Practicum Forms and Resources

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Teacher Candidate Profiles


School Boards

The Faculty of Education has Affiliation Agreements for Practicum placements with over 40 school boards across Ontario and a variety of private schools. A current list can be found below. The placement process is complex. Many school boards work with multiple faculties of education and as such, we must abide by the processes outlined by the individual boards. Candidates will select the school board of choice for practicum. Candidates cannot select specific schools, nor can they make their own arrangements for practicum. For some school districts, candidates can select zones or regions. There are many factors that must be considered for all placement requests: availability of Associate Teachers; Grade/Divisional requirements; Subject requirements for JI and IS.
Most of the school boards we work with have board personnel responsible for securing placements for our candidates. The boards provide us with placements that meet our requests – which include OCT accreditation requirements. Candidates must be prepared to accept any placement that is provided by the board. We have no control over these placements and if a candidate is unwilling to accept the placement as offered, they will need to defer the practicum until the end of the program.


List of School Boards

Associate Teachers

The Associate Teacher’s guidance and classroom leadership are vital to the development of the candidate’s professional skills, providing a mentored approach to experiential learning. Associate Teachers are recognized as curriculum leaders and exemplary classroom practitioners. Associate Teachers must demonstrate knowledge of current pedagogical practices and be able to provide effective coaching, modeling, and mentorship.
Most of our partner boards use a central placement process. The Human Resources department of the board will select suitable Associate Teachers and make appropriate placements for our candidates. We receive that information about Associate Teacher and placement details and update our database accordingly so Teacher Candidates can access their placement information. In some school boards, we directly contact school administrators with requests for placements. We rely on the school administrators to encourage and invite their staff to become associate teachers, and if a school principal suggests that we don’t add a teacher to our database, we will respect that request.
Teacher candidates cannot arrange their own placements with teachers. If candidates have a specific teacher that they would like to work with, they are encouraged to consider creating an opportunity for an Alternative Field Experience with that teacher. There are specific criteria that make a classroom experience an appropriate AFE – see AFE.
Each year candidates are invited to nominate associate teachers for an Award of Excellence, that recognizes the remarkable teaching, coaching, and mentorship provided by the associate to our candidates while on placement.

Practicum Placement

Provincial legislation requires that you get practice teaching experience in each of the divisions for which you are to be certified (primary & junior, junior & intermediate, or intermediate & senior).
We can arrange for practicum placements in over 40 publicly funded school boards in Ontario and in some private schools. Practicum processes and requirements are legislated by the Ontario College of Teachers.
Candidates must be teaching the Ontario Curriculum, and be supervised by a member of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT certified).
The OCT requires a minimum of 80 practicum days for program completion; our program has more than 80 practicum days scheduled.
Please note that we may not place candidates in French First Language schools/school boards as outlined in the Ontario College of Teachers Regulations.
  1. Primary-Junior: Candidates will be assigned at least one placement in JK-grade 3 (Primary), and one in grades 4-6 (Junior).
  2. Junior-Intermediate: Candidates will be assigned at least one placement in grades 4-6 (Junior), and one in grades 7-8 (Intermediate) in the teachable area if possible. Placements in grades 9 and 10 (Intermediate) may be made if Associate Teachers are available.
  3. Intermediate-Senior: Candidates will be assigned at least one placement in grades 7-10 (Intermediate) and one in grades 11-12 (Senior), with one in each of the teachable areas if possible. Although it is not required that you get a placement to teach in each of your teachable areas, we do our best to find you placements in both your teachable subjects.

Police Background Check

All school boards require candidates to have a Police Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening for all practicum placements. You are required to obtain the PRC/VSS from your local police jurisdiction – based on your Home/Permanent address. OPP and Toronto Police Services require a specific form from the Faculty of Education. If you require such a form to obtain the PRC, please email to request the form.

The PRC/VSS should indicate Western University as the requesting agency, and the purpose of the PRC/VSS is Student Practicum or Student Placement.

Please note: We cannot accept police checks obtained from THIRD PARTIES. They must be obtained directly from your local police services department.

The PRC/VSS must be valid for 6 months, that INCLUDES the last day of the placement. For example, a placement block that ends Dec. 20 must be dated June 20 or later, so that it remains valid until the end of the placement period.

Once candidates receive their PRC/VSS they must upload it to InPlace for verification. Failure to submit your police check within two weeks of the start of placement, may result in your practicum placement being delayed.

Candidates are required to keep the original VSS/PRC and have it available with them during Practicum. In some situations, you will be asked to provide a copy to the Board.

Teacher Candidate Responsibilities

The initial Teacher Education Program is designed to help candidates move from directed learning towards self-directed learning. The practical components of the program will support the instructional work at the faculty helping candidates to become more intentional in their learning while at the same time, consolidating their experiences.
Candidate enrolled in the program will be held to the standards of the profession.  
  • This program has high expectations for the candidates.  Teaching is a profession characterized by the educational expertise and knowledge you will develop in the program; the ethical standards that guide the profession; a focus on service orientation and teachers’ abilities to prioritize the well-being and learning of all students; the professional development that you will continuously be expected to participate in; and public trust and accountability that you will be entrusted with, holding you accountable for actions and decisions.
  • Candidates are expected to uphold the standards and regulations outlined in The Education Act of the Province of Ontario, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and Western University and the Faculty of Education policies and codes of conduct. Teacher candidates must demonstrate high levels of academic and professional integrity.
  • Teacher candidates are associate members of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) and must be aware of their responsibilities listed in the Teaching Profession Act.
  • Essential Skills and Abilities Requirement: Teacher Candidates must be able to demonstrate responsibility for the physical safety, psychological health, and educational well-being of students in schools. They must possess the cognitive, communicative, sensory/motor, emotional/social/interactional abilities necessary for these complex activities.  
  • Faculty of Education Attendance & Course Work Requirement: The Initial Teacher Education Program has a MANDATORY ATTENDANCE POLICY. Unexcused absences, non-participation in classes, and incomplete or unsatisfactory assignments or other course requirements, or instances of professional unsuitability, are grounds for denying a practicum placement. This includes attendance in the Transition to the Profession (T2P) series and MTM sessions.
  • Time Commitment: The Initial Teacher Education program requires a full-time commitment. When you are on Practicum, you will be onsite for the full school day as per their hours. When you are on Campus, the schedule is more demanding than an undergraduate program. Please note: We have a Mandatory Attendance Policy (included in this handbook).
  • Stay Informed: It is important that you understand and develop the professional responsibility of staying informed. You are responsible for reading and being aware of all Faculty of Education policies and expectations. Read all syllabi, bulletins, emails, newsletters, etc. The Teacher Education Office shares updates and information in a variety of ways – email, newsletters, announcements InPlace.
  • Plan: This is a professional program and as such, requires candidates to be committed to managing multiple demands of school, placement, and family. Travel needs, day care, and work commitments must be carefully managed by candidates to be successful in the program and on placement. The program requires a full-time commitment to classes and practicum.
  • Use of Social Media: The Ontario College of Teachers has an advisory Maintaining Professionalism: Use of
    Electronic Communication and Social Media. This is intended to help teachers at all levels/stages to understand their professional boundaries and responsibilities in the appropriate use of electronic communications and social media. It is your responsibility to know the information provided by the OCT in this advisory.
For a full description of roles and responsibilities for teacher candidates, please refer to the practicum handbook.

Practicum Office Responsibilities

1. Work directly with school board partners - HR staff and School Principals - to secure practicum placements for all candidates.
2. Direct liaison with all Associate Teachers.
3. Support Associate Teachers and Teacher Candidates as needed prior to, during and after practicum blocks.
4. Review practicum reports and keep track of all placement requirements as per OCT.
5. Prepare reports for the Ontario College of Teachers for certification of teacher candidates.
6. Review and manage all placement requirements - InPlace.

InPlace Access

Be sure to use the correct Western University URL to Access your InPlace account (
If you have difficulty logging in to InPlace, please ensure that your browser is up to date. Supported browsers include Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. 
To receive bulk emails sent from InPlace, make sure InPlace is whitelisted to receive emails from If your computer or the school's spam filter is particularly strict you might need to whitelist the InPlace sendgrid IP

Log in with your Western ID and password.
Note: your username DOES NOT include the extension.
If you continue to have InPlace access issues, please contact Joanne Lombardi -

Alternative Field Experience

What is the AFE?

The Alternate Field Experience (AFE) is an experiential learning opportunity that allows Teacher Candidates (TCs) to gain real-life practical experience in diverse educational settings (i.e., non-profit organizations, tutoring agencies, private schools, post-secondary institutions, summer camps, and beyond).  The AFE opportunity is distinctly different from the practicum placement, as it does not involve OCT classroom teaching.  It complements the practicum component of the Teacher Education program by encouraging TCs to investigate education in its various forms and by enhancing soft skills, which sets TCs up for success in their future teaching careers.  TCs have a unique opportunity to apply the concepts and theories they are studying in the BEd program to real-world challenges, thus enriching their knowledge of the broader community and the diverse impact of their BEd degree.  During their AFEs, TCs are encouraged to explore their teaching interests, establish connections in their respective communities, investigate alternate career paths, and develop transferable skills to better support students in their future classrooms.

All TCs are expected to complete a total of 210 AFE hours, the rough equivalent of the required number of practicum days (80+) in the Teacher Education program.  

TCs will have completed the following two courses upon successfully finishing two AFE opportunities (one 90-hour opportunity and one 120-hour opportunity, for a total of 210 hours):

  1. EDUC 5025Q Alternative Field Experience I: A field placement or research or leadership project, in support of specialty courses (.25 credit).
  2. EDUC 5026S Alternative Field Experience II: A field placement or research or leadership project, in support of specialty courses, or, with approval, another aspect of teacher development (.25 credit).

AFE Requirements

  • To qualify as an AFE, an experience should be:

    • A valuable learning experience with substantive responsibility
    • Related to teacher candidate’s professional goals
    • Related to the field of education
    • With a supervisor who will provide consistent guidance and supervision
    • Paid or volunteer (volunteer placements require a placement agreement to be established prior to the placement start date)
    • Either a 90-hour experience (on-site or virtual) or a 120-hour experience (on-site), for a total of 210 hours
    • Not replacing an OCT; uncertified teaching (such as emergency supply) cannot qualify for AFE
    • Domestic or international 
    • Managed and tracked through InPlace
    • One AFE opportunity must be related to the Teacher Candidate's specialty (e.g., International Education, Urban Education, STEM, etc.) 


Previously held roles are not eligible as AFE placements unless explicitly discussed and arranged with the Program Coordinator, Jeren Balayeva-Sawyer (  

Teacher Candidates are responsible for securing their own AFEs. TCs are encouraged to pursue unfamiliar educational roles for their AFE placements, as the AFE process promotes exploring education beyond the role of a traditional classroom teacher. TCs are also encouraged to investigate AFE opportunities in grades they are not being trained to teach (i.e., an I/S student does an AFE placement in a P/J setting), as these opportunities allow for a more unique and in-depth understanding of the teaching role. 

AFE Format and Timelines

  • In-person or remote (*remote opportunities are limited to 90 hours)

  • Paid or volunteer (*a placement agreement is required for all volunteer opportunities)

  • 210 hours total (90 hours for EDUC 5025Q and 120 hours for EDUC 5026S)

  • Teacher Candidates can divide their 210 AFE hours across a maximum of two experiences - one of 90 hours and the other one of 120 hours
  • One AFE opportunity has to be related to the Teacher Candidate's specialty (e.g., International Education, Urban Education, STEM, etc.) 

For the Class of 2025, the timelines are the following:

  • Completed full-time in the summer and the two designated AFE blocks: December 2-20, 2024 and March 31-April 25, 2025. (Part-time opportunities, completed at your own pace between November 11, 2023 and April 25, 2025, might be accommodated upon request). 

For the Class of 2026, the timelines are the following:

  • There is a designated block from June 25, 2025 – August 13, 2025 for Teacher Candidates to complete their AFE. There is no course work or classes during this time, so Teacher Candidates can work full time to complete their required AFE hours. If Teacher Candidates intend to work at one of the designated school boards, they may do so part-time from January 6, 2025 – June 24, 2025.

AFE-Approved Schools and School Boards

You are encouraged to set up your AFE opportunities at schools, but you must ensure that you are working outside of the traditional classroom teaching role.  This will encourage a deeper understanding of education by exploring different strengths and interests. For example, in a traditional school, you could work with school resource personnel, specialist teachers, librarians, etc.  

For the class of 2026, if you want to participate in an AFE at one of the designated school boards, you may do so part-time from January 6, 2025 – June 24, 2025, but the AFE cannot happen during the practicum block. The candidate can accumulate AFE hours from January to the start of practicum, then again after practicum until the end of June. 

Candidates who select an AFE within a school during this time block must be placed in a setting that does not replicate practicum. A school-based AFE cannot be the same as a practicum and cannot involve direct classroom teaching. We encourage candidates to find school-based AFEs such as: 

- special education rooms or resource centres with learning support teachers
- completely different divisions than they are enrolled in - e.g., a PJ candidate goes to a secondary school
- subject areas that we can’t offer as teaching subjects - e.g., Business, Computer, Tech/Shop, Art, Drama, Cosmetology
- coaching, school teams, school productions, volunteering for school food programs, etc.

*Please note that direct teaching (supply teaching or transitional teaching) DOES NOT qualify for an AFE. 

You can view the full list of pre-approved school and school board agreements on InPlace. If you have any questions related to completing your AFE at a school/school board, please contact the Program Coordinator (Jeren Balayeva, 

AFE-Approved Organizations

We have current placement agreements with over 170 AFE sites where our Teacher Candidates have or are completing their AFE opportunities on a volunteer basis. You can view the full list of pre-approved organizations on InPlace. Please note that this list is subject to change and is not exhaustive. We strongly recommend that you consider completing your volunteer AFE opportunities at these organizations, as they have been carefully vetted by the Teacher Education Office and there are pre-existing AFE placement agreements between Western and these hosting organizations. 

If you do not see current AFE opportunities with these organizations on InPlace, you can reach out to the them directly to inquire about and arrange your own AFE opportunity before contacting our office. 

If you choose to complete your volunteer AFE at an organization/school not on the approved list, a legal affiliate agreement will need to be signed before you can proceed.  Please note that this process takes time and may impact the start time of your AFE. You cannot start your AFE until the legal affiliate agreement has been signed and approved. 

Please contact the Program Coordinator (Jeren Balayeva, with any questions about previously approved organizations. 

International AFE Opportunities

The Faculty of Education at Western is thrilled to offer international AFE opportunities to Teacher Candidates. International AFEs are uniquely transformative experiences as TCs become fully immersed in different cultures and languages. Participation in these cultures and languages is eye-opening and hones skills and knowledge that allow TCs to become better teachers. 

Through international AFE opportunities, TCs prepare to be stronger teachers in multilingual and multicultural classrooms. With the continually blossoming diversity in our classrooms, these skills are crucial to developing a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students. 

All TCs interested in completing their volunteer AFE opportunities internationally will only be able to do so through the programs approved by the Teacher Education Office during designated AFE blocks.  

Current International AFE Opportunities

Costa Rica – June 2024 (4 weeks)

During this experience, Teacher Candidates will be volunteering at Saint Gregory School, a bilingual school that Western International has a longstanding partnership with thorugh Global Learning Programs. 

Location: San José, Costa Rica

France – August 2024 (2 weeks)

During this experience, French-specialty Teacher Candidates will have the opportunity to enroll in an intensive language program at the University of Orléans. TCs will improve their French language skills and learn more about French culture by staying with host families and participating in cultural excursions.

Location: Orléans, France

Teacher Candidate Responsibilities

Teacher Candidates are responsible for securing their own AFE placements. The Teacher Education Office will post some opportunities on InPlace, but it is up to TCs to establish their position with a supervisor. Teacher Candidates are encouraged to explore AFE placement opportunities beyond what is posted on InPlace and are responsible for contacting both the organization/supervisor and the Program Coordinator in the Teacher Education Office about their role. 

Teacher Candidates must ensure that they have completed 210 hours of AFE before graduation. Specifically, they must make certain that they have completed a 90-hour placement and a 120-hour placement, as well as all other AFE guidelines.  

It is expected that Teacher Candidates reach out to their potential supervisor to request collaboration, and must work directly with their supervisor to determine the expectations for their AFE. Hours are to be tracked by the TC in an Excel or Word format and reported to the Teacher Education Office upon completion of their AFE placement. In addition, a Self-Evaluation Report is required upon completion of the AFE. Finally, the TC must ensure that the AFE supervisor has completed their Supervisor Report, in which the supervisor confirms AFE hours and comments on performance.  

Please reach out to the Teacher Education office if you have any questions or require any assistance.  

General AFE Process:

  1. Find an AFE opportunity or find one on InPlace and apply 
  2. If your AFE opportunity is new (not already on InPlace), communicate with the Program Coordinator (Jeren Balayeva-Sawyer) so she can connect with the AFE supervisor and get the opportunity posted to InPlace
  3. Once the opportunity is created for you, apply on InPlace so that your experience can be tracked and managed
  4. You are responsible for tracking your hours in an Excel spreadsheet or a Word file, documenting hours worked, and tasks completed either on a daily or weekly basis (e.g., June 17-21, 2024 – created several FSL resources, helped students with the final project, etc.) 
  5. After you complete your AFE, you will be required to submit a Self-Evaluation Report, which can be found on InPlace
  6. Your report will be emailed to your supervisor, who will be prompted to complete a Supervisor Report
  7. Ensure that you supervisor has completed the Supervisor Report
  8. When both reports are reviewed by the Program Coordinator, your AFE will be successfully completed and marked as such on InPlace – please note that your reports will be reviewed in the order received  

**If Your AFE is New:

  1. Confirm with your potential supervisor that the agency will support AFE placements
  2. Email the Program Coordinator with the following details:
    • Legal name of agency
    • Name of possible AFE supervisor
    • Email of possible AFE supervisor
    • Placement start date and potential end date (pending approval)
    • Placement duration (pending approval; i.e., 90 or 120 hours)
    • Brief description of AFE placement opportunity
    • If the placement is general or specialty (if it is a specialty placement, please specify which specialty)
    • If the placement is paid or unpaid (on a volunteer basis)
  3. The Program Coordinator will email your potential supervisor to confirm interest/details
    • A placement agreement is required for volunteer placements that are not on the preapproved list 
    • The agreement must be signed before proceeding
  4. The Program Coordinator will add the agency and supervisor to InPlace
  5. Help create a posting for yourself on InPlace by following the guidance of the Program Coordinator
  6. Apply for the posting - an AFE opportunity will be generated for you to track your experience

All AFE hours must be accumulated and reported to the Teacher Education Office by the last day of the BEd program to be processed in time for graduation.

AFE Supervisor Responsibilities

AFE Supervisors are responsible for: 
  • Working directly with the Teacher Candidate to determine the expectations for the AFE 
  • Providing meaningful and mutually beneficial work opportunities for the Teacher Candidate and/or supporting the Teacher Candidate in developing their own project 
  • Supervising Teacher Candidates in a productive and meaningful way 
  • Communicating with the Teacher Education Office at Western upon request 
  • Signing a placement agreement with Western University if the organization is not preapproved and the opportunity is unpaid 
  • Reviewing the Teacher Candidate’s Self-Evaluation Report at the end of the experience (this will be sent to the supervisor by email once the Teacher Candidate completes it) 
  • Completing the Supervisor Report, an online form that takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete (supervisors will receive a link to the form after the Teacher Candidate submits their Self-Evaluation) 

Please note:  
  • the Alternative Field Experience is NOT a practicum placement and can be completed inside or outside of a classroom setting 
  • there is no “per diem” for hosts 
  • teacher candidates must be supervised and may NOT take the place of an Ontario Certified Teacher – they cannot act as a Supply Teacher or as an Uncertified Teacher 

Teacher Education Office Responsibilities

The Teacher Education Office is responsible for managing and tracking all AFE opportunities by: 
  • Reviewing the AFE Proposals, Self-Evaluation Reports, and Supervisor Reports 
  • Contacting AFE supervisors to confirm placements  
  • Coordinating the establishment of placement agreements between Western and the hosting organization for volunteer opportunities, as needed  
  • Communicating any required information to Teacher Candidates and AFE hosts 
  • Registering new AFE agencies and adding AFE supervisors to InPlace 
  • Working with Teacher Candidates to create postings for their AFE opportunities on InPlace and generating placements   
  • Supporting Teacher Candidates and AFE Supervisors, as needed 
  • Processing the AFE course grades once total hours are submitted and complete 

Community Involvement


The Faculty of Education at Western University is pleased to have affiliation agreements with more than 40 publicly funded school boards and some private schools to host our candidates for practicum placements.
The program is strongly supported by many teachers, school administrators, and school boards across the province, and our graduates are employed as educators throughout Ontario and beyond. We are grateful for the amazing opportunities our candidates are given in schools and other educational settings to acquire teaching experience and valuable mentorship from experienced educators. 
For more information about the practicum placement experience for teacher candidates, please contact the program manager, Joanne Lombardi -

Alternative Field Experience

Within Western University's Teacher Education Program, all teacher candidates complete two Alternative Field Experience (AFE) blocks. View the Academic Calendars to see specific placement block schedules.  

During the AFE, Teacher Candidates learn about education- and youth-related community supports. They are encouraged to consider completing their AFE in diverse settings to gain skills and knowledge that will benefit their future teaching practices. The AFE supports Teacher Candidates in building strong connections and learning about what is offered or needed within their communities by working with community partners outside of the traditional teaching role. Working with school resource personnel or specialist teachers, or in non-profit organizations or community centres are excellent examples of where Teacher Candidates can get involved in their community. 

Placements are arranged by Teacher Candidates and there is no per diem for hosts. 

Interested in hosting an AFE? Contact Jeren Balayeva-Sawyer, Program Coordinator, at 

Other Ways to Get Involved with the Teacher Ed Program

Are you hoping to get involved or share an opportunity with Teacher Candidates at Western? Contact Erin Sardido at with your request. 


For campus and community employment opportunities, please visit Western Connect, Western University’s central employment database.

For teaching positions and school board postings, please visit Apply to Education.


For campus and community volunteer opportunities, please visit the Western Serves Network on Western Connect, Western University’s central experience catalogue.

For more local nonprofit opportunities, please visit the Pillar Nonprofit Network.


Please note that the Faculty of Education does not manage a tutoring program. Teacher candidates may pursue their own private tutoring practices or work for local agencies. The Teacher Education Office does not have a list of teacher candidates available for tutoring requests. 

Have a question about your courses?

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