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Science and Mathematics Education Center

Early Field Experience

The Early Field Experience (EFE) program is designed for all science and math undergraduate students who are planning to enter the teaching profession at the Single Subject level. This program provides students with an exciting opportunity to learn the realities and many challenges of teaching well before they are accepted to the credential program thereby allowing students to make an informed decision on whether or not the teaching profession is good job fit for them. This program also affords each students the chance to explore their options within the 7-12 grade levels and subject areas.

Through participation in the Early Field Experience, students will assist teachers with instruction in a positive and supportive manner and one that is beneficial to their Mentor. Generally, "Teaching Assistants" help Mentor Teachers with the following:

  • conducting one-on-one tutoring, small group instruction (often with at-risk students), and whole-class instruction in some cases;
  • assisting with lesson-plan development;
  • assisting with classroom management;
  • assisting minimally with other task areas that pertain to your daily activities such as copying, filing, and grading

In return the student, as a teaching assistant, will have an invaluable opportunity to better understand the craft of teaching, the demands of the profession, and the importance of this very special career. The expectation of our program is that the students will be proactive in the following ways;

  • being prompt and maintaining regular attendance;
  • dressing and behaving in a professional manner;
  • establishing a positive rapport with their Mentor Teacher and students with whom they will be working;
  • completing any assigned task(s) as given by their Mentor Teacher;
  • presenting the Individualized Goal Matrix (IGM) to their Mentor Teacher;
  • asking questions about the topics that they have selected and taking necessary steps towards goal attainment;
  • maintaining a daily journal that is focused on their selected topics and on other areas of teaching;
  • developing lesson-plans as required by the program;
  • attending monthly teaching seminars;
  • meeting with their Mentor Teacher for constructive feedback;
  • meeting periodically with the program counselor; and
  • developing attributes of a truly reflective practitioner.

In no way do we want to inconvenience the Mentor Teacher by interrupting their teaching, so the student must use their best judgement on when they are to approach the teacher for feedback or to be more involved in their daily practice. This program is potentially a win-win situation in that students develop important understanding and skills pertaining to the field of teaching early in their academic career and districts are able to participate early in creating a pipeline of excellent and well prepared teachers for the future.