Teacher Candidate Newsletters
An archive of weekly newsletters sent to teacher candidates in the BEd program during the COVID-19 pandemic:
2020/21 BEd Program:
- Remote Teaching and Learning Resources
- COVID-19 Admissions FAQS for Applicants
- Well-being Resources and Mental Health Support
- TEO COVID-19 Safety Plan
- COVID-19: Faculty of Education Updates
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) and UBC’s Response
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions about the 2019/20 Bachelor of Education program
Admissions FAQs regarding COVID-19 for prospective students can be found here.
Do interim reports go on final reports?
No, interim reports are standalone documents, and issues raised on interim reports do not necessarily get mentioned on final reports.
How will supplemental practicums be assessed by districts? If we do a supplemental practicum, would we send the reports from the new placement and the original placement?
This year, the situation is quite different with supplementals. In previous years, they were recommended to teacher candidates who completed the entire 10-week extended practicum, made significant progress, but still needed more time to improve to a passing standard. This year, supplementals are being assigned to most TCs as a result of the COVID-19 situation and the fact that face-to-face instruction has been greatly restricted — so TCs who have been granted ‘supps’ are not necessarily going to be viewed in a lesser light than other TCs.
As for reports, in most cases TCs will decide to send only the final report from the supplemental practicum to prospective employers; that said, this year it may not be unusual if TCs decide to send the final report from their remote/online experience as well. It is the TC’s prerogative which reports they wish to provide to school districts.
Some practicum schools are now allowing teachers to work/broadcast lessons on school premises. Is it okay for TCs to do this, or is it restricted by the UBC COVID-related rules of professional conduct that were outlined for us at the beginning of the crisis?
If activities are going on in schools, and you are asked/invited to participate, you are free to do so if they are abiding by the rules of the Provincial Health Officer, and you feel comfortable with entering the site.
If we choose to defer to the fall practicum, will we have the same FA?
This will depend on the circumstances surrounding your fall practicum. Some TCs will retain the same FA, others may not. Each case will be treated on an individual basis.
Will there be an additional cost for the fall supplemental practicum?
Teacher candidates may withdraw from the virtual practicum and opt for a supplemental in the fall. The additional weeks in the fall are an ‘extension’ of the currently registered extended practicum (EDUC 418, 419, 421, 495 or 496) and therefore, is included in the tuition paid in Winter 2019.
Will TCs have access to the evaluation criteria before they make a decision about whether to participate in the online practicum or defer until the fall?
Yes. The criteria/guidelines for the online practicum have been shared with all faculty advisors and teacher candidates since this question was asked.
If we have to do a supplemental practicum in the fall would it be for two weeks (to make up the time missing to reach the 10-certification threshold) or for six weeks? Would we start in the first week of September?
A supplemental practicum is six weeks. Typically, we ask teacher candidates to volunteer for two weeks prior to the start of the experience to establish relationships with students and advisors. Ideally, we like to start supplemental practicums in September but this may be a challenge to arrange if schools are still closed in June.
What if a TC becomes sick with COVID-19 and cannot take part in the practicum for a few weeks?
Absence due to illness of any kind for a few days can be accommodated. Extended absences will likely result in the need for a Standing Deferred.
Regarding the proposal for the 10 weeks of cumulative time for certification, does that mean 10 continuous weeks, or can it be broken into chunks of time?
Ideally, and initially, it was 10 continuous weeks. Given the circumstances with COVID-19, we have been given permission by the certifying body to accept 10 weeks of cumulative time in schools, which would include time spent on the short practicum and weekly visits, along with a certain component of time being spent in an online capacity.
How will FAs be “observing" TCs during the practicum?
Teacher candidates can share units and lessons with FAs in the usual manner, but actual observations may differ greatly from traditional methods. If possible, FAs may be able to “participate” in online lessons as a spectator in video conferences. If other forms of lessons are developed, TCs are encouraged to actively engage their FAs in these lessons as much as possible.
For the potential five-week online practicum, how will the teaching load be allocated? For example, will TCs be expected to start at 80% as per initial breakdown?
No, the prescribed teaching load requirements will no longer apply. FAs will guide teacher candidates as to appropriate teaching loads based on individual situations. Due to the vastly different teaching environment most schools will be engaging in, no specific teaching loads will be required.
How are split grades going to be considered? For some TCs that have split grades, their SAs are developing different learning opportunities for each grade and they may be expected to do more.
When you return to work with your school advisor, expect to support the school advisor within the framework provided. It will be a collaborative approach. We are not requiring teacher candidates to meet the expectations outlined in the Practicum Guidelines (e.g., 80% teaching load for four weeks).
Community Field Experience (CFE)
If we haven't had any administrators observe our teaching, would CFE collaborators in other institutions, such as non-profits, be considered good references?
They may be. It will depend on a number of factors, but there is no reason why you can’t add a reference who is associated with your CFE.
One of the CFE idea suggestions is offering “education support for the young people in my life”. I have two school-aged kids, and I am responsible for their at-home learning. How would I submit something for my CFE regarding this?
Keeping a log of activities and projects, including planning, would be a good way to approach this type of CFE project. In these types of projects, there is also an increased emphasis on the reflective part of the assignment: what went well, what didn’t go as well as planned, how would you change it if you did it again, etc. You might also consider the use of a blog or website to document everything.
Is there an expectation for the size of our CFE contribution? For e.g., if we have an online blog—how do we determine what is enough? Also, if we are running a blog for the CFE, is it alright to hand in a project artifact that is still ongoing?
There isn't any set expectation for the size of your CFE project. In most cases, if there is any concern about the amount of work done for your project, it will be expressed by your faculty advisor as your project develops. As far as handing in a project that is ongoing, that is perfectly acceptable.
The schools may open for children of “essential service workers”. My SA will not be going in to teach if this happens. Am I able to go in to teach even if she isn’t?
In most cases, if your SA is not going into the school site, you will not be either. You should consult with your FA and also the program coordinator for assistance if you have further questions regarding this potential scenario.
What are some examples of acceptable CFE projects?
- Physical and Health Education – creating a website to enhance physical activities at home
- Garden educational videos – How to start a community garden
- Supporting cousins, nieces and nephews with learning
- Instructional video – How to incorporate First Peoples worldviews and perspectives to make connections to mathematical concepts
- Virtual tours of an historic area
- French language development for Intensive French
- Indigenous education – Create curriculum around home languages for your home communities
- Science 7 - A series of flipped lessons on electromagnetic force
- How to create an effective podcast
- Starting a campaign to support the Food Bank
- Supporting vulnerable learners, children of essential service workers, ELL learners with remote learning
- Connecting with organizations like the Covenant House or mental health organizations to work with children and youth
- Starting a neighbourhood “bike library” where kids can borrow a bike until they outgrow it. Then exchange the bike for a larger one.
Are students in the teacher updating program (with no CFE requirement) expected to go until May 15?
Teacher candidates enrolled in our teacher updating program are expected to complete the 10-week practicum. With this in mind, they should remain in their placements until May 15, in order to obtain the appropriate number of weeks for the extended practicum.
If I volunteer or do my CFE with my school, and the teachers work at school all day, is it okay that I go to the school?
Policies for social distancing have been put in place by the schools/school districts at this time. Please speak to your FA first.
Regarding the CFE proposal, could a TC work with another TC, in the same or different cohort, who has a different FA?
There are no restrictions in this regard.
What will the guidelines and assessment criteria be for CFE?
FAs will be sharing criteria in the coming weeks.
Is the CFE a requirement by UBC/TEO or by the Teacher Certification Branch (TCB)? If it is the TCB, is there flexibility in its completion—to accommodate practicum hours?
The CFE is not a requirement by the Teacher Certification Branch; rather, it is a requirement for the UBC Bachelor of Education degree. When the CFE takes place in situ, teacher candidates are expected to participate for 15 full days (a minimum of 5 hours per day) and an assignment is comprised of weekly reflections. The CFE this year will involve modification to an alternate format and will involve the completion of an assignment associated with the online learning environment, in which all TCs will be teaching this spring. Specific details will be shared with FAs/TCs shortly.
Is it possible for teacher candidates to postpone the CFE?
If a TC postpones the CFE, they would be returning to the program in spring 2021 to complete the community field experience. This is definitely an option.
If a TC decides to end their program now and come back and finish later will they still have the opportunity to complete the same CFE?
Our CFE partners change every year, so we will ask you to re-register for the CFE in the fall of the year you return. If your initial CFE partner is still participating in the CFE, we will explore the possibility of you returning to them.
Will teacher candidates in the Chef’s Concurrent Program be asked to do a CFE?
The CFE is not a requirement for the Chef’s Concurrent BEd program. For further advising about this program option, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
Housing, Tuition, and Finances
(Tuition) Will you commit to using your platforms to approach those in charge of UBC's student fees in order to advocate for your students, who have brought forward their needs with regards to financial difficulty during these times?
As much as we can, we will of course advocate for your concerns. Again, many of the financial issues are beyond the immediate control of the Faculty of Education, so we cannot guarantee to what degree our voice will be heard by the larger University — but we will do our best.
(Tuition) Will the University be charging an additional fee for distance education courses?
As far as the TEO is aware, the standard additional fee that UBC charges for distance education courses does not apply, given the current extraordinary circumstances.
(Tuition) If we can’t take up a concern about tuition with Teacher Education, with whom do we take up these concerns?
This would be something to take up with Enrolment Services. As mentioned during the Town Hall, the Faculty of Education does not set policies in this regard, as these matters are determined by the University itself.
(Housing) Many TCs do not live locally in Vancouver and have rental contracts that go until August or shortly after the original end date of the program. How will UBC navigate this housing issue if students are unable to find new housing if the program extends beyond the 11-month program timeline that we originally signed up for?
Teacher candidates may need to navigate their concerns around their rental agreements directly with their landlords if their program timeline extends beyond 11 months. If issues involve UBC housing, it’s advised to contact email@example.com and UBC Housing.
(Tuition) What is happening with the fee structure based on TCs paying for a 10-week practicum and a 3-week CFE?
Tuition fees remain the same, as teacher candidates will be completing the registered courses. The extended practicum is a 12-credit course and the CFE is a 1-credit course. The CFE is a mandatory component of the BEd program. For student fees information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and an Enrolment Services Advisor assisting BEd students will be able to answer.
(Awards) In regards to financial awards based on performance and excellence in practicum, will there be any changes to this model?
Awards and prizes will be adjudicated as they typically have been, based on TC performance (coursework) and faculty nominations. The language of the awards themselves determine the criteria for consideration (that means the donor and gifts offices); but awards will be given in August as per typical, based on all possible criteria to date as it will be within the awards cycle. Outstanding Practicum will be nominated by FAs in consultation with SAs (this is not a financial award).
(U-Pass) What is happening with the U-Pass?
Post-secondary institutions and student associations in British Columbia have worked with TransLink to temporarily suspend the U-Pass BC program as of May 1, 2020. The U-Pass fee has been removed from students' 2020 Summer assessment as services have been suspended. For more details, please visit this link or contact an ESA at email@example.com.
Certification & Graduation
What is the current situation of TTOCs? How do TTOCs work under current circumstances? Will they be laid off if schools are closed for long?
This is really a question that should be posed to school districts. We can only speculate about what is going in with districts, but given the current situation it is probably safe to say that TTOCs are not being assigned as much as they normally would. Whether this leads to eventual layoffs is up to each individual school district.
What two bodies do we need to apply to for regulation?
You need to apply to both the Teacher Certification Branch (TCB) and the Teachers Qualification Service (TQS). The TCB certifies you, and the TQS determines your correct salary category.
Will we still have a graduation ceremony and photos?
That is beyond the scope of the Faculty, as the University has a specific branch (Ceremonies & Events) that arranges graduation. So you should stay in contact with that group to stay updated on your graduation ceremony. As far as photos go, you can obtain information about this by visiting this link.
On the TCB application, should teacher candidates check the box for "online courses"?
We advise you to leave it unchecked at this time; we will be in communication with the TCB about the application process and will advise at a later date if any changes need to be made to your application.
If the permission is granted for the five-week online continuation, would the certificate awarded have a diminished value—interim or in some other way reduced in terms of qualifications?
If teacher candidates complete 10 weeks with a combination of face-to-face and online teaching, teacher candidates should expect to be fully certified.
When do TCs usually obtain their BEd degree? Is there a way for UBC to guarantee future internationally-based employers that we will be graduating?
When final grades are entered for all courses (end of summer term 2), the program coordinator (for elementary & middle years or secondary) is able to provide a letter confirming that a teacher candidate (internationally hired) will graduate and on what date. The letter is signed and date stamped, and the confirmation suffices in the interim until the teacher candidate is able to send their official transcript to the employer indicating the Bachelor of Education degree credential on the transcript. We can provide the letters to TCs for this purpose. We require evidence of having been offered a position and we can write it as soon as all final grades are entered on their academic record (i.e., end of summer term 2).
Is there any reason teacher candidates should not be applying for teaching positions at this time?
Teacher candidates can open their accounts on Make a Future and apply for job postings. They can upload their cover letters and resumes to their account. What is not available yet to upload are final reports. However, these are not expected until after May 15 (for secondary TCs). When they are received, TCs can add them to their accounts. Teacher candidates are recruited every year by school districts while their programs are in progress. They are hired and then whether they remain in their contracts depends upon the school district being notified of their successful graduation and teacher certification.
Are there any school districts hiring now for Fall?
Many districts, including Surrey, Richmond, Langley and North Vancouver, are currently hiring and actively processing applications. Visit Make a Future for opportunities.
Campus & Building Access
When will we be allowed to go back on campus to get our stuff from our lockers?
We are communicating regularly with the University to determine their policies behind allowing individuals into buildings. Currently, faculty and staff are still not allowed into the Scarfe Building, so we are still at a point where students will not be able to pick up their belongings from lockers. When we receive word of any changes to this policy, we will let you know immediately.