FAQs for Supervising Teachers
How can I help the Teacher Education Student to get the most from Professional Experience?
You can assist the Teacher Education Student at your centre or school by providing them with a list of staff names and roles, a layout of your facility and information about relevant policies and procedures before they begin Professional Experience. If your setting has a dress code, please inform the Teacher Education Student about these expectations as early as possible. Creating and maintaining channels of open and honest communication is foundational to a productive and positive Teacher Education Student – Supervising Teacher relationship. Constructive feedback and evaluation regarding their progress is another way you can support the success of your Teacher Education Student.
We ask that you carry out the following each day:
- read the plans, prior to implementation, that the Teacher Education Student has prepared
- clarify the objectives, in terms of learning outcomes for the children, that the Teacher Education Student has set
- provide feedback. During the initial stages of the feedback session resist the temptation to tell the Teacher Education Student what should have happened. Instead, encourage reflective processes by asking the Teacher Education Student: "What did you think of the session?" "What were the best parts of the session?" "How would you improve it?" Ideas from the Teacher Education Student can be developed and extended through discussion.
We ask that you carry out the following each week:
- clarify, in terms of professional development of the Teacher Education Student, the objectives the Teacher Education Student has set
- observe the Teacher Education Student and note particular examples relating to earlier discussions that could be used in the follow-up session
- provide written and verbal feedback commenting on planning skills, appropriate teaching strategies, management techniques, responsiveness to children, flexibility and adaptability.
Please also take the time to familiarise yourself with the Professional Experience expectations. You may like to help the Teacher Education Student to develop an appropriate set of goals or a to-do list to keep them on- track with required tasks.
How do I formally assess and evaluate the Teacher Education Student’s progress?
Formal assessment of the Teacher Education Student is guided by Professional Experience expectations for each stage of their professional development. These expectations relate directly to the assessment criteria listed in the Professional Experience ‘Evaluation Report’. The report can be used as a guide for discussion with the Tertiary Supervisor and the Teacher Education Student. If you find that you have identified and ticked some areas as unsatisfactory at it is a strong indicator that the Teacher Education Student should be placed ‘at risk’ of failure.
Please ensure the Professional Experience Evaluation Report is completed by the final day of the Teacher Education Student’s Professional Experience placement. For units using a digital Evaluation form, it is the supervising teacher’s responsibility to ensure the completed report is emailed to the email address indicated on the report. It is the Teacher Education Student’s responsibility to submit the report within one week of finishing the Professional Experience placement.
What if my experience and expertise do not relate to the Teacher Education Student’s Professional Experience requirements?
Our Teacher Education Students arrive with the information they need to complete the University requirements. You do not need to be the expert in our approach to education. We recognise that there are many ways to teach. What our Teacher Education Students need is your wisdom, your feedback and your time. We recognise providing time for Teacher Education Students in an overcrowded timetable can be a challenging task. In many cases Teacher Education Students will adapt their requirements to suit the needs of your particular setting. Please ensure you set aside time early in the Professional Experience placement to negotiate the best way forward for you and your Teacher Education Student.
Beyond the tasks required by the University, it is our hope that the Teacher Education Students experience your ways of teaching and draw as much value from your modelling as possible. As such, we encourage you to take time out to show Teacher Education Students how you do things, to offer ideas about how they could improve their practice and to guide them specifically on how they can be a productive and effective teacher in your setting.
How do I find out about the extent and nature of teaching the Teacher Education Student is required to do?
Teacher Education Student teaching requirements vary depending on which Professional Experience unit a Teacher Education Student is enrolled in. More detail about specific requirements for each Professional Experience placement can be obtained by speaking to the Teacher Education Student and by referring to the information emailed to the centre or school prior to placement. Teacher Education Students are provided with very specific details about their teaching requirements before they begin orientation days.
What hours are the Teacher Education Students expected to attend?
Teacher Education Students are expected to attend the same hours as their Supervising Teacher unless otherwise advised. For example, in a long day care setting Teacher Education Students are expected to attend a maximum of eight hours a day, five days a week, undertaking the same shift as their Supervising Teacher. In a school placement or traditional 9am to 3pm preschool, Teacher Education Students are expected to attend for a minimum of seven hours each day, five days a week. Teacher Education Students are not permitted to attend a 10-hour day, four days a week.
The requirements for the supervision of children will vary among settings, but Teacher Education Students must never assume sole supervision of a group of children either indoors or outdoors, or outside the grounds of the setting. They must not be treated as replacement staff nor be included in the adult–child ratio, related to licensing.
What are my responsibilities if I am absent?
Please consider who might take on the responsibility of supervising your Teacher Education Student in your absence. Providing this information about a replacement Supervising Teacher to the Teacher Education Student can alleviate confusion and concern. If, for any reason, you are not able to continue in your role as Supervising Teacher we would ask that you, or a member of the staff, contact the Tertiary Supervisor or the unit convenor as soon as possible. If you are unable to be present on the day of the Tertiary Supervisor’s visit, please request that the Teacher Education Student make other arrangements that are more suitable for you.
What if my Teacher Education Student is absent?
Teacher Education Students are required to attend every day of their Professional Experience including their orientation days. The University requires a medical certificate for any absence due to illness that exceeds one day. Unreliable attendance may be seen as evidence of unprofessional conduct and may result in the Teacher Education Student’s failure in the Professional Experience unit.
In any case of absence, Teacher Education Students have been advised to notify you or the director, principal or designated person no later than 8.30am on the day of absence. Please discuss with your Teacher Education Student the best procedure in your particular setting. The Teacher Education Student is also required to notify the Professional Experience Office on (02) 9850 9822 and their Tertiary Supervisor as soon as possible.
Teacher Education Students who are absent for one or more days of their Professional Experience period will be required to make up the days. In most circumstances, this requirement must be met within five working days following the end of a block-teaching period. These arrangements should be negotiated to suit you.
What should I do if I am concerned about my Teacher Education Student’s performance?
Please notify the Tertiary Supervisor if you believe the Teacher Education Student is experiencing difficulty. The earlier this is known, the better. Making early contact with the Tertiary Supervisor ensures the best possible outcome for the Teacher Education Student. Early notification ensures the Teacher Education Student is given sufficient time to improve their work as well as ensuring you are properly supported by the University. If, for any reason, you are unable to get in contact with the Tertiary Supervisor, contact the unit convenor or the Professional Experience Office on (02) 9850 9460. Where a Teacher Education Student’s performance is deemed ‘at risk’ of failure by you and/or the Tertiary Supervisor, Teacher Education Students must be formally placed ‘at risk’ of failure. Further information about Teacher Education Students ‘at risk’ of failure can be found at:
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How can I give feedback to the University or make a complaint?
Your comments help provide the best possible experience for our Teacher Education Students on Professional Experience. In the case of comments, complaints or concerns we would ask that you make those directly to either the Tertiary Supervisor or the unit convenor. Contact information can be found in the email sent to the centre/school prior to the Teacher Education Student commencing placement. These details can also be obtained from the Professional Experience Office on (02) 9850 9460.