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MidValley Consortium for Teacher Education

 


 
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Clinical Faculty

The MidValley Consortium trains and supports a cadre of over 650 clinical faculty who supervise area student teachers. Clinical faculty are nominated by member school divisions and complete two days of intensive training for working with student teachers. They are appointed for a three-year term and receive an additional honorarium. They participate in at least one "refresher workshop" during their three-year appointment. The following links provide additional information on clinical faculty:

Roles and Responsibilities

The following Clinical Faculty responsibilities have been organized in a format consistent with the teaching/learning process and the major categories of the performance assessment instrument.

1. Planning and the Student Teaching Experience

a. Plan and provide the student teacher with an initial orientation to the assigned school and the classroom.

b. Meet with the student teacher to provide and discuss basic instructional materials, faculty and student handbooks; to share an overview of the school faculty and the working relationships in the school; and to make plans and review expectations for class(es).

c. Orient the student teacher to the school planning process; help the student teacher establish objectives for the pupils; and provide specific expectations and deadlines for daily lesson plans, unit plans, and student evaluation.

d. Plan with the student teacher and the college/university supervisor for the student teacher's early induction into the teaching process and gradual assumption of full responsibility for classroom instruction.

e. Plan with the college/university supervisor to provide a continuous evaluation of the student teacher's performance in all phases of teaching and to meet all Consortium evaluation requirements.

2. Climate and the Student Teaching Experience

a. Develop and provide a teaching/learning atmosphere that supports dialogue and discussion, shares advice and constructive feedback, and encourages open communication for the student teacher's self-reflection and professional growth.

b. Establish a teaching/learning climate that is conducive to student learning and that allows the student teacher to develop skills in planning and provides opportunities for him/her to test theory and practice in the classroom.

c. Develop a building-level support team of Clinical Faculty.

3. Teaching and the Student Teaching Experience

a. Review and provide feedback on the student teacher's lesson plans prior to their being taught.

b. Observe the student teacher informally each day and provide oral feedback on both classroom management skills and at least one lesson or activity.

c. Observe the student teacher formally once a week. Review and discuss the student teacher's lesson plan in relation to overall instructional objectives prior to observing the lesson. Provide written feedback, using the Consortium observation form, after the observation.

d. Serve as a resource person to the student teacher regarding the teaching process, supplies, equipment and curriculum responsibilities.

e. Work cooperatively with the college/university supervisor to see that the student teacher is meeting college/university goals and expectations.

f. Work cooperatively with the college/university supervisor to monitor the student teacher's readiness to assume increased classroom teaching responsibilities and to provide those additional opportunities as appropriate.

g. Provide increasing feedback and support as the student teacher assumes full responsibility for classroom instruction.

4. Reflection, Collaboration, and Communication and the Student Teaching Experience

a. Keep the student teacher apprised of his/her progress at all times and revise goals and expectations as necessary.

b. Meet formally with the student teacher at least once a week to discuss his/her progress, review short- and long-term instructional plans, and identify specific objectives to work on the following week. Complete the written Consortium evaluation form with the student teacher during this conference.

c. Keep the college/university supervisor and the building principal informed of the student teacher's progress on a regular basis.

d. Complete written mid-point and final student teacher evaluations in cooperation with the college/university supervisor.

e. Provide the student teacher with opportunities for professional growth by encouraging observations of other educators, attending professional meetings, and participating in the entire school's program.

Qualifications of Clinical Faculty

1. A valid Virginia Collegiate Professional License with proper endorsement for the teaching assignment.

2. Three years (minimum) experience as a successful classroom teacher.

3. Advanced work in education. (Commitment to life-long learning as evidenced by work towards a master's degree, workshops, college credits, or other types of activities that assist the teacher in increasing his or her knowledge and performance related to the teaching profession.)

4. Recognized expertise in subject matter knowledge and current and varied instructional strategies for the classroom.

5. Skill in effective classroom management techniques

6. Knowledge of school/community relations

7. Strong oral and written communication skills.

8. Strong organizational skills.

9. Excellent human relations skills.

10. Experience in working with adults and/or student teachers.

11. A desire, willingness, and ability to work cooperatively with colleagues and student teachers.

12. Willingness to assume a three-year term as a Clinical Faculty, with regular review by the cooperating school divisions and the MidValley Consortium Steering Committee.

13. Willingness to accept one student teacher per year and to attend one or more "refresher" workshops during his/her three-year term.

Selection of Clinical Faculty

All qualified classroom teachers are eligible to apply for a clinical faculty position through their school division. Each September and January the Consortium asks member school divisions to nominate outstanding classroom teachers for clinical faculty training. Frequently these requests identify subject areas or grade levels of particular need.

The application procedure is as follows:

1. The central office contact person in each school division provides building-level administrators with application materials.

2. Qualified and interested teachers complete the application forms and return them to their principals.

3. The principals review the applications and submit them, with appropriate recommendations, to the school division contact person.

4. After further screening and recommendation, the contact person submits all accepted division applications to the Consortium Steering Committee.

5. The Consortium Steering Committee reviews all applications, identifies qualified teachers, and invites them to participate in that semester's training session.

Training

The Consortium conducts two two-day clinical faculty training cycles each year one in the fall and one in the spring. Whenever possible, the two days of a training cycle are scheduled one week apart. Each cohort typically includes 40-45 clinical faculty (6-8 from each participating school division). School divisions provide the substitutes for the teachers who participate.

The two-day Clinical Faculty training focuses on:

the unique characteristics of student teachers;

principles of adult learning;

roles of student teachers, clinical faculty, and college/university supervisors;

preparing for and orienting student teachers;

specific observation strategies; critical communication skills;

pre- and post-conferencing techniques;

coaching and informal feedback strategies;

reflective teaching;

co-teaching;

working with "at-risk" and excellent student teachers;

writing evaluations and recommendations;

professionalism; and

legal issues related to student teaching.

Teachers who successfully complete the training receive three-year renewable appointments as clinical faculty. They must attend at least one refresher workshop during their term and receive an increased honorarium for mentoring student teachers.

Refresher Workshops

Three or four "refresher workshops" for clinical faculty are held at various locations throughout the consortium school divisions each year. A relevant theme for the workshops is identified each year, and all workshops are identical. Clinical faculty may attend the workshop whose date and location is most convenient. Pre-registration is requested but not required.

Workshop topics over the last several years have included:

performance-based assessment of student teachers;

writing letters of recommendation;

using clinical faculty skills for school improvement; and

co-teaching with student teachers.

All clinical faculty must attend at least one refresher workshop during their three-year term in order to be eligible for reappointment. Approximately 150-160 Clinical Faculty attend refresher workshops each year.