To see firsthand how students are progressing as teachers, faculty members will observe students' classrooms multiple times over the course of the program to provide formative feedback. For example, faculty members may conduct three observations during the students’ first year and two observations during the students’ second year, depending on their program. Students’ dean and faculty members will provide specific information about the minimum number of observations to be conducted throughout the program. Individual faculty members may choose to observe more often and to provide coaching and feedback. All observations are announced and scheduled in advance. After each observation, faculty members share data collected during the observation and discuss students’ strengths and areas of growth in person, over the phone, through video conference, or in writing. In some cases, observations may be conducted via video recording.
As teachers, students work with their PK–12 students to build the academic skills and strength of character necessary to succeed in college and life. To do this work with integrity, teachers must embody the same standards that they set for PK–12 students. Each term, Relay students will be scored on several key elements of professionalism by their faculty advisor. Professionalism will be a portion of each course that students take. The professor will evaluate professionalism based on two main areas: (1) online work completion, including proper preparation for in-person sessions, and (2) attendance and engagement at in-person sessions.
Relay faculty and staff note professionalism-related interactions and occurrences in students’ comments on Canvas. The purpose of these comments is two-fold. First, it serves as a record of all the professionalism-related moments from the term, allowing faculty members to accurately and efficiently score students at the end of the term. Second, it allows students to see the professional impressions they are making on faculty members and fellow students. In most courses, professionalism will count as 10% of the course grade.
Consistent attendance at class during which students are actively engaged, whether online or in-person, is vital. Missing class content will result in reduced ability to execute the effective teaching methods taught. It will also trigger a lower “Attendance and In-Person Engagement” score for professionalism. Students should make their best effort to attend and actively engage in all classes.
Relay excuses absences only when they are related to extreme circumstances outside of students’ control (e.g., religious holiday, death in the family, being under the supervision of a doctor for illness or injury, maternity leave, jury duty). In such cases, students should contact their faculty advisors or content professors directly, depending on the class to be missed, as well as the campus Dean’s Office.
Relay does not grant excused absences for school-specific conflicts. These types of conflicts are the most challenging because professional teachers always want to attend both school events and Relay events, even when they conflict. Because Relay values students’ attendance, active participation, and contributions so highly, we publicize our class dates to the schools in which our teachers are placed as early as possible so that they are able to avoid scheduling conflicts to the best of their abilities. Instructors post all in-person session materials on Canvas soon after class days so that students can get caught up on the content of classes they missed.
If available at their campus, in some cases, should students have an unavoidable weeknight conflict or a school-specific conflict, the student may request to attend a different section by emailing both their assigned faculty members and the faculty members whose classes they wish to attend. Confirmation of this is considered on a case-by-case basis and is at the discretion of the faculty member(s) of the class. In the case of any absence, we strongly recommend attending an alternate class night in order to learn the material. Students should not accrue multiple absences, as that will endanger their success and may lead to administrative withdrawal from the program.
For absences (excused or unexcused) on the day of an in-person assessment, students will earn a zero. Students have one week from the due date to review class materials to submit the assessment onto Canvas for a score to replace the zero.
Students who demonstrate persistent absence — failure to attend in-person class sessions and/or complete online coursework and actively engage in coursework for 30 consecutive days — are subject to an administrative withdrawal. Once these students are identified by faculty members, the Registrar’s Office and campus Dean’s Office will contact these students to determine their intention to remain enrolled and provide necessary support. Students who continue to demonstrate persistent absence after they have been contacted may be administratively withdrawn from Relay. See Persistent Absence policy for additional details. Relay Newark students should see the Appendix: Campus-Based Policies for specifics on the Relay Newark attendance policy.
Timeliness is essential to being a professional teacher. Relay expects students to be on time. Because many students travel from schools to weeknight sessions, it is important to plan for travel time. It is equally important to be on time on Saturdays, if applicable. Students who are late to class will receive 80% credit for attendance.
People learn better when they are prepared to learn. Any assigned pre-reading or pre-work for courses must be completed before class. The syllabus in the students’ Canvas course will indicate the preparation required for class. Those who have done the reading can engage in exciting discussions about the text; those who have not fall behind. Those who have done practice problems often excel when applying the underlying skill to a more challenging situation the next day. As professionals, students want to model what they will expect of their students. Therefore, students should plan to come to sessions prepared, having completed any assigned online instruction as well as related activities and readings.
Relay wants its students to learn as much as possible, and therefore holds high expectations regarding intellectual and interpersonal engagement. Relay expects students to listen to peers and faculty members, ask questions, contribute new ideas, and actively participate in all learning activities. To fully engage with the material, students should not use their phones or other devices during sessions. Additionally, engaging in online work, observation debriefs, and other appointments with professors are all potent parts of the Relay experience. Students’ engagement in these aspects of their program is factored into their “Attendance and In-Person Engagement” score for each course.