Welcome San Diego Student Teachers!

In the spirit of ‘always a teacher, always a learner’ I created this website to provide you multiple means of access for support and guidance throughout your student teaching term. I hope this is helpful.



Evaluations: What to Expect

I know there is some stress and anxiety that accompanies a Site Visit Observation. To help you feel as comfortable as possible I urge you to review the site evaluation form prior to each visit, so you are familiar with the criteria that is being evaluated. Expectations are for your position as a Student Teacher, not a veteran teacher.

Site Visit #1: Review the Professional Dispositions and Evaluation Form #1 criteria.

Site Visits #2, #3, #4: You will prepare a lesson plan and deliver it (see attachment for more details on what to expect). The academic content area is not as important as the preparation, planning, delivery, and reflection. Those are transferable skills that demonstrate teaching ability across content areas. *Send me your Lesson Plans 48 hrs. before visit.

**Site Visit #4 will also include the Professional Dispositions evaluated in #1 and the Content Standards for your Education Program. Please communicate this to your Cooperating Teacher so they complete the appropriate Content Standards section. Additionally, please review and complete a Self-Assessment on the Site Visit #4 Evaluation form. *Send me your completed Eval #4 self-assessment and Lesson Plans 48 hrs. before visit.

My objective at the observation is to look for good work to build on; my goal is to support you in honing your teaching craft and reflecting on future growth. During our post-observation review, I will be sharing with you the positive aspects of your lesson, and areas of improvement that I observe. The purpose of my feedback is to let you know your strengths and skills you are performing well, and what areas have room for growth. I encourage you to approach your observation with a positive mindset, and be open and receptive to hearing critical critique, in the context of professional growth and development.

Finally, I will be sending you post-observation Reflection on Teaching questions to complete and send back to me.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns not addressed. Please remember that my role is to support you in becoming the best teacher you can be! Find attachments here.

“Every teacher needs to improve. Not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.”  ~ Dylan Wiliam

Site Visit #1

In preparation for your first site visit evaluation, please review Site Visit #1 Evaluation  criteria so you know what to expect. I will plan to observe for about an hour teaching block, or one academic class period. You do not need to prepare and deliver a formal lesson plan the first visit, but I need to observe you working and interacting with students. Please plan for the following:

  1. Schedule to have your class/students covered for up to 45 minutes following the visit so we can review the observation together.
  2. We’ll discuss your planning and reflection sessions with your Cooperating teacher. *You should be meeting regularly with your Cooperating teacher for planning and feedback (2-3x weekly).
  3. Review What to Expectand Tips.
  4.  Find Professional Dispositionsand video resource.

Also, please communicate with your Cooperating/Mentor Teacher and make sure they have a copy of the appropriate site visit evaluation form. Please find additional GCU COE forms located here and here.

*Video recording: I do not video record observations unless requested, but I encourage you to use that as a personal reflection tool at some point during your student teaching. It is really helpful to see things that you cannot really be aware of when you are actively teaching, but are able to notice on a video. There is a release form in the Student Teaching manual appendix or on the GCU COE website.

*FYI, all site visit evaluations are scheduled. I will not be dropping in unannounced.  🙂

Great teachers have high expectations, clear objectives, are prepared and organized, engage students, form strong relationships, are masters of their subjects, and communicate often with parents.         –  Richard Leblanc

A note on… Co-teaching

A note on Co-teaching: As you begin to take on responsibilities in the classroom you will need to develop a good communication plan with your Cooperating Teacher. I encourage you to sit down together with the calendar and map out progressive increased classroom and teaching responsibilities, making sure you will have the required time of 100% teaching/planning according to GCU protocols for student teaching, and then gradually transitioning back. It is especially important to define clear boundaries and expectations for when your Cooperating Teacher steps in to assist, support, or re-direct during your teaching time.

**Additionally, please make sure you are scheduling regular planning and feedback sessions with your Cooperating or Mentor Teacher. If you are student teaching in your own classroom, work with your Mentor teacher to schedule observations. Ideally, they should be coming in to provide observations for you.

*Single Placements: 5 weeks of 75-100% planning and teaching (with Cooperating teacher’s guidance).

*Dual Placements: 3 weeks of 75-100% planning and teaching in each placement (with Cooperating teacher’s guidance).


Dear Student Teachers,

How was your week? What successes did you have? What did you find a challenge? Any surprises – pleasant or otherwise? 🙂

Any burning questions or priority concerns regarding students, your Cooperating or Mentor Teacher, other?

You can use the ‘contact‘ tab in the menu to respond. Have a great weekend!

**Thoughts to reflect on**

**What did I learn about my *strengths* this week? How can I use this knowledge to help me be successful in the classroom?    

**What did I learn about my *challenges* this week? How can I use this knowledge to help me be successful in the classroom? 

**What did I learn about who I am and my development as a teacher?

**How do I feel about myself as a student teacher and about the work that I am completing?

Professional Communication

Professional communication involves a prompt response and appropriate language. Address the person by name and/or title and end with your name. Use formal sentence structure, mechanics, and grammar, and avoid text and slang language.

Generally, a professional response time is 1 business day (M-F). It is better to respond timely even if you do not have all requested information or answers. This lets the sender know you got the communication and will be following up more completely later.

Professionalism is one of the evaluation criteria during your student teaching placement.

Placement Dates & Online Classes

Some of you may have noticed that your physical start date at your placement school and your online class cohort dates are different. This is not cause for alarm. GCU attempts to match these dates as closely as possible, but due to varying school calendars they often do not align exactly.

Your required student teaching days begin the day you start at your placement school. If you are fortunate to begin during prep week at the start of the year, and working with your Cooperating teacher, this time counts. Your four (4) official evaluations will take place on a suggested schedule that work within the actual time frame you are student teaching. They will be uploaded and submitted within the time frame of your online class so the scores can be included in your online class grade.

Due to school schedules, it’s possible your student teaching days at your placement school may extend longer than your online class dates. This is alright. This should not delay completion of your online class, or your official graduation if you are graduating during the term. Your final Time Log will be submitted when you have completed your required days.

Factors that influence when you start at your school include the district’s or school site’s preference, your availability or your Cooperating or Mentor Teacher’s preference. As soon as you have contact information for your Cooperating or Mentor teacher, please touch base and discuss your start date with them. You can also contact GCU College of Education (COE) if you have any concerns.

A note on Evals and Feedback

I encourage you to open and review the comments and attachments that are posted with your Evaluation (you should receive an email alert when it is posted). You will find supporting documentation, and I may include Scripted Notes as a reflection tool for you. They are a ‘snapshot’ of 20-30 minutes during your observation. I may also include feedback comments embedded in your lesson plan (click on the text bubbles).