A major component of this weeks learning path is discussing the requirements for Professional Experience. While for many of us this will be our 4th of 5th experience, most of what is expected of us it nothing new. This week, we were asked to answer some questions about what we do know about Professional Experience.
As a third year student, this will be my 4th practicum. Similarly to my last experience, it is expected to last for 15 school days (Monday-Friday). i.e. 3 weeks. This experience however, there is more opportunity for teaching sessions. According to the 2016 Professional Experience Book, the bare minimum amount of teaching that is required for a practicum student is as follows:
Week 1: Days 1-5
- Teach for a third of each day
Week 2: Days 5-10
- Teach for half of the day
Week 3: Days 10-15
- Teach two-thirds of each day with one full day
Of course, this is what is expected. But if the opportunity arises for me to personal do more teaching than is required I will happily jump on board!
When designing lessons we are required to use the supplied lesson planning template for USQ. honestly, I don’t know why you wouldn’t. It’s the format we have been taught to use over the last few years! However, not all mentors will be familiar to this format. If they suggest to you that you are to use a different template, then I will have no hesitation in doing so!
As part of this particular experience, it is a requirement to create and teach 5 ICT-based lesson plans. Not only is this required for the third assessment piece but it allows us, as ICT students to put to action what we have learned throughout this course.
Like all other Professional Experiences, it is expected that you more or less shadow your mentor teacher. This experience is no different. If your mentor is at school at 7:30am to help organize the school’s cross country for the day, then you are expected to be there as well. If there is a meeting after school that runs until 4:30pm, you are required to be there alongside your mentor. After all, it’s all part of the job and is something that you will most likely end up doing once you are working as a full time teacher.
Similarly to other practicums, feedback is to be collected. There are a range of different forms of feedback that can and should be gather while out on prac including informal, formal, verbal and written. While it is required to receive feedback from your mentor particularly for the 5 ICT-based lessons that will need to be submitted for Assignment 3; collection of feedback should also be incorporated into your personal professional portfolio that can be and most likely will be viewed when applying for a teaching position at the end of university.
Lastly, as this experience is centered around ICT, while it may be frustrating, you could be in a context where the school and/or the classroom you are placed in is low on ICT resources. This is a real concern of mine. A suggestion made in this weeks learning path is to have students work is small groups or even pairs, depending on how many resources are actually available. The lesson may need to be adjusted slightly but at least the overall concept for the lesson can still be achieved. Another option is to bring in or substitute your own personal device/s. Another suggestion made within the learning path was integrating headphone splitters which is a really cool and effective idea.
The time is drawing near now when we all find out our placements, which is both nerve-wracking and exciting. However, as stated above, for many of us, Professional Experience is nothing new. We all know what is expected and what we are required to do. We may be faced with challenges but it is part of our job to deal with them and push on.
Best of Luck!