Frequently Asked Questions About Student Teaching/Internships
Applying for Internship
- What should my admission status be before I start my internship?
- Where do I apply for graduate school?
- Do I have to go to an orientation?
- Where do I get an application?
- If I need more space on my application, may I add a page?
- Do I have to deliver my application in person, or can I mail it to you?
- Where do I turn in my application?
- Why do I have to provide three copies of my application?
- If I withdraw this semester, do I have to complete a new application for completing the internship in a future semester?
- If I am a special education, early childhood education, or elementary education student, currently in my first preinternship or practicum when the application is due, may I later update my application to reflect that time in the classroom?
- What is the placement process?
- If I know a teacher in a certain school or county, and he/she wants to work with me, may I do my internship there?
- I know people within a certain county, district, or school. Should I call them to make placement arrangements?
- Why can’t I be guaranteed a placement in Alachua County?
- Whom do I call to find out if I’ve been placed yet? When should I call?
- Everyone has placement letters except me; why haven’t I been placed yet?
- What are the chances I’ll get my request for grade, school, and teacher?
- If the teacher wanted me as an intern, and I supplied a request letter, why wouldn’t I be placed with him/her?
Time in the Internship
- What is the internship day/week like?
- How long is the internship, overall? How long is an internship day?
- Can I work and do my internship at the same time?
- Can I find out which other interns are placed at my school, so we can carpool?
- Will I be the only intern at my school?
- Whom do I contact if I will miss a day of my internship?
- Whom do I contact if I need to withdraw from my internship?
- Which counties have special requirements regarding fingerprinting or drug testing?
- What is Education Recruitment Day? When is it?
- If I change my address at the Registrar’s office, is it changed for student teaching?
- What is the Professional Orientation Seminar at the end of the internship semester?
- What other paperwork do I need to turn in, or check on to make sure it was submitted?
Elementary, Special Education, and Unified Early Childhood Students
- Why can’t I do my internship in any Florida county?
- I’ve already turned in my application, but now I have a special request. May I add my request?
- Which counties are available for distant placements?
Applying for Internship
1. What should my admission status be before I start my internship?
This information varies by program as follows:
If you are in elementary education, special education, or early childhood education, you must be admitted to either graduate or post baccalaureate status before starting your internship. Deadlines and information about admission are posted on the Elementary PROTEACH website and other College of Education websites. You will be withdrawn from your internship if you are not admitted with one of these classifications.
If you are in the secondary PROTEACH program, you must be admitted as a prospective candidate for the M.Ed. degree in your specific program.
If you are in an affiliated program (art, music, or agricultural education), you must meet preprofessional sequence requirements in your department.
2. Where do I apply for graduate school?
For students in elementary education or secondary PROTEACH the location is Room 2403, Norman Hall. For students in special education or early childhood, the location is 1403, Norman Hall.
3. Do I have to go to an orientation?
If you are an elementary, special education, or unified early childhood student, you must attend a formal orientation session held by the Student Teaching Office. Staff members verify attendance at the orientation when accepting applications for elementary, early childhood, and special education. If you are in a secondary PROTEACH program (English, social studies, or science) or an affiliated program (art, music, or agricultural education), you will receive information through your department.
4. Where do I get an application?
You may download the application pertinent to your program on the Applications page.
Please be sure to read all directions thoroughly! Downloading the application requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be obtained from a link on the internship application page. The application must be typed. Please note: The Student Teaching Office will NOT accept applications from elementary, early childhood, and special education students who failed to attend their scheduled orientation session. Please note: The Student Teaching Office does not have applications in the office.
5. If I need more space on my application, may I add a page?
Please condense your response to the space provided.
6. Do I have to deliver my application in person, or can I mail it to you?
We do not accept mail-in applications. You will need to make arrangements to bring your application by G416 Norman Hall.
7. Where do I turn in my application?
Elementary, Early Childhood, Special Ed, Secondary PROTEACH, Agriculture, Art, and Music students turn in their application to the Student Teaching Office, G416 Norman Hall. See the deadline table for specifics.
8. Why do I have to provide three copies of my application?
The Student Teaching Office maintains a copy of all students’ internship files. One copy also goes to the schools where placement is requested, and in some instances, a copy is sent to the department. So, multiple copies are essential.
9. If I withdraw this semester, do I have to complete a new application for completing the internship in a future semester?
No, it is not necessary to completely redo all parts of the application. However, you must notify your appropriate departmental contact and the Student Teaching Office immediately upon changing your plans. Your application can then be moved to another semester at your request. You are welcome to update any information in your file before the new semester of internship begins. Sometimes it is necessary to redo a specific portion in order to make information current.
10. If I am a special education, early childhood education, or elementary education student, currently in my first preinternship or practicum when the application is due, may I later update my application to reflect that time in the classroom?
Yes, you are welcome to update or add pages to your application file before placement requests are made for the semester in which you will do your internship. You should plan to add any updates and changes by March 1 for fall placement and October 1 for spring placement.
1. What is the placement process?
First of all, we process your application and enter it into our internship database for the semester for which you have applied. While we are accepting and processing your applications, we are also asking for volunteer teachers to supervise interns. After all volunteer information has been returned by the schools, we match students with teachers. For elementary and unified early childhood students, we consider special requests first and then work on placing students as closely as possible to their grade requests. In all other programs, the internship coordinator usually reviews the list of teacher volunteers and makes recommendations on placements to the departmental coordinator, who in turn makes placement request decisions. We then send requests out to the schools. When the request forms are returned, signed by the principals, we then begin sending notification letters to students. As directed in the letter and accompanying information, you should plan to make contact with your cooperating teacher after that point.
2. If I know a teacher in a certain school or county, and he/she wants to work with me, may I do my internship there?
Elementary and unified early childhood students with special requests should submit two copies of a request letter to the Student Teaching Office. It is NOT appropriate for the teacher to submit a letter. All other students should speak with their departmental internship coordinator regarding special requests; he or she will communicate that request to the Student Teaching Office.
3. I know people within a certain county, district, or school. Should I call them to make placement arrangements?
Under NO circumstances should you call schools, districts, or counties yourself! You should contact the Student Teaching Office if you have a special request. If you are in a secondary or affiliated program, you should contact your departmental internship coordinator; he or she will communicate your request to the Student Teaching Office.
4. Why can’t I be guaranteed a placement in Alachua County?
It is a matter of simple mathematics. There are more students requesting placements in Alachua County than teachers available to supervise them. We must, therefore, frequently place students outside of the county.
5. Whom do I call to find out if I’ve been placed yet? When should I call?
You may contact the Student Teaching Office in room G416, Norman Hall, 352-273-4376. Most placements are not finalized until the latter part of the semester, early December for spring placements and late April for fall placements. You can also check the Bulletin Board section to get updated messages.
6. Everyone has placement letters except me; why haven’t I been placed yet?
We notify students on a rolling basis. As soon as we have a confirmation from the school with an assigned teacher, we send you a letter. We do not wait for a particular time to send out all letters at once, but rather send out notifications as quickly as we receive them. Some schools, particularly those with many requests, may take longer than others. Some of your classmates, therefore, may receive their letters before you.
7. What are the chances I’ll get my request for grade, school, and teacher?
While it is impossible to say what the chances are, we do try quite hard to honor special requests and place students at the grade level they would like for their internship. However, since many factors are at work in arranging placements, it is not possible for everyone to receive their specific request for grade, school, or teacher.
8. If the teacher wanted me as an intern and I supplied a request letter, why wouldn’t I be placed with him/her?
Sometimes the reasons requests are not honored have nothing to do with the intentions of the intern or the teacher. On many occasions, schools are undergoing curriculum changes or staff restructuring, in which case the principal may request that the school have no interns a certain semester. Schools are generally very eager to have interns. If they are unable to make placements, it is almost always an administrative reason designed to promote the best outcomes for the students and school rather than a reflection on the intern.
Time in the Internship
1. What is the internship day/week like?
Internships vary, of course, across subjects and grade levels, but, in most schools, you will be spending time teaching, planning, and reflecting on your experiences. The morning will begin early with preparation for the day and perhaps consultation with your cooperating teacher. You’ll follow the school’s daily schedule and end the day according to the needs of the students and school personnel. In other words, your day will not end with the dismissal bell. You often will be asked to stay for conferencing and/or to make preparations for the next day. These are considered to be part of the total internship experience.
2. How long is the overall internship? How long is an internship day?
Most internships are a minimum of 12 weeks; some may have slightly longer placements than others. You will receive a schedule specific to your program at the time you receive your notification letter. An internship day is not just the time the students are present. It is, in fact, whatever time is necessary for you to be at the school as determined by the supervising teacher, school administrators, and the needs of the students.
3. Can I work and do my internship at the same time?
Most students will find it very difficult to work and complete a successful internship simultaneously. Internships require more time than actual hours spent in a classroom, especially in planning, developing lessons, and consulting with your directing teacher. Additionally, teaching (especially for beginners) is a very high-energy job. You’ll find yourself extremely tired at the end of each day.
4. Can I find out which other interns are placed at my school so we can carpool?
The Student Teaching Office does not regularly release lists of where students are placed. However, because transportation is an issue for some students, we will work with you to identify others at the same school.
5. Will I be the only intern at my school?
We try our best to place at least two interns at every school. This is helpful for students wishing to carpool as well as intern supervisors who must travel to schools for observations and meetings.
6. Whom do I contact if I will miss a day of my internship?
First and foremost, contact the school and your cooperating teacher BEFORE the school day begins. If you have assumed primary responsibility for teaching in this classroom, you must also make arrangements to deliver lesson plans to your cooperating teacher. You should also contact your intern supervisor. It is extremely important that you let these parties know that you will miss a day of your internship. Each day missed must be made up.
7. Whom do I contact if I need to withdraw from my internship?
Contact your departmental intern supervisor as soon as possible. You should also call the Student Teaching Office, 352-273-4376.
1. Which counties have special requirements (i.e. fingerprinting, drug testing, etc.)?
The Student Teaching Office maintains a list of counties that have special requirements. In some cases, they may also have additional paperwork for you to complete. Please see the Student Teaching Office in Room G416, Norman Hall, for this information. ALL interns should be aware that many of these counties have additional requirements such as completion of supplementary forms or early application deadlines.
2. What is Education Recruitment Day and the Recruitment Fair, and how can they help me? When is it?
For more information about these services, please visit the Career Resource Center’s website.
3. If I change my address at the Registrar’s office, is it changed for student teaching?
The Student Teaching Office, which notifies students of their placement assignments, maintains a database separate from the Registrar. Therefore, you MUST notify the Student Teaching Office in Room G416, Norman Hall, of your change of address.
4. What is the Professional Orientation Seminar at the beginning of the internship semester?
This is a wonderful opportunity for all University of Florida education students who are in their full-time internships to find out about obtaining a job. Speakers from the Office of Student Services and Principals from Alachua County Schools provide information about certification, job applications, and what principals are looking for in new teacher hires. You can find out when the seminar will be held by contacting the Student Teaching Office.
5. What other paperwork do I need to turn in or check on to make sure it was submitted?
You should make sure your cooperating teacher completes your final evaluation received electronically via email. You should also confirm that your internship supervisor or coordinator has completed his or her final evaluation.
Elementary, Special Education, and Unified Early Childhood Students
1. Why can’t I do my internship in any Florida county?
The College of Education has developed partnerships with a certain group of counties to host elementary, special education, and early childhood education students. Not all Florida counties are currently on this list. Moreover, even if a county is on the list, interns may not always be able to be placed there; there must be enough students interning in the county in question to justify hiring additional faculty members to provide clinical supervision.
2. I’ve already turned in my application, but now I have a special request. May I add my request?
If you submitted your application on time and if you turn in your special request before placements have been made, they may be considered. Remember, though, that we do not guarantee that special requests will be honored. Also, once the placement process has begun, NO special requests will be accepted.
3. Which counties are available for distant placements?
When you attend student teaching orientation, if you have an interest in doing a distant placement, you will be asked to complete a form and indicate which counties you are interested in for the internship. The Student Teaching Office, in consultation with the departmental representative, decides which counties have enough requests to justify making arrangements for placements. All students requesting distant placements are emailed whether or not the county they have requested has been approved for them to intern.
If you have a question about student teaching that is not answered here, please email Rebecca Kidwell (email@example.com).