Clinical Experiences

Classroom experiences are a vital part of your teacher education. There’s simply no better preparation for future teachers than observing how students react to different styles of instruction and how good teachers adjust in response. The Office of Clinical Experiences oversees both the early experience program and the student teaching program for IU students going into education.

Early Field Experiences

In the School of Education, we work hard to put you in classrooms with experienced teachers as early as possible in your degree program. Depending on your major, you may start observing classrooms as early as your freshman year. These early field experiences provide students the opportunity to examine teaching in practice – observing teachers, interacting with students, and learning about themselves as professional educators. As time goes on, you will discover which age groups and content areas you prefer to teach, and have the opportunity to see how the theories studied in class actually affect the practice of teaching. Most importantly, you will gain valuable strategies for classroom management, discover new ways to present challenging material, and start building professional networks.

Learn more about Early Field Experiences »

Student Teaching

Student teaching is defined as a full day, full time, school-based experience that is supervised by a certified experienced teacher and a university supervisor. The student teaching experience will follow the collaborative teaching model, for the most part, however, this does not mean that there will not be solo teaching for the teacher candidate.

The primary objective of student teaching is to provide the opportunity for acquisition and demonstration of instructional competence to be a qualified first-year teacher. The student teaching experience has been carefully designed to be as realistic and as intensive as actual teaching.

This involves placing teacher candidates in schools with carefully selected and qualified supervising teachers. Supervision is regarded as absolutely essential and is the mutual responsibility of the supervising teacher and the university supervisor, who are proven successful classroom teachers. The extent of actual teacher candidate classroom involvement and the assumption of full teaching and assessment responsibilities will be decided by a mutual agreement of the candidate, the supervising teacher, and the university supervisor.

Student teaching from start to finish »

Office of Clinical Experiences Staff

Want a truly unique student teaching experience? You may want to consider the Global Gateway for Teachers program - where teacher candidates are provided the opportunity to combine classroom practice with community participation and cultural learning while completing their student teaching requirements.

Choose from placement opportunities in one of 18 countries around the world; on Navajo reservations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah; and in the Chicago Public Schools.

It's a great opportunity to work with diverse student populations and broaden your worldview while fulfilling your student teaching requirements.

Learn more about Global Gateway teaching opportunities »