Guidelines for Faculty Advisors

Faculty advisors support school advisors and teacher candidates in educational settings. Responsibilities include supervising practicum, liaising with school districts, and assisting with and coordinating practicum placements. Faculty advisors observe lessons and provide oral and written feedback. Formal observations are electronically shared with school advisors and teacher candidates on E-Review.

Faculty assigned to practicum supervision in the Bachelor of Education program must have experience in school-based teaching.

The faculty advisor is the 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.
  • Maintain timely and responsive communication with teacher candidates.
  • Bring school advisors together to discuss issues, problems, solutions and questions regarding their roles as mentors and teacher educators.
  • Make and maintain contact with school administrators.
  • Encourage and mentor teacher candidates in professional communication practices.

Establishing the professional triad relationship

  • Review practicum policies and guidelines with all parties.
  • Facilitate transition for teacher candidates from UBC to the school classroom. Introduce evaluation procedures.
  • Collaborate/consult with school advisors and teacher candidates.
  • Determine an appropriate practicum teaching workload and ensure that immersion into responsibilities is gradual.
  • Listen, discuss, question, and counsel.
  • Encourage teacher candidate autonomy and independence.
  • Schedule individual and triad meetings as necessary or prescribed.
  • Ensure that teacher candidates receive regular and constructive feedback.

Supervision and Evaluation

  • Engage in regular, appropriate, systematic use of the observation/feedback cycle including formal written feedback.
  • Monitor and assist teacher candidates with planning, especially in the initial stages of the practicum.
  • Guide teacher candidates in self-assessment and reflection.
  • Meet with teacher candidates and school advisors at mid-point to formally assess progress.
  • At mid-point meetings, confirm dates for teacher candidates to assume an 80% teaching load.
  • Use data from observations and conferences to complete the final report and final performance checklist for each assigned teacher candidate.

Concerns About a Teacher Candidate’s Performance

When there are significant concerns about a teacher candidate’s teaching performance or ability to accept professional responsibilities, please follow these procedures:

  • Communicate concerns to teacher candidate, faculty advisor, and/or school advisor(s) without delay. Continue to observe and document the teacher candidate’s progress.
  • Maintain accurate records of the feedback provided to the teacher candidate, observed behaviours, suggestions, lesson plans, time, dates, etc.
  • Consult with program manager to discuss writing an interim report and scheduling a cross-check observation.

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 or can be completed on E-Review.

Complete a draft interim report clearly specifying the nature of the concerns, suggestions as to how to address the area(s) of concern, timelines for improvement and consequence(s) if improvement does not occur. Whenever possible, consult with a practicum program manager to review draft interim reports and arrange for a cross-check observation.

Once the interim report is finalized, it is communicated to the teacher candidate. Unless the practicum is terminated, the terms of the interim report are reviewed at the end of the timeline for improvement.

Cross-Check

A cross-check is an independent observation conducted by, for example, another faculty advisor or a school administrator. When possible, this observation is scheduled after an interim report is issued. 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 and provide a copy of the evaluation report.
  • The observer should not offer opinions on the outcome of the practicum.

A triad conference at the school should be arranged to review the interim report and the cross-check observation. 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 will be informed of the decision to terminate the practicum and asked to contact the practicum program manager in the Teacher Education Office.

Termination of Practicum

When necessary, the university or the school will terminate a practicum prior to completion. Whenever possible, the teacher candidate will receive a written summary of the practicum to the point of termination. School and faculty advisors may consult with the practicum program manager and the guidelines for school and faculty advisors.

Whenever possible, teacher candidates experiencing significant difficulties should receive an interim report and have their performance 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 certifying practicum, and although they have demonstrated significant progress, their final evaluations (final reports and performance checklists) indicate that they are not yet at the level of a beginning teacher.

In such cases, advisors may assign a Conditional Fail (“S”) grade with the recommendation for a six-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 six-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
  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. Upon completion of the certifying practicum, teacher candidates are required to meet expectations for the items on this checklist at the level of a beginning teacher.

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 certifying weeks or summative phase of the practicum. 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:

  • Read through all of the observations made of your teacher candidate. Look for patterns, such as areas where there has been growth.
  • 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. Faculty advisors should write their final reports on UBC letterhead, while school advisors should write final reports on school letterhead. All final reports MUST be signed and dated.

The report should contain the following items:

  1. A brief description of the context in which the practicum took place.
  2. A general description of the grades/courses/units/themes prepared by the teacher candidate.
  3. A general description of the workload and extent of involvement in the school community.
  4. 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 two to three pages in length that is specific to the candidate’s achievement.

After revising and sharing the final report with your teacher candidate, upload signed copies to E-Review.

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 certifying practicum. This confidential information about teacher candidates is not for distribution by schools, school advisors, faculty advisors, or the Teacher Education Office. 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 achievement.

Performance Checklist

At the completion of the certifying practicum, teacher candidates are required to be meeting expectations (M) for the items on this checklist at the level of a beginning teacher.

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
  • M = Consistently meeting expectations

A rubric outlining performance standards for each of the checklist criterion is available by contacting the Teacher Education Office.