Elementary Education and Reading Department
Office of Student Teaching
The most current version of this document is always available on the web at
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preparing for the Junior Practicum Courses………………………………..3
Preparing for Student Teaching……………………………………………..4
Registering for Student Teaching…………………………………………...5
The Student Teaching Experience…………………………………………...7
General Information on the Experience……………………………………9
Information About the School and Community………………………….9
Teacher Candidate “Need to Know” Checklist……………………………10
Initial Days of Adjustment…………………………………………………12
Working with Mentor Teachers……………………………………………12
Working with College Supervisors…………………………………………13
Teacher Candidate Planning………………………………………………..13
Participation in the Total School Program………………………………...13
Evaluation of the Teacher Candidate………………………………………14
Career Development Center and Job Searching…………………………...16
Career Development Day…………………………………………………...17
Teacher Recruitment Days………………………………………………….17
Finding a Job………………………………………………………………..17
Requirements for an Initial Certificate…………………………………….18
The Certification Process…………………………………………………...20
Departmental Verification of Program Completion……………………...21
You’ve Been Initially Certified – Now What?...…………………………...21
Do’s and Don’ts…………….……………………………………………….21
Professional Responsibilities in a Professional Development School……23
Teacher Education Unit Candidate Dispositions
New York State Code of Ethics for Educators
LAT Instructions for TaskStream/Link to the instructions for web version
PREPARING FOR THE JUNIOR PRACTICUM COURSES
(EDU 311W, EDU 312, EDU 329)
The last set of courses a Teacher Candidate takes prior to the student teaching semester, the
EDU 311W, EDU 312, and EDU 329 courses, are taught in a Professional Development School
(PDS). Visit the PDS website, www.buffalostate.edu/pds for more information about the
participating schools, with links to their websites, as well as their locations, including links to
driving directions. You will also find information about which BSC faculty have classes
located at which sites.
Much, if not all, of the rest of this handbook contains information that will be useful to
Junior Participants as well as Teacher Candidates ready to student teach.
Of particular note is the information related to the Fingerprint/Background Check
requirement. Many districts have begun to expect that students placed in their schools for
ANY practicum experience will have already completed the fingerprinting process and have
been cleared. For this reason, we strongly suggest that you begin the fingerprinting process
as soon as possible.
To do so, you may pick up the fingerprint packet of materials located in the rack outside of
the Teacher Certification Office, CAUD 101 (while there, you may want to take advantage of
all of the handouts and information the office provides). Section 7 of this handbook
provides some additional information about fingerprinting.
We also strongly suggest that you refer to Sections 4 (General Information on the
Experience), 9 (Frequently Asked Questions), and 10 (Professional Responsibilities in a
Professional Development School).
All students, at any level, should be meeting regularly (once each semester prior to the
registration period) with their advisor and completing the “Advisement/Mentor Checklist”
located on Page 26 of this handbook.
PREPARING FOR STUDENT TEACHING
To be considered fully prepared for student teaching, the Elementary Education and Reading
Teacher Candidate will have completed the following in the semesters prior to the one during
which student teaching will occur:
The Teacher Candidate will have completed all required coursework, both for the
college and the department, with a grade point average of at least 2.5 in the major and
cumulatively. The Teacher Candidate will have reviewed their DegreeNavigator Audit
and ensured that any courses which must be transferred in from high school or any
other institution have been accepted and placed on the audit. The Teacher Candidate
will also ensure that their audit has had all BSC courses properly placed such that the
audit looks complete upon any review.
The Teacher Candidate will have completed the fingerprinting and background check
requirements as per New York State requirements attendant to certification. Most
schools hosting Teacher Candidates will expect that you have been cleared via this
process prior to entering student teaching.
The Teacher Candidate will have completed at least the Child Abuse Seminar, if not all
of the five required seminars, prior to student teaching. Teacher Candidates entering a
student teaching situation become “required reporters” in the eyes of New York State,
so be prepared.
The Teacher Candidate will have had TB testing performed, and submitted those results
to the Weigel Health Center. The Elementary Education and Reading
Department/Office of Student Teaching does not need a copy.
The Teacher Candidate will have completed, or made arrangements to complete, the
New York State mandated tests – the LAST, ATS-W, and the CST, Multi-subjects, in
addition to any CST required for an extension.
The Teacher Candidate will have given due consideration to the housing, living
necessities, and transportation needs of the student teaching semester, and arranged
accordingly, prior to the student teaching semester. Students are reminded that
attempting to work in another position through the teaching placement period may
negatively impact your ability to succeed in the classroom, and is not recommended.
The Teacher Candidate will have given consideration to any needed wardrobe
adjustments/additions so that they will be properly and professionally attired to enter
The Teacher Candidate will have performed a thorough review of any electronic
medium, such as Facebook or Myspace, and addressed/removed any inappropriate
content. School districts can and do perform searches, and inappropriate postings may
have a negative impact on your future employment.
The Teacher Candidate will be aware of the student teaching calendar and attendant
activities in order to plan vacations and other life events well in advance or well after
the student teaching semester. The Teacher Candidate is expected to be available for
and focused on the numerous activities which surround the student teaching time
The Teacher Candidate anticipating student teaching in the next semester is required
to attend one of the Student Teaching Orientation sessions offered (there are usually
three sessions scheduled each semester). Look for date and time information on these
meetings to be posted in the department, and announced in your classes, in
September/October for those seeking spring placements, and in February/March for
those seeking fall placements. Be proactive in finding out what you need to know!
At the Student Teaching Orientation, you will receive and complete forms which will
be submitted for departmental review and confirmation of your readiness to student
teach. Bring a DegreeNavigator full report audit with you to the session!
Once your documentation has been received and reviewed, you will either be cleared
to student teach or contacted regarding any deficiencies that have been identified. It
is up to you to contact your advisor and/or department audit manager to be sure that
your audit shows completion of all requirements so that you look ready to student
IT BEARS REPEATING: Student teaching is meant to be the final, culminating,
capstone course of your education. It will require all of your energy and attention.
Therefore, you should plan to have ALL requirements met prior to student teaching.
REGISTERING FOR STUDENT TEACHING
REGISTRATION. Students must register for two 6-credit sections of student teaching.
In addition, students must register for a student teaching seminar. You will be
instructed as to exactly which CRN numbers to select. Students may not student
teach while on academic probation. If the final review of your student teaching folder,
performed after the completion of the semester prior to student teaching indicates a
deficiency, you may not be permitted to student teach.
STUDENTS’ ASSIGNMENT PREFERENCE. Degree program considerations shall
determine the nature of student teaching assignments. Students' requests regarding
assignments – for urban, double urban, and/or rural placements, or a specific school -
are considered whenever possible where there is no conflict with the degree program
consideration. Early childhood/Childhood Education students cannot request special
student teaching placements.
SUPERVISOR ASSIGNMENTS. Once you have been accepted to student teaching,
you will be assigned to a Teacher Candidate supervisor. This individual will contact
you to set up your first meeting, which will occur prior to the start of student
teaching. It is critically important that you must be reachable by and available to
your supervisor – be sure to keep us apprised of any phone or address change, AND BE
SURE TO REGULARLY CHECK YOUR BSC EMAIL ACCOUNT!
CAREER DEVELOPMENT DAY FOR EDUCATION MAJORS. Prior to student
teaching (August & December/January), there is a required all-day program for all
Teacher Candidates. School superintendents, principals, and recent graduates, along
with Career Development Center (CDC) staff, will share with you important
information about job searching. Everything from writing a resume to what
administrators look for during interviews will be covered. Ask your College Supervisor
for the exact date and time, or call the CDC, 716.878.5811.
STANDARDS AND APPEARANCE. As guests in the schools, Teacher Candidates
should act and dress in a professional manner. Personal appearance should reflect
good grooming, a positive self-image, and confidence.
More information regarding items listed above is located elsewhere in this handbook.
THE STUDENT TEACHING EXPERIENCE
TEACHING SCHEDULE. Teacher Candidates shall follow the College Student
Teaching Calendar with respect to: orientation programs, beginning day of teaching,
seminar days, and final day of teaching. In all other respects, including school
vacations and holidays, the calendar and schedule of the school should be followed,
including requirements for daily arrival and departure times. There may also be special
department schedules which need to be followed.
PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES. Every Teacher Candidate is expected to take a
professional approach to education and attend meetings and activities of a
professional nature which other faculty members attend and to which the Teacher
Candidate has been invited.
PRELIMINARY VISIT. Teacher Candidates are encouraged to arrange a preliminary
visit to the assigned school. The purpose of this visit is to meet the Mentor Teacher
and to obtain a first-hand overview of the neighborhood and community. If such a
visit is not feasible, telephone contact with the Mentor Teacher is recommended.
INTRODUCTION TO PRINCIPAL AND OFFICE STAFF. Teacher Candidates should
plan to stop by the principal's office on the first day of the assignment to introduce
themselves to the principal and office staff.
ABSENCE FROM ASSIGNMENT. Absence from the student teaching assignment
shall be made up to the satisfaction of the Mentor Teacher and the College Supervisor.
College Supervisors, Mentor Teachers, and the department student teaching
coordinator shall make arrangements for make-up of absences. Excessive absences
shall be addressed on an individual basis.
NOTIFICATION OF ABSENCE. A Teacher Candidate shall notify the assigned
cooperating school, Mentor Teacher, and College Supervisor in advance of an
anticipated absence, or as early as possible on the day of an absence due to an
emergency. Teacher Candidates who have teaching materials at home (manuals,
reference material, plans) which the Mentor Teacher will need, must make
arrangements to return them to the Mentor Teacher before the class meets. Teacher
Candidates who will not be able to teach at the appointed time set aside for a visit by
their student teaching supervisor should notify the supervisor as soon as possible to
arrange for another appointment. This will enable the supervisor to make the best use
of time needed to meet other college responsibilities.
TRANSFER OF ASSIGNMENTS. Necessary transfer of Teacher Candidates during the
course of a student teaching assignment shall be made only with the agreement of the
College Supervisor, the personnel concerned within the cooperating schools or
institutions, and the department student teaching coordinator.
WHERE TO GO FOR HELP. If difficulties are encountered in a particular situation
which the Teacher Candidate is unable to resolve in open discussion with the Mentor
Teacher, the Teacher Candidate should contact the College Supervisor for assistance as
soon as possible during the experience. If the College Supervisor is unable to help, the
Teacher Candidate should contact the department coordinator of student teaching.
THE TEACHER CANDIDATE AS A SUBSTITUTE. The Teacher Candidate CANNOT
serve as a substitute teacher under any circumstances.
REMUNERATION FOR TEACHING. A Teacher Candidate SHALL NOT receive
remuneration for any instructional services rendered during the hours assigned to
EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES (Including employment). Throughout the
period of student teaching, a Teacher Candidate should not participate in any extra –
curricular activities or employment which will weaken his or her effectiveness as a
Teacher Candidate. Student athletes need to student teach during the season when
they will not be involved in athletic competitions that require travel.
WITHDRAWING FROM A STUDENT TEACHING ASSIGNMENT. Any Teacher
Candidate who intends to withdraw from a student teaching assignment may do so
only up to the last day of the fourth week of a six-hour assignment or up to the
college date for course withdrawal of a twelve-hour situation or professional semester.
The Teacher Candidate must file a course withdrawal form signed by the appropriate
instructor or designee by the required deadline.
OBSERVATION OF STUDENT TEACHING. The College Supervisor will observe
Teacher Candidates in each of their two student teaching assignments. The
department, in accordance with needs of the program, will establish the schedule.
Observations should be sufficiently long for the supervisor to gain an overall view of
the Teacher Candidate's effectiveness and should be followed by conferences with the
Teacher Candidate and Mentor Teacher, individually, collectively, or both.
LIABILITY. The college is not liable for any illness or injury that may occur at the
cooperating school or agency. (Teacher Candidates must have their own insurance.)
GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE EXPERIENCE
A classroom containing a Teacher Candidate has the potential to enhance the professional
atmosphere. A Teacher Candidate can be an asset in many different instructional situations
throughout the experience. A Teacher Candidate’s presence may improve classroom
instruction in the following ways:
1. The presence of a Teacher Candidate in the classroom may often be stimulating to
both pupils and teacher.
2. The Teacher Candidate may be a valuable source for ideas about instructional
strategies and/or materials.
3. The presence of a Teacher Candidate may encourage the Mentor Teacher to examine
critically his or her own objectives and teaching strategies.
4. While the Teacher Candidate conducts class, the Mentor Teacher is able to observe his
or her pupils from a different perspective, perhaps gaining valuable insight into their
interests and/or learning preferences.
5. The presence of a Teacher Candidate gives pupils the opportunity to build rapport with
another adult within the school community.
More anxiety may occur prior to student teaching than during the actual experience.
The Mentor Teacher determines the classroom atmosphere and activity structure
before the Teacher Candidate arrives.
Student teaching is a period of transition in which the teacher candidate changes from
college student to beginning teacher.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY
In order to overcome some of the apprehension during this period of adjustment, begin to
learn all you can about the following:
Information about the school in general
Type of population served
Philosophy and objectives, Mission Statement
Unique characteristics, facilities, or services
Characteristics of the community
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TEACHER CANDIDATES “NEED TO KNOW” CHECKLIST
_____ Main Office/Support Staff
_____ Supply room
_____ Equipment Room
_____ Custodial Staff
_____ Teacher Parking
_____ Bus Entrance
_____ Student Records
_____ Lunch Room
_____ Resource and Other Professional Staff locations
_____ Curriculum maps, manuals, standards
_____ Texts, Supplemental materials
_____ Lesson/ unit planning procedures/expectations
_____ Shared responsibilities
_____ Day to day grading and attendance procedures
_____ First week’s lessons
_____ Classroom/teaching supplies and requisitions
_____ Audio/video requests and sharing
_____ Teacher and student computer access and use
_____ Activity funds, requests/reimbursements
_____ Room arrangement; affect on teaching/learning
_____ Storage of and access to materials
_____ Student access to materials, equipment
_____ Behavior expectations for each location
_____ Establishing/maintaining behavior expectations
_____ Discipline procedures; rules and consequences
_____ Consequences – Parent? Referral? Detention?
_____ Supervisory responsibilities outside of classroom
_____ Preventive classroom management strategies
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_____ Hours for teachers; building use at other times
_____ Extra duties
_____ Movements of students
_____ Student and teacher dress codes
_____ Fire, lockdown and other emergencies
_____ Homework and testing policies
_____ Student accidents; other student emergencies
_____ Pull-out programs
_____ Field trips
Personal and Professional
_____ Calling in sick/personal emergency
_____ Meeting scheduling/attendance; school calendar
_____ Holidays; assemblies; weather related closings
_____ Deadlines (grading, etc.)
_____ Parent/teacher conferences
_____ Documentation – student, parent, building
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THE INITIAL DAYS OF ADJUSTMENT
During the first few days the Teacher Candidate should:
Become acquainted with school personnel
Get to know the students
Become aware of the curriculum
Become familiar with the classroom routine
Assume some teaching responsibility
And above all, demonstrate initiative
The following activities are suggestions for Teacher Candidates to become involved during
the first week of student teaching:
Teach a get acquainted activity.
Carry out brief teaching activities.
Distribute and collect papers.
Supervise recess periods.
Administer tests and quizzes.
Assist with laboratory or project work.
Work with individuals or small groups.
Assist the teacher with demonstrations.
Explain specific procedures or techniques.
Plan and create displays or bulletin boards.
Learn the names of students.
By the end of the second week, a Teacher Candidate should:
Be independent in moving about the school.
Have some professional knowledge about the pupils.
Be able to plan independently of the Mentor Teacher's direct instruction.
Have assumed some responsibility for teaching an entire class for a part of the day.
Have met a number of other teachers and feel comfortable with them.
Have observed teachers in other areas as well as in his or her major teaching area.
Have enough confidence not to be totally dependent on the Mentor Teacher.
WORKING WITH MENTOR TEACHERS
Student teaching has the potential to result in improved personal relationships for
both students and teachers.
The professional development of Teacher Candidates will be enhanced when they are
treated in a professional manner.
Teacher Candidates are inexperienced colleagues.
Differences in personalities should be considered as an asset.
Honesty, thoughtfulness, and tact affirm and help to establish and further develop
good personal relationships.
Student teaching may lead to a more positive self-concept of the Teacher Candidate.
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WORKING WITH COLLEGE SUPERVISORS
The College Supervisor possesses expertise, which is valuable to both the Mentor
Teacher and Teacher Candidate.
The College Supervisor is in a position to assist with problems and difficulties.
The College Supervisor is concerned with the improvement of educational practice.
The College Supervisor facilitates and supplements good supervision.
The College Supervisor needs the collaboration of Mentor Teachers and Teacher
Candidates to function effectively.
The College Supervisor is a guide, confidant, and troubleshooter.
The College Supervisor should be informed of the Teacher Candidate's activities in
The Teacher Candidate will perform better when the College Supervisor takes an active
role in the experience.
The Mentor Teacher, in his or her supervisory role, should communicate regularly
with the College Supervisor.
TEACHER CANDIDATE PLANNING
A Teacher Candidate needs to understand that planning facilitates good teaching.
A well-developed lesson plan may be a Teacher Candidate's best teaching aid.
Emphasis on results should prevail over emphasis on form.
It is essential for the Teacher Candidate to be familiar with the Mentor Teacher's plans.
Good planning is based upon an appreciation for the purpose of the instruction and a
working knowledge of the learning preferences of pupils.
PARTICIPATION IN THE TOTAL SCHOOL PROGRAM
The Teacher Candidate should be involved in the same kinds of activities as the
Participation helps to give a Teacher Candidate the feeling of being accepted and
Teacher Candidates are exposed to a wider audience when working in a total school
program activity within the school than in an isolated classroom activity.
Participation should be accompanied by reflection and discussion in order to provide
the Teacher Candidate with the most optimal learning experience.
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EVALUATION OF THE TEACHER CANDIDATE
Practicum in Teaching includes EDU 400, 401, 404, and/or 410, and is taught in small
groups, called student teaching “cohorts,” made up of the teacher candidates and one BSC
supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for being at the school site two days each week and
will arrange the two placements required in student teaching
EDU 402 is taken concurrently with student teaching practicum courses and is conducted
within the student teaching cohort by the student teaching supervisor. Other coursework is
not recommended during the student teaching semester. However, EDU 375 or EXE 362
may be taken with student teaching with advisor permission.
Evaluation is an on-going process of honest interaction involving the Teacher
Candidate, Mentor Teacher, and College Supervisor.
Effective evaluation should include a variety of techniques.
Skillful self-evaluation will help the Teacher Candidate become a reflective
practitioner. Video and audio taping are useful self-evaluative techniques.
The Mentor Teacher and Teacher Candidate should review and discuss the identified
objectives and expectations within the first two weeks of the situation. Daily
conferencing regarding planning and progress will ensure clear communication.
A conference, following an observation by the College Supervisor, is an essential part
of the evaluation process. Periodically, the Mentor Teacher should be included in this
The College Supervisor will give a Teacher Candidate both a verbal and written
evaluation at a conference, with the intention of reinforcing the Teacher Candidate’s
teaching strengths as well as indicating areas in need of strengthening.
The student teaching experience presents the final opportunity for teacher appraisal by
a professional who can observe performance over a sustained period of time.
An evaluation should document performance related to all teaching behaviors.
Written student evaluations should be prepared by the Mentor Teacher and the
College Supervisor, with the understanding that the Teacher Candidate has access to
these evaluations at the institution. Evaluations of the student teaching experience for
each Teacher Candidate under his or her supervision shall be filed by the College
Supervisor with the department no later than ten working days following the
completion of each student teaching situation. College Supervisors must submit a
completed Student Teaching Summary/Evaluation form for every Teacher Candidate
supervised every quarter.
Teacher Candidates earn either a “Satisfactory (S)” or “Unsatisfactory (U) grade.
If a Teacher Candidate receives an “Unsatisfactory” grade in either of their placements,
a case conference with the department chairperson will be required before permission
is granted to continue in student teaching.
Two “Unsatisfactory” grades will result in the termination of the student from the
program. An appointment should be made with the department chairperson to
discuss other career and course options.
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Prior to completing your student teaching situations, you should ask your Mentor
Teacher and your College Supervisor to write a reference for your "official" reference
file, to be housed in the Career Development Center (CDC). The forms may be
downloaded from the CDC website:
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CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER AND JOB SEARCHING
The Career Development Center (CDC) offers a full range of job search services to help
education majors find local, national, and international teaching jobs. Contact them at
716.878.5811 for specific office hours/services availability, or visit the center, which is located
in CLEV 306. Many of your questions may be answered by visiting the CDC website,
www.buffalostate.edu/offices/cdc, and you can also e-mail your questions to the CDC staff
Teacher Candidates create a reference file which contains written recommendations about
you, needed by potential employers or graduate/professional schools in order to learn about
your qualifications. Most school districts will request an official copy of your reference file
when considering you for a position.
The CDC Reference File Service maintains your file by creating a file when your first letter is
submitted, updating it as new material is submitted, and responding to requests to mail
copies of it to employers or graduate/professional schools. A Reference File Packet
containing reference forms may be picked up at the CDC, CLEV 306. The packet contains
vital information regarding policies and procedures.
The Reference File Area is open daily; contact the office for current hours of operation. You
can drop off reference requests any time the CDC is open or use the drop slot in the hallway
outside CLEV 306 (please follow the posted instructions).
ITEMS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR PORTFOLIO/REFERENCE FILE
Certification (state, other)
Letters of Recommendation
Selected student teaching evaluations from Mentor Teachers, College Supervisors,
school administrators, students, or other teachers
Licensing exam results
Honors and Awards
Placement credential information
II. DETAILS of STUDENT TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Description of assignments; school, grade level, class and course assignments
Applied classroom management rules and procedures
Sample lesson plans/learning activities
Sample tests, quizzes, and other assessment tools
Documentation of participation in extracurricular and co-curricular activities
Evidence of teaching related-experiences
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III. PERSONAL PROFESSIONAL STATEMENTS
Philosophy of education
Preferred teaching models
Inclusion strategies, plans for exceptional students
Examples of use of state curriculum standards and integrated teaching
You are encouraged to take many photos to provide a clear image of your classroom.
Make sure you are included in some of the photos, and try to have some shots of
learners in action. Do not show student faces unless you have acquired permission to
use student images!
CAREER DEVELOPMENT DAY
Once a semester, prior to student teaching (August & December/January), a "Career
Development Day for Education Majors, Jobs: Myths & Realities" program is held. The
required all-day program is a mix of panel presentations by area school district administrators
and job search workshops conducted by CDC and Buffalo State College staff.
TEACHER RECRUITMENT DAYS
An education job fair, Teacher Recruitment Days, is held each spring which provides teaching
candidates with an opportunity to interview with local and national school districts. Pre-
registration information is available after January 1 in the CDC or on the web at www.trd.org.
FINDING A JOB!
The CDC receives job openings from many school districts on a daily basis. The majority of
these openings can be accessed on-line through ORCA (the Online Resource for Career
Advancement). Simply go to the CDC website (www.buffalostate.edu/offices/cdc), click on
“Job Listings”, and then click on “Jobs/Enter ORCA”. In addition to viewing job openings
on ORCA, you can also upload your resume for local and national school districts to view.
The Internet has thousands of education job postings for college students. A good place to
begin is the CDC’s website. Start at the CDC homepage and link to “Education Job Links.”
You can also use the Western New York Regional Information Center’s (WNYRIC) WNY
School Application System. This is a consortium of schools brought together to offer an on-
line application process to prospective teachers and administrators. Applicants complete a
thorough application which is stored in a shared database. Documents such as resumes,
transcripts and letters of recommendation can be attached to the application. Districts post
positions on the site and applicants can attach their application to the posting or leave it in
the general database. Individual districts can only see applications where the applicant has
explicitly checked that district. Each of the districts in the consortium use query tools to
access their data and find the best match for positions.
Find it here: http://www.e1b.org/wps/portal/Erie1
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REQUIREMENTS FOR AN INITIAL CERTIFICATE
The Initial Certificate is issued upon completion of the following requirements, and is valid
for five years:
1. Complete an approved educational program.
2. EXAMINATIONS: Complete the LAST, ATS-W and CST Multi-subjects, as well as
the CST for your extension (if you have one) by your final semester. Plan ahead as
some examination dates conflict with college events. Registration must be done
online at: www.nystce.nesinc.com
A. LAST - Liberal Arts and Sciences Test.
B. ATSW – Assessment of Teaching Skills, Written.
C. CST Multi – Content Specialty Test, Multi-subjects.
D. CST – The Content Specialty Test is also required of any student seeking to extend
their certificate into another area (English, Foreign Language, Math, Social Studies)
Be sure to maintain your test scores in a safe place, in case you should ever need to reference
them (some school districts do ask for the specific score received). Test scores are maintained
by NYSTCE for a period of just two years, and TEACH only records that you passed (or
3. FINGERPRINTING: OSPRA (Office of School Personnel Review and
Accountability), 518.473.2998; http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/ospra/
A. All students must complete the fingerprint and comprehensive background check
clearance process prior to Student Teaching. Preferably, it will have been done prior to
the Junior Practicum courses.
B. Fingerprinting packets contain two fingerprint cards and instructions on the current
process for submitting fingerprints and performing the background check. Much of
the process is now completed online.
C. The fee for having prints rolled/scanned is separate and in addition to the fee charged
by OSPRA for reviewing the application.
D. If you think that your fingerprints may already be on file (from prior employment),
you must contact OSPRA directly to confirm that information, and determine
anything additional that may need to be done.
E. If you think that you may have a problem with your background check due to a
previous legal issue, you should contact OSPRA directly and ask to speak to
OSPRA will NOT notify you if/when your prints have cleared; check their website for your
If you are arrested after filing your prints, OSPRA will be notified and you will be copied on
the notification. (For future reference, OSPRA is required by law to notify your employing
school as well).
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4. SEMINARS: All Elementary Education and Reading students are required to
complete the following five seminars:
A. SCHOOLS AGAINST VIOLENCE IN EDUCATION (SAVE)
B. FIRE AND ARSON SAFETY
C. ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS
D. CHILD ABUSE IDENTIFICATION AND REPORTING
E. AIDS/HIV. As a service to majors, this seminar is offered by the
department in special sessions throughout the semester. You will be
provided with more information on dates, times, and locations as well as
registration information during student teaching or from your EDU 402
All seminars are offered on campus through the Office of Continuing Professional Studies.
Check for the current semester’s schedule by contacting them at 716.878.5907 or online at
The seminars are also available through other venues; please check with them for current
schedules and fees.
Erie 1 BOCES – 716.630.4250
Aids Community Services – 716.847.2437
www.nysna.org click “Online Continuing Education”
Be sure to maintain your seminar completion certificates in a safe place, in case you should
ever need to reference them. Although BSC certifies that you have completed the seminars
when you are recommended for certification, the copies of your seminar certificates are not
maintained by the Teacher Certification Office, nor are they forwarded to NYS/TEACH. To
replace lost seminar certificates, contact the venue that issued them (The Office of
Continuing Professional Studies charges a fee for each replacement copy needed).
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THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS
The successful culmination of your course work, fingerprinting, seminar and test completion,
and student teaching is reflected in becoming a teacher certified by the State of New York.
Students completing registered programs – ALL of Elementary Education and Reading’s
programs are registered - are eligible to be certified via a direct recommendation from
Buffalo State College to the State of New York.
COMPLETING YOUR EDUCATION AND BECOMING CERTIFIED
You’re in your last semester at BSC; you’ve completed all of your course work and are student
teaching. You are about ready to graduate and become certified to teach. How does that
actually happen, and what is the timeline for it to occur?
1. Apply for graduation through the college by filing the correct forms with the
2. About a month before graduation, access your TEACH account (already set up in
order to have done your fingerprinting) to apply for, and pay for, your certificate(s).
3. At the same time, file the Release Authorization form with the Teacher Certification
Office, being sure to include copies of each of the required seminar completion
certificates. The Release Authorization is the trigger for the Certification Officer to
review your application. However -
4. After the last day of classes, it takes about a month for your degree to actually be
reviewed, approved and posted in the system by the college. You can plan on June for
May graduates, September for August graduates, and January for December graduates.
5. Until your degree is actually posted, NO action can be taken on your application for
6. Once degrees are posted, the Teacher Certification Officer will begin to go through
the Release Authorizations that are on file, checking each against the information in
Banner and the TEACH system. If it is verified that your education and seminar
requirements are complete, you will be recommended for your certificate(s).
7. It is important for you to know that Buffalo State only recommends you for your
certification; NYSED actually issues your certificate.
8. You can check the TEACH system regularly to see if you have been recommended. It
takes about 2 – 3 weeks to process everyone once degrees are posted.
9. IF all NYSED requirements ARE met, your certificate will issue overnight. You will be
able to print the recommendation page from TEACH, if you need it. Your actual
certificate will come from NYS in 10 to 14 business days. In the meantime, school
districts considering you for employment can access TEACH to verify your
10. IF all NYSED requirements ARE NOT met – for example, if you have not
taken/passed your CST or your fingerprints have not cleared – you may still be
recommended based on your program and seminar completion. HOWEVER, your
certificate will NOT issue until the requirement shows as complete in the TEACH
11. Certificates are valid from the actual date of issuance (date on which all requirements
are shown as complete in the system) even though the certificate will have a date of
either September 1 or February 1.
~ 21 ~
1. Keep your TEACH username and password in a safe place. If you need to have them
reset, you will have to call TEACH help.
2. REMINDER - Keep the originals of your both your seminar certificates and your
NYSTCE test scores together in another location, which is safe, but easily accessed.
3. REMINDER - Keep your NYSTCE test scores in a safe place. TEACH only indicates
test P/F; NYSTCE only keeps them for two years.
4. The Certification Office website should be referred to by every education major as a
resource for its wide variety of the most up-to-date information about certification.
The Release Authorization form can be downloaded from there as well.
DEPARTMENTAL VERIFICATION OF PROGRAM COMPLETION
1. If needed, the Elementary Education and Reading Department will provide you with a
letter indicating that you have completed your program requirements, which may
assist you with applications for graduate school and/or employment.
2. The letter is not, however, accepted by the Teacher Certification Office for purposes of
issuing your recommendation.
YOU’VE BEEN INITIALLY CERTIFIED - NOW WHAT?
Your Initial Certificate is valid for a period of 5 years. By the end of that period, you must
meet the requirements for the Professional Certificate, as follows:
1. Hold the Initial Certificate.
2. Complete a Master’s Degree in a functionally related field (ex. Curriculum and
Instruction). For a complete list of appropriate degrees, look here:
3. Achieve 3 years of teaching experience.
4. 180 teaching days equals one year.
5. Documented substituting days will count; make sure that you carefully keep your own
records about when and where you subbed.
The Professional Certificate is the advanced-level certificate for classroom teachers (issued in
specific subject/grade titles) and School Building Leaders.*
It is continuously valid with (proof of) completion of (the) required professional
development hours on a five-year professional development cycle.*
~ 22 ~
DO’S AND DON’TS
“The attitudes, values, and behaviors that you exhibit have the potential to impact on your
success as a teacher. Your appearance, language, and behavior speak volumes about you as a
person. Think about how you look, how you speak, and how you behave. Make sure that
you are conveying the message that you are a mature person who is preparing to become a
professional teacher.” (NCCC)
Above all, all teacher candidates should familiarize themselves with the school’s codes for
professional behavior and dress. However, there are several recommendations that can be
made. You need to display and maintain a professional appearance, which means you should
not dress the same as you do when you go out with your friends. Remember that each and
every experience in the school is as if you are on an interview.
Wear clothing that is clean, pressed, and free from tears or fraying.
Wear clothing that covers your body – chest to hips – even when you are seated, or bend
Wear clothing that fits; it should not be too loose nor too tight.
Wear socks or hose – bare feet/legs are for the beach, not the classroom.
Wear shoes that are comfortable – low heeled, dress shoes, loafers – clean, and in good
Wear your hair well groomed and neat; facial hair of any type must also be kept neat.
Wear skirts, dresses, dress slacks/khakis/corduroys, tops/blouses, dress shirts/ties, and/or
Wear make-up or jewelry that is distracting to students.
Display piercings or tattoos that may be distracting.
Wear anything that might be perceived as provocative.
Wear heavy perfume or cologne.
Wear sunglasses indoors (except for medical reasons).
Wear jeans, shorts, tank tops/muscle shirts, athletic shoes, work boots, or sandals/flip flops.*
Wear clothing with messages or team names, or which is considered athletic wear.*
*Unless you are involved in a special school event where these would be appropriate.
~ 23 ~
The following websites offer some additional insight and perspective on teacher attire:
What are some other “do’s and don’t’s?”
1. Use appropriate language and grammar when speaking and writing.
2. Use appropriate volume, tone, and body language.
3. Make eye contact.
4. Use appropriate social language, such as “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.”
5. Refer to other professionals by their formal names (e.g. Dr., Mr., Mrs., Ms.) unless
invited by those individuals to use their first names.
6. Greet adults with a firm handshake.
7. Remove your hat when you enter the school or classroom (unless you need to have
your head covered for religious, medical, and/or cultural reasons).
8. Turn off your cell phone.
1. Use slang and/or offensive language, or use profanity under any condition.
2. Tell jokes that show disrespect for individuals or groups.
3. Use sexually explicit or suggestive language.
4. Use prejudicial language.
5. Use language that reflects bias or bigotry against specific groups, religions,
socioeconomic, or other individuals that you perceive to be different from yourself.
6. Espouse your sexual, religious, and/or political views.
7. Use inappropriate hand or body gestures.
8. Behave in an inappropriate manner by violating personal space or making physical
contact that is inappropriate.
9. Chew gum or tobacco.
10. Smoke anywhere near the school.
11. Snack (except during scheduled breaks).
12. Work on other assignments for Buffalo State during your time with the students.
~ 24 ~
PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES IN A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL
_____ I understand the importance of professional appearance and conduct required in a
_____ I understand the importance of responsibility, preparedness, and punctuality required
in a school setting.
_____ I understand the importance of professional communication skills, including written,
oral, and electronic.
_____ I understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality regarding colleagues and
students in a school setting.
_____ I understand the importance of maintaining respectful relationships with faculty and
students as well as all members of the professional development school network.
_____ I understand the importance of providing accurate and effective instruction as I
collaborate with my mentor teacher.
_____ I understand the importance of maintaining, safe, positive, productive, healthy
~ 25 ~
TEACHER CANDIDATE NAME: _________________________________________________
Banner ID#: _________________________ Major: ________________________________
(Liberal Arts and Sciences Test)
Date taken: _________________ Score: _______________
(Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written; should be taken before or during EDU 312 or
Date taken: ________________ Score: _______________ OR
Registered to take test on: _________________________________
(Content Specialty Test; should be taken before or during Student Teaching. El. Ed. students should
take the “Multi-subjects” CST; Ex. Ed./El. Ed. students should take “Multi-subjects” CST and the
“Students with Disabilities” CST; El. Ed. students with an Extension should take the “Multi-subjects”
CST and the CST in their particular extension.)
Date taken: _______________ Score: _______________ OR
Registered to take test on: _________________________________
Date taken: _______________ Score: _______________ OR
Registered to take test on: _________________________________
Visit www.nystce.nesinc.com for a listing of test dates and registration information (all registration is
done online). IMPORTANT: When you register for testing, be sure to use the SUC Buffalo (Buffalo
State) Institution Code – 735.
Mandated Seminars/Fingerprinting for New York State Teacher Certification:
Child Abuse Identification and Reporting ________________
School Anti-Violence Education (SAVE) ________________
HIV/AIDS Education ________________
Alcohol and Other Drugs ________________
Fire and Arson ________________
Fingerprinting/Background Check ________________
~ 26 ~
Advisor’s Name: ____________Date_______
Student Name______________________ Major Code______________
Program: Purple GE2K_____ Blue IF _____ Transfer student?______
Does student have an AS/AA degree?____ Is it posted on DN?________
How is Course Work Coming Along at this Point?
Distribution _________ (24 hrs)
Concentration:_______________(30 hrs.) Concentration Identified on DN? ________
Identified on Advisement List? _____ Check Upper Division_____(15/18 for most)
Professional Sequence _____ Ready to Apply to full major? ______ Apply grad? ____
General Education/Intellectual Foundations Requirements?
ENG/CWP 101 _____ ENG/CWP 102 _____ MATH REQ. _____
Writing Intensives ______(EDU 311W) Foreign Lang. _____ _____ (H.S.,ASL?)
Diversity ____ Is student interested in Extension(7-9)? __________
Other Req.- check DN _______
Upper Division Hours of at least 45 hours _____
Total Hours of at least 120 hours _____
At least 32 hours completed at BSC _____
Last 16 hours completed at BSC _____
Mentoring Discussion May Include:
th th th
Application _____ (September 15 , February 15 , July 15 -pick up in 302)
GPA _____ (Encourage to keep above 2.5 or higher if possible)
LAST _____ (register for or take prior to application to full major)
ATS-W _____ (possibly near end of 312 or 329)
CST-multi-subject _____ (during 312, ST or earlier, or before application to initial cert.)
CST-subject (ext) _____ (during ST or earlier, get guidance from appropriate dept.)
Orientations _____ (PDS/EDU 311W, Student Teaching, both mandatory)
Fingerprinting _____ (Absolutely mandatory prior to initial cert., preferred for ST)
TB Test _____ (information given at ST orientation)
Seminars (5) _____ (check el ed/pds websites and certification site for information)
Graduation _____ (checkup by advisor, application for graduation, Jan. or Sept.)
Prof. Org. _____ (ACEI student prof. org., journals, etc.)
Reference file _____ (Grover Cleveland 306, Career Development Center - website)
Taskstream _____ (Required for all EDU courses)
Portfolio _____ (TS/Elect./hard copy/collect artifacts/discuss org.- INTASC, etc)
Graduate Programs _____ (Consider BSC, etc; Applications are due Oct. 1, March 1,)
Road to Prof. Cert. _____ (Need to teach 3 years out of first 5 and also get Masters)
Other _____(Check out the www.buffalostate.edu/pds website - current st.)
~ 27 ~
Buffalo State College Teacher Education Unit
Content – The professional educator will know the subject matter to be taught to P-12
Learner – The professional educator will understand P-12 learners’ socialization, growth and
development; the learning process; reflection of teaching; and the establishment of a classroom
climate that facilitates learning.
Pedagogy – The professional educator will attain an understanding of the strategies that
candidates use to teach all learners.
Technology – The professional educator uses technology as a vehicle for learners to acquire
information, practice skills, use higher order thinking skills, and participate in collaborative
Reflection – The professional educator exhibits the ability to reflect and assess his/her own
effectiveness, and to systematically make adjustments to improve and strengthen areas
Dispositions – The professional educator demonstrates respect for learner differences,
commitment to own personal growth, and engagement in short and long-term planning.
Diversity – The professional educator is aware of and sensitive to diversity issues and to use
culturally and socially responsive pedagogy.
~ 28 ~
Teacher Education Unit Candidate Dispositions
(amended by the Teacher Education Council February 13, 2009)
1. Candidates and other school personnel exhibit behaviors that are consistent with the profession’s
mission, values, ethical principles, and ethical standards including the New York State Code of
2. Education-related professionals act honestly and responsibly and promote ethical practices in the
schools, educational settings, and communities in which they work.
3. The candidate realizes that subject matter knowledge is not a fixed body of facts but is complex
and ever-evolving. S/he seeks to keep abreast of new ideas and understandings in the field.
4. The candidate is committed to continuous learning and engages in professional discourse about
the subject matter knowledge and children’s learning of the discipline.
5. The candidate values ongoing assessment as essential to the instructional process and recognizes
that many different assessment strategies, accurately and systematically used, are necessary for
monitoring and promoting student learning.
6. The candidate is committed to using assessment to identify student strengths, and promote student
growth rather than to deny students access to learning opportunities.
7. The candidate values and appreciates the importance of all aspects of a child’s experience.
8. The candidate is concerned about all aspects of a child’s well-being (cognitive, emotional, social
and physical), and is alert to signs of difficulties.
9. The candidate values the development of students’ critical thinking, independent problem solving,
and performance capabilities.
10. The candidate values flexibility and reciprocity in the teaching process as necessary for adapting
instruction to student responses, ideas, and needs.
11. The candidate values the use of educational technology in the teaching and learning process.
12. The candidate values many ways in which people seek to communicate and encourages many
modes of communication (including speaking, writing, other media and technology) in the
13. The candidate is a thoughtful and responsive listener.
14. The candidate believes that plans must always be open to adjustment and revision based on
student needs and changing circumstances.
15. The candidate appreciates and values human diversity, shows respect for students’ varied talents
and perspectives, and is committed to the pursuit of “individually configured excellence”.
16. The candidate respects students as individuals with differing personal and family backgrounds
and various skills, talents, and interests.
17. The candidate is committed to reflection, assessment and learning as an ongoing process.
18. The candidate recognizes his/her professional responsibility for engaging in and supporting
appropriate professional practices for self and colleagues.
19. The candidate understands how participation supports commitment, and is committed to the
expression and use of (fair) democratic values in the classroom.
20. The candidate is committed to seeking out, developing, and continually refining practices that
address the individual needs of students.
21. The candidate appreciates individual variation within each area of developments, shows respect
for the diverse talents of all learners, and is committed to help them develop self-confidence and
22. The candidate is disposed to use students’ strengths as a basis for growth, and their errors as an
opportunity for learning.
~ 29 ~
New York State Code of Ethics for Educators
Statement of Purpose
The Code of Ethics is a public statement by educators that sets clear expectations and principles to
guide practice and inspire professional excellence. Educators believe a commonly held set of principles
can assist in the individual exercise of professional judgment. This Code speaks to the core values of
the profession. "Educator" as used throughout means all educators serving New York schools in
positions requiring a certificate, including classroom teachers, school leaders and pupil personnel
Principle 1: Educators nurture the intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and civic
potential of each student.
Educators promote growth in all students through the integration of intellectual, physical, emotional,
social and civic learning. They respect the inherent dignity and worth of each individual. Educators
help students to value their own identity, learn more about their cultural heritage, and practice social
and civic responsibilities. They help students to reflect on their own learning and connect it to their life
experience. They engage students in activities that encourage diverse approaches and solutions to
issues, while providing a range of ways for students to demonstrate their abilities and learning. They
foster the development of students who can analyze, synthesize, evaluate and communicate
Principle 2: Educators create, support, and maintain challenging learning environments for
Educators apply their professional knowledge to promote student learning. They know the curriculum
and utilize a range of strategies and assessments to address differences. Educators develop and
implement programs based upon a strong understanding of human development and learning theory.
They support a challenging learning environment. They advocate for necessary resources to teach to
higher levels of learning. They establish and maintain clear standards of behavior and civility.
Educators are role models, displaying the habits of mind and work necessary to develop and apply
knowledge while simultaneously displaying a curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. They invite
students to become active, inquisitive, and discerning individuals who reflect upon and monitor their
Principle 3: Educators commit to their own learning in order to develop their practice.
Educators recognize that professional knowledge and development are the foundations of their
practice. They know their subject matter, and they understand how students learn. Educators respect
the reciprocal nature of learning between educators and students. They engage in a variety of
individual and collaborative learning experiences essential to develop professionally and to promote
student learning. They draw on and contribute to various forms of educational research to improve
their own practice.
Principle 4: Educators collaborate with colleagues and other professionals in the interest of
Educators encourage and support their colleagues to build and maintain high standards. They
participate in decisions regarding curriculum, instruction and assessment designs, and they share
responsibility for the governance of schools. They cooperate with community agencies in using
resources and building comprehensive services in support of students. Educators respect fellow
professionals and believe that all have the right to teach and learn in a professional and supportive
environment. They participate in the preparation and induction of new educators and in professional
development for all staff.
~ 30 ~
Principle 5: Educators collaborate with parents and community, building trust and
Educators partner with parents and other members of the community to enhance school programs and
to promote student learning. They also recognize how cultural and linguistic heritage, gender, family
and community shape experience and learning. Educators respect the private nature of the special
knowledge they have about students and their families and use that knowledge only in the students'
best interests. They advocate for fair opportunity for all children.
Principle 6: Educators advance the intellectual and ethical foundation of the learning
Educators recognize the obligations of the trust placed in them. They share the responsibility for
understanding what is known, pursuing further knowledge, contributing to the generation of
knowledge, and translating knowledge into comprehensible forms. They help students understand that
knowledge is often complex and sometimes paradoxical. Educators are confidantes, mentors and
advocates for their students' growth and development. As models for youth and the public, they
embody intellectual honesty, diplomacy, tact and fairness.
This Code shall not be used as a basis for discipline by any employer and shall not be used
by the State Education Department as a basis for a proceeding under Part 83 of
Commissioner's Regulations, nor shall it serve as a basis for decisions pertaining to
certification or employment in New York State. Conversely, this Code shall not be
interpreted or used to diminish the authority of any public school employer to evaluate or
discipline any employee under provisions of law, regulation, or collective bargaining
Background on the Development of the Code
The State Board of Regents, as part of its teaching reform initiatives outlined in the 1998 report, New
York's Commitment: Teaching to Higher Standards, called for the State Professional Standards and
Practices Board for Teaching to develop a Code of Ethics for Teachers. In New York State, a teacher is
defined as anyone for whom a certificate is required for service in the State's public schools. This
includes classroom teachers, school administrators, and pupil personnel service providers.
The Standards Board is a 28-member board that serves in an advisory capacity to the Regents and the
Commissioner of Education. Its membership consists of teachers, school administrators, higher
education representatives, public members, and a teacher education student. The Board worked for
over a year to develop a draft Code of Ethics. The process involved a review of numerous other codes
developed by professional organizations and by other jurisdictions, both for the teaching profession
and for other professions. Individual Board members also consulted with their colleagues in the field to
inform the process.
A draft was presented to the Regents Committee on Higher and Professional Education at the October
2001 Board of Regents meeting. Following this preliminary review by the Regents, the draft Code of
Ethics was released for public comment. Reactions and suggestions were received from as broad a
spectrum as possible: classroom teachers, school administrators and pupil personnel professionals,
other members of the school community, teacher education students, college faculty, professional
organizations, boards of education, parents and the general public.
The State Standards and Practices Board reviewed all comments received and produced the final
version of the code in June 2002. The New York State Code of Ethics for Educators was presented to
the Board of Regents at its July 2002 meeting, at which time the Regents authorized the release of the
Code to the public.
For more information, contact:
Patricia Oleaga. Secretary, State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching
New York State Education Department, Office of Teaching Initiatives, Room 5N EB
Albany, New York 12234
Phone: (518) 474-4661