For Teacher Candidates
After successfully completing a 10-week practicum in local schools, teacher candidates will have an opportunity to participate in educational settings in alternative contexts. By doing so they will expand their concept of potential learning sites, and how they might get involved, either as a career option, or as a classroom teacher with an understanding of educational community connections.
For Community Partners
Our community partners appreciate the support they get from beginning teachers who often bring innovative ideas and new energy to their sites. They also benefit from engaging the new teachers as community members. Teachers can serve as participants (e.g., docents or instructors) or as curriculum developers for our partners’ programs.
Once the teacher candidates complete EDUC 430: Community Field Experience, they return to campus for six weeks of final coursework, and are then recommended for certification. This means they are, for all intents and purposes, teachers. You should expect professionalism from the teacher candidates—punctuality, commitment, engagement, curiosity and a willingness to teach and learn.
Where possible, the teacher candidates should contact you before their first day of the three-week CFE. At that time you can discuss your particular expectations such as arrival and finishing times, “work” assignments and on-site partnerships (e.g., if the teacher candidate will be partnering with the host, another teacher or a volunteer). Teacher candidates expect to shadow community partners, where appropriate, and in the case of instruction/teaching, to assume actual teaching duties when ready. They will expect to be involved in a new educational situation, to be able to contribute, and to learn new ideas, information and skills.
We understand how busy our community partners are. With this in mind, we ask that you maintain communication with us during the practicum through the teacher candidate’s faculty associate (FA). Otherwise, please contact the coordinators named in the contact section (Keith, John, or Rod).
We also ask you to complete a comment form, to provide the teacher candidate’s FA with your observations and assessments regarding the placement and the teacher candidate’s participation.
Schedules for the CFE will vary, according to each organization’s timetable. Some teacher candidates will be working in after-school programs, for example. Their hours may be from 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm. Others, who are away from their homes in rural or recreational placements, may have varied, or even overnight hours. All should be expected to commit to at least five hours a day, five days a week, where possible.
Teacher candidates register online for their CFE before the end of their first month in the BEd program. Video instructions detailing how to register for the CFE are posted here.
During the online registration process, teacher candidates are asked to indicate their placement preferences for international, rural, and local CFE placements. They are also asked to rank order these preferences. Teacher candidates are then placed according to the teacher candidates' top ranked placements down to their least ranked placements, and moving from their international preferences, to rural and then to local placement preferences. If during this process there are more teacher candidates requesting a placement than there are placement spaces with a given community partner, then teacher candidates will be randomly assigned to this CFE partner.
During the CFE registration, teacher candidates are also asked to indicate their preferences from several themes (e.g., Arts, Environmental Education, Parks & Recreation, Community Services) and several locations (e.g., Surrey, Vancouver, Richmond). They are then asked to indicate their preference for being placed by theme or location. In the rare instance when a teacher candidate cannot be assigned any of their preferred CFE placements, these theme and location placement preferences are used to assign a teacher candidate the most applicable CFE placement.
We also ensure mutual benefits to TCs and partners by providing an opportunity in late January for them to meet, determine if there is a fit, and begin planning the CFE. TCs are also connected with a faculty advisor who will make contact with the community partners prior to and during the CFE. Any questions or concerns that are not satisfied through discussion between the TC and their partner may be raised with the faculty advisor.
Teacher candidates are placed with partners according to their CFE placement preferences. When there are more teacher candidates applying for a placement than available spaces, the placements are randomly assigned. For example, if five people apply for two placements, each teacher candidate has a 10% percent chance of being randomly selected and assigned to one of the two spaces. Therefore, when there are more placement requests than spaces, we cannot guarantee a teacher candidate will receive the CFE placement for which they register.
In the vast majority of placements, no costs are involved. In cases where the partner and UBC are unable to cover the costs (e.g., a TB medical exam), the students will be made aware of these costs before the CFE begins.
Depending on your particular circumstances, partners are encouraged to have teacher candidates work on various projects or curriculum either during or at the conclusion of the three weeks. If applicable, ask for a report or an accounting of these completed projects. Concerning their responsibilities to UBC, teacher candidates will submit reflections to their faculty advisors, and will take these reflections with them into their summer course work for self and peer assessment.
For Teacher Candidates
The FAs will call on each TC at least once during EDUC 430 if the practicum is in the Lower Mainland. They will be in touch, at other times, by email, phone or other online means. The FAs’ role, is to debrief the community field experiences with the TCs. They will support the TCs to self-assess, helping them to recognize skills and competencies applied in EDUC 430, helping them identify new learning and helping them assess and strategize approaches to new challenges.
For Community Partners
The FAs serve as the conduits between the hosts and the Teacher Education Office (TEO), once the teacher candidates (TCs) have begun the CFE. The FAs’ site visits will depend on the number of TCs they have been assigned. For those partners/hosts who are beyond the Lower Mainland, all FA communications will be by phone or internet (e.g., email/Skype). The FAs’ role relative to the partners is one of oversight, rather than supervision, and communication rather than evaluation.
We encourage TCs to work with all age groups, particularly those who present a challenge to them. So, no, we do not limit the age of the students/youth to the TCs’ earlier, qualifying practicum experience. In some cases, TCs will be completing their CFE with adults/seniors and with pre-school children.
Yes. In earlier versions of the community field experience, TCs have written curriculum which has been published locally. They can also be asked to test new curriculum and participate in revisions. Community partners are encouraged to recognize the TC’s curriculum developments contributions by citing the TC and UBC in the documents produced.
The CFE is intended to qualify as “non-formal” education. That is, its purpose is to provide teacher candidates with opportunities to participate in educational circumstances that differ from the conventional “formal” classroom. These experiences will vary greatly according to the community partners, but in every case, the CFE is intended to challenge the TCs to think about education beyond the classroom walls. With that in mind, this community field experience is less of a course for testing the TCs’ skills and competencies and more of an opportunity for them to experience diverse contexts for learning and broaden their pedagogical perspectives.