component of the program is to cultivate the capacity to analyze, reflect, and engage in linking educational theory with instructional practice. Many courses within the teacher preparation program include this fieldwork component. Assignments within these courses are directly tied to the learning taking place in the classroom. Below you will find an overview of our program’s time commitment, placement procedures, assignments, and commitment to professionalism.


Candidates are required to complete 20 hours of observations for each fieldwork course. You should expect to be in the classroom for at least two hours per week. You may not observe for more than five hours per day.

All observations must be completed within the quad for which the fieldwork course is registered. By registering for the fieldwork course, you are acknowledging that you will be able to complete the required observations during the quad. If you have conflicting commitments, you will be expected to drop the fieldwork course and the corresponding classroom course or shift your schedule so that the observations can be completed. Failure to complete the required observation hours during the quad will result in a grade no higher than a C-, and you will be required to re-register for the fieldwork course in the future to receive credit.

All fieldwork forms are due on the last day of the quad. Failure to submit any or all of the necessary forms by the end of the quad will result in a grade no higher than a C-, and you will be required to re-register for the fieldwork course in the future to receive credit.


Transportation for candidates to fieldwork placements is NOT provided by PLNU. You must provide your own transportation.


The fieldwork placement for each course is determined by standards set by both PLNU and the state of California. For this reason, it is the Field Experience Coordinator’s responsibility to direct each of your placements. While we do our best to take your placement requests into consideration, there are many factors at play, and ultimately the school districts have the final say in all placements.

Prior to Placement

  • You will be able to express any placement preferences via the Fieldwork Application prior to each quad
  • You are prohibited from beginning observations until all prerequisites have been submitted to the Field Experience Coordinator
  • Failure to submit all prerequisites will result in being de-enrolled from the course(s) that contain fieldwork
  • You will receive all communication regarding placements through your PLNU gmail account

Upon Receiving a Placement

  • You are to contact the school immediately upon receiving your fieldwork placement
  • You are responsible for creating an observation schedule (including days and times) with your host teacher
  • If you are unable to make contact with the school, let your Field Experience Coordinator know

If you are a university intern, please note that most fieldwork courses cannot be completed in your own classroom and we cannot guarantee a placement at your school site. Please speak with your advisor prior to registering for a fieldwork course to make sure you will be able to make the necessary time commitment.


As you visit school sites for fieldwork, you are a representative of the PLNU School of Education. 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 attitude toward host teacher and paraprofessionals
  • Discuss with host teacher the purpose and intention of fieldwork. Be explicit about what you need to do (observe, interact with students, and/or teach a lesson) during your visits
  • Create an observation schedule with your host teacher and follow it carefully
  • Refrain from the use of your cell phone in the classroom
  • Refrain from eating, drinking or chewing gum in the classroom


You will have course assignments associated with your fieldwork. Those assignments may include:

  • Observing for specific classroom elements and reflecting on those in writing
  • Working with an individual or a group of students in math
  • Working with an individual or a group of students in reading
  • Working with an individual who is an English Learner or a group of English Learners

Know your assignments so you know how to spend your time in the classroom. Share your assignments with the host teacher right away so he/she can support your efforts. If your fieldwork requires you to work specifically with an English Learner, Special Needs student, or a particular area of content, politely let your host teacher know immediately in case an adjustment must be made.