Secondary Practicum

Winter Session Term 1 – September to December

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. Weekly visits for EDUC 315 continue until the end of Winter Term 1.

One-day visits are arranged before and after the two-week short practicum, and 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 certifying practicum.

The school placement for EDUC 315 typically becomes the setting for the certifying practicum. Teacher candidates normally observe various classrooms and settings throughout the school in addition to those of their school advisor(s).

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

  • Review school health and safety protocols.
  • Build relationships with school advisors, students and the school community.
  • Visit and observe in many different classrooms, instructional contexts (e.g., school library, resource room), 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 and/or
    resource centre.
  • Assist in extracurricular activities at the school.
  • Determine official practicum advisors and teaching load for the certifying practicum.
  • Team-teach with 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.
  • While not expected to prepare unit plans or a series of connected lessons at
    this point, teacher candidates can expect to prepare and/or teach a number of lessons that the school advisors/faculty advisor will observe, starting near the end of Week 1.
  • Discuss observations and experiences with school and faculty advisors.

School advisors and teacher candidates will engage in ongoing dialogue about the units, themes, and topics for which teacher candidates will be responsible during the certifying practicum (EDUC 421 or 496). Teacher candidates have opportunities to consult with the Education Library and teacher education mentors and access resources and events to prepare for practicum.

EDUC 315 continues after the two-week school placement; teacher candidates return to their schools one day per week until mid-December, on selected dates as scheduled by the Teacher Education Office.

EDUC 315 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 week one.

During the second week, an appropriate minimum teaching workload of 20% (about one 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. If supported by all advisors, teacher candidates are welcome to teach more during this time.

EDUC 315 Grading Policy

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

With the exception of those cases where the practicum has been terminated, a teacher candidate who withdraws from EDUC 315 prior to the two-week orientation practicum shall have the course removed from their transcript.

With the exception of those cases where the practicum has been terminated, a teacher candidate who begins but withdraws prior to the scheduled conclusion of the two-week orientation practicum shall receive a W (“Withdrawn”) standing for EDUC 315.

In those cases where a practicum has been terminated, or a teacher candidate has completed the two-week orientation practicum unsuccessfully, a grade of F (“Fail”) will be assigned for EDUC 315.

Winter Session Term 2 – February to May

The certifying 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 (see “Advancement”)

The following principles provide guidance for the certifying 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.
  • Are gradually immersed into teaching, permitting them to assume increasing responsibility as they demonstrate proficiency.
  • Participate in a variety of teaching and observational experiences.
  • Engage in a feedback process with their school and faculty advisors.
  • Are involved in the assessment of their own teaching practice.
  • Are provided with opportunities 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 a minimum of four consecutive weeks at an 80% teaching load:

  • Their teaching load may be reduced in the final week(s) in consultation with their advisors.
  • They assist or observe their school advisors in the classroom.

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

Unit teaching plans must be submitted to advisors at least one week before being taught.

School Placement

Placement decisions are made by the practicum program manager in collaboration with faculty advisors and school administrators. Teacher candidates should raise any questions/concerns about placements as early as possible in the program to their faculty advisor and/or the practicum program manager.

Following successful completion of a 10-week certifying school-based practicum, all teacher candidates in the BEd program complete a three-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) 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.

CFE Expectations

Teacher candidates are expected to:

  • To meet or correspond with their community partners to determine expectations for the three-week experience.
  • To understand that their workload will not necessarily involve teaching in a classroom environment.
  • To attend to their CFE five days a week over three weeks.
  • To adhere at all times to professional conduct as outlined in the Bachelor of Education Program Guidelines.
  • To comply with the attendance and participation policies.
  • To work with their community partner as an unpaid student-volunteer.
  • To be actively involved in all aspects of the placement and complete any tasks related to the placement.
  • To collaborate with colleagues on designated projects (if required).
  • To ensure that at the end of the CFE, the community partner has completed and submitted an online CFE Community Partner Comment Form.
  • To 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. These opportunities may necessitate extra costs that are the responsibility of the successful applicants.

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

EDUC 430 Grading Policy

In those cases where a CFE placement has been terminated, or a teacher candidate has completed the three-week field experience unsuccessfully, a grade of F (“Fail”) shall be assigned for EDUC 430.

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