Instructions to Complete Field Experience Observations
In various classes, you will be assigned to a local school and will be required to complete a designated number of observations in your assigned school. Follow the steps and guidelines below to complete the field experience requirements.
In the semester you take MUS 2240 (Foundations of Music Education), you will be provided with a Field Experience Request packet. This packet contains a Demographics Form and a Security Clearance Form. You will complete and return the demographics form in class. On this form you will clarify the following:
- If you are an instrumentalist or a vocalist
- Where you graduated from high school (you may not observe at your alma mater)
- Whether you intend to pursue an elementary, middle, or high school teaching position
In the following weeks, you will need to complete the Security Clearance form and fingerprinting. Once these completed forms are received by the Office of Clinical Teaching (in the College of Education), you will be assigned a field experience placement. You will receive a document indicating the name of the campus and music teacher where you have been assigned. When you receive your placement, you will also receive a College of Education I.D. badge that must be worn in all field-experience and clinical teaching placements. This I.D. identifies you to local school administrators as an APSU student in a teacher education program.
Step 1: Contact your Mentor Teacher (the teacher to whom you have been assigned) to schedule your observations. You may need to do some research to find the music teacher’s e-mail and phone number. When you contact your teacher, follow this prompt:
Hello. I am a music education major at Austin Peay State University and have been assigned to your classroom to complete “X” hours of observation. I am writing/calling to ask about your schedule, and to see when I might be able to come to your classroom to complete these observations. I can be reached at (your e-mail and phone no).
Thank you. (YOUR NAME)
*DO NOT SEND A TEXT MESSAGE, AND DO NOT WRITE IN TEXT VERBIAGE
Step 2: Once you receive a return message, coordinate with your Mentor Teacher to schedule your observations hours. Schedule your observations around other class commitments. Do not skip classes, lessons, or rehearsals to complete field experience hours. Your observations should be completed within the first 12 weeks of the semester. If you do not complete the observations in a timely manner, do not expect your Mentor Teacher to rearrange their schedule to meet your needs (a failure to plan on your part does not necessitate an emergency on their part).
Before you go to observe
- Print the Student Demographics form (available on Livetext) and bring it with you so you will be able to fill it out.
- Also print and bring the Field Experience Reflections Form to use as a reference when you observe.
When you arrive to complete your observations:
- Check-in at the school’s main office and follow the school’s procedures for visitors.
- When you are on a school campus, conduct yourself in a professional manner that does not disrupt from classroom instruction, or draw undue attention to yourself. You represent the APSU Department of Music and College of Education. Also remember that you are a guest on the campus, and a guest in the room where you are observing.
- Dress professionally. Generally, tattoos and non-traditional piercings should be covered/removed. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and follow the dress code of the campus where you are visiting.
- Silence your cell-phone or other device so it does not disrupt classroom instruction. Do not text or make/take calls during your observation.
- Always wear your APSU College of Education name tag/student I.D.
- Arrive on time. This means that you arrive with enough time to park your car, check-in at the main office and find the music room BEFORE the start of music class. Arriving late distracts students, interrupts instruction, and is unprofessional.
- Once you schedule an observation time, you are committed to it. Do not skip a scheduled observation time. If an unforeseen emergency keeps you from fulfilling a commitment, contact the mentor teacher ASAP to explain your situation and ask to reschedule.
Once your observations are complete:
Send a follow-up message to your mentor teacher: Dear _________ (name of mentor teacher). Thank you very much for letting me visit your classroom to complete my observation hours. I know you are very busy and that your time is valuable. (etc…..) ***Write about something positive you learned during your observations***
Finally, complete and submit the Field Experience Observation Reflection and Student Demographics Form to your Livetext account.