Practicum Forms and Resources

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Teacher Candidate Profiles


School Boards

You may select your preferred school board from among a number of Ontario school boards; we work with more than 40 boards across the province. Note that each board has their own pre-placement requirements (ex. health and safety training, confidentiality waivers, etc.) that Teacher Candidates must complete prior to the start of their placement.

Associate Teachers

We attempt to ensure an excellent practicum experience for you by placing you only with Associate Teachers who have been recommended by their principals. You may not select your own Associate Teacher or arrange your own placement.

Practicum Placement

Provincial legislation requires that you teach in each of the divisions for which you are to be certified (primary & junior, junior & intermediate, or intermediate & senior). Although it is not required that you teach in each of your teachable areas, we do our best to find you placements in both your teachables. (Please note that we may not place candidates in French First Language schools/school boardsas outlined in the Ontario College of Teachers Regulations.)

  1. Primary-Junior: At least one placement in JK-grade 3 (Primary), and one in grades 4-6 (Junior).

  2. Junior-Intermediate: 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: 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.

Police Background Check

Neither Western University nor the Faculty of Education requires a Police Record Check as a condition of admission. However, a Police Record Check which includes Vulnerable Position Screening and is acceptable to our school board partners is required before you can be placed in a school.

 If information appears on your police record check that is unacceptable to school boards, we will be unable to place you for practicum and you will be required to withdraw from the program.

  • We recommend that you begin the process to obtain your first police check in June, to ensure that your completed check is valid for the program's first placement block.

  • Some school boards consider a police check expired after 6 months; some after 12 months. We recommend all Candidates provide us with an updated police check every August and again every December to ensure their police checks are valid for all fall and spring placement blocks.

  • Submit a copy of your completed police check to the Teacher Education office by the first day of classes in September.

  • Failure to submit your police check on time may result in your practicum placement being delayed. We are unable to release placement details if a valid police check is not on file.

Teacher Candidate Responsibilities

  1. Transportation: You are responsible for your own transportation. We will do our best to place you in your preferred school board and in a part of that board that is accessible via public transit, but we cannot guarantee you a convenient placement; your commute could be as long as 90 minutes. Further, not all schools are accessible via public transit and you may need to car-pool or find another way to get to your school. Transportation is your responsibility.

  2. Time Commitment: The practicum requires a full-time commitment, typically from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 or 4:30 p.m. in secondary schools, and from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in elementary schools. If you are not in your classroom at least 15 minutes before the start of the class—you are late.

  3. Homework: Be prepared to devote your evenings to making notes and writing reflections about your daily experiences in your PPR—and to lesson planning. This is huge. Teaching, even on practicum, is a full-time job. Do not expect to leave school early or to be assigned a light teaching load in order to accommodate a part-time job.

  4. Plan Ahead: Plan now for any special arrangements you may need during practicum concerning living accommodations, child care, part-time job schedules, transportation, library access, and so on. 

  5. Be Flexible: Arranging practicum placements is a complex process in partnership with school boards, principals, and teachers. We can make no guarantees beyond ensuring that you receive placements to fulfill the requirements of your program and the requirements for OCT certification.

  6. Stay Informed: Read the Practical Handbook (PDF) and Practicum Policies . Ignorance of policies, rules, and guidelines could cost you your success in the program.

Practicum Office Responsibilities

  1. Placement: We will find a placement for you that fulfills the requirements of your program and the requirements for certification by the Ontario College of Teachers. In Year 1, it is common (but not guaranteed) for Associate Teachers to host two Teacher Candidates who can work together on planning and teaching, allowing you to ease into taking on more and more teaching responsibility. You will usually receive notice about your practicum placement about 2 weeks before the start of the practicum block

  2. Faculty Advisor Support: Joanne Lombardi is your Faculty Advisor. Take any questions or concerns you might have about your practicum to her. During the practicum, she may appoint a Practicum Consultant to support you with an on-site school visit.

Alternative Field Experience

AFE Forms and Resources

AFE Proposal

  • to be submitted by the Teacher Candidate in advance of the experience

AFE Self-Evaluation

  • to be submitted by the Teacher Candidate at the end of the experience

AFE Supervisor Report

  • to be submitted by the Supervisor after the Teacher Candidate completes their Self-Evaluation

  • Supervisor's will receive an email prompting them to submit the AFE Supervisor's Report

What is the AFE?

Western University’s two year Teacher Education (Teacher Ed) includes two Alternative Field Experience courses:

  1. EDUC 5025Q Alternative Field Experience I: A field placement or research or leadership project, in support of specialty courses. 3 weeks, .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. 4 weeks, .25 credit.

Typically AFE are placement or research opportunities for Teacher Candidates to enrich their knowledge of the broader community. For the BEd Classes of 2023 and 2024, the AFE format and timelines will be adjusted to:

  • In-person or remote, or a combination

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

  • At your own pace between:

    • BEd Class of 2023: November 12, 2021 and April 20, 2023

    • BEd Class of 2024: November 11, 2022 and April 18, 2024

*Teacher Candidates can divide their 210 AFE hours across several experiences; they do not have to complete all 210 AFE hours in one setting.

Teacher Candidates are responsible for securing their own AFEs. We encourage Teacher Candidates to explore grades or subjects they’re unfamiliar with; work with school resource personnel or specialist teachers; or join non-profit organizations or community centres.

AFE Requirements

In order to qualify for the Alternative Field Experience, Teacher Candidates’ placement(s)/project(s) must meet the following requirements:

  • 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 throughout

  • Related to teacher candidate’s Specialty – this requirement is waived for the BEd Classes of 2021 and 2022*

  • Have an AFE Proposal and final reports, developed by the Teacher Candidate in consultation with the AFE Supervisor, approved by the Teacher Education Office

*While the Specialty requirement has been waived for the years noted, Teacher Candidates are still encouraged to connect their AFE to their Specialty when possible.

Teacher Candidate Responsibilites

  1. Contact their desired Supervisor to request collaboration.

  2. Work directly with the Supervisor to determine the expectations for the AFE.

  3. Submit the AFE Proposal to the Teacher Education Office. This will be reviewed to ensure it meets the AFE minimum requirements. Approval is not guaranteed.

  4. In the final days of the AFE, complete the Teacher Candidate Self-Evaluation and ensure their host completes the Supervisor’s Final Report.

AFE Supervisor Responsibilities

  1. Work directly with the Teacher Candidate to determine the expectations for the AFE.

  2. Provide meaningful and mutually beneficial work, or support the Teacher Candidate in planning and completing their own project.*

  3. Review the Teacher Candidate’s Self-Evaluation at the end of the experience. This will be sent to you by email once the Teacher Candidate completes it.

  4. Complete the Supervisor’s Final Report. This online form takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. Hosts will receive a link to this form by email after the Teacher Candidate submits their Self-Evaluation.

*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

  1. Review the AFE Proposals, in partnership with the Specialty Coordinators, and notify Teacher Candidates & AFE Supervisors once approved.

  2. Coordinate a Placement Agreement with the AFE Host Site, as needed.

  3. Support Teacher Candidates and AFE Supervisors, as needed.

  4. Review the Final Reports, in partnership with the Specialty Coordinators, and process the AFE course grades once complete.

Community Involvement


Within Western University's two-year Teacher Education Program, all teacher candidates complete four Practicum blocks.

View our Academic Calendars to see specific placement block schedules. 

During Practicum, teacher candidates work with Ontario Certified Teachers, completing practice teaching in grades and subjects specific to their future teaching licenses.

Placements are arranged by the Teacher Education Office and host teachers, referred to as Associate Teachers, receive an $8 per diem.

For more information, contact Joanne Lombardi, Practicum Coordinator, at

Alternative Field Experience

Within Western University's two-year Teacher Education Program, all teacher candidates complete two Alternative Field Experience blocks.

View our Academic Calendars to see specific placement block schedules. 

During the Alternative Field Experience (AFE), teacher candidates learn about education- and youth-related community supports. They are encouraged to consider completing their AFE in a wide array of grades or subjects; with school resource personnel or specialist teachers, in non-profit organizations or community centres.

Placements are arranged by teacher candidates and there is no per diem for hosts.

Interested in hosting an AFE? Submit your opportunity here.

For more information, contact Erin Sardido, 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?


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.

If you have a volunteer opportunity specifically for Teacher Candidates, consider submitting a form to become an Alternative Field Experience (AFE) Host. Using the forms in the Alternate Field Experience section.

Have a question about your courses?

Book a meeting with the Teacher Education Office