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Clinical Placements

Teacher Candidates (TCs) are expected to take clinical placements very seriously. As representatives of Pepperdine University in the local community, it is important for TCs to carefully consider their professional behavior while at each and every school site. Professional behavior includes clear communication, proper attire, regular attendance, enthusiastic participation, maintaining a growth mindset, and meeting the TPP Ethical Standards. The following section provides information about the logistics of clinical placements, guidelines for professional conduct, and disciplinary procedures.

Information on Clinical Placements

  • Decisions about suitable placements are made by the TPP team.
  • Placement surveys and/or placement questionnaires are designed to give the Director of Clinical Practice more information about the TCs. Surveys are not distributed so candidates may select their own placement sites.
  • Placements must be at a school "where the curriculum aligns with California's adopted content standards and frameworks" (Program Standard 3a).
  • Clinical Experience 2 and Clinical Experience 3 placements require diversity per the CTC. The Teacher Performance Expectations (TPEs) state that placement sites should include "all students." "All students" means that placements must include diversity of:
    • Race and ethnicity of the students
    • Socio-economic levels including students from low-income families
    • Languages spoken by the students, including English learners
    • Approaches in supporting students with exceptionalities
  • Placements must be in a location that is geographically near where a Pepperdine University UFS is able to supervise. If a TC moves a far distance from Pepperdine, the TC should expect to have a long commute to his or her clinical placement and is still expected to attend all in-person classes.
  • TCs must enroll in the appropriate teacher education courses on Wavenet in order to secure and confirm the placement. TCs must enroll in advance of the start date in order to respect the stakeholders of the placement.

When contacting MTs for the first time, TCs should send them a professional email (addressing them as Mr. or Ms. [last name]), thank the MT for hosting them in their classroom, state the day and time they hope to come for their first visit, and request that they email them back if the time or date doesn't work. TCs should allot extra time to check in at the office and move car or place parking permit in car if needed, and then arrive to class at the day and time suggested.

TCs should dress professionally which means pants and a collared shirt for men and professional pants, skirt, or dress for women. Short skirts, low blouses, and short shirts exposing the midriff are all discouraged. TCs should put their phones away during the duration of their classroom visit, learn student names, and be actively engaged in the activities of the class. TCs should regularly express gratitude to their MT for their willingness to host them, maintain an open mind, and willingly accept feedback. The TC should take the posture of a learner when in his or her clinical placement.

TCs can help MTs by clearly communicating program requirements, honoring commitments and expectations, and fully engaging in the process. More specifically, TCs can:

  • Encourage MTs to read and understand the TPP Handbook.
  • Show respect for the MT and his/her work.
  • Introduce the MT to the UFS and other faculty that may visit the placement.
  • Be teachable and open-minded; accept constructive criticism and suggestions.
  • Work with the MT to set up a regular time for lesson planning, feedback, questions, and other kinds of collaboration. Some TCs and MTs communicate with a spiral notebook, or computer-based-two-way journal. Others meet once a week at a specific time, and others meet more frequently for a shorter period of time.
  • Try to work well with the classroom system the MT has set up and ask permission before making any changes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to take on greater challenges by being faithful and competent in existing responsibilities.