Purpose of the CFE
The key purpose of the CFE is for teacher candidates to experience teaching and learning in a new context that provides a more holistic view of teaching and enhances the teacher candidate’s formal teaching experience.
We also anticipate this experience will provide teacher candidates a unique context to showcase their educational knowledge and skills, assist them in forging connections with community learning contexts outside the classroom, and open opportunities for teacher candidates to begin exploring educational careers in areas such as:
- Publishing companies (reviewers, sales reps)
- Museum education/administration
- Outdoor education
- Magazine writers
- Educational multimedia consultants (relating to curriculum, how people learn)
- Curriculum/educational workshop consultants
- Recreation workers (e.g., early years, seniors, special needs, etc.)
- Sustainability educators
- Youth program coordinators
- Community services & continuing education
- International education
- Public speakers…and many others!
Another very important purpose of the CFE is to offer community partners the expertise and support of a beginning teacher. Community partners regularly indicate a deep appreciation for the innovative ideas and new energy that teacher candidates bring to their site. They appreciate how teacher candidates help develop and deliver program curriculum, and they report future benefits from engaging the new teachers as community members.
Why is this experience called a community field experience rather than a practicum?
The CFE is much different than a school-based practicum. A practicum occurs in a regular classroom and includes an evaluative element, whereas a field experience takes place with a community partner (e.g., a museum, aquarium, neighbourhood house, etc.) or with a ‘non-enrolling’ teacher (e.g., a school librarian, counsellor, ESL teacher, etc.) or in a classroom situated in a different context (e.g., rural or international school), and does not include the evaluation of teaching.
What is the role of the faculty advisor?
The role of the faculty advisor is to assist in developing a win-win relationship between the teacher candidate and the community partner. They are there to celebrate accomplishments and troubleshoot issues that might arise during the field experience, and to share ideas and advice when needed.
|Role of FA in Relation to the Community Partner||Frequency of Contact for Lower Mainland Placement||Frequency of Contact for Rural/National/International Placement|
|• Troubleshoot a partner struggling with a teacher candidate’s punctuality, lack of initiative, and lack of participation or enthusiasm
• Celebrate accomplishments
• Monitor (generally) the partner’s satisfaction during the CFE
• Provide suggestions (if necessary) about maximizing the experience
|• 1 introductory email/phone call
• 1 physical visit over three weeks
• 1 follow up email/phone call
|• 1 introductory email
• 1 email/Skype during CFE
• 1 email/Skype near end of CFE
|Role of FA in Relation to the Teacher Candidate||Frequency of Contact for Lower Mainland Placement||Frequency of Contact for Rural/National/International Placement|
|• Mentor teacher candidates struggling to form a relationship their community partners: suggest conflict-resolution strategies
• Celebrate accomplishments
• Be a source of reference and guidance for the teacher candidate
• Monitor the teacher candidate’s satisfaction during the CFE
• Read/view/listen and respond to a teacher candidate’s weekly observations, questions & reflections
|• 1 introductory email/phone call
• 1 physical visit over three weeks
• 1 follow up email/phone call
|• 1 introductory email/Skype
• 1-2 emails/Skype sessions over three-week period
• 1 follow up email/Skype
Important Information for Faculty Advisors of International Community Field Experiences
Faculty advisors are not reimbursed for travel expenses outside of the Lower Mainland, therefore the teacher education office does not require or expect faculty advisors to visit teacher candidates on an international community field experience. However faculty advisors are encouraged to meet with such teacher candidates virtually using software like Skype.
Faculty advisors of teacher candidates doing an international community field experience are expected to provide teacher candidates and partners with as much support as is listed above, as well they are expected to:
- act as a liaison between the international partner and the teacher candidate
- ensure the teacher candidate is preparing well in advance for vaccinations, visas, passports, etc.
- ensure the teacher candidate has contacted their partner and arranged travel connections with their partner well in advance of departure
- ensure teacher candidate has acquired safe accommodations
- ensure the teacher candidate leaves for their CFE and returns to their BEd program at the appropriate times
If faculty advisors of international community field experiences have any questions about their roles and responsibilities that re not answered in the International CFE expectations document, they are encouraged to contact the International CFE Coordinator, Keith McPherson - elementary, Middle years, and secondary - International CFE
Reimbursement of Mileage and Parking Costs for Site Visits
In some cases, a faculty advisor may have to pay for parking while making a site visit. Please use a parking lot in order to obtain a receipt and submit it with the Other Expenses Form rather than the Mileage Record Form. There should not be more than two receipts associated to one site during the three-week CFE.
Mileage will be reimbursed if the site for trips in the Lower Mainland only. Faculty advisors are advised to communicate with teacher candidates and community partners residing outside the lower mainland via telephone, email and/or Skype.
Under no circumstances will reimbursement be provided for ferry costs or air travel.
Should a faculty advisor require clarification on any of these points, please do not hesitate to contact the CFE program coordinators:
CFE Online Resources
The CFE Resource Blog has been set up to offer faculty advisors and teacher candidates access to important and additional CFE information and resources aimed at helping make the CFE a more rewarding experience for teacher candidates. These are the five main resource categories (listed as tabs):
- Blog Examples — examples of past blogs. They can be used to inspire teacher candidates as well as for opening discussions into what makes an engaging, professional/personal, and rewarding reflective blog
- Documents — a list of downloadable documents and links that may be required of, or useful to, Teacher Candidates and FAs (e.g., the Criminal Record Check Done document is located here)
- Expectations — a summary of CFE expectations for FAs, TCs, and community partners
- Guides — detailed explanations of CFE goals, expectations, policies and procedures
- International — a list of downloadable documents and links that may be required of, or useful to teacher candidates going on an international CFE, and their faculty advisors
- PowerPoints — Multimedia presentations about the CFE
- Reflections — tools, information, prompts and resources recommend by faculty advisors for scaffolding and deepening Teacher Candidates’ reflections
- Syllabus — link to the EDUC 430 course outline
- Templates — list of MS Word communication templates that faculty advisors and teacher candidates can use during their CFE (e.g., CFE FA’s introduction to Teacher Candidates, thank you notes to community partners),
- WorkSafeBC — an explanation of the requirements and procedures for the teacher candidates to complete a WorkSafeBC checklist for each of their BC-based CFEs
Importance of Faculty Advisors
Without a doubt, faculty advisors are the single most important factor in the success of a CFE. Past feedback indicates that the faculty advisor’s skills in planning, communication, and advising are the main reasons why CFE expectations are clear and why CFE placements become such impactful, immersive, educational experiences for teacher candidates. Faculty advisors are deeply appreciated for the role they play in meeting and exceeding the purpose of the CFE.
Faculty advisors are encouraged to communicate all concerns and suggestions, or triumphs and joys, with the CFE Program Coordinator at any time.
Dr. Keith McPherson, Program Coordinator – Community Field Experience
Tel: 604 822 5069
Developing Relationships with Teacher Candidates
Faculty advisors are encouraged to meet with their teacher candidates before the 10-week practicum. The CFE Partner Day (mid-January) is reserved for teacher candidates to meet their partners, however FAs are encouraged to also use this time to meet and get to know many of their teacher candidates. Fas are also encouraged to poll their teacher candidates to schedule meet in time through the day or after classes.
Some faculty advisors with CFEs in the Lower Mainland gather teacher candidates for a group debrief on their various placements for a morning or an afternoon during the CFE. This can be a powerful opportunity for teacher candidates to share their experiences and give each other feedback. Please let the community partners know ahead of time of your meeting so that it does not disrupt significant activities they may have planned for their teacher candidate(s).
Communicating with Teacher Candidates
Written feedback from past CFE experiences demonstrate that faculty advisors played a key role in furthering their teacher candidates’ reflective practice during the CFE. Whether this was done formally or informally, and regardless of the format/s (i.e., text, audio, video, photos, or a combination thereof), these reflections encouraged teacher candidates to analyze and synthesize their CFE experiences, and helped them begin to understand how it affected their teaching practice.
Additionally, there is some anecdotal evidence that the information from these reflections may have also informed teacher candidates when they chose to collaboratively fill out the comment form with their community partner at the end of the field experience. Moreover, these reflections were reported to be of assistance to some teacher candidates when they completed their portfolio assignment for Inquiry III (EDUC 452).
Examples of topics that teacher candidates may choose to reflectively address:
- Think about your strengths and challenges and areas of personal growth at the beginning of the CFE. This will give you a baseline when assessing your progress later in the experience.
- What types of activities did you engage in this week?
- What are you learning about the community you are working with?
- How does learning “look/feel different” in this context?
- What challenges were encountered (with hosts, students, the work you were doing)?
- Have you had any “A-ha!” moments?
- What ideas/strategies could bring back to the classroom?
- Could pedagogical approaches learned in the BEd program be used in this context?
- What suggestions could you make to your host in order to make the CFE experience more powerful for a candidate next year?
- What components could the host develop to make his/her program more relevant to teachers and students (pre- and post-visit lesson ideas, projects for future teacher candidates)?
Assessment and Grading
As outlined in the EDUC 430 syllabus, the CFE is a PASS/FAIL course. To obtain a PASS (or ‘P’) grade, teacher candidates are expected to:
- be actively involved in all aspects of the placement
- collaborate with colleagues on designated projects (if applicable)
- regularly document meaningful personal and professional insights and further questions via reflections, and communicate these to their faculty advisor
- regularly attend the placement (students are required to work alongside or for a community partner for at least five hours a day, five days a week)
- complete any tasks related to the placement
Teacher candidates will demonstrate their learning by maintaining an ongoing record of:
- their observations
- their questions and reflections on diverse educational sites and discussions
- their reflection on discussions and/or collaborations (if applicable)
- (see section titled Weekly Reflections for more information on this topic)
A checklist of these key CFE expectations, and to dos, can be found at: blogs.ubc.ca/ubcfe/goals-expectations.
It is through conversations with the host, the teacher candidate, and reviewing the teacher candidate’s reflections, that the faculty advisor, CFE coordinator and Co-Director of Practicum and Field Experiences, will determine if the teacher candidate has met the five Pass/Fail expectations listed above.
It is also important to know, that prior to starting the CFE, the teacher candidate’s teaching abilities will have been assessed and evaluated as meeting or exceeding the standards of a beginning teacher. Therefore, the Teacher Education Office does not require, nor expect, CFE partners to assess and/or evaluate their teacher candidates’ instructional abilities. Instead, teacher candidates and community partners are encouraged to focus on collaboratively creating opportunities that allow teacher candidates to apply their new teaching skills and strategies, and fully experience their community partner’s teaching/learning context.
Finally, all teacher candidates are required to complete and submit an online CFE comment form, and have their community partner complete and submit an online CFE comment form (see items 5 and 6 in the following section).
What are teacher candidates required to do during their CFE?
A detailed ‘to-do’ check-list outlining UBC’s expectations for teacher candidates, FAs, and community partners can be found here. Of these expectations, faculty advisors are expected to ensure the following 8 are completed for the teacher candidate to obtain a passing grade.
Teacher candidates must:
- complete 15, 5-hour, days (minimum) over 3 weeks.
(See the next section titled “What hours are teacher candidates expected to work?”)
- dress and act in a professional manner as outlined in the BEd Polices and Guidelines.
- take initiate and be flexible.
- complete and submit a weekly record of their growth
(see the section titled “Regular Weekly Records").
- complete an online CFE Feedback Form for teacher candidates. This form provides the Teacher Education Office with valuable feedback for improving the CFE. The information on this form not be evaluated in a summative way, and can be submitted up until one week after the end of the teacher candidate’s CFE.
- ensure the CFE partner has completed and submitted an online Feedback Form for community partners during the last day or two of the CFE. This form is required for a teacher candidate to receive a passing grade (or ‘P’) for the work they have done on their CFE. At least one feedback form is required from each partner. Usually a partner discusses the CFE of one teacher candidate per form. However a partner may also choose to discuss more than one teacher candidate’s CFE per feedback form. For example, a partner may send in one CFE feedback form for three teacher candidates collaboratively working on one project for the partner.In the rare case where a partner has no access to a computer or the internet (or a teacher candidate’s computer), this form may be submitted in paper copy. Teacher candidates travelling to rural or remote international locations are encouraged to download, print and take several copies of this form with them for their CFE partner to complete with pen or pencil. These paper copies are to be faxed, emailed (as a scanned copy), or hand delivered to the CFE program coordinator (via the Teacher Education Office reception desk in Scarfe 103).
- TCs doing a CFE in BC must complete and submit a CFE WorkSafeBC checklist for each CFE done in BC (see blogs.ubc.ca/ubcfe/worksafebc). The coordinator will send out a reminder email to TCs just before the CFE starts.
- TCs, doing an international CFE, must register with UBC’s Safety Abroad and attend all required international orientation meetings.
What hours are teacher candidates expected to work?
Over the course of a 3-week CFE, teacher candidates are required to be engaged for a total of 15 days. Moreover, community partners are encouraged to keep teacher candidates engaged for a minimum of 5 hours per day, to a maximum of 8 hours per day.
The exact dates and working times, and location of these working times, are negotiated between the partner and teacher candidate (see also the section on "Travel Dates").
For example, in some placements such as after-school programs, the teacher candidates might be working from 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Some placements may include weekends or evenings; others will involve regular business or school hours. Teacher candidates will have to adapt to their community partner's hours.
The workday protocol should be established with the community partner on the first day. It is not appropriate for the teacher candidate to tell the community partner that he/she only works "teacher hours". At the same time, and because UBC TCs' time with a partner are governed by the regulations of Workers Compensation Board, if a partner runs a program where a teacher candidate works for more than 8 hours (e.g., some outdoor camps), the partner must clear all 'overtime' with the teacher candidate.
Teacher candidates are required to alert their community partner and faculty advisor as soon as the teacher candidate knows they will not be able to arrive at their CFE on time (e.g., buses not running, traffic jam, illness, etc.).
Teacher candidates are also required to discuss any required time off with their faculty advisor well in advance of the CFE start date. Teacher candidates must also ensure their faculty advisor, community partner, and the CFE program coordinator Keith McPherson are aware of any missed days.
All missed time must be made up before the teacher candidate will receive a Pass/Fail grade for the CFE (EDUC 430). Teacher candidates will discuss options with the CFE coordinator if the time cannot be made up (e.g., student returning from an international CFE).
Regular Weekly Records
Teacher candidates are required to submit a weekly record to their CFE faculty advisor. These records should contain their CFE observations, questions, reflections, discussions, and collaborations. They should also move from just the description of what was observed, towards the synthesis and analysis of what the experiences mean to the teacher candidate and their understanding of teaching and learning, both personally and professionally.
Faculty advisors set the frequency and content requirements of the weekly records. However, it is expected that teacher candidates submit a minimum of one 300-word record each week (for a total of three 300 records, totaling 900 words).
Suggested communication formats include, but are not limited to, written email reflections, Skype conversations, blog posts, handwritten reflections, audio/video clips, etc. Each faculty advisor is responsible for determining how and when their teacher candidates communicate their CFE reflections and insights. All reflections must be submitted no later than one week after the end the CFE.
Although TCs may be encouraged to use an electronic blogs to record and demonstrate their learning while on a CFE, it is not required. However, if the CFE faculty advisor requests teacher candidates keep electronic records of their CFE (e.g., an e-folio), it is recommended that teacher candidates keep this electronic information on a Canadian server and/or use UBC’s blog software.
It is also recommended, if and where possible, that teacher candidates regularly integrate supporting media in their reflections (e.g., photos, videos, audio, etc.) in an effort to illustrate and add layers of meaning.
A teacher candidate's collection, storage, posting, and use of media (images, video, sound) during their CFE, are regulated by the Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 165. In essence, teacher candidates are not permitted to take, collect, store, post and use media that contains any identifying information of CFE subjects (e.g., faces, names, voice recordings, etc.) without the written permission of the subject.
Moreover, teacher candidates are required to respect confidentiality around shooting pictures in sensitive CFE sites (such as a youth correctional facility) or if subjects do not want to be photographed. Teacher candidates must ask permission before taking photos, video, or sound recordings at any CFE site, and must have subjects complete a Consent to Use of Image Form form before capturing, storing or using video, images or sounds that identify CFE subjects.
Images and video that are taken from behind or the side (where no identifying facial features are visible), or images or video that have had the subjects' faces blurred out, are acceptable. All media that contains identifying information of CFE subjects and is posted on social media sites (like Twitter, Instagram, UBC Blogs etc.), or any other publicly accessed online websites, must be accompanied by Consent to Use of Image Form.
Teacher candidates must scan or digitally photograph (e.g., with a 'smart phone' camera) the completed consent forms and email them to the CFE program coordinator. Teacher candidates must also retain a copy of these signed consent forms for their records.
In some situations, a teacher candidate on a rural or international CFE may have very limited, intermittent, or no internet access, and thus may be unable to electronically create, update and send their reflections to their faculty advisor. In this case, teacher candidates and faculty advisors are encouraged to decide upon the frequency and format of communication (e.g., phone, once a week) before the CFE begins or as soon as issues are detected.
Faculty advisors are encouraged to stimulate a teacher candidate’s reflections through questions such as:
- What types of cross-cultural and cross-community moments did you experience this week? How did it make you feel? Examples of cross-cultural or cross-community moments may include:
- Encountering homeless or street children
- Experiencing “unfair” or unfamiliar gender relations
- Having more resources or money than your hosts
- Being treated as “different”
- Interesting cultural differences in attitudes and actions
- How are teaching strategies different in your community and/or host country (discipline, homework, content, pedagogical approaches)?
- Did you experience any "pedagogical moments"? (A pedagogical moment can be defined as a moment when you feel surprised, disappointed, puzzled or uncomfortable. These feelings tell you that “something is going on”, and often something that you do not fully understand. These moments and feelings often indicate a learning opportunity has occurred or is at hand!).These pedagogical moments can teach you about...
- Yourself (your attitudes, values and behaviour)
- Canadian/western culture
- New cultures
- Indigenous cultures
- Other ways of thinking/knowing
- Your place in a community and/or the “global village”
- More information and resources to assist in the reflective process can be found here: blogs.ubc.ca/ubcfe/reflections
Variation in Community Field Experiences
Some of our community partners will already have a well-devised agenda in mind while others will remain open to basing the CFE on the skills the teacher candidate brings to the organization. Having completed their extended practicum in the classroom, the teacher candidate is qualified to give a teacher’s perspective with an opportunity to showcase initiative and creativity. Teacher candidates are encouraged to share and discuss with their community partners what they are capable of accomplishing!
Developing Curriculum as a Community Field Experience
Some teacher candidates may see developing curriculum, with limited hands-on exposure to students, as a challenging experience. Being given time to develop curriculum gives the teacher candidate the opportunity to develop a quality lesson plan or sequence and is a precious commodity when one is accustomed to the time constraints felt during the extended practicum. Having the time to refine a product that will consequently be used by other teachers can be a gratifying learning experience.
The completion of these types of initiatives leaves teacher candidates well positioned for a range of potential prospects in the community. Following the CFE, teacher candidates are encouraged to leave their contact information with the host. Intelligent, creative, enthusiastic employees are assets in any professional capacity!
Importance of Networking
In addition to representing UBC during the CFE, teacher candidates are also developing their professional reputation. It is worth pointing out to teacher candidates that the people they work with, whether a staff member or another teacher candidate, may be in a position to open doors for him/her in the future. With this in mind, teacher candidates should at all times:
- Dress professionally (appropriately for the location)
- Be supportive, encouraging and respectful of colleagues and the host organization
- Provide suggestions but remain respectful of the opinions or perspectives of the host
- Be enthusiastic and open to suggestions and feedback (and implement the feedback!)
Importance of Building Skills
While the CFE is expected to provide teacher candidates with a vital enrichment opportunity, there may be occasions where the relevance or applicability of a particular placement may not seem directly apparent. It is important to remember that even the most seemingly irrelevant experiences one has in life can build skills and deliver advantages later on. It is up to the individual to recognize the opportunities present in every experience.
Faculty advisors may choose to share an example of a time where an earlier experience in their career served them later on. For example, dealing with irate clients in customer service could develop a pre-service teacher’s ability to diffuse anger and problem-solve. Later, these communication skills could help in calming and reassuring demanding parents. Examples of important skills that may be developed during the CFE include:
Importance of Initiative
Although community partners have created teaching and learning opportunities for the teacher candidate, the partner may not be aware of the teacher candidate’s full potential. Therefore, faculty advisors are encouraged to urge teacher candidates to ask themselves questions such as: “How can my hobbies, interests, passion, and professional skills help the community partner?”, and “How can I communicate this information to their partners at the beginning and throughout the placement?”.
For example, if a teacher candidate has a talent in web design, s/he could discuss this information to the partner well before the CFE starts, and, possibly, result in helping the community partner create an online platform for teachers to access curriculum materials in an engaging way.
BCTF Professional Ethics, Rights, Standards and Professionalism.
Whether or not teacher candidates are working in a traditional classroom during their CFE, they are expected to follow the BCTF Code of Ethics and the BCTF Professional Ethics, Rights and Standards. Sanctions may be applied for failure to follow these guidelines.
Teachers candidates are also expected to maintain the same level of professionalism outlined in the UBC BEd Bachelor of Education Program Policies and Guidelines. As part of this professionalism, teacher candidates may not bring pets or friends or family with them to their CFE.
Go with the Flow
While teacher candidates can have a role to play in designing the CFE, it is recommended that they be open to the suggested activities of their community partners. There are no set requirements for what a teacher candidate should or should not do during the CFE. The CFE can involve any number of activities, including but not limited to, teaching, creating, reviewing, organizing, planning, leading, consulting, etc. The CFE is about being flexible and opening up to unanticipated possibilities!
Communicating with the Community Partner
Some community partners may be unsure of how to approach a CFE. Faculty advisors can assist in alleviating this uncertainty by exploring, with the community partner, the numerous opportunities for teacher candidates to participate in an educationally-oriented facet of the community partner’s program or organization. Additionally, faculty advisors are encouraged to work with the partner in examining the programs and strategies unique to the partner’s organization, or the programs that the partner is especially fond of, and how a teacher candidate can help support and develop existing or new initiatives (see page 2 and 3 of the Community Partners Guide).
Although it is largely between the community partner host and the teacher candidate to decide on the goals of the field experience, faculty advisors are encouraged to advise teacher candidates to remain open to possibilities that they may not have considered before.
If a community partner would like more guidance as to how to shape the CFE, faculty advisors are encouraged to refer him/her to the Community Partners' Guide.
It is important for faculty advisors make clear to the community partner that all teacher candidates have completed their 10-week certification practicum (with only the rarest of exceptions) and have demonstrated teaching abilities at the level of a beginning teacher. Therefore, some school-based partners may need to be informed, and later reminded, that the UBC Teacher Education Office does not expect nor require a formal evaluation of the teacher candidate’s teaching abilities during the CFE.
Faculty advisors are encouraged to contact their CFE community partners soon after they are assigned their student and partner loads (occurs in January to early March). Additionally faculty advisors are strongly encouraged to reconnect with their community partners two of three weeks before the CFE starts. In the past, changes in the community partner's organization have taken place without notification reaching the Teacher Education Office (e.g., changes in staff). Connecting before the first day of the CFE may reduce the number of last minute surprises.
Should a faculty advisor have a particularly strong interest in the placement and choose to get involved beyond the responsibilities listed in the table above, please let the community partner know that this is the case so that next year’s faculty advisor is not expected to provide the same level of support.
Communicating with International Community Partners
Prior to the start of their CFE, all teacher candidates attending to a CFE outside of Canada are required to communicate with their international community partners by email and/or phone, and as many times as it takes to ensure the teacher candidate understands the numerous details of their placement (e.g., accommodations, orientation schedule, food costs, instructional expectations, etc.).
During the CFE, faculty advisors are encouraged to contact (usually via email) the teacher candidate’s international community partner at least once to introduce themselves and to thank the partner for hosting a UBC teacher candidate. Teacher candidates are required to provide their faculty advisor and the CFE program coordinator Dr. Keith McPherson with the contact information of their CFE partners and, if possible, their CFE accommodations.
Documents and resources to facilitate communication between teacher candidates, faculty advisors and international partners (especially for self-placed international CFEs) can be found here: blogs.ubc.ca/ubcfe/templates and here: blogs.ubc.ca/ubcfe/international
A brief letter introducing to the CFE is sent to all international partners.
Obtaining a Letter of Reference from the Community Partner
Before leaving their placement, teacher candidates may ask their host for a reference letter or ask if they will act as a reference. (The teacher candidate should always notify the host before using him/her as a reference.) It is important to remember that not all community partners may wish to provide a letter of reference for various reasons.
Teacher candidates are requested to avoid asking their faculty advisors to ask for a reference on their behalf. Faculty advisors are encouraged to remind teacher candidates that a reference letter from a community partner may be a possibility, however faculty advisors are requested to refrain from intervening on the teacher candidate’s behalf. Faculty advisors may suggest that the teacher candidate politely ask the community partner to provide him/her with feedback in order to learn and grow from the experience, but not to insist on a reference.
Many teacher candidates will choose to do their CFE in an international setting. All students doing a CFE outside of Canada must register with UBC’s Safety Broad, sign a UBC Assumption of Risk waiver, and will receive a Go Global bursary to assist with travel costs.
Currently, there are two types of international CFE placements:
UBC International Partner
Teacher candidates can choose to do an international CFE with a UBC partner. Many of these established international partners have been placing teacher candidates for years and are responsible for arranging both the TC’s accommodation and school placements. A list of UBC’s current international partners and an overview of the placement activities, estimated costs, visa and vaccination requirements, etc., can be found here: blogs.ubc.ca/ubcfe/international.
Self-Initiated International CFE
There are also a limited number of international self-initiated CFE placements. These placements allow the teacher candidate to place themselves with an international partner of their choice. Teacher candidates are responsible for:
- contacting and arranging their own accommodation and CFE placement
- ensuring all their travel documents and vaccinations are in place and up to date
- having the principal (or the partner’s authorized signatory) sign a CFE agreement with UBC (if required by the international partner)
- all other aspects of the CFE.
International partners are only able to receive UBC teacher candidates who have successfully passed all coursework and practicums prior to their CFE. Teacher candidates who have not passed all their practicums and coursework will not proceed onto a CFE.
International-bound teacher candidates (and many rural-bound teacher candidates) may or may not be responsible for finding their own accommodations. In many cases, the hosting universities and school systems offer UBC teacher candidates accommodation in campus dorms or local home-stays. Teacher candidates are informed well in advance if they have to find their own accommodations. There is always a cost associated to accommodations.
Purchasing Travel Tickets
Teacher candidates are advised to leave the purchase of flight tickets to the midway point of their 10-week practicum. This is to avoid having to recover funds in the rare case that a teacher candidate is unable to proceed to their CFE (e.g., not being able to progress onto an international CFE due to not passing a practicum/coursework).
Regardless of when a travel ticket is purchased, teacher candidates are strongly recommended to purchase flight/trip/travel cancellation insurance in the event that they are unable to proceed to their CFE. Teacher candidates are also strongly advised to purchase trip cancellation insurance that covers cancellation due to reasons associated with a university program.
Finally, teacher candidates are advised to avoid buying any flight/travel tickets early especially if they do not allow for trip cancellation insurance or do not permit changes (such as departure times).
The community field experience is preceded by the teacher candidates' extended (or 10-week) practicum and followed by program coursework. Teacher candidates are required to plan departure and return flights that do not shorten their extended practicum or make them late for the coursework following their CFE. Teacher candidates are strongly advised to not leave their practicum early, or return to their coursework late, as this can negatively impact a strong 10-week practicum report or result in repeating a course.
The following is a list of this year’s secondary and elementary extended practicum end dates and Summer Term 2A start dates that teacher candidates must plan for when booking travel:
The last day secondary teacher candidates are on their 10-week practicum in Vancouver is Friday, April 21, 2017 (until approximately 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.). The first day secondary teacher candidates are required to be back in Vancouver attending BEd coursework is on Monday, May 15, 2017 (start times vary).
The last day elementary/middle years teacher candidates are on their 10-week practicum in Vancouver is Friday, June 2, 2017 (until approximately 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.). The first day elementary/middle years teacher candidates are required to be back in Vancouver attending BEd coursework is on Monday, July 3, 2017 (start times vary).
These departure and return dates are not negotiable. All queries on this topic should be directed to the international community field experience program coordinator.
In some cases, faculty advisors may find it difficult to communicate with a teacher candidates who is engaged an international or rural CFE. Ease of communication often depends on the quality and availability of an Internet connection, phone availability, or time differences. If communication is suspected to be difficult (or unknown) before the teacher candidate departs, teacher candidates and faculty advisors are encouraged to discuss communication accommodations and alternate methods of contact, and to set alternative methods of communication up well in advance of the teacher candidate's departure (e.g., make a test Skype two weeks before the CFE starts and agree upon alternative forms of communication if the Skype call does not work; establish dates and times to connect early in the morning with people doing a CFE in Europe or Africa, etc.).