Levels 1 & 2

In the field, early and often

Preparing to teach is a true combination of practice and pedagogy–understanding how students learn, how to teach and the subject matter itself. At UNI, the practical side of learning – through field experiences or “practicums” – is invaluable as you prepare to lead your first classrooms. 

Levels 1 and 2 are also part exploration and confirmation that you truly were made to teach. You’ll go from observing and assisting in local classrooms to preparing and teaching a couple of lessons. Along the way, you’re laying the foundation for next steps. 

Levels 1 and 2 field experience

A Beginning Foundation

Level 1

Exploring the world of teaching

Level 1 placements often occur during your freshman year for first-year students. These 20-hour placements may be later for secondary teaching majors as you get started on your core subject area (for example, biology). Transfer students often complete an equivalent as part of their previous coursework. 

The Department of Teaching places nearly 250 students on average each semester in classrooms. For most on-campus students, that's in the diverse Waterloo Community School District. You’ll observe classrooms in action and get a better sense of the role of a teacher.

This is a required course (TEACHING 2017) and part of the professional education sequence. For these experiences, early childhood majors will focus on K-3 grades in Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Cedar Valley schools.

Level 2

Planning, teaching, reflecting

Level 2 gets you more actively involved with 30 hours in a classroom. You’ll be among the 230 or so students each semester taking your first steps in developing lesson plans, teaching these lessons in PreK-12 classrooms, learning to reflect on your experiences and documenting the process of teaching. 

The Department of Teaching works with cooperating teachers to place you in Cedar Falls and other Cedar Valley schools at this level. For these experiences, early childhood majors focus on K-3 grade levels.  

This course (TEACHING 3128) also falls within the professional education sequence required for all teacher education students.