Practicum Guidelines 2016/17

Expectations for Teacher Candidates

During practicum, you are expected to:

  • adhere to principles of professional conduct as outlined in the Teacher Education Policies & Guidelines
  • be aware of the BC Teachers’ Federation’s Code of Ethics in your relations with principals, teachers, faculty advisors, fellow teacher candidates, students and their parents/guardians,
  • respect the dignity of children and their right to confidentiality,
  • respect boundaries between teachers and students in all interactions, including social media,
  • act as good role models for students regarding the use of language, attire, attitudes toward study and learning, respect for others, fair decision-making, and collegiality,
  • speak and write professionally about colleagues, school personnel, students, and their families,
  • observe all legal aspects in the BC School Act,
  • observe normal social courtesies as guests in a school.

Professional Conduct

Professional Conduct for Teacher Candidates

Professional conduct is the set of attitudes, behaviours and characteristics deemed desirable in members of a profession and that define the profession and its relationship to its members and to society. It is the responsibility of teacher candidates in the program to familiarize themselves with and meet the expectations for professional conduct in all settings.

Faculty members are expected to help teacher candidates interpret specific school and/or practicum guidelines and apply them appropriately in their conduct.

Although satisfactory performance in both academic coursework and in practicum placements is a prerequisite to advancement, it is not the sole criterion in the consideration of the suitability of a teacher candidate for advancement or graduation. The Faculty reserves the right to require a teacher candidate to withdraw if he or she is considered to be unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of teaching.

A teacher candidate may be considered unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of teaching if he or she engages in unprofessional conduct. The examples of unprofessional conduct in this policy are not exhaustive, and the Faculty will review allegations of unprofessional conduct on a case-by-case basis. This policy applies to all conduct of its teacher candidates, even when not in the classroom or on practicum or otherwise related to the Program. Examples of unprofessional conduct include but are not limited to:

  • behaving in a manner that endangers teacher candidate peers, faculty, staff, students, staff in practicum settings, volunteers, or others,
  • harassing or being abusive towards students, teacher candidate peers, faculty, staff, staff in practicum settings, volunteers, or others,
  • breaching confidentiality or other ethical obligations,
  • engaging in illegal activities that are inconsistent with the practice of teaching or likely to harm students or others, or
  • failing to meet the Standards of Professional Conduct as outlined below.

Membership in the teaching profession demands integrity, competence and adherence to ethical standards. Teaching is a profession that is enormously demanding and carries considerable responsibility as teachers assume a crucial and challenging role in the support, care and development of other people’s children.


At all times, teacher candidates are expected to demonstrate:

Honesty and Integrity

  • Act with integrity and demonstrate personal and academic honesty in all interactions and communications, both orally and in writing. Communicate truthfully with students, teachers and other school-based personnel, teacher candidate peers, faculty members and staff.
  • Acknowledge contributions made to course assignments, lesson plans, and materials designed or provided by others.

Respect for Others

  • Engage only in respectful interactions with others that do not discriminate on grounds protected by the British Columbia Human Rights Code.
  • Contribute to a classroom atmosphere conducive to learning and the conduct of professional work. Maintain personal composure and consideration for others in all interactions.
  • Ensure that all communications, including those on the internet and social media, are respectful.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate personal boundaries in relationships with others both on and off campus.
  • Do not engage in conduct that exploits students or others for personal, sexual, ideological or other advantage.
  • Respect the confidentiality of student information, the dignity of children and their right to confidentiality, subject to your legal and professional obligations, which include a duty to report abuse or suspected abuse.
  • Treat students and their families with respect and dignity both in their presence and in discussions with other members of educational teams.

Responsibility

  • Be accountable for personal conduct. Show enthusiasm, initiative, adaptability and curiosity.
  • Receive feedback in a non-defensive and receptive manner.
  • Meet expectations related to dependability, punctuality, attendance and participation. Meet deadlines.
  • Use social media responsibly, refraining from posting any information or comments related to students or colleagues or any personal information without appropriate consents.
  • Assure the primacy of students’ wellbeing.
  • Respect boundaries between teachers and students in all interactions, including social media.
  • Create environments that are conducive to student learning.
  • Recognize your own limitations and seek help when your level of experience is inadequate.

Teacher candidates are UBC students and thus bound by the statutes, rules, regulations, and ordinances of the university and of the faculty in which they are registered. They are, therefore, expected to adhere to the UBC Statement of Respectful Environment for Students, Faculty, and Staff.

Teacher candidates are also expected to be familiar with and to comply with the policies of the University relating to conduct including but not limited to:

In addition, during the course of the Teacher Education Program, teacher candidates will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the following Teacher Regulation Branch’s Standards for the Education, Competence and Conduct of Education in BC:

  1. Educators value and care for all students and act in their best interests.
  2. Educators are role models who act ethically and honestly.
  3. Educators understand and apply knowledge of student growth and development.
  4. Educators value the involvement and support of parents, guardians, families and communities in schools.
  5. Educators implement effective practices in areas of planning, instruction, assessment, evaluation and reporting.
  6. Educators have a broad knowledge base and understand the subject areas they teach.
  7. Educators engage in career-long learning.
  8. Educators contribute to the profession.

When teacher candidates are in school or field settings, they are expected to be familiar with relevant policies and procedures governing conduct within those settings including but not limited to the:

Students whose program is interrupted and who are readmitted to the program will be required to authorize a new criminal record request if they have not been registered in the program during the past Winter Session.

Responding to Allegations of Unprofessional Conduct

When investigating an allegation of unprofessional conduct, the Faculty will follow the Protocol and Procedure for Investigating and Responding to Alleged Unprofessional Conduct in the Program outlined on the Teacher Education Office website.

Teacher candidates should note that the laying of criminal charges, the commencement of civil proceedings, or the commencement of proceedings under another University policy or procedure does not preclude the Faculty from following the procedures set out in this policy.

If the Faculty becomes aware that a teacher candidate has been accused of serious unprofessional conduct, then the Faculty reserves the right to postpone the teacher candidate’s advancement in the program, including graduation from the program, until the allegations of unprofessional conduct have been investigated and resolved by the Faculty. Where a teacher candidate has been charged with a criminal offence that, if proven, would constitute unprofessional conduct, the Faculty may postpone the student’s advancement in the program including graduation from the program, until such time as the criminal charges are dismissed or have proceeded through the court system to acquittal or conviction and sentencing.

If the Faculty becomes aware at any time that a teacher candidate has been accused of unprofessional conduct then the Faculty may require the teacher candidate to obtain an updated criminal record check pursuant to the Criminal Records Review Act and provide the results to the Faculty.

Conduct that is considered unprofessional under this policy may also violate other University policies. The Faculty or another unit of the University may commence proceedings against the teacher candidate pursuant to those processes in addition to taking action pursuant to this policy.

Guidelines for School Visits

Teacher candidates are guests in schools and classrooms. They are also learners who are developing instructional strategies to be implemented in their practicum classrooms. UBC’s BEd program provides many opportunities for teacher candidates to learn first-hand how teaching and learning unfold in classrooms through weekly visits, a two-week fall practicum and an extended practicum in the spring. They then learn how teaching and learning take place in other contexts during a three-week community field experience.

During each practicum, the following actions are recommended.

Observe

  • Observe students inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Focus on students as they learn and on teachers as they teach.
  • Ask questions of school and faculty advisors.
  • Talk with students and school personnel.
  • Observe and listen in the classroom and in the school.
  • Reflect on your emerging practice.

Be collegial

  • Become acquainted with the school advisor and establish a working relationship.
  • Learn about the philosophy and culture of the school.
  • Become acquainted with the library and resource centres.
  • Consult school advisor(s) about school policy regarding schedule, routines, general expectations for teachers
  • Speak positively about colleagues and advisors in social situations.

Plan, teach, reflect

  • Plan to be at school early each day and allow for time after school for planning and discussion with advisors and students.
  • Observe and note emerging questions about classroom life and teaching practice. Discuss with advisors.
  • Prepare to teach, starting with small group activities and gradually increasing to whole group instruction.
  • Plan in advance by inquiring about assigned units/themes that you will be responsible for teaching during the extended practicum.
  • In preparation for the extended practicum, plan with the end in mind: what are your goals? How will you ensure learning takes place for all students? How will you assess for learning? How will assessment of learning take place? How will your students reflect on their learning?
  • Begin to set goals for professional development.
  • Speak to a faculty advisor or practicum coordinator if there are concerns about any aspect of the practicum experience.

Demonstrate professional behaviour

  • Show enthusiasm, initiative, adaptability, and curiosity.
  • Treat students, teachers and members of staff with respect.
  • Behave in accordance with professional ethical standards.
  • Respect boundaries between teachers and students in all interactions, including social media.
  • Be dependable and punctual.
  • Be prepared to teach: plan for every lesson/sequence/unit and share plans with advisors well in advance.
  • Check attendance guidelines, and if you are going to be absent, notify school and faculty advisors directly.
  • Provide lesson plans for the school advisor.

Cooperate, collaborate, contribute

  • Work with school advisors to ensure a gradual immersion into teaching during each practicum experience.
  • Be receptive to suggestions and feedback on improvements to teaching and act on them accordingly.
  • Reflect on your emerging practice as a teacher. Be willing to share reflections on teaching with advisors.
  • Take responsibility for eliciting feedback from school and faculty advisors.
  • Seek clarity when interpreting feedback in the goal of developing skills and improving teaching practice.
  • Observe the teaching of other teacher candidates, school advisors and other teachers where possible.
  • Cooperate and collaborate with members of the supervisory team and other school personnel.
  • Contribute to the life of the school outside of the classroom.

Reflect

The following activities are suggested to facilitate reflection:

  • Collect artifacts for the portfolio to chronicle growth over the year.
  • Videotape peers’ and your own teaching to help review presentation skills and make changes or improvements. A series of videotapes taken at intervals during the practicum is useful to indicate professional growth and improvement. Refer to the Evaluation & Report Writing: Guidelines for Videotaping section of this publication.
  • Keep a logbook or a journal and make daily entries to provide perspective of work and plans in the classroom, the students’ needs, alternative teaching strategies observed, suggestions received, and ideas for professional development.

Elementary (includes Middle Years cohort)

Term 1 – September to December

Practicum Preparation Seminars Terms 1 & 2 on campus

Seminars are conducted during EDUC 315 and 321/323 (replacing the school visit for a particular week). They may take place in school districts as well as on campus, and provide a forum for teacher candidates and faculty advisors to explore and discuss:

  • planning for teaching and learning,
  • instructional models and strategies,
  • managing the learning environment,
  • communication skills,
  • other topics that arise from the practicum experiences.

Evaluation for EDUC 315 is based on full participation in the above activities, demonstration of professionalism, and full attendance.

EDUC 315 Weekly Visits & 2-Week Practicum

EDUC 315 provides teacher candidates opportunities to first observe and then gradually engage in leading teaching activities through weekly one-day visits and a two-week practicum early in the school year, followed by continuing weekly visits until the end of Winter Term 1.

The school placement for EDUC 315 usually becomes the setting for the extended practicum. Teacher candidates normally observe various classrooms and settings throughout the school in addition to those of their school advisors.

Expectations

Typically, elementary teacher candidates observe for the first few days and begin engaging in teaching activities on a gradual basis. The focus for teacher candidates is on cultivating professional understandings toward teaching, learning, inquiry and reflection.

The EDUC 315 experience will vary from school to school. Elementary teacher candidates may expect to take part in several of the following activities during the weekly visits and the two-week practicum:

  • observe in classrooms at many grade levels,
  • learn about the philosophy and culture of the school,
  • become acquainted with the library and resource centres,
  • observe students at work and at play in a variety of contexts, e.g., classroom, gymnasium, playground,
  • talk with students,
  • talk with teachers and other professionals,
  • read to a group or the whole class,
  • listen to students read and notice their individual use of language,
  • collect copies or samples of student "artifacts" (drawing, written work, etc.) related to classroom activities to assess student learning,
  • lead a classroom activity with another teacher candidate or with the classroom teacher,
  • collaborate with individuals or small groups of students,
  • design and teach short small group or whole class activities or lessons,
  • discuss observations and experiences with school and faculty advisors,
  • participate in seminars with school and/or district personnel, e.g., teacher-librarian, principal, district coordinators,
  • begin to set goals for professional development.

During the second week of the two-week practicum, an appropriate minimum teaching workload of 20% (1 hour per day) is assigned. The EDUC 315 experience will vary from school to school. Teacher candidates are required to prepare and discuss planning for teaching activities, lesson segments or lessons in advance with their school and faculty advisors. Teacher candidates are welcome to teach more during this time if all advisors are open to this possibility.

Toward the end of the two-week practicum and during the weekly visits that resume afterwards and until mid-December, school advisors and teacher candidates initiate a preliminary dialogue about the units, themes, and topics for which teacher candidates will be responsible during the extended practicum.

Evaluation for EDUC 315 is based on observed performance in the above activities, demonstration of professionalism, and full attendance.

Term 2 – January to March

EDUC 321/323 Weekly Visits

In EDUC 321/323 (Term 2) teacher candidates return to their practicum school, continuing to participate in the activities listed for EDUC 315. It is expected that teacher candidates will design and teach some lessons during this period. This weekly experience is an opportunity to prepare for the extended practicum and also try out ideas learned in on-campus methodology courses, experiment with various strategies and receive support and feedback from their school and faculty advisors.

Evaluation for EDUC 321/323 is based on full attendance and participation in these seminars as well as during weekly school visits.

Term 2 – March to May

EDUC 418 & EDUC 419 Extended Practicum

The extended practicum provides teacher candidates with opportunities to demonstrate that they are capable of assuming the responsibilities expected of a beginning teacher.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of all coursework, including practicum, is expected prior to the extended practicum.

UBC Calendar > Bachelor of Education > Academic Policies and Regulations

The following principles provide guidance for the extended practicum:

  • Teacher candidates attend a practicum of sufficient duration to demonstrate that they can independently plan and implement instruction, and evaluate learning, in the manner expected of a beginning teacher.
  • Immersion into teaching is gradual, permitting teacher candidates to assume increasing responsibility as they demonstrate proficiency.
  • Teacher candidates participate in a variety of teaching and observational experiences.
  • Teacher candidates are involved in the assessment of their own teaching practice.
  • The practicum provides opportunities for teacher candidates to systematically and analytically reflect upon teaching in a professional and educational community.

Teaching Load: All Programs

An 80% teaching load means 80% of any school day or 80% of the school week. Once teacher candidates have successfully completed four weeks at an 80% teaching load:

  • their teaching load normally tapers off,
  • they assist or observe their school advisors in the classroom. (Lesson preparation should only be done during the school advisor's assigned preparation block.)

Throughout the extended practicum, teacher candidates prepare lesson and unit plans according to the guidance of both school and faculty advisors, and they will share their lesson plans at least 24 hours in advance so that changes may be made if necessary.

Unit teaching plans must be approved at least one week before being taught.

With approval of the school and faculty advisors, variations in teaching load are possible (e.g., on "Guest Teacher Candidate Day"); additionally, teacher candidates may assume a 100% teaching load for a portion of the extended practicum, if they are open to such an experience.

School Placement

Placement decisions are made by the practicum coordinator in collaboration with faculty advisors and school administrators.

Occasionally, the initial pairing of a teacher candidate and school advisor is not a good fit. Teacher candidates should raise any questions/concerns about placements as early as possible in the program to their faculty advisor and/or the following practicum coordinators in the Teacher Education Office.

Contacts:

cropped-John-Yamamoto-profile1.jpgJohn Yamamoto
Program Coordinator – Practicum & Field Experience (Secondary)
john.yamamoto@ubc.ca
604 822 5222

cropped-Rod-Brown-profile.jpgRod Brown
Program Coordinator – Practicum & Field Experience (Elementary & Middle Years)
rod.brown@ubc.ca
604 822 5243

EDUC 430 – Community Field Experience (CFE)

Following successful completion of a 10-week extended school-based practicum, all teacher candidates in the BEd program complete a 3-week community field experience (EDUC 430). In many cases, the field experience occurs outside schools in placements hosted by community partners. In some cases, the placement is in an alternate setting within a school (e.g., in the library, resource room, etc.) or in a rural, national or international context. Research informs us that such "non-formal" educational involvement helps teachers develop a broader, more holistic view of education than experiences limited to classroom settings, and that all involved benefit.

A failed CFE will be rescheduled during the regular CFE period in the following year.

Expectations

Teacher candidates are expected to:

  • meet or correspond with their community partners to determine expectations for the 3-week experience,
  • understand that their workload will not necessarily involve teaching in a classroom environment,
  • attend to their CFE 5 days a week over 3 weeks,
  • adhere at all times to Professional Conduct as outlined in the Teacher Education Program Policies & Guidelines and Professional Conduct on Practicum,
  • meet expectations presented in the CFE Teacher Candidate Guide,
  • comply with the attendance and participation policies,
  • work with their community partner as an unpaid student-volunteer,
  • work with a community partner that they have not worked with before,
  • be actively involved in all aspects of the placement and complete any tasks related to the placement,
  • collaborate with colleagues on designated projects (if required),
  • ensure that at the end of the CFE, the community partner has completed and submitted and online CFE Community Partner Comment Form, and
  • regularly communicate their CFE observations, questions and reflections to their faculty advisors.

Rural and International Community Field Experiences

Teacher candidates may apply for a limited number of educational experiences in rural British Columbia and outside Canada. In most cases, these opportunities necessitate extra costs that are the responsibility of the successful applicants.

Participation in a rural or international CFE teaching and learning opportunity requires the demonstration of a high level of success in the Bachelor of Education program courses and practicum prior to the international experience. The Faculty reserves the right to withhold the opportunity to this option from any applicant not meeting the program’s expected standards.

The CFE coordinator will use email to convey international application details and placement opportunities to TCs. Interested teacher candidates are responsible for ensuring their correct email address is in UBC’s Student Information System.

Contacts:

Visit cfe.educ.ubc.ca

 

cropped-John-Yamamoto-profile1.jpgJohn Yamamoto
Program Coordinator – Practicum & Field Experience (Secondary)
john.yamamoto@ubc.ca
604 822 5222

cropped-Rod-Brown-profile.jpgRod Brown
Program Coordinator – Practicum & Field Experience (Elementary & Middle Years)
rod.brown@ubc.ca
604 822 5243

cropped-Keith-McPherson-profile.jpgDr. Keith McPherson
Program Coordinator – International Community Field Experience
keith.mcpherson@ubc.ca
604 822 5069

Secondary

Term 1 – September to December

Secondary – EDUC 315 Weekly Visits & Two-Week Practicum

EDUC 315 provides teacher candidates opportunities to first observe and then gradually engage in leading teaching activities through weekly one-day visits and a two-week practicum early in the school year, followed by continuing weekly visits until the end of Winter Term 1.

One-day visits are arranged on both ends of the two-week short practicum, and they differ in purpose. Prior to the two-week practicum, the one-day visits provide teacher candidates the opportunity to visit different schools and districts, and observe various teachers and programs. After the two-week practicum, the one day visits provide teacher candidates the opportunity to continue developing their relationships with their advisors and school communities, and to begin formally preparing for the upcoming extended practicum.

The school placement for EDUC 315 becomes the setting for the extended practicum. Teacher candidates normally observe various classrooms and settings throughout the school in addition to those of their school advisors. Teacher candidates are welcome to teach more during this time if all advisors are open to this possibility.

The EDUC 315 experience will vary from school to school. Secondary teacher candidates may expect to take part in several of the following activities:

  • get to know school advisors and their classrooms/students,
  • observe in many different classrooms, subject areas and grade levels,
  • attend information and support seminars with school advisors and other teacher candidates,
  • visit other schools in the district or the district administration office or resource centre,
  • assist in extracurricular activities at the school as well as those activities planned during the extended practicum,
  • determine official practicum advisors and teaching load for the extended practicum,
  • team-teach with their school advisor during a lesson,
  • assist students during times when individual work has been assigned,
  • prepare and teach ‘mini’ lessons to either an entire class or a small group of students,
  • prepare to teach a number of (likely unrelated) lessons that the school advisors/faculty advisor will observe, starting near the end of Week 1.

Towards the end of the two weeks, school advisors and teacher candidates initiate an ongoing dialogue about the units, themes, and topics for which teacher candidates will be responsible during the extended practicum.

EDUC 315 continues after the two-week school placement; teacher candidates return to their schools one day per week until mid ­December.

Evaluation for EDUC 315 will be based on observation of instruction, participation in the above activities, overall professionalism and suitability and on full attendance.

Expectations

Typically, secondary teacher candidates observe for the first few days and begin engaging in teaching activities on a gradual basis towards the end of the first week.

During the second week, an appropriate minimum teaching workload of 20% (about 1 block per day) is assigned. The EDUC 315 experience will vary from school to school. In advance of teaching, teacher candidates are required to prepare and discuss lesson plans with their school and faculty advisors. Teacher candidates are welcome to teach more during this time if all advisors are open to this possibility.

Term 2 – February to April

EDUC 421 Extended Practicum

The extended practicum provides teacher candidates with opportunities to demonstrate that they are capable of assuming the responsibilities expected of a beginning teacher.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of all coursework, including practicum, is expected prior to the extended practicum.

UBC Calendar > Bachelor of Education > Academic Policies and Regulations

The following principles provide guidance for the extended practicum:

  • Teacher candidates attend a practicum of sufficient duration to demonstrate that they can independently plan and implement instruction, and evaluate learning, in the manner expected of a beginning teacher.
  • Immersion into teaching is gradual, permitting teacher candidates to assume increasing responsibility as they demonstrate proficiency.
  • Teacher candidates participate in a variety of teaching and observational experiences.
  • Teacher candidates are involved in the assessment of their own teaching practice.
  • The practicum provides opportunities for teacher candidates to systematically and analytically reflect upon teaching in a professional and educational community.

Teaching Load: All Programs

An 80% teaching load means 80% of any school day or 80% of the school week. Once teacher candidates have successfully completed four weeks at an 80% teaching load:

  • their teaching load normally tapers off,
  • they assist or observe their school advisors in the classroom. (Lesson preparation should only be done during the school advisor's assigned preparation block.)

Throughout the extended practicum, teacher candidates prepare lesson and unit plans according to the guidance of both school and faculty advisors, and they will share their lesson plans at least 24 hours in advance so that changes may be made if necessary.

Unit teaching plans must be approved at least one week before being taught.

With approval of the school and faculty advisors, variations in teaching load are possible (e.g., on "Guest Teacher Candidate Day"); additionally, teacher candidates may assume a 100% teaching load for a portion of the extended practicum, if they are open to such an experience.

School Placement

Placement decisions are made by the practicum coordinator in collaboration with faculty advisors and school administrators.

Occasionally, the initial pairing of a teacher candidate and school advisor is not a good fit. Teacher candidates should raise any questions/concerns about placements as early as possible in the program to their faculty advisor and/or the following practicum coordinators in the Teacher Education Office.

Contacts:

cropped-John-Yamamoto-profile1.jpgJohn Yamamoto
Program Coordinator – Practicum & Field Experience (Secondary)
john.yamamoto@ubc.ca
604 822 5222

cropped-Rod-Brown-profile.jpgRod Brown
Program Coordinator – Practicum & Field Experience (Elementary & Middle Years)
rod.brown@ubc.ca
604 822 5243

EDUC 430 – Community Field Experience (CFE)

Following successful completion of a 10-week extended school-based practicum, all teacher candidates in the BEd program complete a 3-week community field experience (EDUC 430). In many cases, the field experience occurs outside schools in placements hosted by community partners. In some cases, the placement is in an alternate setting within a school (e.g., in the library, resource room, etc.) or in a rural, national or international context. Research informs us that such "non-formal" educational involvement helps teachers develop a broader, more holistic view of education than experiences limited to classroom settings, and that all involved benefit.

A failed CFE will be rescheduled during the regular CFE period in the following year.

Expectations

Teacher candidates are expected to:

  • meet or correspond with their community partners to determine expectations for the 3-week experience,
  • understand that their workload will not necessarily involve teaching in a classroom environment,
  • attend to their CFE 5 days a week over 3 weeks,
  • adhere at all times to Professional Conduct as outlined in the Teacher Education Program Policies & Guidelines and Professional Conduct on Practicum,
  • meet expectations presented in the CFE Teacher Candidate Guide,
  • comply with the attendance and participation policies,
  • work with their community partner as an unpaid student-volunteer,
  • work with a community partner that they have not worked with before,
  • be actively involved in all aspects of the placement and complete any tasks related to the placement,
  • collaborate with colleagues on designated projects (if required),
  • ensure that at the end of the CFE, the community partner has completed and submitted and online CFE Community Partner Comment Form, and
  • regularly communicate their CFE observations, questions and reflections to their faculty advisors.

Rural and International Community Field Experiences

Teacher candidates may apply for a limited number of educational experiences in rural British Columbia and outside Canada. In most cases, these opportunities necessitate extra costs that are the responsibility of the successful applicants.

Participation in a rural or international CFE teaching and learning opportunity requires the demonstration of a high level of success in the Bachelor of Education program courses and practicum prior to the international experience. The Faculty reserves the right to withhold the opportunity to this option from any applicant not meeting the program’s expected standards.

The CFE coordinator will use email to convey international application details and placement opportunities to TCs. Interested teacher candidates are responsible for ensuring their correct email address is in UBC’s Student Information System.

Contacts:

Visit cfe.educ.ubc.ca

 

cropped-John-Yamamoto-profile1.jpgJohn Yamamoto
Program Coordinator – Practicum & Field Experience (Secondary)
john.yamamoto@ubc.ca
604 822 5222

cropped-Rod-Brown-profile.jpgRod Brown
Program Coordinator – Practicum & Field Experience (Elementary & Middle Years)
rod.brown@ubc.ca
604 822 5243

cropped-Keith-McPherson-profile.jpgDr. Keith McPherson
Program Coordinator – International Community Field Experience
keith.mcpherson@ubc.ca
604 822 5069

Guidelines for Advisors

School Advisors

During the initial school experience, school advisors begin the process of acting as both mentors and models for teacher candidates. This process continues throughout the extended practicum. Please refer to the following guidelines.

Relationship Building

  • 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 he/she need to know and understand about you and your classroom to help ensure a successful working partnership?
  • Listen. Be empathic, 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 an appropriate match between your teacher candidate, yourself and your class. Raise any concerns with the faculty advisor (and/or school coordinator if applicable) at the earliest opportunity.
  • Provide opportunities for your teacher candidate to become familiar with the school and district personnel.
  • Support your teacher candidate in the collection of artifacts and reflections from the practicum to be used in his/her e-portfolio.

Role Modelling

  • Demonstrate good professional practice in planning, teaching and evaluating.
  • Discuss ethical/professional issues.
  • Model reflective teaching practice: talk, think out loud, share professional readings, and discuss reasons for decisions made.

Supervision

  • Demonstrate good professional practice in planning, teaching and evaluating.
  • Discuss ethical/professional issues.
  • Model reflective teaching practice: talk, think out loud, share professional readings, and discuss reasons for decisions made.
  • Share assessment and evaluation strategies, and ask your teacher candidate to assist in the writing of report cards.
  • Engage in regular, appropriate, systematic use of the observation/feedback cycle.
  • Provide written feedback, on a weekly basis (or more), using digital/paper anecdotal forms. These are formative evaluations intended to provide feedback and specific suggestions for improvement. Frequent feedback is particularly helpful during the earlier stages of teacher candidates' development and especially when there are concerns.
  • Include suggestions for improvements under "Recommended Follow-up" section on the anecdotal form.
  • Through reflection and discussion with your teacher candidate, provide support for autonomy and independence, and experimentation with different styles, activities, and instructional strategies.
  • Ensure that your teacher candidate consistently engages in both short and long term planning. Advise and assist with planning as required.
  • Meet regularly with your teacher candidate to establish effective routines and expectations for students in the class.
  • In the event that concerns arise, follow the procedures outlined in the section titled Serious Concerns about a Teacher Candidate's Performance.
  • Monitor your teacher candidate's teaching performance, and gradually increase workload and responsibility for the classroom. Consult with your teacher candidate and with the faculty advisor in making this decision.
  • Collaborate with other teacher advisors and the staff as a whole to provide support and professional development for your teacher candidate.

Evaluation

Commencing with the two-week practicum:

  • Observe lessons taught by your teacher candidate.
  • Provide suggestions and opportunity for reflection.
  • Discuss teaching assignments for the extended practicum.
  • Complete the school orientation practicum I form, and share it with your teacher candidate prior to the end of the practicum.
  • The performance checklist may also be completed to assist the teacher candidate in reflecting on strengths and challenges.
  • Analyze/evaluate initial planning provided by your teacher candidate.
  • Discuss evaluation forms and procedures leading to the mid-point and final reports with the faculty advisor and teacher candidate.
  • Discuss growth areas with your teacher candidate. Use the information gained from assessment to set goals or to identify priorities for future observations.
  • Guide your teacher candidate in self-assessment on a regular basis.
  • Keep a portfolio/file of data on your teacher candidate's growth and progress.
  • Meet with your teacher candidate and the faculty advisor at practicum mid-point to review performance.
  • Complete the mid-point evaluation form and a mid-point performance checklist.
  • Determine when your teacher candidate should assume an 80% teaching load (typically after the mid-point/three way conference).
  • At the end of the practicum, use data collected to prepare a final report and final performance checklist.
  • If your teacher candidate is having difficulty, discuss specific concerns and complete an interim report. If necessary, follow up with a Cross Check observation. Consult with the faculty advisor and/or the practicum coordinator.

Faculty Advisors

Once teacher candidates arrive in the practicum school, faculty advisors support school advisors in working with their teacher candidates. In some cases, they may need to assist in making adjustments in the placements of the teacher candidates. Where necessary, they 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 using digital/paper anecdotal forms.

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 will assist faculty advisors in their roles overseeing teacher candidates' practicum placements.

Communication

  • Help to clarify expectations and evaluation procedures for all involved.
  • Bring school advisors together to discuss issues, problems, solutions and questions regarding their roles as mentors and teacher educators.
  • Maintain contact with school administrators.

Support for School Advisors and Teacher Candidates

  • Provide support and guidance.
  • Participate in three-way meetings.
  • Collaborate/consult in decision-making.
  • Facilitate transition for teacher candidates from UBC to the school classroom.
  • Ensure that immersion into responsibilities is gradual.
  • Listen, discuss, question, and counsel.
  • Encourage autonomy and independence through reflection and discussion.
  • Be available on a regular basis for individual and group needs.
  • Ensure that teacher candidates receive regular and constructive feedback from school advisors.

Supervision and Evaluation

  • Engage in regular, appropriate, systematic use of the observation/feedback cycle: typically, a minimum of once every two weeks.
  • Provide formal written feedback on a regular basis.
  • Monitor and assist teacher candidates with planning, especially in the initial stages of their practicum.
  • Guide teacher candidates in self-assessment and reflection.
  • Meet with teacher candidates and school advisors at mid-point to review performance.
  • Contribute to determining dates for teacher candidates to assume an 80% teaching load (after mid-point meetings have been held).
  • Use data from observations and conferences to compile a final report and final performance checklist for each assigned teacher candidate.

School Coordinators and Administrators

Some schools identify a teacher or vice principal to coordinate practicum placements in a school. The school coordinators or administrators play important roles in supporting practicum experiences of their teacher candidates.

Communicate

  • with teacher candidates regarding school philosophy, how to become contributing members of school staff, and procedures for handling difficult students,
  • with school and faculty advisors where required.

Support

  • school advisors and teacher candidates in problem solving issues when required,
  • by providing cross-checks for teacher candidates if necessary.

Documentation of Teacher Candidate’s Progress

It is important that teacher candidates receive regular weekly (or more) written feedback from their advisors provided on forms by the university. An open-ended anecdotal form for written comments and a performance checklist are used to record observations of candidates' teaching. Interim report forms should be written if there are specific concerns about classroom performance or professional conduct. The mid-point evaluation form should be used for mid-point meetings. Final reports should be written on UBC letterhead (faculty advisors) or school letterhead (school advisors).

Video Recording Teacher Candidates

When video recording is used on practicum to provide teacher candidates with feedback or to stimulate discussions about their teaching practices, please follow these guidelines:

  • The teacher candidate should check for signed school media consent forms for their students should any video recording occur during classroom teaching where students are present.
  • The teacher candidate has agreed to being video recorded by signing a UBC consent form, is aware that the recording will occur and understands the purpose of the observation.
  • The focus of the video is the teacher candidate and not the classroom students.
  • The video is used for professional purposes only (i.e., not for general viewing).
  • The video is erased/deleted when its purpose has been fulfilled.

Serious Concerns About a Teacher Candidate’s Performance

Should there be serious concerns about a teacher candidate's teaching performance or ability to accept professional responsibilities, please follow these procedures:

  • Communicate concerns to faculty advisor, teacher candidate, and/or school advisor(s) without delay.
  • Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Continue to observe and document the teacher candidate's progress.
  • Keep accurate records of the feedback given to the teacher candidate, observed behaviours, suggestions, lesson plans, time, dates, etc.

If concerns persist, consult with the faculty advisor and/or school advisors and,

  • consider writing an interim report,
  • consider requesting a cross-check.

Interim Report

The interim report is designed to alert teacher candidates to concerns about classroom performance or professional conduct. When possible, the interim report should be completed early enough in the practicum to allow for improvement. An interim report form (digital or paper) is available from the Teacher Education Office. The teacher candidate, school advisor/s and faculty advisor/s sign the report.

Complete an interim report clearly specifying the nature of the concerns, suggestions for improvement, timelines, and consequence(s) if improvement does not occur. Ensure that the teacher candidate is given detailed suggestions as to how to improve in the area(s) of concern and adequate time to implement the suggestions. Establish a clear time frame for improvement in the area(s) of concern. Contact the faculty advisor or the practicum coordinator in the Teacher Education Office to arrange for a cross-check if necessary.


Cross-Check

A cross-check is an independent observation conducted by, for example, an administrator in the school or another faculty advisor. As well as observing one or more lessons, a cross-check includes evaluating the related unit and lesson plans. Please note the following points:

  • The person providing the cross-check should not be informed of specific concerns about the teacher candidate beforehand.
  • After the cross-check, the observer should debrief with the teacher candidate about the observed lesson.
  • The observer should not offer opinions on the eventual outcome of the practicum.

An interim report conference at the school should be arranged. This may be attended by those who have observed the teacher candidate, and may include a representative from the Teacher Education Office.

If concerns related to the interim report are not satisfactorily addressed, or if other concerns arise, it may be necessary to terminate the practicum. The teacher candidate is then informed of the decision to terminate the practicum, and should contact the practicum coordinator in the Teacher Education Office.


Termination of Practicum

Occasionally, the university or the school will terminate a practicum prior to completion. The teacher candidate will receive a written summary of the practicum to the point of termination.

Prior to terminating a practicum, school and faculty advisors should consult the guidelines for school and faculty advisors (see Serious Concerns about a Teacher Candidate's Performance) regarding writing an interim report and requesting a cross-check. It is desirable that teacher candidates who experience significant difficulties receive an interim report and that their performance be cross-checked by another observer(s).

In some cases, it is necessary to terminate a practicum prior to writing an interim report or to requesting a cross-check. The University and the host school reserve the right to act to exclude teacher candidates from practicum where necessary.

Teacher candidates whose practicum is terminated should receive one or all of the following:

  • a written summary report from their faculty and school advisors
  • a completed practicum checklist
  • a summary document from the Teacher Education Office

Supplemental Practicum

Occasionally, teacher candidates reach the end of the extended practicum, and although they have shown growth (typically in the latter weeks of the practicum), their final evaluations indicate that they are not yet at the level of beginning teacher.

In such cases, advisors may assign a Fail ("F") grade with the recommendation for a 6-week supplemental practicum. A supplemental practicum should only be recommended in cases where success in reaching the level of a beginning teacher is likely to occur within a 6-week period.

End of Practicum Documentation

At the end of the practicum, school and faculty advisors are asked to prepare two kinds of documentation of the teacher candidate's performance:

  1. the final performance checklist, and
  2. the final report.

These documents summarize the teacher candidate's performance as demonstrated throughout the practicum and form the basis for assigning the final standing. Only teacher candidates who attained "M" (Meets Expectations) on virtually all practicum checklist items and who earn a standing of Pass (P) from all their advisors will earn a standing of Pass (P) for the extended practicum. Cases where there is disagreement about the status of teacher candidates will be adjudicated by the Teacher Education Office after all reports have been received.


Writing the Final Report

The final report documents the growth of the teacher candidate focusing on the final 5 weeks or summative phase, and it should contain no surprises. All items on the final evaluation should have been discussed during the practicum and/or documented in the formal written weekly observations. This report is not a letter of reference; however, it is often requested when teacher candidates apply for employment.

When writing a final report:

  1. Read through all of the observations made of your teacher candidate. Look for patterns, such as areas where there has been growth and where your teacher candidate will, in your estimation, continue to grow.
  2. Write a first draft using the performance checklist headings to organize the material. It is appropriate, at this time, to include your teacher candidate in drafting this report. An open-ended final report form, on which you may create the formal report, is available from the faculty advisor. School advisors should, however, write final reports on school letterhead. The report should contain the following items:
    • detailed description of the context in which the practicum took place
    • general description of the grades/units/themes prepared by the teacher candidate
    • general description of the workload and extent of involvement outside of the classroom
    • general observations supported by examples on each of the main performance checklist areas

    It is advisable to create a final report of no more than 2 to 3 pages in length that is specific to the candidate’s achieved and expected growth.
  3. After revising and sharing the final report with your teacher candidate, make copies available for: the teacher candidate, school advisor(s), and the teacher candidate's file.

Access to Reports

Teacher candidates may be concerned about who has access to their reports. All formative and summative reports are confidential, becoming part of the teacher candidate's cumulative record for determining final standing on the extended practicum. This confidential information about teacher candidates is not for distribution by schools, school advisors, or faculty advisors. Only teacher candidates may use final reports for this purpose. The intent of all formative reports is to provide teacher candidates with feedback and suggestions. The intent of the summative final reports is to document areas of achieved and expected continuing growth, and indicate whether teacher candidates are ready to enrol a class upon completion of the program.

Performance Checklist

At the completion of the extended practicum, teacher candidates are expected to meet expectations for virtually all items on the performance checklist.

Teacher candidates are expected to have demonstrated the ability to plan, implement, and evaluate instruction at a standard expected of a beginning teacher. This checklist may be used for summative or formative evaluation for: EDUC 315, 321/323, 399, 418/419, 421, 495, 496: and for the interim, mid-point, or final evaluations and reports. The following indicators are:

  • N = Not meeting expectations,
  • A = Approaching expectations, or
  • M = Consistently meeting expectations.

Performance Checklist

A rubric outlining performance standards for each of the checklist criterion is available by contacting Rod Brown or John Yamamoto.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section is directed to teacher candidates, school advisors and faculty advisors.

Placements

For secondary teacher candidates, every effort is made to place you in one of two requested school districts; however, depending on your timetable and teaching subject area, it may not be possible to accommodate your placement requests. Moreover, certain cohorts have designated practicum sites. Therefore, be prepared to accept the placement deemed appropriate for you by the Teacher Education Office.

Elementary and middle years teacher candidates select a cohort at the time of registration. Each cohort is assigned to particular geographic areas, and this is where you will be placed.

During the initial registration process, teacher candidates will select their preference for a field experience by theme or geographic region. Based on this information, be prepared to accept the placement deemed appropriate for you by the Faculty of Education.

Elementary: In September, teacher candidates meet with faculty advisors to discuss practicum placement preferences.

Secondary: Complete the practicum placement request form.

There will be seminars for both elementary and secondary teacher candidates in September with further information regarding practicum placements.

Note: there is no guarantee that teacher candidates will be placed in a preferred area.
Under no circumstances may you make your own arrangements for a practicum placement.

If you are placed in a school whose employees include a close friend or relative, or where you have been an employee or a volunteer, or where a family member is a student, or from which you have graduated, or in a district where your parent or relative is an administrator, the practicum coordinator must be alerted as soon as the placement is posted.

It varies from year to year and is dependent upon which school advisors express an interest in mentoring a teacher candidate.

If you have special circumstances that need to be considered, notify the practicum coordinator early in September.

Hiring practices vary with each school district based on application packages and the needs of the district. Districts are free to interview and hire teacher candidates from any of our cohorts, so practicum location does not restrict where teacher candidates may eventually apply or work.

Workload

You may not be used as a teacher-on-call (substitute teacher) nor may you accept payment for work in the schools. In the event that a school advisor is absent, it is expected that a teacher-on-call or an appropriate replacement appointed by the principal will assume responsibility for the students in your assigned classroom.

Given the demographics of many Canadian urban regions, including BC’s Lower Mainland, most teachers teach EAL learners in their classrooms. This is part of the rationale for UBC’s LLED 353 (Teaching and Learning English as an Additional Language: Elementary) and LLED 360 (Classroom Discourses and Teaching English Language Learners: Secondary). It is worth noting that, for many of these learners, English may be one of several languages they use in addition to their home language.

Many of the strategies that teacher candidates learn include how to break down instruction into comprehensible “chunks”, how to invoke a variety of methods and modalities when imparting new content and language, and how to work with the diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds of one’s learners. The elementary/middle years’ LLED 352 - French as an Additional Language course shares similar strategies.

When working with a teacher who has instructional responsibility for students with special needs, you will assume similar responsibility.

Supervision

Elementary, middle years and secondary faculty advisors usually observe their teacher candidates a minimum of once every two weeks.

Teacher candidates concerned about the level of supervision by their faculty advisors should contact the appropriate practicum coordinator in the Teacher Education Office at the earliest opportunity.

Policies and Guidelines

If a labour dispute affects the staff of the school where you are placed, the general rule is to respect and follow the actions of your school advisor as directed by the BC Teachers’ Federation. This applies to in-class duties as well as extracurricular activities. Where questions arise, you should contact your faculty advisor and/or the practicum coordinator.

Teacher candidates are advised to continue to conduct themselves in a collegial manner with all members of the school community, including teachers, administrators, staff, students and parents.

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 to the Ministry of Children and Family Development (Phone: "310-1234” – no area code needed). Teacher candidates are also directed to report any instance of abuse or neglect to the school administration.

You need to devote your full attention to the responsibilities of the practicum set by the school and faculty advisors. Courses may not be taken during the practicum. Instructors will not require you to undertake assignments unrelated to the practicum. There will, however, be opportunities to make links between coursework and your developing practice as a teacher.

In order to give your full attention to practice teaching, it is strongly recommended that you not work during the practicum. Please note that employment will not be taken into account when making practicum arrangements or when evaluating practicum performance.

Teacher candidates are expected to attend and participate fully in all practicum experiences according to the attendance guidelines. Those who are absent from the practicum may be expected to make up all absences. In some cases, absence from practicum may cause a delay in completion of the program.

You may miss one day of practicum for job interviews provided you inform your school advisor and faculty advisor in advance. Where possible, interviews should be scheduled for weekends or after school hours. For more detailed information, please refer to the attendance guidelines.

Consultation with your school advisors(s), faculty advisor and practicum coordinator is required. Teacher candidates who are in good standing and who are unable to continue the practicum because of extenuating circumstances may be granted a Standing Deferred ("SD"). Documentation such as a medical statement will be required to support consideration for the SD. Circumstances regarding bereavement should be discussed with the faculty advisor and practicum coordinator. For more detailed information, please refer to the attendance guidelines.

In most cases, teacher candidates will return to complete the practicum in the same placement at the next available opportunity. This usually occurs in the fall of the following school year. You may be required to provide evidence (e.g., medical documents) indicating readiness to proceed.

Withdrawal from practicum is governed by the regulations regarding withdrawal (see UBC Calendar/Policies & Regulations/Withdrawal and see UBC Calendar/Bachelor of Education/Academic Policies and Regulations). You may withdraw voluntarily, with due notice and courtesy to everyone involved, up to the mid-point of the practicum. The practicum coordinator in the Teacher Education Office must approve your withdrawal. A standing of "W" may have implications for student loans and tuition fees.

Teacher candidates who withdraw from an extended practicum (EDUC 418, 419, 421, 495 or 496) or community field experience (EDUC 430) are granted only one more opportunity to repeat that practicum or community field experience and must wait until the next scheduled extended practicum or community field experience (see UBC Calendar/Bachelor of Education/Academic Policies and Regulations).

Teacher candidates will meet with the practicum or community field experience coordinator in the Teacher Education Office to review their options.

When, in the judgment of the Faculty of Education, in consultation with the schools hosting their practicum, teacher candidates do not make satisfactory progress, their practicum may be terminated. Those whose practicum is terminated or do not complete their practicum satisfactorily, and who qualify for neither a supplemental practicum nor a deferred practicum, will be assigned a failing grade and will be required to discontinue or to withdraw from the program 
(see UBC Calendar/Bachelor of Education/Academic Policies and Regulations).

Teacher candidates will meet with the practicum coordinator in the Teacher Education Office to review their options. See the section in this publication titled Serious Concerns about a Teacher Candidate's Performance for further information.

Withdrawing from the practicum may have implications for loans and tuition fees.
Teacher candidates who fail or withdraw from a practicum or community field experience are granted only one more opportunity to repeat that practicum or community field experience (see UBC Calendar/Bachelor of Education/Academic Policies and Regulations).

If you withdraw from or fail a practicum due to unsuccessful performance, you will receive documentation from the TEO outlining what is required for re-admission. In order to be readmitted, you must provide evidence of having met all set conditions. Once you are re-admitted, you will be required to successfully complete an orientation practicum in addition to an extended practicum.

The faculty's policy on extending the practicum as a supplemental practicum states:

The faculty may prescribe a supplemental practicum, not to exceed six weeks, for teacher candidates who, at the conclusion of the extended practicum, have made significant progress but who have not attained the required standard of teaching performance (see UBC Calendar/Bachelor of Education/Academic Policies and Regulations).

A Supplemental Practicum is an option only available under specific circumstances, which are more fully described in the section, Supplemental Practicum.

In accordance with university regulations, you may appeal decisions regarding courses, including practicum. Appeals should be initiated as early as possible. Appeals should be directed first to the appropriate practicum coordinator. Often an informal resolution can be achieved. If not resolved, appeals should be directed in writing to the Associate Dean, Teacher Education who will review the appeal and forward it, as appropriate, to the Committee on Curriculum, Admissions, Standings, and Appeals (CCASA). Arrangements will then be made for CCASA to hear your appeal in a timely manner. If the appeal is still not resolved, you may, finally, appeal to the Senate Committee on Appeals and Academic Standing (see UBC Calendar/Bachelor of Education/Academic Policies and Regulations and UBC Calendar/Policies and Regulations).