Student Teaching FAQs

It is important to understand that the intent of the student teaching experience is to replicate as fully as possible all aspects of teaching, which includes teaching in a classroom as well as working collaboratively with other professionals. During the fifteen weeks of student teaching, teacher candidates are expected to display the professional behaviors of dedicated educators such as staying after school to plan with the cooperating teacher, participating in extracurricular activities, writing newsletters, and attending faculty and staff development activities. We believe the more authentic the student teaching experience, the more prepared the student will be to face the challenges of teaching in the 21st century.

I am ready for student teaching, what do I need to do?

  1. Make sure you meet all prerequisite course requirements
  2. Make sure you meet the GPA requirement of 3.0 or higher.
  3. Complete the Student Teaching Application on SurveyMonkey.com.
  4. Submit the following additional documents via Canvas.
  • Your resume
  • A 1-2 page philosophy statement that addresses your beliefs about teaching and learning
  • Unofficial Transcript from Rider
  • Copies of unofficial transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended
  • Results of Mantoux test for Tuberculosis
  • A copy of the PRAXIS Examinee Score Report (It is essential that you report shows that your score was sent to the NJ Department of Education.  This information is needed in order for you to be certified.)
  • Criminal Background Check(s) OR Substitute Teaching Certificate

Please remember that although you have applied for student teaching long before it will begin, you must register for the course Student Teaching/Internship and Seminar in the registration period before the semester you will do your student teaching.  The course number for Undergraduates is EDU 465 and for GLTP students is GLTP 570.

Do I need a criminal background check before student teaching?
Yes!  Almost all NJ districts require that you go through the state-wide criminal background check called MorphoTrak.  Most PA districts also require a background check.  These checks may take several weeks to complete, so you should begin the process as soon as possible.

Some school districts also require a substitute certificate for student teaching in their district. We strongly recommend getting a substitute teaching license as it allows a district to hire you while you wait to receive your teacher license. This is not the case with just a criminal background check. More information on acquiring a substitute teaching certificate.

When you receive your substitute certificate or criminal background check, please submit a copy via Canvas after you have received your Canvas enrollment confirmation email.

May I find my own student teaching placement?
No.  We need to ensure that all of our teacher candidates are placed in settings where we know you will be appropriately mentored and supervised.  On the application form there is space to explain any circumstances that may affect your placement.  Please feel free to contact the Office of Field Placement (609-895-5417) if you would like to schedule a meeting regarding placement concerns.

To make it easy, can I student teach where my kids go to school?
No. To avoid conflict of interest and other potential problems for the student teacher, the School of Education does not allow students to student teach in the town where they reside, in a school that their children attend, or in a school in which relatives are employed.

Where do I go for help with my resume?
There are many websites that will help you get started.  Career Services is also a wonderful resource. The Education contact person at Career Services is Joyce Tyler.  She can be reached at tyler@rider.edu or (609) 896-5058. Visit the Career Services Web site for more information.

I see that one of the requirements is to compose a Philosophy Statement.  Is this really required?  What should I write? How long should it be?
This is required, and we are finding that many schools read these carefully.  Often school districts use this statement to determine if you have the written language skills necessary for good teaching.  It should be a statement of your beliefs about teaching and learning. Your statement should be clear and concise and contain no grammatical or punctuation errors.  We have found that good statements tend to be 1-2 pages long.  More information about writing a philosophy statement can be found in our Student Teacher PowerPoint Presentation. For assistance in writing, contact the Career Services Office at (609) 896-5058 or the Writing Lab at (609) 895-5040 or visit Tutortrac to schedule an appointment online.

I have been told I must have a substitute certificate to student teach. Is this true?
Some school districts also require a substitute certificate for student teaching in their district, but others do not. We strongly recommend getting a substitute teaching license as it allows a district to hire you while you wait to receive your teacher license. This is not the case with just a criminal background check.

To obtain one, contact the Administrative Office at a School District which may provide you with the paperwork needed. Not all districts will provide the paperwork.  You may also contact www.source4teachers.com at 856-482-0300.  Click to apply for a criminal background check and substitute teacher.

I want to student teach in Pennsylvania.  Can I do that?
Yes, just include your request in your application and make sure you have the PA Criminal Background Check, the Child Abuse History Clearance Form and the FBI Federal Criminal History Record on file with Rider’s Field Placement Office.

How do I know where I have been placed for student teaching? And, what will I need to do once I am placed?
After we receive your student teacher application form, we will send your placement request to a school district within a 30 mile radius of where you will live at the time of student teaching. The Field Placement Office calls districts to follow-up on the applications sent. It can take a considerable amount of time to confirm your placement.  Once a placement has been secured, the Field Placement Office will notify you via email. Included in the email is a list of instructions that needs to be completed before you begin student teaching.  Most important is to contact your cooperating teacher as soon as possible.

May I continue working at my part time job during student teaching?
Working part time while student teaching is NOT RECOMMENDED. Student teaching is a rigorous experience that requires a significant amount of time outside of school hours for planning lessons, writing self-reflections, and creating a professional portfolio. Additionally, time must be reserved for meeting with your cooperating teacher to collaborate and discuss and review the day’s activities.

I am worried about getting my kids to school.  If I cannot student teach where they are, can I arrive late to student teach or leave early?
You are responsible for being at the school during the school’s hours of operation and your cooperating teacher’s schedule.  Please make child care arrangements well in advance of student teaching.  We will try to place you within a 30 mile radius of where you live at the time of student teaching.  Although we try our best to accommodate your needs, there are no guarantees. When acting as a student teacher, you are expected to adhere to the same time schedules, routines, policies and procedures as the teachers in that school.

I requested a field placement but need to withdraw. What do I do?
Contact the Director of Field Placement via email or phone with any change that may impact student teaching such as a change of address, need to withdraw, illness or special circumstances.

Must I attend the Student Teacher Orientation?
Yes, you must attend. This is a mandatory event that all student teachers are required to attend. In addition to learning more about the student teaching experience, you will receive notification of your seminar class and meet with your Rider Supervisor.