Your Role as a Teacher Candidate

Your role as a teacher candidate will vary depending on your division, your teaching subjects, and your associate teacher. However, there are certain responsibilities that you, as a teacher candidate, must meet to be successful during your practicum. To be successful during your teaching practicum, you must demonstrate the following in academics and practical teaching:

By demonstrating these qualities throughout your practicum, you will fulfill your role as a teacher candidate.

Note: If you are unable to display professionalism, independence, and competence as a teacher candidate during your practicum, you will not receive your Bachelor of Education degree (BEd) and we will not recommend you to the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT)

Professionalism

The Ontario Education Act outlines that teacher candidates have the same responsibilities to learners as a certified teacher. The general public’s expectations of people who work with children are high, and one never ceases to be a teacher anywhere in the community.

The OCT’s Standards of Practice, Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession, and the Professional Learning Framework for the Teaching Profession all outline the principles of professional practice, ethical behaviour, and ongoing learning for the teaching profession in Ontario. To be successful during your practicum, and throughout your program, you must adhere to the above standards.

For more information about professionalism and teaching, please see the OCT or the Ontario Education Act. For some examples of your professional responsibilities during your practicum, see the following:

  • Speak and act with conduct becoming a teacher, a professional who treats students with respect and dignity, and deal judiciously with them, acknowledging always their rights and sensibilities
  • Acknowledge that the culture of teaching demands professional courtesy, self-reflection, and a compassionate and nurturing nature
  • Treat colleagues, students, and parents with professional courtesy and consideration
  • Cope with the emotional, intellectual, and physical demands of the classroom
  • Provide a safe, secure environment for children
  • Meet the professional requirements of your individual school board, school, and classroom

For an expanded list of professional requirements, please see our Two-Year BEd Professional Program Reference Guide: Practicum or our One-Year BEd Professional Year Reference Guide Practicum

Independence

By the end of your practicum, you must have demonstrated skills and independence to do the following:

  • Plan lessons and units that reflect curriculum expectations
  • Deliver lessons using a variety of strategies
  • Collect assessment data in a variety of ways
  • Evaluate and report on student achievement of Ministry of Education expectations and learning skills with respect to strengths, areas for growth, and next steps
  • Perform consistently at an acceptable level indicative of success for a novice teacher entering the profession

You must follow the expectations of your faculty advisor regarding reflections and records associated with teacher feedback and ideas for improvement

Note: You must keep all of your documentation from your practicum (e.g. daybook, MAPS, Handbook, lesson plans, assessment data, and records of verbal and written associate teacher feedback) in case there are difficulties during or after your practicum

Competence

You must display academic and professional competence during your practicum; this involves planning and delivering lessons that address the Ontario Curriculum and meet the needs of learners in a competent way. For more information about displaying competence in the classroom, see the following:

Planning

As a teacher candidate, you must write lessons plans for all assigned lessons. You must share your lesson plans with your associate teacher at least 24 hours before you teach them, and you may use them for reference. You are also required to save your lesson plans as documentation of your practicum experience and your faculty advisor may request these.

Program Delivery

Despite differences at the beginning of your practicum, all teacher candidates should be able to do the following:

  • Draw important information from curriculum documents
  • Understand the ways in which curriculum documents are to be addressed in teaching
  • Interact with learners in an affirming, professional manner
  • Develop and organize a lesson plan independently
  • When requested, develop and deliver a unit plan