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Block Handbook

Official Name Badge

An official name badge is required to participate in block coursework. Since the badge may take up to four weeks for delivery, we recommend submitting your order now to avoid unnecessary delays. The cost is $7.00 per badge.

You can access the online order form here
Once your badge is ready, you will receive an e-mail to your Texas State inbox. You must collect your badge from ED 3045 before you begin observation. 

Criminal Background Check

Criminal background checks are required by our partner districts for progression through the Educator Preparation Program. Based on information recorded in your criminal history, students may be ineligible to enroll in Field Block. Your instructor will supply you with the appropriate information and specific link to complete the criminal background check. Before you begin working with students, your background check must be on file. 

If you have a criminal history, you should request a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation from the Texas Education Agency, schedule an appointment for free legal counseling services through Texas State University’s Attorney for Students, and disclose this information to your instructor and the Office of Educator Preparation.

TEA Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation
Free legal counseling services are provided by the Texas State Attorney for Students

Texas Educator Code of Ethics

I understand and will adhere to the Texas Educator Code of Ethics (Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 247, http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/sbecrules/tac/chapter247/ch247.html#247.2). Furthermore, I understand I may be dismissed from the program for violations of this Code of Ethics.

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  • Block Expectations

    • Field-based blocks are configured differently based on classroom space, school site, and number of students enrolled. Students either spend a 1/2 day in school and 1/2 day in seminar class or 1 full day in school and 1 full day in seminar class. Seminar classes may meet on the Texas State campus or at your field-based block school. 

    • For every 3-hour course students should expect to spend 5-7 hours of preparation outside of the scheduled seminar per week. Plan time appropriately and consider the demands of three courses. 

    • Attendance is vital in field block. Contact hours (time spent in classrooms) is a hallmark of field block. Because we are verifying 70-80 hours of classroom experience, all time missed in the assigned field placement must be made up. While perfect attendance is expected we know emergencies and illnesses happen. We expect you to communicate with your field site instructors as well as your mentor teacher if you will be absent.

      • Absences for field time MUST be made up
      • Seminar absences are not required to be made up, but you are responsible for getting the information. It is extremely hard to catch up if you miss
      • Absences and patterns of tardiness will impact your professionalism grade.
      • You will design and teach a minimum of two lessons
      • Your Mentor Teacher will observe lessons and provide feedback
      • You may also be asked to video your lesson and/or have a peer observe
      • We will use the Danielson Framework for Teaching to provide feedback after your lesson observation
    • Communication throughout the field block experience is critical to successful completion of these nine hours. You must communicate with field block instructors and classroom teachers. Your faculty instructor and cooperating teacher may incorporate phone calls and text as a means of communication. All university communication takes place via Bobcat Mail and TRACS.

    • Professional behavior is expected at all times and professional dress is required. Students will be expected to demonstrate professionalism throughout their program, maintaining cooperative and collaborative relationship, complying with University, campus and school district policies, and conducting themselves ethically and with integrity. 

      Professional behavior includes:

      • your punctuality
      • your attitude
      • your confidentiality about students
      • your relationships with university and campus colleagues
      • your willingness to grow and develop professionally
      • your receptivity and responsiveness to feedback
      • your sound judgement and decisions making
      • your equitable service to all students
    • Students are expected to present a professional appearance that reflects the transition from college student to educator and complies with the district guidelines. Remember – you are a walking resume. Instructors will provide specific details relevant to your placement. 

      • Style – Business Casual
      • Clothes that are clean, fit well, and wrinkle free
      • Simple jewelry
      • Avoid clothing that is distracting
      • No facial or tongue piercings
      • Visible tattoos to be discussed with instructors
    • Internet presence and social networking are part of personal and professional lives. What you share online can showcase knowledge and professionalism, or it can highlight information and activities that future employers may deem negative and/or inappropriate. Use prudence when sharing your life online, and pay attention to privacy settings. 

      Also important to remember – All who work or volunteer in school settings are held to the standards for social media use set by the school district. This includes rules about confidentiality regarding students, families, and school staff. Be sure to research and follow your district’s guidelines.

      1. Review privacy settings
      2. Review profile picture
      3. Review e-mail address for professionalism
      4. Establish new e-mail if necessary 

    • Class Time
      Field-Based Blocks may meet at slightly different times than the schedule indicates. When courses are held on a school campus (not at Texas State), we adhere to that school’s bell schedule. For example, if your block is scheduled for 8:00 am, you might be required to be at your block at 7:45 am. This information will be communicated by your instructor via email or TRACS and should also be found on your syllabus.

      Class Location
      Some blocks meet on campus the first few days, while others begin immediately at your assigned school. This information will be communicated by your instructor prior to the start of the semester. If you are unsure about where to show up, please reach out to your instructor for clarification.

    • Select school districts may require documentation of a current TB test before entering the classroom. Please check with the district your assigned school is in or contact your instructor for more information.