Teacher Education Center Field Experience & Licensure FAQ

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Field Experience & Licensure FAQ

Thank you for reaching out with your questions. We also want to thank you for your patience during this rapidly evolving time.  We’re doing our best to keep you informed, working with all the organizations that are involved in your licensure, and that we, like you, are disappointed by how our worlds are being derailed by the pandemic. That said, becoming a great teacher is still an amazing and worthwhile pursuit and happily for all of us, you can still work toward that goal.

In light of Governor Evers’ 3-17-20 announcement that Wisconsin schools will be closed for the duration of the COVID-19 health crisis, students in School of Education Teacher Education programs will not be required to participate in any face-to-face field experience activities for the remainder of the semester.

In the space below, you can find recent information about preservice education field experiences. For news from campus, this website will update frequently as UW-Madison issues new guidance.

Your course instructors and program leaders are working to ensure that progress toward your degree will not be negatively impacted by the changes to the format of delivery of instruction for the remainder of this academic year.

Please contact tec@education.wisc.edu if you have additional questions. Last updated March 30, 12pm.

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All Wisconsin schools are now closed. What should I do?

If you are in a cohort based program please contact your program coordinator. If your field placement is associated with a course or independent study, contact the course instructor. Contact list can be found here.

Follow the lead of the school. Right now, we do not have information about when and if schools in Wisconsin will be open again.

My field placement school district is going to online instruction. Should I continue my field placement?

Yes. If your assigned district is utilizing on-line instruction, you can  continue to fulfill your student teaching. Follow the lead of your cooperating teacher. However, do not meet in person to plan or produce this online content.


I have not been able to communicate with my cooperating teacher. What should I do?

Your cooperating teachers are also busy adjusting to the sudden changes to their work life – as well as changes to their own home lives. Additionally, MMSD is on spring break the week of March 23-27. If you have already reached out and not heard back from them in more than 3 days and it is not MMSD spring break, let your program coordinator know. Your program coordinator may be able to help with communication or give you alternate activities to work on while your cooperating teacher settles in to the new virtual learning environment.

Can I still graduate and meet my pre-service teacher requirement if I cannot finish my student teaching?

To be certified to teach, students must be a full-time student teacher during the school district calendar. While school districts are closed and not participating in online instruction, students are not required to student teach in those districts.

If your assigned district is utilizing online instruction, do your best to continue to fulfill your student teaching. Follow the lead of your cooperating teacher. However, do not meet in person to plan or produce this online content.

Yes, you can still graduate. Graduation is linked to completing the credits associated with your major. UW–Madison will be providing access to courses, including field experience courses, through alternate delivery methods, therefore you will still be able to complete your spring semester credits.


I am student teaching in MMSD but do not yet have access to Google Classroom. What should I do?

Your Cooperating Teacher can request that you receive a “fake employee number” (zz-number) to provide access to programs and email.

Please know that it is the goal of MMSD that all student teachers will be assigned a ZZ-number. Tech Services has all of your information to make this happen. In our effort to get devices in the hands of students and make sure that MMSD staff are successfully equipped to launch virtual learning, MMSD was not able to move issues for non-staff forward as quickly as they would have liked. Please be patient and know that this is a priority for MMSD.

If you already have a MMSD email address due to previous MMSD/MSCR employment and/or a previous ZZ-Number issuance, you can use that same email address at this time. You do not need a new ZZ-Number.

Student teachers should NOT reach out directly to MMSD HR. Please work through your cooperating teacher. The request can be made by the cooperating teacher by

  1. Log on to the MMSD Staff Only Home Page:  https://www.madison.k12.wi.us/staffonly
  2. After logging in, click on https://ts.madison.k12.wi.us/nondistuser and follow the directions to request a zz number for your student teacher.

The volume of requests the district is fielding right now is unprecedented due to the shift to virtual learning. For now, please stay in touch with your Cooperating Teachers about any developments.

Last updated April 6, 9:00pm

I heard that Governor Evers issued a new order allowing for flexibility related to the edTPA requirements. Should I keep working on my edTPA?

Yes, you should continue working on your edTPA submission.

Governor Evers’ new order allows for educational preparation programs to relax requirements for the edTPA. We are in the process of determining what this means for our current students. We will have an update this week.

For those of you who have completed teaching your edTPA lessons (and video recorded them for Task 2 and collected your student assessment data and feedback to students for Task 3): Continue moving forward with writing up your edTPA commentaries.  Aim for completing your edTPA in time for the April 9 submission, if you think you may still want to have your edTPA scored by Pearson.

For those of you who were still working to complete teaching your edTPA lessons: contact your program coordinator or Kelly Hayek (kdhayek@education.wisc.edu).

Additional options for the performance assessment will be made available on Monday, March 30.
This question was updated March 25, 9:30pm.

Will I jeopardize my ability to get a job in another state if I do not complete my edTPA?

Every state is different so there is not a clear cut answer. Some states will provide anyone with an initial license in their state – just on the basis that you already have a license from another state. Other states will give you some sort of temporary license – to allow you to teach while you complete any of their state’s specific requirements that are different from the state where you were certified. Some will waive these additional requirements if you have a certain number of years of experience teaching already. And so on;there is a lot of variation state to state.

If you end up choosing to take a job in a state that requires the edTPA – you will most likely need to complete that requirement during your first year of teaching.

If we are in a dual certification program and we have only been able to complete one rotation, can we receive both certifications?

Your program coordinator will provide you with alternative activities and assignments throughout your field placement school’s closure, and you will need to successfully complete the alternative activities and assignments to meet your program’s Dual Certification requirements for RPSE 475. Successful completion of the alternative activities and assignments will allow you to graduate with majors in both Elementary and Special Education.

Can I still take the WFORT?

Pearson has suspended testing sites until at least April 16th. The WFORT is not a graduation requirement; it is a licensure requirement. More explanation below–

• WFORT is required to be endorsed for a license – but it is not required for graduation. So – if are not able to take the exam by May, it will not affect your ability to graduate.
• The earliest that we can endorse people for their license is AFTER they finish their full semester for full time student teaching on the school district calendar. That means, the soonest we can endorse anyone is mid-June. If you are still not able to take the WFORT by mid-June, we can hold off on your endorsement until the time you ARE able to take it.
• You can still apply for jobs – and be hired – even if you have not passed the WFORT.
• If the health emergency lasts into the summer – and you are not able to take and pass the WFORT before the 2020-21 school year begins, you will be able to start the school year with a “provisional license with stipulations” and then you will have another whole year to pass the WFORT.
Updated April 6, 5:30pm.

Can I go to my site to pick up any materials that I left there?

Follow the lead of your assigned school district policy. Additionally, you can contact your cooperating teacher.

Do I need to stay in Madison for the rest of the semester?

Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s 3-17-20 announcement advises those who have opted to travel away from Madison for Spring Break to carefully consider whether they need to return to Madison or can continue the semester from their permanent residence.

How will districts’ hiring processes be affected by the COVID-19 health emergency?

Currently, the district HR teams are posting vacancies and reviewing applications submitted which is typical for February and March. However, as we are now in April with May approaching, we anticipate that districts will need to adapt their interview strategies and anticipated hiring timelines. Some districts may delay their hiring process until later in the spring than their typical schedule. We are connecting with districts now and as we learn more, we will update this page.

Specifically for Madison Municipal School District: MMSD is preparing to be fully staffed once schools reopen. MMSD is actively recruiting, including scheduling interviews and offering jobs. MMSD is working with principals and hiring authorities on best practices in virtual interviewing. Please know that you may be asked to demonstrate evidence of your successful teaching practice in creative ways.

MMSD will offer the largest number of teacher contracts between mid-April and the end of June. In order to be connected to schools with vacancies, you must visit the district career website, click the red “Apply Now” button, and from there, create an application or log in to an existing application. Until you’ve applied for a 20/21 position, MMSD cannot take next steps with your candidacy. Once MMSD sees a completed application, MMSD will invite you to complete a one-way video interview. After successful completion of that interview, MMSD will look to connect you to vacancies within your area of certification.

Updated April 6, 9:15pm

If schools are in session in the summer, will I be expected to finish student teaching in the summer?

We do not yet know if school districts will add additional instruction to this year’s academic calendar. As we learn more, we will keep you updated.