School Associates

Applications open:
Always open for Administrator Recommendations

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 mentor and school associate. Speak to your administrator today.  

Already a School Associate? View Resources.

Overview

As a school associate, you can help student teachers make sense of the vast and complex world of educational practice by inviting them into your classroom to observe your teaching practice, as well as mentoring and supporting them as they develop their own instructional practice.

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 Should Apply

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

  • Computing Science
  • Dance
  • French Immersion (all subjects)
  • Mathematics
  • Physical and Health Education
  • Social Studies
  • Core French
  • Drama
  • Language Arts
  • Music
  • Science - Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science
  • Visual Arts

About the experience

Most school associates agree that mentoring a student teacher is a professional enriching experience unlike any other. No two days will be the same. Often, school associates learn just as much as the students do.

Roles and responsibilities

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

Benefits

  • SFU Tuition Fee Credits (transferrable, valued at approximately $800) - offered to school associates, in-school coordinators and administrators
  • Advancing the teacher profession by helping 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

Structure: Placements and Practicums

Depending on the program, school associates work with student teachers in three-, six- and ten-week placements in live classroom settings. The in-school coordinator works with the faculty associate and colleagues in the school to set up opportunities for focused observations in different classrooms with a variety of enrolling and non-enrolling instructors and paraprofessionals.

Professional Development Program (PDP)

Starting in September each year, the PDP is our largest teacher education program for aspiring K-12 school teachers.  

Program Schedule

Spring Semester: EDUC 401/402 (6 weeks)

EDUC 401/402 provides student teachers with a multitude of learning experiences in on-campus, classroom, school and community environments. These experiences are connected to educational theories and the investigation of best practices. 

This introductory in-school experience starts with student teachers observing the school community under the direction of a school associate. This is followed by a more intensive five-week classroom experience. As their skills develop, the student teacher will teach a mini-unit consisting of three to five sequential lessons. 

School associates are asked to engage in daily dialogue with their student teacher and provide ongoing feedback. You'll also conduct formal observations whenever the student teacher engages in classroom instruction.

Fall Semester: EDUC 405 (10 weeks)

  • DATES: September 14 - 15, 2022 (observation and planning); September 26 - November 29, 2022 (certifying practicum)

In the PDP's fourth and final semester, student teachers are placed with a school associate for a ten-week practicum. School associates and faculty associates work together to guide and assess the student teacher's growth and achievement of professional competence.

Example:

  • Unit planning: Student teachers develop unit and lesson plans prior to the start of their practicum.
  • Phase-in (2 weeks): Student teachers use this time to connect with students, staff and school administration. As they become more familiar with the school, they may begin co-teaching with their school associate(s) to prepare for the full-immersion phase.
  • Full immersion (7–8 weeks): Student teachers teaching at the elementary level assume 80 per cent of instructional time during this phase. Student teachers teaching at the secondary level assume 75 per cent of instructional time during this phase.
  • Phase-out (1 week): 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 to allow flexibility for the needs of the student teacher. Any changes in timing during the 405 practicum should be discussed in consultation with the supervising faculty associate.

Professional Linking Program (PLP)

Starting in January, the PLP is a teacher education progam specifically designed for education paraprofessionals, including student support workers, special education assistants, social workers, child and youth care workers, adult educators, etc.  

Program Schedule

Fall Semester: EDUC 403 (3 weeks)

  • DATES: Group A: October 3 – 21, 2022, Group B: October 24 – November 10, 2022, French: October 17 - November 4, 2022

While PLP students have considerable experience, often in the K–12 educational system, EDUC 403 is their first formal school-based experience and is intended to prepare them for EDUC 405. 

The three-week in-school experience starts with student teachers observing classrooms under the direction of a school associate. When appropriate, the student teacher will start their teaching practice working with a small group before moving on to teach specific lessons to larger groups. As their skills develop, the student teacher will teach a mini-unit consisting of three to five sequential lessons. 

School associates are asked to engage in daily dialogue with the student teacher and provide ongoing feedback. You'll also conduct formal observations whenever the student teacher engages in classroom instruction.

Spring Semester: EDUC 405 (10 weeks)

  • DATES: TBC 2023

In the PLP's fourth and final semester, student teachers are placed with a school associate for a 10-week practicum. School associates and faculty associates work together to guide and assess the student teacher's growth and achievement in professional competence.

Example: 

  • Unit Planning: Student teachers develop unit and lesson plans prior to the start of their practicum.
  • Phase-in (2 weeks): Student teachers use this time to connect with students, staff and school administration. As they become more familiar with the school, they may begin co-teaching with their school associate(s) to prepare for the full-immersion phase.
  • Full immersion (7-8 weeks): Student teachers teaching at the elementary level assume 80 per cent of instructional time during this phase. Student teachers teaching at the secondary level assume 75 per cent of instructional time during this phase.
  • Phase-out (1 week): 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 to allow flexibility for the needs of the student teacher. Any changes in timing during the 405 practicum should be discussed in consultation with the supervising faculty associate.

Application Process

Apply as a teacher or mentor

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

Administrators, recommend school associates

If you are a school administrator, please use the school associate recruitment form to register a teacher's interest. Registering a teacher's interest does not guarantee that a student teacher will be placed with them.

Contact us

Contact our team for information, support and services.