Teacher candidates gear up for online teaching
Teacher candidates entering classrooms this fall will be facing a different education experience. COVID-19 has disrupted the province’s education system with some students studying online.
This dramatic change has affected how teacher candidates will teach this year.
As a result of this change to the education system, the Faculty of Education is preparing teacher candidates to teach in a virtual world because many of them will be teaching in a hybrid format – splitting their time between a physical and virtual classroom – during their practica this year.
During the first week of September, teacher candidates can take up to eight training modules from the Faculty of Education where they will learn how to anticipate and manage parent expectations, online safety and how to assess students online, said Senior Director of Integrated Services at the Faculty of Education, Matt Bazely. He added teacher candidates will also understand learning management systems so they can “hit the ground running.”
Teacher candidates were instrumental in creating these modules. Year 2 teacher candidate Anna Sims is part of the team generating these courses and she produced a survey to get teacher candidate feedback on their needs to successfully teach online.
“Teacher candidates want to have confidence to teach online effectively by connecting what they’ve learned at the Faculty of Education and apply it to an online classroom,” said Sims. “A significant part of their learning will be to use real experiences from online teachers, developing new technological skills while thinking critically about this technology.”
The courses have been designed with flexibility in mind. Bazely said teacher candidates can choose how many of the eight courses they want to take depending on where they think they need assistance.
“This course is built around adult learning principles where students can choose what to focus on because each student is at different levels of preparedness and we need to respect that,” said Bazely.
What’s more, course designers used design thinking to develop the training modules. They also used e-learning best practices and strategies supported by research, said instructor at the Faculty of Education, Rodd Lucier. He added the lessons will challenge teacher candidates to blend human skills and technological skills that best suit the needs of students, parents as well as teachers.
The modules are open to year one and year two teacher candidates. It’s also open to teachers as well.