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Practicum Policies


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Teacher Candidate Profiles: Lesson Plan Samples:

School Boards

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.

Our Responsibilities

a) 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.

b) 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.

Your 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 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.