This is likely to be both the most challenging and the most rewarding experience in your preparation to be a teacher. You have an opportunity to inspire young people to love music and learning.  You will discover and develop your teacher self.  You will change lives. We are here to support you on that journey.  Our collective responsibility (yours and ours) is to the young musicians in our partner schools.  This is serious work, and we expect everyone involved to treat it as such.  We also want you to love it, and hope these guidelines help you determine how to get the most out of your experience. When you have questions, please ask.  When you have a breakthrough with a student you thought was unreachable, please share with us. 


We place student teachers with the cooperating teacher we feel will best support their learning and growth.  There are many factors considered when making placements, and we do our best to balance your requests with the available cooperating teachers, and what we think will best help you develop into a successful music educator.

Students apply for their senior student teaching placement during the fall of their junior year.


Please make sure to reference the handbook for a full list of policies and procedures.


Fingerprinting Requirements

By College policy, all Ithaca College teacher candidates are required to undergo fingerprinting/background checks prior to student teaching. We strongly recommend that you have your fingerprinting completed as soon as you have been officially admitted to a teacher education program. More information about fingerprinting is available at 

Individuals that choose to student teach outside of New York State are responsible for fulfilling fingerprint and other requirements of their host school district at their own expense. The responsibility for completing this is administrative hurdle is the student teacher’s and is to occur prior to student teaching with enough time to allow for administrative processes to be fulfilled.  


Transportation and housing are the responsibility of the student teacher. We do not guarantee student teachers will be placed in a school that is accessible by public transportation.  Students are encouraged to live in the community where they are assigned to teach. Arrangements for housing in the assigned community are the responsibility of the student teacher.  We strongly recommend that you minimize your time commuting in order to get the most out of your student teaching experience. Most cooperating teachers are involved in evening and some weekend rehearsals and performances, and you are expected to participate in all of these. 

Public School vs. Ithaca College Calendar

During the student teaching placement, you follow the established schedule of the school district, not the schedule of the college. The result is that any vacations, holidays, and days off are those of the public schools; student teachers do not take days off from teaching during the college’s breaks. You are to be present at the teaching site ready to teach each day and not take any days off for personal reasons. There are no exceptions to this policy.  Please note that the student teaching blocks are not identical to Ithaca’s academic blocks, as communicated at the beginning of application process for senior student teaching placement.  You are permitted a maximum of 3 excused “sick days” over the course of the semester, which will need to be approved by your mentor and supervisor. Missing more than 3 days will result in removal from the placement site. 

Outside Commitments

Student teaching is a full-time commitment regulated by NYSED requiring full days in public schools and additional hours spent in planning, grading, and after-school activities. As a result, you are not allowed to enroll in additional courses or to participate in musical ensembles, performances, or recitals. You are not permitted to serve as an accompanist or assistant in any on campus performances or lessons. Students violating this policy will be subject to a dispositions contract, lowering of grade by a minimum of one letter grade, removal from student teaching, delayed graduation, or removal from the degree program.  

We strongly recommend that you arrange not to work at any other job during student teaching. If you must have a paying job while you are student teaching, it must in no way interfere with your teaching responsibilities, including those that are an assumed, daily part of after-school hours, such as grading, planning, preparation, contacting parents and families, attending faculty meetings, etc.