The practicum may be the most enjoyable and satisfying part of your teacher education program. It is certainly one of the most demanding and challenging parts of your program. It requires a full commitment of your time and energy. Give yourself every change to succeed: plan ahead.
Year 1: For your first placement (fall), select your school board choice from the following local boards:
- Thames Valley District School Board
- London District Catholic School Board
- Waterloo Region District School Board
- Waterloo Catholic District School Board
- Lambton Kent District School Board (only if you are a graduate of a Lambton high school)
- St. Clair Catholic District School Board
- Avon Maitland District School Board
- Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board
Year 1, Practicum 2, and Year 2: Select from any of the above as well as from other school boards listed HERE (be sure to note any board-specific placement requirements).
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.
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. You will usually receive notice about your practicum placement 2-3 weeks before the start of the practicum block.
b) Faculty Advisor Support: Christine Knight-Smith 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.
a) 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 an hour. 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.
b) 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.
c) Homework: Be prepared to devote your evenings to making notes and writing reflections about your daily experiences in your Organizational Handbook—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.
d) 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.
e) 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.
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 boards as outlined in the Ontario College of Teachers Regulations.)
a) Primary-Junior: At least one placement in JK-grade 3 (Primary), and one in grades 4-6 (Junior).
b) Junior-Intermediate: At least o ne 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.
c) 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 Record 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 police check in May; completed checks must be dated no earlier than June 1 of the year in which you will begin your program.
- 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.