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getting started in schools



Andrea Kelly

DAET Coordinator

116Q Erickson Hall


daet website http ed web3 educ msu edu te elementaryteams
  • The DAET website is your source of information for everything you will need to make the most of your Teacher Education Program experience. Please bookmark it and consult it frequently. Briefly it contains:
    • Calendar of Events
    • Personnel Directory
    • Information for Students
      • Placements
      • Professional Conduct and Course Policies
      • Program Requirements
      • Criteria for Progression to the Internship
      • Links to other sites (financial aid, MTTC, etc.)
finding your school and getting to know people
Finding your school and getting to know people
  • Maps - We will come to class as soon as we have confirmed most of the placements for your section. We will bring a placement list. Maps are available on our website and in 116 EH.
  • CATA bus tokens are available to students receiving financial aid. Go to room 27 Student Services between 8:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. Allow for extra travel time if you are taking the bus.
  • Parking - We will tell you where to park. This information is also available on our website maps along with specific directions to the school, the phone number and other pertinent information. Parking is limited at some schools, so carpooling is encouraged.
  • Signing in and out at the office - district policy requires that you sign in and out in the main office every time you are at the school.
  • Identification - schools require everyone in the building to wear an identification badge. You may wear your MSU ID, or the name badge we give you, or one provided by your placement school.
Dressing appropriately to participate actively in the classroom. You should be able to do head-shoulders-knees and toes without discomfort to you or anyone else.

Sample school clothing guidelines:

Dress needs to be seasonal, practical, non-offensive, and not a distraction to the educational program. Students are not to wear short shorts, see through knit tops, tank tops, crop tops that expose the stomach, or skin tight clothing. Pants are to be worn with the waist band at the waist level. Clothing is not to have on it profanity, tobacco, alcohol, or illegal substances, or suggestive or vulgar slogans. The wearing or displaying of items (or clothing) that can be associated with gangs, fraternities, sororities, or secret societies is prohibited. Students are not allowed to wear chains, hats or scarf head coverings (girls or boys) at school. Flip flops are not considered safe for school.

Introducing yourself to other staff and administrators - be sure you meet the principal, secretary, custodian and other building personnel.
  • Finding your way around the building - we will meet you at school on your first day and we will take a tour of the building.
  • Learning how to use equipment and supplies - ask you Mentor Teacher. Do not use any piece of equipment, especially the copy machine, until you have been trained.
  • Following school district policy - all school policies apply to you. For example: When a school goes into lock down; that means that everyone remains in their room with all doors locked. No one is allowed to enter or leave the building. Even if you have a class or other important commitment, you must stay until the lock down has been lifted. You will be excused for being late for class.
Please check with your Mentor Teacher or school principal for any special rules regarding the students in your building. For example: the school may have a specific policy regarding the use of pictures or recordings of the children; a child or children may have specific health or allergy problems resulting in restrictions on food (peanut allergy) or physical activity (recess, PE).
  • Remember, we are guests in the schools. Schools exist to educate the children in that district, and our participation is secondary. We are there by the courtesy of the Board of Education, the administration, and the mentor teachers. In return for this opportunity to gain actual experience with children, we must ask that you demonstrate high standards of professional performance and attitude.
professional behavior and responsibilities
Professional Behavior and Responsibilities
  • Attendance and communicating absences - missed field time must be made up unless approved by the Team Coordinator. If you are going to be absent from your field placement you must call the school secretary, email the coordinator, and notify your Mentor Teacher however s/he prefers (leave message at school, call at home, etc.). It’s also a good idea to let your teaching partner know when you will be absent.
  • Snow days, professional development days, fog delays, etc. - do not need to be made up. Time missed for sickness, car trouble, etc. needs to be made up. We will deal with absences on an individual basis. Students should listen to local radio and TV stations for school cancellations and delays due to snow or other weather conditions. Each student needs to use his or her own best judgment in light of her or his particular situation regarding driving conditions.
Punctuality - students are expected to establish a regular arrival and leaving time and be consistent with the schedule they arrange. Any exceptions need to be negotiated with your Mentor Teacher.
  • Messages on cell phones/answering machines should be businesslike - keep in mind that the people you are working with professionally may occasionally need to call you at home. It’s also a good idea to monitor your personal website or Facebook page, if you have one, for objectionable material.
  • It is best to leave your cell phone in the car or turn it off while in the classroom.

Your field experiences are an important part of your learning and you will be discussing them in your courses. Just as teachers are expected to respect the privacy and dignity of the children and families with whom they work, so we expect you to use discretion. In casual conversations or social situations, do not relate stories from classrooms or schools that may be embarrassing to teachers or students or that include sensitive information about a child or family. When discussing classroom situations in class, do so carefully. Use a fictitious name for the student involved if you need to include family or individual information in your explanation or if the situation is particularly difficult. Mask the name of a student on any written or visual work shared in class or used in an assignment. When discussing teaching practice you have observed in the field, be mindful of maintaining a tone of professional courtesy.

Confidentiality and ethical dilemmas…

in and out of school

student sign in sheet and classroom assignments
Student Sign-In Sheet and Classroom Assignments
  • Individual attendance folder - keep it in your classroom and keep a brief record of what you do each time you are in the classroom.
  • Communicating assignments to your Mentor Teacher - assignments must be discussed with your mentor teacher well in advance of the due date. If you encounter any problems scheduling time to teach your lesson, discuss it immediately with your course instructor.

Becoming the best Assistant Teacher

you can be…

  • What are you here to do, to be?
  • How are we going to work together?
  • How are we going to treat each other?
  • How are you going to take initiative to help your Mentor Teacher to teach the class?

These questions and others can be addressed in the on-site seminars. There will be several seminars held on-site to make your experience as an assistant teacher the best that it can be for you, your mentor teacher, and your charges.

my mentor teacher
My Mentor Teacher

If I were you, I would like my Mentor Teacher to be exactly like my favorite teacher from elementary school;

my mentor teacher14
My Mentor Teacher

If I were you, I would like my Mentor Teacher to be exactly like my favorite teacher from elementary school;

And… to be the spitting image of my ideal future self when I am a teacher;

my mentor teacher15
My Mentor Teacher

If I were you, I would like my Mentor Teacher to be exactly like my favorite teacher from elementary school;

And… to be the spitting image of my ideal future self when I am a teacher;

And… to be a model of all of the methods I will study in my TE classes.

What is the probability of that?

Reality - We will be working with ordinary human beings who are trying to teach school.

By Tom Bird

what do assistant teachers do
What do Assistant Teachers do…

Work with individuals or small groups of students

Read a story

Lead morning routines (attendance, lunch count, calendar)

Monitor seat work

Listen to students read

Help plan a field trip

Prepare bulletin boards

Prepare materials for use in the classroom

Learn student names

Keep a reflection journal or personal log about classroom experiences


Observe gym, library, music, art, computer and special education classes

Look for ways to help in the classroom and take the initiative to ask your Mentor Teacher for suggestions

Locate, gather and prepare materials

Assist in getting students to line up

Walk students to lunch, gym, busses

Collect homework

Monitor students working on computers

Correct papers with Mentor Teacher’s guidance

Learn how to use school equipment


Michigan Test for Teacher Certification: Candidates for Michigan teacher certification must pass tests designed by the State of Michigan to ensure that certified teachers have the necessary basic skills and content knowledge to perform effectively in Michigan schools. The competency exams are known as the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). Elementary interns (including special education and child development majors) must pass, at minimum, the MTTC test in Elementary Education (#83) prior to placement in grades K-6. For consideration for an internship placement, teacher candidates must take the required MTTC subject tests no later than the April test prior to the internship year.


MTTC Testing Schedule

Test Date Regular Late Emergency Score Report

Registration Registration Registration Date

Deadline Deadline Deadline

10-18-08 9-12-08 9-26-08 10-10-08 11-14-08

1-10-09 11-28-08 12-19-08 1-2-09 2-6-09

4-18-09 3-6-09 3-27-09 4-10-09 5-15-09

7-18-09 6-5-09 6-26-09 7-10-09 8-14-09

Internet Registration: All registration periods. To register on the Internet, your registration must be completed by 5:00 p.m. eastern time on the registration deadline for the period.

U.S. Mail Registration: Regular and late registration periods only. To register by mail during the regular registration period, your registration materials must be postmarked by the regular registration deadline. During the late registration period, your registration materials must be received by the late registration deadline.

Telephone Registration: Emergency registration period only. To register by telephone, call (413) 256-2876 or (800) 823-9225, 9:00 a.m.ミ5:00 p.m. eastern time, MondayミFriday, excluding holidays. You must call by 5:00 p.m. eastern time on the emergency registration deadline.

Complete information can be found at

Or pick up the bulletin in 134 Erickson (Student Affairs Office)

student advisory board
Student Advisory Board

The DAET Student Advisory Board is a group of students who volunteers to be a liaison between the students and faculty of the DAET. The functions of the group may include the following:

  • Bringing students’ questions and concerns to the attention of the DAET Faculty Leader and Coordinator;

2. Contributing students’ viewpoints to discussions about various aspects of program planning and development;

3. Making information about the program equally accessible to all students by reporting to their sections; and

  • Planning student activities, such as the Junior Event.

All meetings are from 4 to 5 PM in

116 A Erickson Hall.

Wednesday, September 24

Wednesday, October 22

Wednesday, November 19

questions comments concerns
Questions, Comments, Concerns…

Field time is 5 hours per week not including drive time. If you have the full day field lunch is not counted in the 5 hours.