School Associates

Advance the profession. Become a school associate. 

At SFU, we're committed to developing outstanding teachers. But we need your help. 

If you're an experienced educator who's willing to collaborate and share your classroom with someone excited to join the profession, consider becoming a school associate today.  

What is a school associate?

School associates are experienced educators who mentor high-calibre student teachers though various stages of their teacher education program.

Our student teachers have passed a rigorous and competitive application process that includes exceptional professional references, previous experience working with school-aged children, and the successful completion of university coursework.  

Who can become a school associate?

For this role we welcome generalist elementary school teachers (K-7), as well as secondary school teachers in the following subject areas: 

  • Computing science
  • Core French
  • Drama
  • French immersion (all subjects)
  • Language arts
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical and health education
  • Science - biology, chemistry, physics and earth science
  • Social studies
  • Visual arts

What does a school associate do?

School associates help student teachers make sense of the vast and complex world of educational practice. This means inviting student teachers into your classroom to observe your teaching practice, as well as mentoring and supporting them as they develop their own instructional practice. 

As a school associate, no two days will be the same, but you can expect to: 

  • Schedule regular meetings with student teachers to discuss expectations, instructional responsibilities, and their development;
  • Share resources and understandings of what you teach, how and why;
  • Provide ongoing feedback, informally and in writing;
  • Liaise with faculty associates to discuss the extent and nature of the student teacher’s growth.

What is the placement schedule like?

The placement schedule depends on which program the student teacher is completing. You can view our range of professional programs here.

The Professional Development Program (PDP) — our largest program — has two placement semesters: 

  • Spring: Five-week school experience (Feb-Mar)
  • Fall: Ten-week certifying practicum (Sep-Dec)

Spring placement (5 weeks)

This five-week, introductory placement takes place in the PDP's second semester. Working around spring break, it is generally divided into two parts (see below). In the later weeks, student teachers are expected to teach a mini-unit of approximately five lessons. 

  • School and classroom observations (one week)
  • Classroom experiences (four weeks)

Fall placement (10 weeks)

Student teachers complete a ten-week certifying practicum during the PDP's fourth and final semester. During this time, they are expected to assume 75-80% of instructional time. The program's structure equips the student teachers with 12-months of preparation, including methodology courses, before starting their practicum semester.

What are the benefits of becoming a school associate?

Most school associates agree that mentoring a student teacher is a professionally enriching experience unlike any other. Often, school associates learn just as much, or more, than the student teacher. 

Primary benefits include:

  • SFU Tuition Fee Credits (transferrable; valued at approximately $800)
  • Advancing the teaching profession by helping to develop new teachers
  • Reflecting on your instructional practice by observing student teachers
  • Engaging in dialogue around the latest educational theories, research and curriculum
  • Building rapport and professional relationships with your future colleagues
  • Attracting high-calibre new teachers to your school and district

How do I register my interest?

Please speak to your school administrator about becoming a school associate. School associates MUST be recommended to SFU by their administrator. 

If you are a school administrator, please use the 2020 school associate recruitment form to register a teacher's interest*

Registrations of interest should be submitted by the following dates: 

  • Fall (Sep-Dec) - registrations close May 4, 2020
  • Spring (Feb-Mar) - registrations close Nov 9, 2020

*Please note: registering a teacher's interest does NOT guarantee a student teacher will be placed with them. 

For more information, please contact our placement coordinators:

2020/21 UPDATE

We are here to support you while you mentor your student teacher, especially during this unusual year. We can be as flexible and adaptable as needed - whether you are teaching students face-to-face, online, hybrid, in the quarter system or on a linear timeline. Please reach out if you have any questions about your unique situation.

When I went through the PDP I had an amazing experience and I was mentored by some incredible teachers that I learned so much from. Now as a school associate, I love seeing the energy that the student teachers bring into my classroom. They're so excited. It's contageous. 

- Tami McDiarmid