Level 3

In-depth immersion in teaching

Your immersion into the world of teaching deepens in Level 3 as you prepare for the student teaching that will follow. In locations near and far, you will practice what you learned for the equivalent of 40 hours:

  • A full week in one school placement for most elementary education students
  • Over several weeks in a semester for early childhood, middle level and high school teaching majors

This level is built within your teaching major’s curriculum. Your home department coordinates and supervises these placements. For example, curriculum & instruction oversees the elementary education experiences, while science education supervises Level 3 science ed placements. 

With level 3, you’ll complete a major step in bringing together what you’ve learned about methods of teaching, the subjects you want to teach, classroom management and assessment. 

Teaching experience Level 3

Finding Your Setting

Your experiences, timeframe and settings will vary for your Level 3 experience, depending on your teaching major. While generally in your junior year, you may also complete earlier or later, always prior to student teaching. All of these placements are supervised by departmental faculty in the college associated with your major. 

Early childhood education

  • 40 hours completed through twice-weekly visits to schools over a semester
  • Emphasis on diverse and inclusive settings at the preschool level, with these options:
    • infant/toddler settings at the UNI Child Development Center or Early Head Start in the Waterloo school district
    • preschool in Waterloo or Cedar Falls schools 
    • If you commute, we can work with you on options in local schools. 

Elementary and middle level education

  • 40 hours completed during a week-long immersion known as Participation Week
  • Placements available across Iowa and select out-of-state districts partners (such as Kansas City, Minnesota, Colorado) 
  • Alternative option: participation in professional development school

Secondary and K-12 education (music, art, physical education, TESOL, TESOL/Spanish) 

  • 40 hours completed over the course of a semester 
  • Placements available across Iowa with some out-of-state offerings, too 
Level 3 placements

Coordinating your Level 3 placements 

While the Department of Teaching ensures placements in schools across Iowa and beyond, faculty associated with your major within one of the four colleges (Education; Business; Arts, Sciences & Humanities; Social & Behavioral Sciences) will oversee your Level 3 experience. 

Your faculty will help you link theory with practice, provide feedback and guidance, and assess your performance in the classroom in conjunction with your mentor teachers.