Dear Classroom Teacher:

The Washburn University Department of Education and I want to thank you for agreeing to serve as an EPIC Field Experience Teacher for the Educational Participation In the Community (EPIC) coursework. Your willingness to serve as a mentor to students who are thinking about becoming educators shows your commitment to training future teachers. We truly appreciate your time and effort serving the EPIC students…without YOU an EPIC field experience would not be successful for Washburn University students.

When an EPIC student is assigned to you, that student will separately call and/or email you to arrange a mutually agreed upon schedule to spend 35 observation (and participation) hours in your classroom throughout the semester. If you volunteer to mentor more than one EPIC student, then you have the option of arranging separate schedules for each EPIC student, or for the field experiences to overlap. EPIC students are required to record a log of the time they spend with you and your students and write a reflective journal of their observations.

Each semester a few changes are made to the EPIC field experience. A description of your duties can be found in the “Role of the Consulting Teacher” on page 12 of the EPIC Handbook . During ED 150 class sessions, EPIC students will learn about strategies and tools designed to guide them during observations, when they look for teacher and student interactions that promote and encourage learning in the classroom. During EPIC class sessions, in-class activities will be conducted and are designed to guide an EPIC student to observe teacher and student actions within an observational structure of TIME (T = personal teaching/learning experiences; I = instructional strategies; M = materials; E = classroom environment).

When in your classroom, EPIC students should be taking notes on their observations, completing various tasks you assign them, or interacting with you and your students. Your EPIC student will want to ask you questions about your teaching career and experiences, as well as about the students in your classroom. At this time it would be helpful for you to share insights into teacher confidentiality issues and other related information. A list of activities appropriate for EPIC students can be found on pages 9-11 of the EPIC Handbook. We hope students will experience a variety of the activities listed, but know that some activities will depend on the readiness of the EPIC students assigned to you and the needs of your students. While in your classroom, you should observe the EPIC student engaged in observation or other specific activities. You should NOT see students on laptop computers, using cell phones for calls or text messaging, reading other material, or completing other kinds of coursework. EPIC students should exhibit professional dress, conduct, and attitude at all times while they are in your classroom. If you have questions about an EPIC student's professionalism, dispositions, and attendance contact the ED 150 course instruction immediately!

At the end of a student’s EPIC Experience, we ask that you complete an online EPIC Evaluation. Please include specific comments about an EPIC student’s readiness to enter the educational field and potential for becoming an educator. Throughout the EPIC Experience, the students know they are to conduct themselves as a professional educator. We have discussed conduct, dress, and their role as a professional educator in the classroom setting. Due to changes in societal cultural norms over past years some of our expectations for the use of piercings and body art have relaxed, so your opinions and preferences should be clearly explained to the students if they do not fit your own expectations. The same applies to school-oriented expectations for wearing hats and other clothing items not on the district-approved list.

Thank you, once again, for your willingness to serve as an EPIC Field Experience Teacher. If you have any problems, concerns, or questions, please contact me at <denise.salsbury@washburn.edu> or call me at 785-670-1473 (campus # to leave message) or at 785-220-3001 (cell # w/no voice mail, but I will return call). You may also contact field.experiences@washburn.edu with questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Denise E. Salsbury

Denise Salsbury

Director of Student Field Experiences & ED 150 Instructor/Lecturer