Professional Conduct for Interns
Approved by the Teacher Preparation APPC, 1/11/96
In this time of transition from being a student to being a professional teacher, it is important that you begin to see yourself as a lifelong learner rather than a student fulfilling university requirements. Both your school-based experiences and your university coursework are vital and integral components of your professional preparation. Because the way you conduct yourself in these settings reflects on you as a professional, we want to be clear about your responsibilities with regard to professional and ethical conduct. Failure to comply with these (and other university policies governing student conduct) will result in a review of your progress by your team and specific recommendations regarding your continued participation in the teacher certification program.
Attendance and Punctuality
Interns are expected to be present and on time for all professional commitments.
Interns who must be absent must inform all who are affected by such absence, as detailed below. If the absence is planned or anticipated, those affected should be informed in advance. More than four (4) absences from the placement or two (2) absences from a seminar during a semester may jeopardize an intern’s recommendation for continuation in the program.
Placements: Interns who will be absent from their placement must notify their mentor teacher(s) and their field instructor. Interns should make sure that plans are available for substitutes (including their mentor teachers) if the intern will miss any class periods in which they had teaching responsibility. Interns who are repeatedly absent or late to their placement may be required to make up time at the end of the school year. If there are extenuating circumstances, it is the intern’s responsibility to inform the mentor teacher(s), field instructor and coordinator so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Any unusual or lengthy absences should be referred to the subject area leader and the coordinator. See Intern Year Personnel.
Seminars: Interns who will be absent from a seminar course (TE 801/2/3/4) must notify their course instructor(s). The content of intern year seminars is part of the Michigan teacher certification requirements and 100% attendance is expected under normal circumstances. Absences may be appropriate in case of illness or personal emergency (such as death in the family), religious holiday, or when an important school-related activity essential to the intern’s professional education (such as parent-teacher conferences) conflicts. Workshops, conferences or in-service training are not an adequate reason to miss seminar meetings. For any type of absence interns will be expected to arrange for making up missed educational activities. Further, interns should be aware that any missed course meetings are likely to affect their performance in the course in ways that cannot be fully accommodated outside class. See seminar course syllabi for additional attendance policies and requirements.
Classroom Discussions: Your internship is a vital part of your learning and you will be discussing the internship in your courses and seminars. Just as teachers are expected to respect the privacy and dignity of the children and families with whom they work, so we expect you to use discretion. In casual conversations or social situations, do not relate stories from classrooms or schools that may be embarrassing to teachers or students or that include sensitive information about a child or family. When discussing classroom situations in class, do so carefully. Use a fictitious name for the student involved if you need to include family or individual information in your explanation or if the situation is particularly difficult. Mask the name of a student on any written or visual work shared in class or used in an assignment. When discussing teaching practice you have observed in the field, be mindful of maintaining a tone of professional courtesy.
Interviews:Use pseudonyms and screen/mask identifying information when reporting interviews with children/youth/adults. If an assignment requires you to interview an adult, you should clearly state or give to the interviewee, in writing, the purpose of the interview and the uses you will make of the material. Ask your instructor for an example if you are unsure how to word this statement.
Photographs/Videotapes/Audio tapes: Always ask permission of the classroom teacher to make students' photographs/videotapes/ audio tapes or to use them in displays/portfolios. Occasionally there are circumstances which require that a student's whereabouts be kept secret and photographs are not allowed. Some schools and districts require written permission from parents/guardians for taking any photographs, videotapes or audio tapes. Be sure to check with the classroom teacher on what is needed.
Portfolios: If you use students' work or interview material in your portfolio, use pseudonyms and screen/mask names and personal identifying information.
District Requirements: Ask your classroom teacher if there are any other district or school requirements regarding confidentiality that you should be aware of.
Dress and Deportment in Schools
When you are in school, you are expected to dress appropriately. You will be viewed and judged as another adult by students, parents, teachers and other people in the building. Be polite and considerate of other adults in the building including the principal, custodians, secretary, paraprofessionals, etc.
Alcohol and Illegal Drugs
The University Drug and Alcohol Policy is enforced during your internship. The policy prohibits the possession or use of illegal drugs and alcoholic beverages in classes and the internship. Students are expected to be free of the influence of such substances in classes and in the internship placement. Tobacco is not to be used on school property.
Professional education can be an intensely personal and challenging process. In your classes and field placements you are expected to give and accept constructive feedback appropriately and to react appropriately in stressful situations. You are also expected to take an active role in your learning and contribute to the learning of your fellow students.
If you have concerns, problems, or questions about any aspect of your coursework or fieldwork, you should first address them to the instructor or team person who is most directly involved. This applies to situations at the University as well as in the field. If the situation is not resolved at that level, you should request assistance from Secondary Teacher Preparation Program coordinator or faculty leader.