Secondary Practicum

Winter Term 1

Winter Term 1: September to December

Practicum Preparation
Term 1 Seminars on Campus

Weekly seminars are conducted during EDUC 315 and provide a forum for teacher candidates to gather information about practicum and to learn from guest speakers on important educational issues. A schedule will be provided by the practicum program manager during orientation.

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. 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, EDUC 421. Teacher candidates are encouraged to observe various classrooms and settings throughout the school in addition to those of their school advisor(s)

EDUC 315 Expectations

Typically, secondary teacher candidates observe for the first few days and then begin gradually engaging in teaching activities. The focus for teacher candidates is on cultivating professional relationships and understandings toward teaching, learning, inquiry and reflection.

The EDUC 315 experience will vary from school to school. During the weekly visits and the two-week practicum, 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.
  • Offer assistance with extracurricular activities at the school.
  • Learn about the philosophy and culture of the school.
  • Observe different classrooms, subject areas, grade levels, and instructional contexts (e.g., school library, resource room, etc.).
  • Participate in seminars with school and/or district personnel (e.g., teacher-librarian, principal, district coordinators).
  • Visit other schools in the district or the district administration office and/or resource centre.
  • 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.
  • Discuss observations and experiences with school and faculty advisors.

During the second week of the two-week practicum, an appropriate minimum teaching workload of 20% (about one block per day) is assigned. While not expected to prepare unit plans or a series of connected lessons at this point, teacher candidates can expect to prepare and teach a number of lessons that the school advisor(s)/faculty advisor will observe. 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.

Weekly visits for EDUC 315 resume after the two-week practicum and continue until the end of Winter Term 1. 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). Teacher candidates have opportunities to consult with the Education Library and teacher education mentors, access resources, and attend events to prepare for practicum.

EDUC 315 Grading Policy

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

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 and the host school reserves the right to require a teacher candidate to withdraw from the Faculty if they are 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. (UBC Calendar – Bachelor of Education Academic Policies and Regulations (“Expectations for the Professional Conduct of Teacher Candidates”)

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 Term 2

Winter Term 2: February to May

EDUC 421 – Certifying Practicum

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 certifying practicum.

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 during practicum to systematically and analytically reflect upon teaching in a professional and educational community.
Teaching Load

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. Lesson preparation should be done during the school advisor’s assigned preparation block or outside of instructional time.

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

School Placement

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.

Practicum placements for the Extended practicum (EDUC 421) are in schools in the Lower Mainland and in selected locations throughout the province. The availability of placements in some areas may be limited and students must be prepared to accept placement for the two- and ten-week practica anywhere within 125 km of the UBC campus. Students make their own arrangements for and bear the cost of personal transportation and accommodation during practica.