Guidelines for School Advisors

During the initial school experience, school advisors are both mentors and models for teacher candidates. This process continues through to the certifying practicum. Please refer to the following guidelines:

Relationship Building

  • Get to know the teacher candidate. Endeavour to create a warm, friendly working relationship.
  • Learn specific strengths and needs of your teacher candidate.
  • What do they 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.
  • Provide opportunities for your teacher candidate to become familiar with the school and district personnel.

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 as they arise to provide guidance.
  • 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. Frequent feedback is particularly helpful during the earlier stages of teacher candidates’ development and especially when there are concerns.
  • Always 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 “Concerns about a Teacher Candidate’s Performance”.
  • Monitor your teacher candidate’s teaching performance, and gradually increase workload and responsibilities. Consult with your teacher candidate and with the faculty advisor in making this decision.
  • Collaborate with other school advisors and the staff as a whole to provide support and professional development for your teacher candidate.

Accommodations

Teacher candidates with formal accommodations at UBC are registered with the UBC Centre for Accessibility. Accommodations are implemented under UBC Policy LR7 (Accommodation for Students with Disabilities) in compliance with UBC’s duty under the British Columbia Human Rights Code, and in a way that respects dignity, privacy, and autonomy. Once accommodated, students are responsible for following accommodations procedures in order to meet the essential requirements of their course, program or activity.

Specific details about reasons for accommodations are confidential and are not included in Letters of Accommodation provided by the Centre for Accessibility. Typically, teacher candidates with accommodations will meet prior to practicum with their Centre for Accessibility advisor, Teacher Education Office personnel (the practicum program manager and program manager), to discuss particular supports that may be required in order to fulfill the practicum and meet essential requirements. Examples may include assistive technologies, and/or extended timelines by school and faculty advisors for preparing lesson plans for feedback purposes.

Teacher candidates may choose to share reasons for their accommodations with their respective advisors; however, this information may not then be shared without teacher candidate permission to any other parties on their behalf. As well, references to accommodations should not be included in any practicum feedback or advising, evaluations, formal or informal, verbal or written. This is in accordance with the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This information is disclosed to specific parties on a ‘need-to-know’ basis in order for them to perform their duties under the terms of UBC Policy LR7.

It is considered best practice therefore, to not refer to accommodations in discussions with teacher candidates, but rather ask: “Is there anything I need to know in order to best support you in being successful?” This avoids directly asking whether a student has accommodations, or has a disability, as this would be considered a breach of privacy.

Frequently Asked Questions about UBC Policy LR7 (Accommodation for Students with Disabilities)

Academic concessions and temporary health issues are handled by the Teacher Education Office personnel (practicum program manager and program manager of the program option in which the teacher candidate is enrolled—Elementary & Middle Years or Secondary).


Evaluation

School advisors are asked to complete all of the necessary forms associated with each of the practicum experiences. In addition to completion of all forms, school advisors are expected:

  • To regularly observe lessons taught by the teacher candidate.
  • To provide general feedback and suggestions for improvement, along with opportunities for reflection.
  • To discuss and confirm teaching assignments for each practicum.
  • To provide adequate instructional opportunities to fulfill the requirements of each practicum, in particular the 80% full load portion of the certifying practicum.
  • To review/evaluate initial planning provided by the teacher candidate, prior to units and/or specific lessons. Provide a general timeline for submission of planning, and suggestions for revision prior to implementation, if necessary.
  • To discuss growth areas with the teacher candidate. Use the information from observation assessments to set goals or to identify priorities for future planning and instruction.
  • To guide the teacher candidate in self-assessment on a regular basis.
  • To complete formal observations and submit documentation using E-Review software.
  • To meet with the teacher candidate and the faculty advisor at prescribed times to review the performance of the teacher candidate (e.g., practicum mid-point, practicum conclusion, required interim report meetings—if necessary).
  • To discuss specific concerns and complete necessary processes, if the teacher candidate is having difficulty (see section “Concerns About a Teacher Candidate’s Performance”).
  • To confirm that the teacher candidate has met the requirements for each practicum, and is permitted to proceed to the next experience in the Bachelor of Education program.
  • To complete all required formal documentation summarizing the teacher candidate’s performance at the conclusion of each practicum.