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College of Education

Site Based Experiences

An Overview

The College of Education at Butler University provides early site based experiences for education students. Site based field experiences are considered an integral part of the preparation program and are designed for prospective teachers to have early and significant experiences throughout their professional development from freshman through the senior year.

The goal of the beginning site based experiences is for the student to assess or reaffirm his/her commitment to the teaching profession. The sequence of experiences is designed to be developmental, beginning with observations and continuing through beginning teaching tasks, in preparation for the full time student teaching role.

The program is designed cooperatively by university faculty and school personnel.  All observations and activities attempted in the public and private schools must be accomplished professionally without interrupting or interfering with the school program. University students are guests in the host school.

Each site based experience is attached to a specific course. All requirements should be completed while the student is enrolled in the course. These placements are arranged by the professor. The student may be responsible for contacting the site based teacher to make final arrangements regarding specific times for the assignment. The university student needs to be aware of his or her academic schedule and know when he or she is available to participate in the school. The students must not fail to arrive at the pre-arranged time. Candidates provide their own transportation.

Each experience provides the student with the opportunity to display a professional attitude toward teaching and the education profession as a whole. As a pre-professional in education the student should view the site based observation/ participation as an opportunity to gather first hand information concerning the duties and responsibilities of the professional educator. The participant in this situation is no longer in the role of a student, nor has he/she attained the position of a teacher.

Attendance expectations for site based experiences are the same as for any other university course. It is important to keep in mind that the assistance of practicing teachers is voluntary and in the interest of their chosen profession and pre-professional student's development.  It is expected that each student arrive at or before the scheduled time that has been prearranged. The student should be aware that as a pre-professional he/she is expected to follow the roles and policies of the host school. This would include appropriate dress and ethical behavior.

The success of site based experiences is highly dependent on the student displaying appropriate dispositions. The following dispositions have been adopted by the College of Education as being reflective of the college's Core Values. As such, they are indicative of personal characteristics deemed essential to success in interpersonal relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. Additionally they reflect a positive self-image, law-abiding behavior, and an absence of traits associated with impaired professionals. The purpose of assessing such dispositions is to help assure that not only do our graduates have the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed professionally, but that they will do no harm to their students, to their colleagues, or to themselves.

The following are expected dispositions and positive qualities associated with them.

How to get an A+ in Dispositions

Your Dispositions will be evaluated in your classes at Butler University and all grade school activities.

Displays appropriate level of professional behavior.

Positive Qualities
  • Dresses appropriately for ALL classes (at Butler University and all grade school activities).
  • Maintains a professional manner at all times.
  • Demonstrates respect for professors, guests and peers.
  • Performs assigned duties with best effort.
  • Submits required work on time and accurately.
  • Is independent and responsible for requirements of your own learning course sequences and divided courses.
  • Assumes responsibility for the classroom and the students' success.
  • Acts "globally" around the school for the benefit of the whole school.

Takes personal responsibility for one's own behavior.

Positive Qualities
  • Admits mistakes and corrects them immediately.
  • Thinks about and reflects on practice.

Shows appreciation for diversity and similarity.

Positive Qualities
  • Treats students equitably, fairly, and with respect.
  • Demonstrates appreciation for cultural and linguistic diversity.
  • Plans lessons that include activities and strategies to engage students of various ability levels and learning styles.
  • Plans lessons which include required accommodations for students with special needs.

Shows caring, concern, patience.

Positive Qualities
  • Listens attentively to student questions and comments.
  • Responds to students with respect, even in difficult situations.
  • Addresses other students by name.
  • Directs students to address one another in a positive and respectful manner.
  • Disciplines students with dignity and respect.

Demonstrates appropriate professional ethics.

Positive Qualities
  • Maintains confidential trust and respect.
  • Keeps a log of communication with parents.
  • Keeps records of team conferences or teacher conferences with students.
  • Maintains copies of all correspondence (written, email) concerning student progress.
  • Follows all relevant ethical codes of professional conduct.

Shows an appreciation for knowledge and skills in the profession.

Positive Qualities
  • Is structured, yet flexible and spontaneous.
  • Is responsive to situations and students' needs.
  • Enjoys teaching and expects students to enjoy learning.
  • Shows passion for learning.

Shows appropriate engagement with the teaching, learning, and mentoring process.

Positive Qualities
  • Monitors student engagement in all activities and strategies.
  • Adjusts the delivery and pacing of the lesson in response to student cues.
  • Provides verbal, nonverbal, and written feedback.
  • Engages in discussion and questioning that leads to learning.
  • Learns from and uses assessments to improve performance.

Demonstrates the ability to effectively collaborate with others.

Positive Qualities
  • Practices honest two-way communication with students as well as with all school and university personnel.
  • Attends required meetings; is a team player.
  • Seeks community involvement.
  • Treats colleagues with respect and collegiality.

[Many of these indicators come from the following resource:  Stronge, James.  (2002). Qualities of Effective Teachers. ASCD.]

Professional Expectations

  • The student will be asked to sign an experiential education agreement before participating in any site based experience.
  • The student in our site based experiences is expected to support and enhance the educational program of the school and the College of Education of Butler University.
  • The Butler student will recognize the building principal and extend a personal thank you to this administrator for hosting our program.
  • The Butler student should remember that the classroom teacher is legally responsible for the class.
  • The Butler student should refrain from imposing religious or political views upon  pupils and should exhibit a broad-minded, tolerant attitude.
  • Any information which the Butler student receives about pupils in the class or school  must be kept confidential.
  • The Butler student should support the classroom teacher in matters of school  discipline.
  • The Butler student will be a willing member of the educational team.
  • The Butler student will be positive and accept supervision and suggestions from the professional staff.
  • The Butler student will wear appropriate attire at the field assignment.
  • In case of illness or necessary absence it is the student's responsibility to notify the Professor and appropriate school personnel.
  • The Butler student will always be prepared for classroom assignments.
  • The Butler student  may be asked to provide a criminal background check to each school district prior to participating in a site based experience.  Check with your course instructor. Three methods to obtain the limited criminal background check are outlined in this Guide under the Teacher Licensing section.

Site Based/Student Experiential Education Agreement (Word)