Experience and Practicum Information for School Associates
EDUC 401/402: School and Community and Classroom Experiences (PDP)
The EDUC 401/402 Semester is a ‘full’ semester, both in breadth and depth. It provides student teachers with a multitude of learning experiences: on the university campus, in school classrooms, and in both community and school environments. All of these differing learning opportunities are connected to educational theories and involve investigation of ‘best practice’ through seminars, workshops, facilitated conversation, and professional reading. In this integrated way, theoretical understandings are explored through experiences and practice is viewed through an emergent reflective and theoretical lens.
EDUC 403: Classroom Experiences (PLP)
The Professional Linking Program (PLP) is a four-semester teacher education program designed specifically for paraprofessionals (e.g. student support workers, special education assistants, social workers, child and youth care workers, adult educators, etc.) who currently work in educational environments in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley. While PLP student teachers have considerable experience working as a para-educator (many in the K-12 educational system), 403 Experiences is their first formal teacher education school-based experience and is intended to help prepare them for the Education 405 Semester. During 403 Experiences, which is three weeks in length, PLP student teachers begin their in-school experience by observing children and working with them under the direction of their School Associate. Teaching practice begins first with small groups and when appropriate, student teachers will teach specific lessons to larger groups. As planning skills and familiarity with the classroom develop, students plan and teach a mini-unit consisting of three-to-five sequential lessons. We request that School Associates dialogue daily with and provide on-going feedback to their student teacher, as well as undertake formal observations whenever your student engages in classroom instruction.
For more information on the Professional Linking Program structure, please visit: sfu.ca/education/teachersed/programs/plp/program-structure
EDUC 405/406: Practicum
During the teaching semester, each student is placed with a School Associate(s) for 10 – 12 weeks of student teaching, which includes an extended period where the student teacher assumes primary instructional responsibilities. During this semester, the School Associate and Faculty Associate provide help and guidance, as well as make assessments of student’s growth, toward the achievement of standards of professional competence.
EDUC 405 Sequence of Events
The following sequence of professional experiences is presented as an example of what may constitute Education 405 experiences.
- Unit Planning: Your student teacher will be developing unit and lesson plans prior to the start of their 405 practicum.
- Phase-in (2 weeks): In general, student teachers spend this phase connecting with students, members of staff, and administration, becoming oriented to the school, and co-teaching with their school associate(s) in order to prepare for the full-immersion phase of the 405 practicum.
- Full-Immersion phase (7-8 weeks):
- Student teachers accepted to teach at the elementary level are teaching 80% of the school associate(s) teaching load during full immersion.
- Student teachers accepted to teach at the secondary level are teaching 75% of the school associate(s) teaching load during full immersion.
- Phase-out (1 week): During phase-out, student teachers gradually pass teaching responsibilities back to the school associate(s) as units of study are completed. Phase-out can also provide time for students to observe other classes and/or have alternate experiences within the school.
Please note: Timing for each 405 practicum phase is approximate in order to provide flexibility for the needs of the student teacher. Any changes of timing during the 405 practicum should be discussed in consultation with the supervising faculty associate.