This handbook is to provide you information and guidance to help your internship experience be the best it can possibly be. The internship should provide you with opportunities to observe teaching techniques and methods of experienced teachers; practice and develop various teaching abilities and knowledge; and recognize competencies associated with effective teaching. The internship is the final step taken on the road to becoming a licensed teacher, but it is by no means the end of the learning-to-teach process. Under the guidance of cooperating teachers and a university supervisor, you should have the opportunity to grow as an individual and as a prospective teacher. It is important to remember that the internship is a full-time responsibility and must take precedence over your other commitments.
During the internship you should be able to:
- Demonstrate resourcefulness, thoroughness, and logic in planning.
- Demonstrate effectiveness in initiating and sustaining a productive learning environment in the gymnasium or classroom.
- Guide, facilitate, and assess student learning.
- Adapt instructional methods and content to meet students' individual differences in psychomotor, cognitive, and affective domains.
As is the case in most other professions, there are certain inherent and assumed professional expectations. The physical education profession is no different. Not only are you a representative of the university, you are also a professional. You should view yourself as a "teacher in training" and assume appropriate professional behaviors. You will demonstrate professional and ethical conduct as well as function as a member of the site school staff. Professional conduct includes:
- Appropriate attire – You are expected to present a positive professional image. Attire for teaching physical education is to be appropriate to the activity or class.
- Attendance – You are required to put in the same teaching day as all teachers. You will be in the school during assigned beginning and ending times.
- Punctuality – You are to be on time to school or school related activities.
- Schedule – You will follow the schedule (including vacations) of the cooperating teacher, not the university. Attendance at faculty meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and professional development activities is expected. If you will be late or absent, contact appropriate personnel (e.g., cooperating teacher, administrator, university supervisor).
- Outside employment – It is highly recommended that you do not assume a job while interning. The internship is your job. You will likely have little time or energy to devote to a job. Additional employment may jeopardize your success.
- Taking courses – The internship is considered a full-time load at 12 credits. You should not take additional course work during the internship experience.
- After school programs – Experience in an after school extracurricular program, such as coaching an athletic team, is optional during the internship. Each student is encouraged to gain as much experience in after-school programs as is possible and reasonable, however the intern should carefully plan the extent of involvement and amount of responsibility taken in an after-school program.
- Unit/lesson planning - Complete and submit to appropriate personnel (e.g., cooperating teacher, administrator, university supervisor) unit and lesson plans for each unit taught.
- Prepare mentally for teaching
- Willingly accept and implement feedback provided by cooperating teacher and university supervisor.
- Critique each lesson and/or part of lesson taught.
- Complete assigned work samples.
The following is a checklist to guide your internship experience.
Prior to Internship:
- Discuss with university student teaching coordinator internship opportunities and locations.
- Identify and examine schools in which the internship can occur.
- Sign internship contract and any relevant consent forms (for research purposes).
- Complete required state or university certifications (e.g., substitute teaching certification, finger prints for background check, etc.).
- After placement is finalized, make living arrangements.
- Read the university internship handbook.
- Submit all relevant paper work to the university and the school.
Prior to First Day:
- Arrange meeting with cooperating teacher to discuss:
- units to be taught
- school policies including student attendance and tardiness
- teacher dress
- discipline procedures
- management activities
- general expectations
- share your expectations
- Meet appropriate administrative personnel.
- Visit the school and learn your way around the building.
- Identify and submit to university supervisor the school teaching schedule.
- Begin preparing unit and lesson plans.
Early in Internship:
- Identify cooperating teachers' strategies to establish a learning environment.
- Make arrangements to observe/shadow students in other content areas.
- Assist cooperating teacher as needed.
- Read staff and/or student handbook(s).
- Know facilities and policies.
- Observe, participate, share teaching responsibilities, and learn student names.
- Observe other physical education teachers.
- Assume responsibility for teaching a part time load.
Throughout the Internship:
- Attend all relevant meetings.
- Attend professional meetings (e.g., state, district, or national AHPERD, in-service workshop, etc.).
- Attend other school functions (e.g., open house, demonstration nights, etc.).
- Attend all relevant parent-teacher conferences with cooperating teacher.
- Meet formally with school principal or other administrator.
- Complete systematic observations on lessons taught.
- Complete self assessments as required by the university.
- Complete and submit unit and lesson plans.
- Meet with cooperating teacher and university supervisor the required number of times to discuss progress.
- Assume responsibility for teaching a full-time load.
- Work with students who have special needs.
- Complete and discuss the mid-internship assessment with your cooperating teacher.
End of Internship:
- Complete and submit evaluations of your cooperating teacher.
- Complete your internship portfolio.
- Make an appointment with your cooperating teacher and university supervisor to discuss your final evaluation.
- Complete the end of internship project.
- Ask your cooperating teachers and university supervisor if they would be willing to complete reference forms and letters for you.
- Send thank you notes to cooperating teacher and administrator.
Documents from physical education teacher education and college of education at University of Wyoming, University of North Carolina at Greensboro and University of Idaho were used to guide the sections on this page.