While the eventual success of a teacher candidate may not depend upon it, it is safe to say that the most important factor in a positive and productive practicum is a collegial relationship between all of the members of the Practicum Triad:
- The School Advisor(s)
- The Faculty Advisor
- The Teacher Candidate
In early October, teacher candidates will be placed with a teacher for three practica experiences. Faculty advisors in conjunction with the school advisor make placement decisions with school administrators or coordinators and with the Program Coordinator (Practicum) in the Teacher Education Office.
During the initial practicum experience (EDUC 315), the triad will begin to learn how to best interact with each other. Specific roles for each member of the triad during the pre-practicum experience are as follows:
During the fall, school advisors begin the process of acting as both mentor and model for the teacher candidate. This process continues throughout the entire practicum experience. The following guidelines may be helpful.
- Get to know your teacher candidate. Endeavour to create a warm, friendly working relationship.
- Learn specific strengths and needs of your teacher candidate. What does s/ he need to know and understand about you and your classroom to help ensure a successful working partnership?
- Be a listener: Be empathetic, patient, and encouraging. Provide opportunities for your teacher candidate to discuss what was learned in coursework on campus.
- Introduce your teacher candidate to your class as a “teacher.”
- Help your teacher candidate become a welcome and participating member of the school staff.
- Maintain open communication and consultation with the faculty advisor.
- Ensure that the match between your teacher candidate and yourself and your class is appropriate. Raise any concerns with the faculty advisor and/or school coordinator at the earliest opportunity.
- Provide opportunities for your teacher candidate to become familiar with the school and district personnel.
Once teacher candidates arrive in the school, it is important to assist the school in making adjustments in the placement of the teacher candidates. Where necessary, support school advisors in working with their teacher candidates, respond to questions about the UBC program, and confer with teacher candidates. Faculty advisors also observe lessons and provide oral and written feedback.
The faculty advisor is the liaison or link between:
- The teacher candidate and the school advisor,
- The school and the university,
- Teacher educators in the school and at the university,
- University coursework and school-based practice.
The following guidelines for the faculty advisor may be helpful:
- Assist in the planning of the teacher candidate timetable.
- Provide expectations to the school advisor(s) regarding preparation of teacher candidates prior to the practicum.
- Communicate concerns voiced by the school advisor(s) and/or teacher candidate.
- Coordinate the completion of the Teacher Candidate’s Self-Evaluation Feedback Form. In addition, please ensure the school advisor(s) completes the School Orientation Practicum I form. This form should be submitted to the Program Coordinator by mid-December.
During practica, teacher candidates are subject to The School Act and they are expected to comply with standards of professional conduct followed by school personnel and to act in accordance with guidelines published in the Members’ Guide to the BCTF.
The following guidelines for the teacher candidate may be helpful:
- Follow the Code of Ethics in the Members’ Guide to the BCTF in their relations with principals, teachers, faculty advisors, fellow teacher candidates, students, and their parents/guardians.
- Respect the dignity of children and their right to confidentiality.
- Be good role models for students regarding the use of language, attitudes toward study and learning, respect for others, fair decision-making, and collegiality.
- Be good role models for students by following the dress code of the school in which they are placed.
- Speak professionally about colleagues and members of the profession.
- Observe all legal aspects as set out in the School Act, included in the BCTF Members’ Guide, regarding treatment of pupils and school property, school arrival, and leaving time.
- Anyone who has reason to believe that a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected has a legal duty under the Child, Family, and Community Service Act to report the matter. Teacher candidates should also inform the school administration.
- Observe normal social courtesies befitting to guests in sponsoring schools.
- Observe, observe, observe! When teacher candidates aren’t teaching, they should be observing a multitude of classes at many different grade levels.
- Volunteer to assist the school advisor(s) in teaching duties – be active, not passive.
- Complete the Teacher Candidate’s Self-Evaluation Form.
- Ensure that lessons for School Orientation Practicum I are approved by the school advisor(s) prior to the start of the experience.