A central part of the CalTeach experience is to provide opportunities for aspiring teachers to gain real-world classroom experience in urban K-12 public school settings. All CalTeach introductory courses, as well as three of the five minor courses, contain a fieldwork element of 1-5 hours, that ties in closely with the focus and themes of the course.
Through field placements, CalTeach undergraduates take theories, concepts, and methods from their courses directly into local classrooms. By putting these techniques into practice, CalTeach students build a teaching toolbox as they progress through the course sequence. By the time undergraduates complete the CalTeach minor, they will have spent over 100 hours honing their teaching skills in a local urban classroom setting. For students who are accepted into the final component of the CalTeach program, student teaching placements will make up the 500 additional hours of teaching experience with K-12 students required for the teaching credential.
Our program emphasizes the importance of public education and all CalTeach field placements are made in local urban schools. CalTeach establishes and maintains partnerships with local school districts to meet the mutual needs of district students and teachers, and CalTeach students and faculty, with the ultimate aim of taking shared responsibility for supporting teachers to thrive over the long term. We have ongoing partnerships that focus primarily on Berkeley, Oakland, and West Contra Costa Unified School Districts. We also work with schools in Albany, Alameda, Hayward, Mt. Diablo, San Francisco, San Leandro, and San Lorenzo Unified School Districts.
We are committed to improving school experiences for all students, in particular students who identify as people of color, low-income, immigrant students, students who speak a language other than English, LGBTQ+ students, and all students who identify with groups who have been systematically marginalized. Therefore we establish relationships with the schools that serve these populations of students, and where faculty and staff have a record of working to change traditional structures and practices that continue to marginalize students.
In addition to presenting lessons and working alongside local teachers, CalTeach students act as college-going role models in their field placements. As current college students, CalTeach undergrads are in a unique position to share their college experiences in STEM learning with K-12 students.
What to expect
Still don't know what to expect or have questions? Watch this in depth video about your field placement.
CalTeach field placements take place primarily in East Bay schools and there are a number of ways students can get to and from their school site. Some schools are within easy walking distance of UC Berkeley. Other locations are accessible by bike or public transit. To learn more about field placement transportation options, feel free to contact our Student Services Coordinator.
Cal Teach provides students enrolled in EDUC 131AC with the opportunity to request financial reimbursement for BART transportation costs incurred while traveling to and from their field placement locations. To request reimbursement, please complete the form linked below and gather the required supporting receipts, then please drop them off in 30 EVANS (Cal Teach ARC) with a CalTeach Peer Advisor. Reimbursement requests may be submitted by the end of the semester after you have completed all your travel.
It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their submission is complete. All trips should begin and end in Berkeley. Lyft/Uber (or similar) usage will not be reimbursed unless pre-approved by the department.
Field Placement Documents
Our five-course minor is designed to be completed along side your STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) degree.
Students who complete the minor are eligible to apply for the CalTeach Credential program, a unique opportunity to graduate with both a degree and a teaching credential.