About Professional Program Teaching Practicums

As part of your Two-Year Bachelor of Education degree (BEd) Professional Program, you must complete a student teaching practicum, which spans a minimum of 105 days. This experience places you in a school or other learning environment so you will have the opportunity to teach students and learn from certified teachers who have a minimum of two-years teaching experience.

To receive your BEd and become a member of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), you must complete your practicum successfully; this requires that you to meet all of your practicum’s requirements and fulfill all of your conditions as a teacher candidate in a responsible and professional manner.

Before you register for your practicum, please ensure that you understand how it works, its requirements, and your role as a teacher candidate. For a complete overview of your practicum, please see our Two-Year BEd Professional Program Reference Guide: Practicum

What is a Teaching Practicum?

As part of all Two-Year BEd Professional Programs, no matter your division or teaching subjects, you must complete a student teaching practicum, which consists of EDUC 4398 and EDUC 4498.

Your practicum is a mandatory part of your program and involves a minimum of 105 days of practice teaching divided into four teaching placements. Both Lakehead University and the OCT require you to complete this part of your degree to become a certified teacher.

Your practicum is an opportunity for you to apply your knowledge and teaching skills in the classroom as well as acquire teaching techniques and professional attitudes from experienced teaching mentors.

What will I be doing during my Teaching Practicum?

Each practicum is a unique experience that will give you the chance to observe successful teaching as well as prepare and deliver lessons. Over the course of your practicum, you will gradually gain more teaching responsibility; you will transition from observational learning and some teaching to independently planning lessons and teaching.

During your practicum, you will complete some of the following tasks:

  • Become familiar with the school’s professional atmosphere and administrative process
  • Manage the classroom to ensure student safety and effective learning
  • Collaborate with your associate teacher to understand the needs of learners better
  • Develop lesson plans that meet Ontario curriculum requirements
  • Deliver lessons in a competent, professional, and responsible way
  • Keep a record of your lessons and teaching so you can submit them to your associate teacher as well as reflect on your own experiences

Note: To be successful during your practicum, you must demonstrate professionalism, independence, and competence

French Placements: 

Students enrolled in the Primary-Junior division of the Two-Year Professional Program who are interested in teaching French as a Second Language are now able to do so while completing their BEd degree. Register for EDUC 4621: French as a Second Language Part I and be eligible to complete a placement in Year 2 in a Core French classroom.  A DELF B2* is also required.

DALF C1** is required for French Immersion setting within an English language school in Ontario.

**DELF - Diplôme d'études en Langue Française

**DALF - Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française

For more information about the DELF/DALF, including exam centres and dates, please visit

https://delf-dalf.ambafrance-ca.org/

and the Lakehead University Languages Department website:

https://www.lakeheadu.ca/academics/departments/languages/delf-dalf

Note: Students applying for EDUC 4621: French as a Second Language Part I must also pass a qualifying language proficiency test or provide acceptable evidence of fluency in French (EDUC 4621). For more information, please see our Test Information and Application Package.  Contact the Undergraduate office for more information.

Where can I complete my Teaching Practicum?

Year One

In year one of your program, you must complete both of your placements in Thunder Bay with either the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board or the Lakehead District School Board.

Year Two

In year two of your program, you will be able to complete your placements with any partnership board. For teacher candidates in the Outdoor Ecological and Experiential Education (OE3) Schedule, you will most likely complete your alternative placement during this time. You also have the opportunity to complete one of your second year placements (March/April session) in a remote/isolated location , alternative site or abroad. If you are on practicum review, you must complete your final placements in Thunder Bay.

Securing a Placement

We will do our best to secure a placement for all teacher candidates, but we cannot guarantee placements for students, in particular, those who have a criminal charge or conviction. Also, our partnering boards have ultimate authority over your placement eligibility. It is your responsibility to meet your practicum’s requirements and the partnership school board’s expectations.

To ensure the integrity of the field evaluation process, we arrange all placements. Under no circumstances should you attempt to arrange your own placement. For more information about all of our partnership boards, see Our Partnership School Boards page or our International Opportunities page.

Note: Candidates who interfere or who have individuals interfere in the placement procurement process on their behalf, are subject to sanctions under the Student Code of Conduct

When is my Teaching Practicum?

Note: For more information about your practicum's schedule, see our Two-Year BEd Professional Program Reference Guide: Practicum.

For 2019/2020 placement dates, please see Resources for your Teaching Practicum.

How do I pass my Teaching Practicum?

Your faculty advisor will determine if your practicum is successful based on written reports from associate teachers, reflections, lesson plans, and other applicable documents such as classroom observation reports.

There are three possible grades that you can achieve after you complete a placement; these grades include:

  • Pass (P) – You, the teacher candidate, will receive a Pass for EDUC 4398 and EDUC 4498 and, upon graduation, we will recommend you to the OCT for certification
  • Incomplete (INC) – You, the teacher candidate, have not yet displayed the level of competence, independence, and/or professionalism in teaching required for a Pass in ECUC 4398 and EDUC 4498. In such cases, you will be placed on review

Or

  • You are unable to complete a placement and have provided appropriate, official medical documentation or a letter documenting extenuating circumstances (e.g. compassionate grounds) to the Professional Experiences Office
  • Fail (F) –  You, the teacher candidate, have not exhibited the competence, independence, and/or professionalism in teaching that is necessary to receive credit for EDUC 4398 or EDUC 4498 and will not be recommended to OCT for teacher certification

Note: Two compromised placements means that you will be removed from the program