Student Teaching Handbook for Student Teachers and Cooperating School Personnel

Syllabus for Undergraduate Courses
MUS 421, 421A, 421B, 422, 422A, 422B, 423, 423A, 423B

Graduate Courses
MUS 521, 521A, 521B, 522, 522A, 522B

University Supervisors
Dr. Sharyn L. Battersby

"Teaching is hard work. Choose teaching because you want to teach. Teach because you believe that the human spirit is capable of learning at any age and you strongly desire to be part of the dynamic interactions that characterize positive learning and a total engagement of the mind, body, and spirit in an inquiry about those things that are known as well as those that seem distant and impossible. No matter how long a person has been teaching, being a good teacher is no excuse for failing to become an even better teacher."
-- Suzanne C. Carothers, in To Become A Teacher

“Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself.”
-- John Dewey, in Self-Realization as the Moral Ideal
"When you learn, teach, when you get, give."
-- Maya Angelou
Google Doc version of the guidelines:
  • Catholic University Supervisor Contact Information

    Sharyn L. Battersby, Ed. D.
    Associate Professor
    Head, Music Education Academic Area
    The Catholic University of America
    Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art
    Washington, D.C. 20064

    Dr. Christopher Ciccone, D.M.A.
    Wind Ensemble
    The Catholic University of America
    Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art
    Washington, D.C. 20064

    Dr. Peter Perry, D.M.A.
    Instrumental Music Education
    The Catholic University
    Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art
    Washington, D.C. 20064


    The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art
    Music Office Telephone: 202.319.5414
    Fax: 202.319.6280

  • 2020 Student Teaching Calendar (Tentative)



    August, 2020

    All student teachers should attend orientation sessions/teacher workshops and work with their cooperating teacher(s). Participation in marching band camps and other summer activities should be expected.

    D.C certification requires FBI background check. TB

    tests and fingerprinting to be completed.

    Mon., August 24

    First day of classes at CUA.

    Tues., August 25

    Student Teacher Seminar - Orientation

    Tues., Sept., 1

    Observation Placements – Check in Portfolio Preparation

    Tues., Sept. 8


    Tues., Sept. 15

    Chapter 1 and Assignment #!

    Tues., Sept. 22

    SEMINAR – Back to School Presentation Directions

    Weds. Sept. 30

    NO SEMINAR -Approximate mid-term date for first 7- week placement period. Mid-term evaluations to be done regarding first cooperating school placement.

    Evaluation form is not to be mailed to University yet.

    Save and complete at time of final evaluation.

    Tues., Oct. 6

    NO SEMINAR-Assignment #2

    Tues., Oct. 13

    NO SEMINAR-Administrative Monday,-Assignment #3 due.

    Fri., Oct. 16

    Approximate final date for first 7-week placement period. Final evaluations should now be done with cooperating teacher. Form is to be mailed or hand- delivered to Dr. Battersby.

    Tues., Oct. 20

    SEMINAR -Licensure Assignment -Assignment #4 -due

    Tues., Oct. 27

    Seminar – Licensure Assignment Due Mock Auditions Handout

    Tues., Nov.3


    Tues., Nov. 10

    Seminar – Seminar – Back to School (BTS) Class Presentations via Zoom. Written statements of philosophy and advocacy due.

    Weds., Nov.11

    Approximate mid-term date for second 7-week placement period. Mid-term evaluations to be done with regard to second cooperating school placement. Save and complete at time of final evaluation.

    Tues., Nov. 17

    Mock Interviews, Assignment #6 due

    Wed., Nov. 18

    MUS 150 @ 5:30-Deferred to spring semester (TBA)

    Student Teacher Reception. Come prepared to be received by NAfME students and to share from your “real world” experiences.

    Tues., Nov.24

    NO SEMINAR (Thanksgiving week) Advocacy and Philosophy Statements Due

     Tues., Dec. 1

    Last Class – NO SEMINAR- Wrap up-Placement Observations- *All notebooks/portfolios and projects due. Deferred to spring semester.

    Tues. Dec. 7, 9-12


  • Prerequisites for Student Teaching

    All music education majors in the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art must meet the following requirements prior to beginning student teaching: 

    • Completion of all curriculum requirements specified for the first five semesters with a GPA of at least 3.0 (B) in academic (non-MUS) subjects and with a GPA of at least 3.0 (B) in music (MUS) subjects.
    • Completion of pre-student teaching practicum. 100 hours (see syllabus MUS150) posted here.
    • Cooperating teacher interview and/or practicum as required.
    • Beginning date of pre-service student teaching internship established.
    • Instrumental and Combined majors are expected to have completed the majority of the courses in secondary instruments. Each student will have acquired a variety of observations and teaching experiences.
    • Successful completion of the Piano Proficiency examination.
    • The SAT (or GRE) equivalency scores is no longer accepted as of August 2016*.
    • The Praxis® tests are taken by individuals entering the teaching profession as part of the certification process required by many states and professional licensing organizations. Praxis® Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core) tests measure academic skills in reading, writing and mathematics. These tests were designed to provide comprehensive assessments that measure the skills and content knowledge of candidates entering teacher preparation programs. it is currently called by OSSE). Information about Praxis CORE can be found at:
    • The Praxis® Subject Assessments measure knowledge of specific subjects that PK–12 educators will teach, as well as general and subject-specific teaching skills and knowledge.  All Grades-Recommended after all coursework is completed.
    • Approval of qualifications for teaching by the School of Music Teacher Education Committee.
    • All required health, safety and security documents and procedures, as dictated by the hosting public school district (e.g. TB test, criminal background checks, fingerprinting, etc.).
    • Student teachers are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the assigned cooperating schools. While public transportation options may be possible, the use of such may significantly increase travel time (i.e. use of a combination of trains, buses, and walking.) The use of a vehicle is generally expected as most school sites are not accessible via metro.
  • Course Texts and Materials


    • Clements, Ann C. and Klinger, R. (2010). A Field Guide to Student Teaching in Music. New York: Routledge.


    • Conway, C. M. and Hodgman, T. M. (2006). Handbook for the Beginning Music Teacher.
    • Anderson, L. E., and Sandra B. Bolt. (2011). Professionalism: Skills for Workplace Success, 2nd Edition. Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice Hall.
    • Interfolio subscription:, or other web-based  portfolio display option. [See below]
  • Procedure for Assigning Candidates for Student Teaching

    Step #1: Music Program Coordinator meets with the county music supervisors in order to obtain allotment approval and recommendations in identifying music teacher specialists and who are qualified to accept CUA student teachers and who are within a reasonable proximity to either the school or where the student lives.

    Step #2: Student teacher candidates are guided and encouraged to observe and meet potential cooperating teachers. Names are vetted and shared with county coordinators and contacts with desired schools are formally made.

    Step #3: When school permission is confirmed, specific music teachers are contacted by the music program coordinator for personal/informal interviews and class observations, to determine if teaching philosophy and methodology are congruent with the music education program’s mission. (Teacher recommendations are requested regarding colleagues for future prospective partnerships.)

    Step #4: After interviews and observations, the CUA program coordinator and the potential cooperating teachers determine if the student teacher applicant’s experience and schedule allow for a placement.

    Step #5: Students arrive at their respective schools to meet and interview the music specialist and then to stay for several classes. They will complete pertinent forms regarding what they specifically observed and, potentially, in what activities they participated.

    Step #6: Music program coordinator and student meet to determine if placement is agreeable and suitable to student's needs.

  • Introduction

    Student teaching is the culminating experience of the undergraduate teacher preparation program. It is also the initial experience as a professional educator working in PK-12 public, parochial, charter and/or private schools. As the term implies, the "student teacher" is at once both pupil and instructor. Student teaching is intended to provide the novice educator with initial teaching experiences within an instructional and nurturing context, offering growing levels of challenge and responsibilities through the course of the experience. Again, as a reflection of the dual nature of the experience, student teachers may expect guidance and support from both a University supervising teacher and a public-school cooperating teacher.

    The course is approximately 14-15 weeks in length. These weeks may a) be divided equally between the elementary and secondary placements, on an alternating basis, or b) spent at one location exclusively for 7 weeks and then other situation exclusively for 7 weeks. This determination should be made with both cooperating teachers and in compliance with their wishes. The University supervisor is available for assistance in helping to negotiate these terms. All absences must be made up after Week 14/15. The week of Thanksgiving is not a full week of classes, and some schools have the week off. Therefore, these days are to be made up during the fifteenth week. You must complete a minimum of 33 days of teaching at each placement.

    We believe that the student teaching experience represents a mutually beneficial situation. All parties involved have responsibilities, and they each also have benefits that they can expect.

    The student teacher has the opportunity to work under the guidance of an experienced and successful music educator. Many of the methods, teaching strategies and materials that will help to shape the beginning days of the young educator's career will be collected and gleaned from the modeling and sharing of the cooperating teacher.

    The cooperating teacher gains a willing co-worker and fulfills professional responsibilities by inducting a given a tuition waiver that entitles them to enroll in a course at Catholic University.

    The cooperating school gains from the enthusiasm and new ideas that new teachers typically bring with them to the classroom. Additionally, through the student teacher, the cooperating school may be able to access materials and resources of the Catholic University libraries.

    Catholic University sincerely appreciates the opportunity to work with some of the finest music educators in the D.C. metro area. The partnership that we enjoy equips new generations of music educators who, in turn, will continue to enrich the lives of our students and our community.

  • Objectives of the Student Teaching Experience

    The Music Education Division aims to produce teachers who possess the fundamentals of scholarship and musicianship, the communication skills, and the emotional maturity and social competence expected of a professional person. The student teaching experience aims to address the following competencies:



    The student will demonstrate knowledge of:

    1. the application of teaching and learning theories to actual teaching practice.
    2. the application of evaluation principles and techniques to actual teaching practice.
    3. the issues of equal access, multicultural education, safety, and other legal and ethical concerns as applied to music education.
    4. strategies for finding a job, including résumé preparation, certification procedures, and interview preparation.
    5. physical, mental, and emotional problems inherent in dealing with a wide range of individual differences, and of referral sources available for dealing with these problems.
    6. principles of human growth and development, with special emphasis on the music learning process.



    The student will demonstrate the ability to:

    1. articulate concerns about experiences encountered in the student teaching experience.
    2. offer support and suggestions to her or his classmates based upon individual experience.
    3. prepare a professional résumé and cover letter and prepare to answer interview questions and answers in preparation for finding a job.
    4. evaluate his/her own teaching performance in order to identify specific areas of strength and to target specific areas for improvement.
    5. keep a journal of activities and observations during the student teaching experience.
    6. Prepare both a hard copy and online professional portfolio



    The student will demonstrate concern for:

    1. continuing professional growth and development beyond the student teaching experience.
    2. attention to the total school experience, including professional relationships among faculty, administrators, students, and parents; responsibilities beyond teaching, such as public relations, paperwork, and fund-raising.
    3. the development of a realistic understanding of the activities, responsibilities, and opportunities of a teacher.
    4. the rights of individuals as guaranteed by law.
    5. the ethical matters of the teaching profession.


  • The Music Education Academic Area/Education Department Conceptual Framework

    The conceptual framework is seen as a mechanism to allow music educators at all experience levels to move fluidly between philosophy, theory, practice, and personal reflection. To accomplish this task, the framework introduces three components to guide reflections and decision-making. One component consists of the elements of the learning environment. These elements are designed to help educators systematically analyze the complexities of each teaching and learning experience. Originally based on Schwab’s (1973) four commonplaces of teacher, student, content and context, the new model expands this notion to include eight elements: diversity of student needs, the educator’s personal educational beliefs, stakeholders, collaborative practice, instructional strategies, discipline knowledge, assessment, and classroom structures. Candidates are guided through exercises that address these elements individually and then in concert. Key features of this component include the role of the learner as the central figure in every teaching/learning experience and the interactive nature of the elements (for example, it is meaningless to consider assessment without considering the needs of the learner and the nature of the discipline knowledge being assessed, just as stakeholder expectations and personal beliefs shape the classroom structures used). Echoing Bronfenbrenner’s work (1989), candidates are expected to consider the learning environments as embedded within larger social structures as well.

    It is tempting for educators, especially teacher education candidates, to focus on the day-to-day technical aspects of teaching. At this level, all challenges are viewed as problems to be solved with whatever tools are currently available. While it is important not to minimize the importance of these daily challenges that all educators face, the conceptual framework is designed to help educators move beyond the surface level of teacher-as-technician to see the larger systematic impact classroom practice has on individual students and society in general.

    The second component of the reflective practitioner framework builds on the work of Berlak and Berlak (1981) to describe and define fundamental educational essential questions, or dilemmas, that lie under the surface of classroom challenges. Reflective practitioners need to stop to consider how one’s perspective on these key questions can both inform and limit the options that seem reasonable in a given situation. Using this component of the framework, educators can explore a broader range of possible solutions for a given situation by recognizing that there are multiple, morally defensible positions. This process helps candidates address two of the most challenging elements of the learning environment: the impact of their own philosophy on their classroom choices and the possibly competing needs and values of the other stakeholders in the learning community. When considering options to best meet the needs of a non-English speaking P-12 student, for example, the answers to large questions of curriculum (e.g., who decides what is worth knowing?), control (e.g., who sets the standards?) and society (e.g., what role should schools play in enculturation?) shape the strategies that seem reasonable. Not only do these essential educational questions impact decisions on a practical level, they also help situate ongoing classroom concerns in larger philosophical questions.

    To continue that process of considering larger philosophical issues, the third component of the three-prong approach to reflective practice consists of an iterative reflective decision-making process (see Figure 3). Reflective practitioners must consider their decisions on three different levels (Van Mannen, 1977), or modes of reflection as CUA call them. The philosophical mode prompts the educator to consider the role that education should play in society in general and in the life of the particular child. Each decision should be examined for consistency and efficacy in supporting those larger goals. The descriptive mode addresses the technical issues of how educational decisions are carried out. Educators must strive to assess their own practice and to look for new methods to meet the needs of individual learners. The interpretative mode encourages the reflective practitioner to consider the explicit and hidden messages sent to students and all stakeholders by classroom decisions. Are expectations uniformly high? Are the knowledge, skills, and cultural traditions children bring to class valued or marginalized? Are parents seen as partners or obstacles? These types of questions move the reflective practitioner back to the larger philosophical questions to begin the process again. While it does not matter if the initial question is descriptive, interpretive, or philosophical, the model prompts the educator to see the process as ongoing and interrelated, as illustrated in the figure on the following page.

    The complete CUA Conceptual Framework document can be found at: 

    This document includes the CUA Conceptual Framework standards as well as a matrix that aligns all standards from Specialized Professional Associations and the CUA Conceptual Framework.

  • Student Teacher Course Assignments

    The following are required expectations for the student teacher during the student teaching semester.

    1. All music student teachers participate in 14 weeks of student teaching. Two separate placements are made: one at the elementary and one at the secondary levels. They may, at the discretion of the cooperating teachers and with the approval and guidance of the music education department chair, be served simultaneously, or, more typically, consecutively.

      14-15 weeks will be served at both an elementary and a secondary site. Often these placements will require time beyond the expected seven-week period at each site, due to in-service days and the like. Students should expect to spend 7-8 weeks at a secondary school and another 7-8 weeks at an elementary school (depending upon grades included – e.g. 8th and/or 9th grade – middle schools may serve as either a secondary or an elementary placement.) There is a mandatory minimum requirement of 33 days per placement.

      Responsibilities are basically the same as the cooperating teacher concerning time on the job. The schools have rules as to the time that teachers are expected to arrive and leave. The student teacher is to follow those rules.

      All other activities outside of the student teaching experience are to be kept to a minimum. Any private instruction or other classes on campus are to be minimal and always arranged outside of the teaching day. Student teachers should expect to participate fully in the life of the school and will be expected to attend faculty meetings, school activities, and seek to go beyond the required. 
    1. Regular and dependable attendance is an important aspect of a professional attitude. Student teachers should plan to be fully involved in same regular school-day and extra-curricular activities as the cooperating teacher. Regular attendance will be expected, and, after three absences, students may anticipate a reduction in the term grade or, in extreme cases, loss of credit for the student teaching experience. All missed days must be made up at the end of the semester. The students will submit a Weekly Attendance Sheet, a Time Sheet, and a comprehensive High/Low Reflection Chart. A sample is included in this handbook. Student teachers should follow the schedule of the school district assigned with regard to holiday schedules. The student teacher will make up those days when school is closed due to inclement weather.
    1. Cooperating or University teachers may give readings from time to time. They are expected to be completed, as assigned. 
    1. Lesson plans and other written assignments should be typed and submitted in a timely manner. 
    1. A portfolio containing all lesson plans, handouts, summative and process evaluations (from both the cooperating teacher and the University supervisor) will be submitted at the conclusion of the student teaching experience. Further guidelines will be given in seminar. 
    1. A journal/portfolio will be kept, following the guidelines presented in the student teaching seminar. Pages from the journal will be submitted at weekly seminar meetings for reflections and responses from the supervising instructor. They may also be a place to begin dialogues with the cooperating teacher. Time sheets, attendance sheets, and high/low charts with reflections are to be submitted via email at the end of the week on Fridays. Student teachers should include the hard copies in their portfolios. 
    1. Self-evaluation exercises. You are required to record yourself teaching at least four times during the course of your student teaching experience. Guidelines for self-evaluation as well as observations and suggestions from the supervising instructor will be offered through the term. These recordings should be submitted as part of your portfolio by the due date at the end of the semester. 
    1. Documents: Philosophy Statement, Advocacy Paper, and Cover Letter/Resume. A first draft of these documents will be completed and submitted for critique and examination at midterm and a final printed version with a cover letter and professional file by the end of the term. 
    1. Electronic Portfolio. This document will include samples of the student teacher’s work throughout the program of study and serve to assist as both an assessment tool and a method of professional presentation. Suggested Resources: Interfolio, ( Pathbrite, ( LiveBinders Weebly ( Portfoliogen ( . You may also use other web resources should you so choose.
  • Assignment Due Date Policy

    Timeliness and dependability in preparation is an important professional quality that is to be expected of all music educators. As a professional, administrators, students, and the community will expect that you can be relied upon to complete tasks in a punctual manner. Student Teaching course guidelines (MUS421, 422, 423, 521, 522) will model this professional reality. Assignments and weekly submissions will not be accepted late and failure to complete them will be reflected in the final course evaluation.

  • Student Teaching Policies and Regulations


    You are expected to begin your placement on the day you are scheduled. Student teachers teaching in the fall are required to attend planning sessions in August with their cooperating teachers. Those teaching in the spring should also consider meeting their cooperating teachers at this time and must visit with them before beginning a placement.

    You are scheduled to be at your school every day classes are in session. The cooperating teacher should set exact times. Your work as a student teacher must take precedence over any personal or University activities.

    If you are absent from school due to illness or family emergency, you must notify the cooperating teacher before school begins in the morning, or as soon as possible thereafter. Your University supervisor should also be notified within the day of the absence.

    Student teaching is a full-time commitment. It requires full-time attention and dedication. As a result, other employment during the student teaching term is disallowed. Extenuating circumstances should be presented to the music education department chair for consideration. Attendance at all seminars is expected. Please bring a plush animal or toy to the first seminar meeting as evidence of your careful reading of this handbook.


    Dress and Conduct

    The student teacher is expected to observe standards above the minimum dress, personal appearance, conduct, and attendance expected of teachers in the cooperating school. The student teacher is still an apprentice and must be above reproach in all aspects of  her/his demeanor. Professional dress should be considered from head to toe (i.e. professional footwear, no “flip flops,” e.g.)

    Encourage the students in the school to address you in a formal manner (Mr. or Ms.) and not by your first name. Procedures for maintaining proper classroom control should be discussed with the cooperating teacher. Know what your responsibilities are in the area of student discipline and be sure to follow the expectations of the school. Student teachers will follow all school regulations, and they must be responsible for knowing what these regulations are.

  • Professional Expectations for CUA Music Education Students

    Teaching is a profession. In order for teachers to be regarded as such, it is especially important for the new student teacher/intern to dress and behave in a professional manner at all times when visiting area schools.

    The following are considered to be inappropriate professional dress and therefore should not be worn by any student whether you are in the school during observations and/or senior internships. (Student teaching):

    • Jeans/shorts on any school day when there are students or parents in the building. This includes pre and post planning days.
    • Jeans/shorts should not be worn during pre or post planning days. “Casual” means khaki or something similar.
    • “Tee” shirts
    • Tight fitting or revealing clothing (shear fabrics, low necklines, short skirts, shorts, short dresses, bare midriffs, crop tops, and skin-tight leggings with short top).
    • Flip-flops, tennis, or other athletic-type shoes
    • Hats or caps of any kind.

    It is expected that all student teachers will be well groomed and have impeccable hygiene.

    Suggestions for appropriate dress in the schools:

    • Women: Blazers, blouses, slacks, vests, sweaters, conservative length dresses and skirts, conservative jewelry, and comfortable shoes.
    • Men: Blazers, ‘dress’ slacks, ties, collar-type shirts, sweaters, comfortable shoes.

    Reminder: You are an invited guest in the classroom and you should refrain from any of the following: criticism of peers, supervisors, principals, or teachers; whining, blaming, complaining, laziness, procrastination, spreading of rumors, accusations, or expectations of favors…and sharing of inappropriate personal information with students (including friending PK-12 public, private, or parochial school students on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.)

  • Field Placements

    Student teachers are placed, primarily, with the finest music educators in the greater District of Columbia metro area. Working with a cooperating teacher who is both professionally competent and interpersonally capable of coaching and preparing the student teacher for successful induction into the profession is central and key to the student teaching experience. This relationship has an important impact upon the student teacher’s potential for success into the first professional years.

    While geography and transportation issues may be considered, they cannot take precedence over the important and thoughtful decisions made in placing the student teacher in the best possible school environments. Student teachers will not be assigned to schools in which they were formerly students. Cooperating schools must be within the DC metro area and accessible to the University supervisor(s). Student teachers are responsible for their own transportation to and from the cooperating school site.

  • Teaching Experiences

    Student teachers are to be on duty on a full-time basis at their cooperating schools for the entire term as indicated in the student teaching calendar for the year. However, it is stressed that the student teachers are to abide by the vacation schedules in effect at their assigned cooperating schools.

    The actual division of observation and teaching hours is to be determined collaboratively by the individual cooperating teacher(s), the student teacher, with input from the supervising teacher. These hours will vary, dependent upon circumstances peculiar to each situation. In all cases, each student teacher and cooperating teacher should plan the overall assignment so that the majority of the total hours finally reported will have been spent in an actual teaching situation. This statement obviously stipulates no specific maximum hours of actual teaching. When the student teacher actually begins teaching and the extent of the evolving responsibility are matters of mutual decision between the student teacher and cooperating teacher and will vary among individuals.

    Observation is interpreted as being passive in nature where the student teacher merely watches others perform professional tasks. A teaching task is interpreted as any task performed by the student teacher that is normally reserved for the regular classroom teacher in the overall performance of the professional duty.

  • School Activities

    The student teacher should participate in all the activities that are a normal part of the school music program. This includes after-school activities, extra rehearsals, festivals, contests, clinics, and professional meetings.

    The student teacher should be a participating member of the profession and of the school and the community. Learn the role of the school and its relationship to the community; thus, a wide range of out-of-school activities is appropriate.

  • In-School Observations

    In addition to the formal class and teacher assignment, the student teacher is encouraged to plan to visit and observe other music classrooms in the assigned school. Work out a schedule for these visits with your cooperating teacher and other music staff.

  • University Supervision

    Student teachers will be observed in a teaching situation twice during the term of each placement by the University supervisor (four times in all.)  All of these visits will be made and scheduled in advance. The observation procedure will be as follows:

    1. Meet briefly with the University supervisor before the student teacher is to be observed teaching in the classroom. Sufficient time and release from other responsibilities should be arranged with the cooperating teacher to allow for this important time. 
    2. Upon the University supervisor's arrival at the school, the student teacher will provide the supervisor with typed lesson plans, materials for the classes to be observed (music, instructional material, etc.), and the Observation Preparation Guide, that can be found in this handbook. Both the cooperating teacher and the student teacher will provide the University supervisor with evaluations of the student teacher's progress to date. 
    3. The supervisor will observe the student teacher teach one or two classes.
    4. Immediately following the observations the supervisor will discuss the teaching experience, the evaluations, and other related issues with the student teacher. Conference time with the cooperating teacher will also be made available as is convenient for the teaching schedule and the cooperating teacher. Students will receive a typed evaluation from the Supervisor.
    5. Scores and sight-reading materials for instrumental/choral ensembles should be provided to the supervisor before the start of the observation.
    6. Each observation visit should be recorded so that the supervisor can discuss your performance with you as performed in addition to a written critique.
  • Weekly Reports

    Three separate reports are expected to be emailed to the professor each week on Friday afternoon or evening.

    1. A Time Sheet (found in the final section of this handbook)
      The student teacher and cooperating teacher will find time to discuss teaching issues and concerns regularly—perhaps on an hour-by-hour basis. In addition, it is advised that the cooperating teacher and the student teacher make an appointment toward the end of each week to review the progress for that week. At that time, in addition to any written comments (offered either "free-hand" or in the frame of one of the evaluation forms included in this handbook), a weekly record of how the student teacher has spent time in the classroom should be noted.  A Time Sheet is included in the handbook and should be used to indicate the approximate percentage of time that the student teacher has spent, for that week, in the areas of a) teaching, b) assisting, and c) observing.  A cooperating teacher signature is needed for each week. Please be prepared to share this sheet with your university supervisor on the occasion of their visit(s) to your placement school. The Time Sheet will be submitted to the University supervisor at the end of each week by Friday evening via email by the end of the day
    1. An Attendance Sheet
      A weekly attendance sheet will be submitted to the University supervisor at the end of each week by Friday evening via email by the end of the day. The student is to indicate her/his absence and the accompanying reason for the absence, which will be signed by the cooperating teacher.
    1. A High/Low Chart with the Week’s Reflections
      A weekly entry will be submitted to the University supervisor each week via email on Friday evening. A hard copy should be placed in your student Teaching Portfolio. Some journal entries will be guided by course text. Some will be guided by the following journaling guidelines. All journal entries will be evaluated in the context of higher order thinking, cogent reflection and observation, and good writing.

      Journaling is meant to be about learning and discovery. Rather than some dry and artificial course assignment, we hope that the exercises will be a helpful tool in assisting you to more carefully respond to the student teaching experience. Journaling can be a very helpful and insightful activity, allowing you to reflect more carefully and evaluate more objectively than is often possible in the "heat" of the classroom day. Though essentially a private process, it may (at your discretion) also serve as a point of connection for dialogue, perhaps with your cooperating teacher, and most certainly with your supervising professor. We would like to have the opportunity to reflect with you and perhaps offer some of our own observations about teaching, music, learning, and the meaning of life through the journaling process. As a result of the journal work, some overarching themes might begin to surface. Here are a few possibilities:

      Who am I as a teacher? No doubt you have been encouraged throughout your teacher education program to "be yourself" in the classroom. What, in practical terms, does that mean? For example, how do you seem to best plan for instruction? How do you seem to best create a learning environment? What seem to be natural teaching techniques for you? What methods don’t seem to come so naturally? What types of students seem to gravitate toward you and why? What motivates you to want to walk into the classroom in the first place?

      KNOW YOUR POPULATION: Who are my students? What seems to motivate them? What doesn’t seem to motivate them and why? What are they like physically, emotionally, mentally, musically? How do they seem to relate to you and to one another? What about the interpersonal dynamics of the group as a whole? What about the nature of my subject matter, music? Does it seem to have any particular and important functions in the lives of your students? Are their types of music that seem to more readily fit them physically, emotionally, mentally? Which musical selections are most appealing? least appealing? Why? What about my teaching methods (how am I connecting student with subject?)  What activities am I using with (or without) success playing? singing? listening? moving? creating? Are my methods developmentally appropriate? relevant? Well sequenced? clearly presented? well-executed? appropriately evaluated?

      Good questions. Big questions! And you might ask, "and just how do you expect me to answer these questions and, at the same time, take care of the gazillion practical matters of real, day-to-day classroom life?"  Here are a few ways that may help in getting started:

      Each student teacher is required to submit via email a High/Low Chart (along with her/his attendance sheet and time sheet (indicating the percentage of time teaching each day per week) each week on Friday afternoon or evening detailing your thoughts for a number of your classes for the week. These three documents, attendance sheet, time sheet (indicating how much teaching you did per day per week) and the High/low reflection chart and reflection summation  [for each of your two placements] will be included in your Senior Portfolio. Please see number #1 for suggestions to get you started with the table. A sample table can be found lower in this handbook.

      1. A high point/low point log. This is simply a ledger of entries noting the high low points of your day, perhaps in a format something like:


        High Point

        Low Point







      2. Is there a conversation or event that you feel the need to look at more carefully? Do you still have unresolved feelings or confused thoughts about what a student or someone else did? Have you been continuing a conversation with someone in your mind, thinking of words you had said or an action you wish you had taken? What might they be?
      3. Was there a time when you felt a strong emotion (joy, anger, hurt, concern, disappointment, pride?)
      4. Are there things you would like to say to your cooperating teacher in response to today?        Questions, explanations, words of appreciation?
      5.  You might want to begin by completing any of the following thoughts in a free-flowing style:
        *The students today were...
        *My lesson/rehearsal today was...
        *When I have my own classroom, I will...
        *I'd like to tell my supervising/cooperating teacher that...
        *Tomorrow I want to.
      6. There are some very helpful guides for observation in a music setting to be found in the course text, Chapter 3. (Handbook for the Beginning Music Teacher, by Colleen Conway and Thomas M. Hodgman.)
      7. Include a brief typed reflection of the week.
      8. A final thought:
        "Each of us carries on inner conversations as we sort through our feelings about daily living, our relationships, and world events. Journaling is the process of writing down those talks with us so that what our mind is thinking, and our heart is feeling becomes tangible: ink on paper. Putting one's life down on paper is often helpful as a clarifying process: Who am I? What am I doing and why? How do I feel about my life, my world: In what ways am I growing or changing?"


    Sample Table

    Placement #1-Park Elementary School
    Week One: August 20- August 24
    Track: General/Choral / Instrumental/Combined
    Cooperating Teacher: Ms. Park


    High Points

    Low Points

    Monday, August 31, 2020

    Today I taught a listening lesson to the third grade period 1 general music class. Everything went just as I expected. The students were engaged, and they seemed to really enjoy the lesson.

     The fourth-grade recorder class surprised me by playing really well today and remembering all the fingerings that we learned last week.

    My fifth-grade chorus rehearsal did not go well today. I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been, and the students sensed this fact and misbehaved. I didn’t accomplish all of my goals.

     The kindergarten class wasn’t able to learn the song that I taught today, because I missed a few steps in the rote process and they became confused. I now know that I must break everything down more.

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020





    My second week of student teaching is going very well. Ms. Park and I worked on lesson plans together. She gave me wonderful feedback and I feel more confident teaching the older students. When I taught the third-grade lesson for the second time, I corrected my mistakes from the first time, and it went so much smoother.


    Student Teaching Seminar

    A seminar meeting will be held nearly every week for the purpose of sharing experiences and discussing common problems. In addition, important certification and graduation requirements will be covered. School of Music faculty will host most of these meetings. A few will be hosted by the Education Department. Attendance at all seminars is required. Be certain to make necessary school and travel arrangements so that your participation in these events may be complete and timely. If you are ill, you are to apprise the supervisor the night before the seminar. A sampling of seminar topics is listed below. A tentative seminar schedule will be worked out and distributed at the first or second student teacher seminar.

    • Classroom (music room) management/discipline
    • Music program administration
    • Rehearsal techniques
    • Conducting skills
    • Daily class planning and organization
    • Special learner accommodations
    • Skills with music/educational technology
    • Motivation
    • Rationalizing (advocating/defending) music in the curriculum
    • Vocal health for teachers
    • Public relations
    • Legal issues for music teachers
    • Certification
    • Résumé preparation/interviewing techniques
    • Back to School Presentations


    Note that some of the seminar sessions may meet on site at some of your cooperating schools. These seminar meetings will be hosted by the student teacher assigned to that school and will give the entire class an opportunity to see some of the more outstanding music programs and music educators in the area. These sessions will take place on site, at the cooperating school. They will present an overview of their public-school program. Some of the topics from the preceding list will certainly be pertinent. So too will be the expertise that your cooperating teacher has to offer. These student-led presentations should be certain to include some of the following:

    • an overview of the music program (i.e. department philosophies, curriculum, scheduling, calendars, programming, staffing)
    • mention of any pertinent school-wide programs that particularly impact the music program (e.g. open classrooms, curriculum designs, etc.)
    • recruiting procedures
    • performing group audition policies
    • parent/community support ("booster") groups
    • budget procedures
    • grading procedures and attendance policies
    • discipline policies
    • other features of the program that the student teacher regards as notable

    Please plan to provide a map and directions to your cooperating school site. Handouts are always welcome.

  • Policy Regarding Transportation

    Professional educators are expected to find their own means of transportation for travel to school teaching sites. Student teaching reflects this professional reality. Student teachers should plan to have the use of a vehicle during the student teaching semester. While public transportation may provide some options in some limited instances, it is generally understood that using public transportation will require the use of a combination of transportation options (i.e. train, bus, Über, Lyft, and walking) and will add significant time to commuting time.  Arrangements using public transportation will be considered an anomaly to the program and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Policy Regarding Use of Student Teacher as a Substitute Teacher

    Under no circumstance should a Catholic University student teacher serve as a substitute teacher in the cooperating school. Within the context of the student teaching agreement entered into between the University and the cooperating school it is understood that the cooperating school is to provide adequate supervision for the student teacher. If, for reason of absence, the cooperating teacher or other properly certified instructor is unavailable for supervision purposes, it is the responsibility of the cooperating school to provide alternative means of fulfilling this obligation. You may teach classes during a day that your cooperating teacher is absent, however, there must always be a qualified substitute teacher in the room when you are teaching.

  • Policy Regarding Student Teacher Remuneration

    Student teachers receive full University credit for their participation in the student teaching program. Under no circumstances should they either seek or receive any financial remuneration from cooperating schools for professional duties performed during the student teaching term.

  • Policy Regarding Activity/Student Teaching Conflicts

    Student teaching is designed and intended to be a full-time responsibility of the student teacher during the student teaching term. As a result, a student teacher may participate in co-curricular activities only on a limited and closely monitored basis. Likewise, a student teacher may be allowed to register for additional course credits only on a similarly limited and closely monitored basis. All requests for permission to participate in co-curricular or course-related experiences must be presented, in writing, prior to the student teaching semester. The nature and the extent of the request should be stated clearly.

  • Policy on Use of Students in Clinical Settings During Strikes

    If teachers in a local system in which Catholic University has assigned clinical students engage in a strike, the following will apply:

    1. Clinical students should not engage in their assignments in a cooperating school district during the period of time a strike is in progress.
    2. If it appears that a strike may be longer than two weeks in duration the Music Education department will provide a compensatory experience.
  • Further Expectations of the Student Teacher

    The following are expectations set forth by The Catholic University of America Education Department. They apply, as well, for students enrolled in MUS 421, 422, 423, 521, 522.

    • Be aware of the expectations of the cooperating teacher, and the university supervisor.
    • Communicate your expectations to the cooperating teacher and the university supervisor.
    • Satisfactorily demonstrate competence as a teacher as outlined in the evaluation forms and as indicated by the cooperating teacher and university supervisor.
    • Consider yourself a member of the faculty during the time you are working in the school.
    • Be prompt and regular in attendance.
    • Dress appropriately for all teaching situations and school functions.
    • Work diligently each day. The cooperating school day schedule and calendar is to be observed with the exception of seminars scheduled by the university supervisor (i.e. MUS 421, 422, 423, 521, 522.)
    • Promptly prepare the materials requested by the cooperating teacher and the university supervisor.
    • Attend all cooperating school's faculty meetings, department meetings, institutes, conferences, programs and activities whenever possible and/or expected.
    • Display character that is congruent with the values of The Catholic University of America.
    • Maintain good professional relations, public relations, and human relations with not only the teaching and non-teaching personnel of the cooperating school(s), but also with the community that the school serves.
    • Request feedback from your cooperating teacher (especially in writing) for every class you teach.
    • You are not only a student teacher, but you are also a representative of Catholic University, the Music School, the Music Education Program, and yourself.
  • Further Responsibilities During Observations

    Before each University Supervisor visit, all student teachers are required to be prepared with the Observation Preparation Guide (The guide can be found on pages 32-33) and a typed lesson plan (A sample template will be emailed at the start of the semester).
  • Criteria for Evaluation of Student Teaching

    The student teacher's competence and growth as a professional will be assessed in the following areas: 

    1. Musicianship. Without question, a good music teacher must be, first and foremost, a good musician. Knowledge and skills in the following will be critical to the successful completion of the student teaching experience:

      The ability to:
      1. sight-sing
      2. demonstrate musically on appropriate musical instruments and with the voice
      3. satisfactorily support classroom and/or rehearsal activities at the keyboard.
      4. lead ensembles with clear conducting patterns
      5. use gesture that aids musical phrasing
      6. use gesture that varies in size and style to indicate expressive elements
      7. read from an open score
      8. provide appropriate fingerings, bowings, left hand position.
      9. accurately transpose instrument or voice parts
      10. analyze musical form
      11. arrange music to fit student ability levels.
      12. use nonverbal communication.
    2. Planning. Lesson plans and other evidence of a thoughtful and thoroughly professional approach to instructional time is essential to teaching success. The following should be evident and made readily available to both the cooperating teacher and the University supervisor:

      1. lesson objectives related to student needs
      2. appropriate motivating activities, warm-ups and/or etudes (EQ)
      3. a well-sequenced order of activities
      4. application of effective scaffolding strategies (ZPD)
      5. opening activities/routines that are familiar and effective
      6. closing activities/routines that are familiar and enjoyable
      7. a variety of musical experiences
      8. use of high-quality music literature
      9. use of literature and materials that are developmentally appropriate
      10. thorough preparation of musical scores
      11. thorough preparation of classroom environment

    3. Rehearsal/Lesson Behaviors. The ability to carry out the lesson plan or rehearsal plan is the final area of consideration. To the extent that they are able, the student teacher should conscientiously create an environment that is effective for both music-making and learning. Professional and personal characteristics of effective teachers often include:

      1. a strong grasp of the subject matter
      2. a strong sense of pacing
      3. an ability to create an orderly environment of "housekeeping" duties
      4. a business-like demeanor
      5. a strong self-concept
      6. respect for others
      7. verbal fluency (both written and oral)
      8. a sense of humor
      9. enthusiasm, passion, and warmth
      10. Other Professional Behaviors. These would include:
      11. good interaction with faculty, professional staff, and community
      12. positive relationships and interaction with students outside of rehearsal or classroom
      13. responsibility and initiative
      14. effective classroom management

      The final evaluation of the student teacher's experience rests with the faculty of the School of Music. Members of the faculty will rely heavily upon the written and verbal evaluations submitted by the cooperating teacher(s). They will also consider the performance of the student teacher in other areas of expectation. Appropriate consultation will be held during the student teaching experience in the event that a student teacher is in danger of failing in this assignment. If such is the case, the student will be informed and be given reasonable opportunity to correct those areas requiring attention.

      Upon successful completion of MUS 421, 422, 423, 521, and 522, a letter grade will be given. This grade will reflect an average of the work completed at both student teaching placement sites.

      N.B.: No final grade will be given for the student teaching experience until all work assignments are satisfactorily completed and submitted, and the required teaching field experience met.

  • The Role of the Cooperating Teacher

    Accepting a student teacher is both a tremendous responsibility and a great opportunity. It is the cooperating teacher who offers the daily guidance, modeling, and support so necessary for the successful induction of new music educators into the profession. It is, in no small way, through the cooperating teacher's daily feedback and tutelage that the student teacher is launched into his or her chosen career. In fact, many student teachers report that it is the procedures and approaches learned in the cooperating school setting that are among the most important aspects of their teacher education experience. At the same time, many cooperating teachers report that they feel their own professional skills and attitudes honed as they work and share with a younger and generally inquisitive new colleague. Methods and materials, both old and new, are examined and re-examined, often leading to stronger pedagogy for both the student and cooperating teacher.

    Generally, effective cooperating teachers recognize that the student teaching experience is a developmental process, requiring various shifts in levels of expectation and responsibility through the course of the experience. At all times, however, it is essential that the student teacher be accepted as a colleague. The same respect given to all teachers in the cooperating school should be extended and expected for the student teacher.

    Catholic University is proud to partner with some of the finest music educators in the D.C. Metro area. These exemplary professionals will serve, generally in developmental order, as model, coach, and colleague to the student teacher. Beginning with prescriptive tasks and directions for the beginning student teacher, they work toward developing more independent and self-reliant new professionals, who will, in turn, also be capable of serving the profession in their not-so-distant music classroom.

    The student teaching experience passes through several phases. They are outlined below, with suggestions given for each stage.

  • The Initial Phase

    This stage begins before the student teacher begins work in the cooperating school and continues through the first days that the student teacher is present in the building.

    1. Prepare students for the presence of a second teacher in the program. Prepare them to be accepted with equal respect and with the same authority over the classroom as the cooperating teacher.
    2. Introduce the student teacher to the classroom. Create an atmosphere of acceptance and respect for them.
    3. Provide the student teacher with a work and storage space and such necessary equipment as grade books, musical scores, octavos, texts, and manuals.
    4. Provide the student teacher with daily and/or weekly schedules.
    5. Provide the student teacher with seating charts (or assist them in the creation of them.)
    6. Make introductions of the student teacher to appropriate school personnel.
    7. Acquaint the student teacher with the physical plant and school policies. Tour the building. Discuss fire and other safety and emergency drills. Show them how to locate and get necessary supplies. Familiarize them with discipline policies, etc.
    8. Acquaint the student teacher with the music library and other curricular and instructional materials housed within the music classroom or area.
    9. Invite the student teacher to faculty meetings, workshops, etc., sponsored by the school.
  • The Observation Phase

    1. Allow the student teacher a period of observation before leading into full teaching responsibilities.
    2. Give the student teacher an opportunity to get acquainted with pupil personnel records (e.g. attendance) and the manner in which they are to be used and maintained.
    3. Provide the student teacher the opportunity to work with students through individual lessons.
    4. Provide the student teacher the opportunity to work with students in sectionals or small groups.
    5. Provide opportunities for the student teacher to "sit in" with the ensemble (in the section of her/his major instrument in instrumental classrooms; perhaps at the keyboard or in the ensemble in choral classrooms.)
    6. Discuss techniques used in planning, structuring, and implementing music lessons or rehearsals.
    7. Set aside a regular time for conferences and evaluation with the student teacher.
    8. Provide opportunities for the student teacher to observe other music teachers who may be in the building or, when appropriate, other school personnel.
    9. Include the student teacher in all learning activities, including before and after school rehearsals, field trips, contests, etc.
  • The Teaching Phase

    1. Gradually introduce the student teacher into teaching activities. The following are often good strategies:
    2. Allow the student teacher to conduct warm-ups.
    3. Allow the student teacher to conduct through a piece already well prepared by the ensemble.
    4. Teach a lesson in one period and allow the student teacher to present the same lesson, or part of that lesson, to a following class (e.g. back-to-back sections of 4th grade general music classes.)
    5. Carefully guide the student teacher in the selection or assignment of repertoire to be presented to the ensemble.
    6. Take careful notes of the student teacher’s initial teaching moments, sharing both positive aspects of the lesson/rehearsal as well as areas needing improvement. Careful supervision at the beginning stages of the teaching phase is crucial.
    7. Any suggestions, corrections, or demonstration teaching should be done in such a way that the pupils are not aware that the student teacher is being criticized.
    8. It is sometimes helpful for the cooperating teacher to "sit in" the ensemble during beginning student teacher lessons, acting as a presence, yet not overshadowing the younger professional’s first attempts to guide instruction in that classroom.
    9. Be in attendance enough for adequate supervision yet give increasing responsibility to the student teacher.
    10. In the case of a 7-week placement, it is suggested that the student teacher reach a level of near full-time responsibility by week 3 ½ or 4. Individual situations may certainly vary. The level of instructional responsibility should be increased gradually, with one class or other additional teaching responsibility to be added each week. At the elementary school level, this may mean assuming full responsibility for the teaching schedule by week 4 or 5.  It may mean the same thing at the secondary level a full schedule of teaching activities with full ensemble rehearsals (e.g. occasional full rehearsal entrusted to the student teacher or select pieces assigned/chosen to be rehearsed) along with ancillary sectional and/or lesson work. In secondary general music settings, full responsibility for instruction should be given to the student teacher by the midpoint of the student teaching experience.
    11. The case of two simultaneous 14-week placements requires much flexibility on the part of both cooperating school placements and the student teacher. Alternate day schedules may require creative approaches to finding ways to shift teaching responsibilities to the student teacher in both incremental and complete (or as complete as feasible) ways. In any case, the experience of being responsible for full days of instruction should be afforded to the student teacher at both cooperating schools as is possible, workable, and meaningful to the development of the student teacher.
    12. A period of tapering may also be helpful at the conclusion of the student teacher’s time at the cooperating school, allowing the cooperating teacher to take back full responsibility for instruction.
    13. Performing ensembles, particularly at the secondary level, often do not afford the opportunity for the full departure of the cooperating teacher from ensemble instruction and rehearsal. The reality of performance preparation and presentation is thoroughly understood. It is suggested that, to the fullest extent possible, the student teacher should be given every opportunity to be involved in instruction as fully and as soon as possible. Clerical and other administrative responsibilities are in fact a large part of any music ensemble director’s responsibilities and, as such, can reasonably be expected to be a part of the student teacher’s experience. They should not, however, be the bulk of the student teacher’s ongoing and primary activity.
    14. Encourage the student teacher to explore a variety of teaching materials and musical repertoire.
    15. Be diligent to balance criticism with words of encouragement and/or praise, as is possible and appropriate.
    16. Encourage professional and ethical attitudes and conduct.
    17. Notify the University supervisor of any concerns about the student teacher. Early intervention is often key in correcting and/or redeeming a challenging situation or unsatisfactory performance.
  • Evaluation

    Evaluation is an ongoing process. Regular, consistent, and balanced feedback from the cooperating teacher (written and oral) is probably the most important and vital aspect of the successful student teaching experience. Be intentional about setting aside regular time to visit with the student teacher.

    Evaluation should also move from prescriptive models to more self-directed models. Help the student teacher develop their own ability to reflect upon and evaluate their own teaching strategies for effectiveness.

    Two important evaluation points are to be recorded, reported, and reviewed with the student teacher. Both a midterm and final evaluation should be given. They are both reported on the same form (sent with the student teaching contract and included in this handbook) and returned to the music education department chair at the conclusion of the student teaching experience. Evaluate your own role and the role of the school in advancing the student teacher’s progress and experience.

    Responsibility of the university supervisor: The university supervisor is responsible to the university for the ultimate success of the student teaching experience and for assigning the final grade.

    To facilitate a successful student teaching experience, the university supervisor is responsible for:

    • Securing two placements with in a safe and productive teaching environment with a cooperating teacher in a public, parochial, private or charter school in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV area).
    • Explicating the expectations for the student teacher and the cooperating teacher.
    • Receiving both oral and written feedback from the cooperating teacher to assess the student teacher’s progress.
    • Maintaining an open and consistent communication and rapport with the student teacher, the cooperating teacher, and the principal.
    • Reading and assessing weekly submissions via email by the student teacher.
    • Observing the student teacher in person in the classroom twice per placement or a total of four times during the semester and provide a typed narrative critique of the session.
    • Conducting a pre-observation conference and a post observation of the recorded lesson.
    • Evaluating the student teacher’s progress mid-term during the placement, and again at the end of the placement.
    • Serving as an arbitrator between the student teacher and the cooperating teacher should

    difficulties/conflicts arise. (The Head of the Music Education Division should be contacted as needed.) *

    • Submitting the final grade electronically in cardinal station for the three separate graded areas: Elementary Placement, Secondary Placement, and Student Teaching Seminar.

    *If the student teacher has an issue in the classroom, s/he should first speak to the cooperating teacher to work through a quick resolution. If a solution to the issue has not been resolved, then s/he should contact the University Supervisor.

  • Rubrics and Evaluation Forms

    The following rubrics and forms should look familiar to the student teacher. They have been used throughout coursework and practicum experiences leading up to the student teaching experience. They are offered here as frameworks for conversations and evaluative structures that may be used by the university supervisor, the cooperating teacher, as well as for self-evaluation by the student teacher.

    1. Student Teaching Placement and Schedule Information
    2. Observation Preparation Guide
    3. Rehearsal Strategies/Lesson Plan Guide
    4. General Lesson Plan Format
    5. Rehearsal Checklist
    6. Music Teaching Evaluation
    7. Conducting Evaluation
    8. Midterm and Final Student Teaching Evaluation
    9. Student Teacher Weekly Time Log
    10. Student Teaching Satisfaction Survey

    Three additional evaluations may be found online (LiveText) using the following URLs:

    1. Technology Survey:
    2. Alumni Survey:
    3. Employer Survey:

    The Technology Survey and the Alumni Survey should be completed by the student teacher at the conclusion of the student teaching experience. The Alumni Survey should also be completed at the conclusion of the student teaching experience. The Employer Survey should be completed by the student teacher’s first employer (school administrator) after one year of full-time teaching.

    The Disposition Survey was completed when petitioning to major in music education and when applying to student teach. It will be administered again at the conclusion of the student teaching experience and will be weighted among the factors determining final evaluations.

  • Student Teaching Placement and Schedule Information

  • Observation Preparation Guide

  • Post Lesson Self-Evaluation & Comments for Future Reference

  • General Lesson Plan Format

  • Class Lesson Plan Template

  • Class/Ensemble Lesson Plan Template

  • Rehearsal Checklist

  • Music Teaching Evaluation

  • Conducting Evaluation

  • Midterm and Final Student Teaching Evaluation

  • Student Teacher Weekly Time Log

  • Elementary Placement

  • Secondary Placement

  • Senior Portfolio-Undergraduate

    (Graduate - Please see Music Education Chair for Additional Requirements)

    A professional portfolio will be expected at the conclusion of the student teaching semester. The following items and materials are to be developed over the course of the semester and will serve as evidence of professional competence to both University professors and potential employers. Further guidelines and portfolio formats will be discussed during the semester. In addition to a title page and table of contents:

    1. Professional resume
    2. Statement of Philosophy
    3. Advocacy Statement
    4. Introduction (Narrative: Overall experience in the Music Education Program)
    5. Contextual Factors (School Descriptions-Elementary & Secondary)
    6. Two full lesson plans (Elementary and Secondary)
      1. Two rubrics/assessment strategies (Elementary and Secondary)
      2. Unit Plan (elementary & secondary, one for each level)
      3. learning goals, objectives, essential questions
      4. assessment plan
      5. instructional knowledge and planning
      6. analysis of learning results
      7. reflection and self-evaluation
    7. Course sample handbook (Primary Area); letter, syllabus, contract
    8. Documentation of professional contributions (elementary and secondary
      1. Letters of support
      2. Written observation feedback from supervisor(s).
      3. Evaluations from cooperating teachers
      4. Evaluations from supervising professors
      5. Conference attendance
      6. Professional Development Attendance
      7. Evidence of Membership in Professional Organizations (Need 2)
        1. The National Association for Music Education (NAfME)
        2. American Choral Director’ Association (ACDA)
        3. American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA)
        4. American String Teacher Association (ASTA)
        5. American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA)
        6. Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE))
    9. Professional Artifacts (Programs, Photographs, Videos, Cards)
    10. Weekly (typed) Reflections (Elementary & secondary)
    11. Conclusion (Elementary & secondary)
    12. Recordings (two minima-Elementary & Secondary Full Lesson)
    13. Electronic Portfolio
  • Portfolio Evaluation

  • Student Teaching Satisfaction Survey

  • Certification Affidavit

  • Praxis® Subject Assessments (formerly the Praxis II® tests)

    The Praxis II is required for certification in music in the District of Columbia. It is also a requirement for certification in Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia. Pennsylvania, Texas, Massachusetts, Georgia, and New York have their own testing requirements. It is to be completed before student teaching.

    What Is PRAXIS II Tests?

    PRAXIS II: Subject Assessments measure knowledge of specific subjects that PK-12 educators will teach, as well as general and subject-specific teaching skills and knowledge. There are Subject Assessments, Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Tests and Teaching Foundations Tests.

    Who Takes the Tests and Why?

    Individuals entering the teaching profession take these tests as part of the teacher licensing and certification process required by many states. Several professional associations and organizations require these tests as one criterion for professional licensing decisions.

    Where Do People Take the Tests?

    The PRAXIS Series tests are taken online at testing locations located in various states and regions.

    Testing Formats

    The PRAXIS II: Subject Assessments include:

    Subject Assessments. These assessments measure general and subject-specific teaching skills and knowledge. They include both multiple-choice and constructed-response test items. Content 5113 and 5114

    Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Tests. These assessments measure your general pedagogical knowledge at four grade levels: Early Childhood, K-6, 5-9 and 7-12. These tests use a case study approach and feature constructed response and multiple-choice items.

    Teaching Foundations Tests. These assessments measure pedagogy in five areas: multi-subject (elementary), English, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Science. These tests feature constructed response and multiple-choice items.


    Visit: for further information and registration.


    2016-Educator Credential Information System (ECIS)

    Please see Dr. Battersby for further information and examples. See for additional licensure information.

  • Music Education Employment Survey