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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Education
April 23, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

First Practicum



The practica are essential components of the WLU Teacher Education Program which help TECs to accomplish the following:

• Forge connections between theory and practice;
• Integrate and apply knowledge;
• Apply skills from academic coursework to meet student needs; and
• Work collaboratively with other professionals to improve student learning.

All practica take place at the same PDS site to allow the development of deep, sustained professional relationships. TECs are required by the Ontario College of Teachers to be assigned placements in both divisions related to their certification. The practicum experiences consist of one two-week placement, one three-week placement, and a six-week placement.

During the first practicum, TECs should be primarily observing, working with individual students or small groups, or providing very short periods of instruction to the entire class.

Specific Procedural Expectations for TECS and their Associate Teachers for each practica block are outlined in this section. 


OVERALL ROLES AND RESPONSIBLITIES

Teacher Education Candidate (TEC)

As an aspiring member of the teaching profession, each TEC works with Faculty members, Associate Teachers, the PDS principal and staff in learning to take on the responsibilities of a professional teacher. TECs are responsible for the following:
• Adhering to policies and procedures of the WLU teacher education program ;
• Adhering to policies and procedures of the PDS site;
• Working collaboratively with their Associate Teacher, PDS and PLS cohort members and PDS staff;
• Observing, reflecting, and acting on the needs of pupils;
• Reporting all accidents or injuries to the principal and the Associate Teacher, and providing a copy of the incident/accident report (provided by the PDS) to the Faculty of Education;
• Having knowledge of and adhering to expectations of practical experience ;
• Gradually assuming the responsibilities and duties of a full-time teacher ;
• Providing their Associate Teachers with unit and lesson plans in advance of teaching activities and addressing the feedback they provide;
• Constructively addressing suggestions and guidance offered by PDS Staff and faculty;
• Adopting models of teaching excellence and professionalism;
• Assisting with implementation of the School Effectiveness Plan  if and as requested by their PDS principal during their field days.
• Becoming conversant with and living up to the commitments and responsibilities articulated in the Ontario College of Teachers Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession, Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and Professional Learning Framework.

Associate Teachers will:

• Review with the Teacher Education Candidate submitted draft of each lesson plan the day before the lesson is scheduled to be taught and offer constructive advice to improve lesson
• Provide daily feedback to the Teacher Education Candidate in regards to each lesson taught and professional practice –

�� Strengths
�� Challenges/concerns
�� Avenues for growth

• Review the Practicum Evaluation with the TEC upon completion of the form at the end of the reporting period.
• Complete the Practicum Evaluation Form.
• Submit the completed and signed Practicum Evaluation Form along with the Associate
Teacher Payment Form to Laurie Minor at the WLU’s Faculty of Education at the completion of the practicum.
• Supervise the TEC at all times (please note that TECs are NOT certified teachers; therefore, they must be supervised at all times when working with or teaching students, as well as when assisting with the supervision of students).

Field Supervisor

Each TEC is assigned a Field Supervisor who visits TECs at the PDS site.
The Advisor is a Faculty of Education representative who provides front-line contact with PDS staff (e.g., principals and teachers) and TECs at the schools to which he or she is assigned.  This role includes mentoring, support, communication, problem solving, assessment of teaching practice, and providing feedback and instruction related to specific lessons or teaching activities of the TECs.  The Field Supervisor reports to the Field Experience Officer.

Specific duties and responsibilities of each Field Supervisor include the following:

• Having knowledge of and adhering to policies, procedures, and general information pertaining to the WLU teacher education program (see PDS Handbook);
• Visiting the PDS regularly from September to April as required and during the practica.  The minimum requirements for site visits are once during Practicum 1; once during Practicum 2; and twice during Practicum 3.  Additional visits may be required in cases where additional support is needed or make-up practicum assignments are being completed.  
• Observing TECs in the teaching context and providing ongoing feedback and support;
• Consulting with Associate Teachers regarding the progress of each TEC;
• Liaising with the Field Experience Officer to ensure that placements and Associate Teachers provided for each TEC are effective for TECs and PDS sites;
• Assisting with the resolution of any issues that arise in relation to TECs’ field experiences;
• Acting as a mentor and resource person to TECs and staff in the PDS site; and
• Liaising with the principal of each PDS site regarding TEC progress and program implementation.

 
FIRST PRACTICUM SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS

Teacher Education Candidates will:

• Teach up to twenty‐five percent of the day by the end of the practicum.
• Have their “Filed Experience Binder” prepared as instructed, ready, and available at all times for their Associate Teacher, PDS Principal, and/or the Field Supervisor to view

o lesson plans for every lesson assigned to teach
o class schedule/time table
o relevant handouts
o pertinent information related to practicum placement

• Present written copies of the draft for each lesson plan to the Associate Teacher the day before each lesson is to be taught
• Make available final/revised lesson plans to the Associate Teacher no later than forty‐five minutes prior to the beginning of the school day on which each lesson is taught
• Work with students as assigned by the Associate Teacher in ways that include-

o Working with a reading group
o Tutoring individual students
o Completing running records
o Running opening exercises, circle time, class meetings
o Reading aloud
o Conducting other classroom activities as considered appropriate

• Teach lessons assigned by Associate Teacher.
• Lessons may be‐

�� Individual lessons
�� A series of lessons for a specific small group of learners
�� A series of sequential lessons in one subject e.g. math or language arts

• Contact the school and his /her Associate Teacher before 8:00 in the case of an absence
• Complete the Reporting Absence Form and fulfill all outlined requirements.
• Inform the Associate Teacher of the scheduled period for the required observation by his/her Field Supervisor
• Consult with the Associate Teacher to arrange for a suitable location to meet and debrief with his/her Field Supervisor following the scheduled observation period.
•Return the completed and signed Evaluation Form and Payment Request form to the Faculty of Education in a sealed envelope on Monday October 22, 2012.

Associate Teachers

Associate Teachers are responsible for supervising, evaluating, and mentoring TECs. Associate Teachers are responsible for the following:

• Having knowledge of and adhering to policies, procedures, and general information pertaining to the WLU Faculty of Education’s teacher education program ;
• Meeting with TECs as required and providing them with planning directions, information on school routines, and class and student information;
• Assisting TECs in designing a plan for their practicum and time in the school;
• Providing a model of teaching excellence and professionalism;
• Reporting and recording, according to standard regulations, any accident or injury sustained by the TEC to the principal, and ensuring the TEC is given a copy of the incident/accident report;
• Reviewing TEC unit & lesson plans prior to the TEC teaching each lesson to ensure the TEC  will appropriately meet the needs of the students within the class;
• Supporting the TEC in inquiry activities;
• Including TECs in the implementation of the School Effectiveness Plan; 
• Following protocols outlined when a TEC is experiencing difficulties;
• During all three practica, providing regular verbal and written feedback to TECs regarding their teaching activities and professional responsibilities;
• If and when completing the Practicum Formative Form, providing a copy of the completed form, including their own and the TEC’s signatures, to the TEC;
• Completing at the end of each  practicum (or, in the case of the final practicum, when advised by the Faculty of Education) the Practicum  Evaluation Form;
• Providing a copy of the signed, completed Practicum Evaluation Form to the TEC; and
• Place the completed and signed Evaluation Form in a sealed envelope and give it to the TEC on Friday October 19 so that he/she can submit the completed Evaluation Form  to the Faculty of Education on Monday October 22, 2012 when he/she returns to class.

 
TECs EXPERIENCING DIFFICULTIES

Placement difficulties due to communication/professional relations

Communication difficulties include, for example, disagreements as to the amount of teaching time required, amount of feedback provided by the Associate Teacher, attitude of either party, appropriateness of the dress of the TEC, and so forth. Communication difficulties can often be resolved through frank and open dialogue. Every effort should be made to resolve issues with empathy, openness, and mutual respect, attending closely to OCT Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession. As a first step, all parties are encouraged to review the roles and responsibilities outlined in the Program Handbook. Professional relationship difficulties are more serious in nature and include such things as sexual harassment, racial harassment, equity, professional ethics, and so forth. Professional relationships are governed by federal and provincial legislation, together with University, Federation and School Board policies. Problems of this nature should be reported immediately to the Field Supervisor and the Field Experience Officer of the Faculty by the TEC or the Associate Teacher. Procedures established by the University and/or the School Board will be followed. If the communication or professional relationship difficulty cannot be resolved, it may be necessary to re-assign the TEC to another practicum. The TEC may be required to make up missed practicum days.

Failure to complete a practicum

Full attendance at each practicum is mandatory. Only legitimate absences are permitted (e.g., sickness, death in the family, extraordinary circumstances). days. 

Absences within any one practicum that constitute 25% or more of the scheduled practicum days will result in the practicum being deemed incomplete. Permission to schedule a make-up practicum is at the discretion of the Associate Dean in consultation with the Field Experience Officer. Where an absence is deemed to be unjustified, the TEC will not be permitted to schedule a make-up practicum and will be dismissed from the program. Arrangements for make-up practica are organized by the Field Experience Officer in consultation with the Field Supervisor and the TEC.

 
FORMS AND EVALUATIONS

Lesson Planner TEMPLATE

Sample Feedback Form 1 Sample Feedback Form 1 (EDITABLE)

Sample Feedback Form 3 Sample Feedback Form 3 (EDITABLE)

First Practicum Evaluation-EDITABLE Version (complete on-line)
***Please place an "x" or a check mark inside boxes of your choice***

Associate Teacher Payment Request: PAYMENTS CANNOT BE MADE WITHOUT THIS FORM BEING SUBMITTED TO TANYA DIRIYE. ASSISTANT TO THE DEAN.

 
Program Handbook

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