Florida Department of Education requires students taking the courses EDF 2005 (Introduction to the Teaching Profession) or EDF 2085 (Introduction to Diversity for Educators) to complete 15 hours of field observation, in a K-12 public school setting, for each course. This requirement exists for all education majors/future educators in all public institutions of higher education in the state of Florida. Tutoring, babysitting, day-care and preschool field experiences do not count toward this requirement, nor do prior teaching or volunteering experiences.
Field observation hours must be completed in addition to any hours you complete for other education courses. You cannot count the same hours for two different classes.
The goal of field-based experience is to give you early exposure to classroom procedures and environments. It is your responsibility to schedule time with various classroom teachers to observe their interactions with their students. Based on your observations, you must then complete a checklist provided by your professor and submit it as an assignment.
You must complete your 15 hours while you are enrolled in EDF 2005 or EDF 2085 (or 30 hours if you're taking these classes simultaneously). Documentation of your field hours consists of a sign-in sheet that will be provided by your professor. You must follow the directions on the sheet precisely, or you will not receive credit for the hours.
If you do not present documentation of your field experience, you will receive a grade of "Incomplete" for the course. Incompletes become a grade of "F" if they are not corrected within six weeks of the start of the next term.
Setting Up Your Field Experience
- You must obtain permission to observe prior to any visitation.
- Attempt to schedule your field-based experience within the first week of the course. Do not wait until the end of the term; it is often very difficult to get in, and depending on what is happening in the schools (i.e. exams, special programs, etc.), the schools may not grant you permission to observe.
- If you have any problems scheduling an observation, you must inform your instructor, in writing, before the due date. Extensions will not be granted if you fail to notify the instructor before the due date for the observation.
- You must have a letter on Seminole State College of Florida stationery to present to the schools confirming that you have registered in EDF 2085 and/or EDF 2005. (Your professor will provide this.)
- Arrive on time; sign in on campus; wear and professional clothing. Remember: When schools have taken the time to arrange scheduled observation times, it's your responsibility to meet that schedule. If you don't, the schools may not extend another opportunity.
- Behave appropriately while observing. Pay attention during your visit and take notes! Do not bring cell phones, iPods or any other electronic devices that might distract you or the students that you are observing.
- Consider sending a thank you note upon the conclusion of your visit.
Scheduling your Field-Based Experience
- Go to https://ccie.ucf.edu/clinicalexp/field-experiences/ and click on the link for SCPS schools.
- Complete the three steps listed under “For Student Volunteers”:
- Step 1: Register as a Dividend volunteer via the SCPS website.
- Step 2: Sign up under a specific teacher. (Ask your instructor for the password.)
- You may have to navigate back to the sign-up page to choose a teacher.
- Click on the appropriate school name.
- Choose a teacher by clicking on the circle. Teacher contact information is provided. You will enter the information required and submit the request*. The schools will be able to see who has signed up to be with their teacher. The teacher and student will make contact and arrange the observation schedule.
- Step 3: Contact the teacher.
*Note: Submitting a request does not automatically assign students a teacher or observation time. The student is responsible for contacting the teacher using the contact information given to set up their observation time.
What Is a Dividend?
The Dividends School Volunteer Program is a district-wide effort that encourages and promotes community involvement in Seminole County Public Schools.
For more information about the Dividends School Volunteer Program, contact:
- Carolyn Hevey, human resources administrator, 407.320.0083
- Rosa Jones, administrative assistant, 407.320.0100