What if there is a problem?

Occasionally you may encounter some issues with your teacher candidate during the practicum.  Here are some suggestions for how to address these situations.

Typical Concerns:

  • The teacher candidate is hindering the progress of his or her students in their learning
  • Your teacher candidate is trying hard, but is struggling unreasonably with the demands of the teaching load
  • Your teacher candidate is demonstrating unprofessional behaviour inside or outside the classroom

If there is a problem, you must first speak directly to your teacher candidate. This is modeling professional behaviour. When you notice there is a problem, first offer your support and suggestions. Be aware that it is common with some teacher candidates to get discouraged – especially at the beginning of the practicum – due to the demands of the profession. Remind them that it often gets easier with practice!

If problems persist, speak to the faculty advisor and the administrator responsible for teacher candidates, and ask them for ideas to address the issues at hand. If you require further assistance, call the program coordinator in UBC’s Teacher Education Office, or a teacher colleague you trust to listen to you and give you good feedback (you are also encouraged to consult with the other pages under the Resources section of this website for additional suggestions).

Note: Having regular meetings to give feedback to your teacher candidate is an effective way of addressing problems. It is a good idea to have a planning meeting once a week to set goals for the following week along with quick meetings (5 to 10 minutes) every day to exchange ideas and discuss any possible concerns. In addition to setting goals, the weekly meetings are a time for the two of you to discuss routines, approaches to classroom management, and how best to understand and solve behaviour problems. Talk to your teacher candidate about developing a personal teaching style and about trying new techniques. Give words of encouragement. This is very important.