Staff and teachers across our network of partner schools and educational facilities provide essential oversight and guidance to help our students successfully implement the teaching theories that they have learnt in our university classrooms into a practice setting.
The University, our students and ultimately the education industry generally, wouldn’t be as successful were it not for the time and dedication that our site coordinators and supervising teachers invest in our Professional experience placements.
The site coordinator is the main contact person for university staff at a school or approved learning site.
Initially, this staff member responds to requests for placements for pre-service teachers made by placement officers from the Professional Experience Office.
Key aspects of this role include:
- arranging and confirming the placement of pre-service teachers with appropriate supervising teachers
- supporting the induction of pre-service teachers to the site, and
- maintaining communication with university and school-based staff to support a positive experience for all participants.
To do List for Site Coordinators
The site coordinator maintains oversight for high quality professional experience by taking responsibility for the communication and management processes outlined in the list below:
- Respond to requests made by university placement officers with advice about offers of placements at the school or learning site
- Arrange the placement of pre-service teachers with appropriate supervising teachers at the site
- Conduct an orientation or induction to the site in relation to Workplace Health and Safety policy, school or site procedures and expectations for professional conduct during the placement
- Distribute electronic copies of materials for each placement to supervising teachers
- Support the supervising teacher in assessment of a pre-service teacher experiencing difficulty in meeting any expectations of the placement
- Notify the university supervisor allocated to the school or site immediately if a pre-service teacher’s progress or professional conduct is of concern
- Participate in an ‘At Risk’ meeting with the university supervisor, the supervising teacher and the pre-service teacher if a pre-service teacher is failing to meet the expectations of the placement
- Participate in the moderation of final year pre-service teacher’s achievement of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Graduate Level)
In this video clip, staff from the university discuss the practices enacted by site coordinators that lead to high quality professional experience placements for pre-service teachers.
The supervising teacher performs a vital role in the professional learning, support and assessment of pre-service teachers and in the task and activities that pre-service teachers undertake while enhancing and refining their classroom practice.
As suggested by the diagram, the role of the supervising teacher is a multi-dimensional one. Supervising teachers are teacher educators and mentors or guides for pre-service teachers, as well as being assessors of their progress against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
A valued feature of performing these interconnected roles includes opportunities for discussion and reflection on practices that improve student learning to foster pre-service teachers’ confidence, competence and ongoing professional development.
This short video explains the different roles that supervising teachers enact as they support pre-service teachers and achieve a balance between being a teacher educator, a mentor or guide, and an assessor.
To do List for Supervising Teachers
The list of tasks performed by supervising teachers outlined here draws on the practices of high quality supervising teachers described by Rosie Le Cornu (2015). The list includes references to documents, people and assessment and reporting processes that are specific to the supervision of pre-service teachers from CQUniversity.
- Provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to complete the professional learning tasks and activities outlined in the Information and Guidelines Booklet for the given placement
- Facilitate opportunities for pre-service teachers to observe effective teaching practice
- Support pre-service teachers to interpret and respond to observations of teaching and learning by sharing expertise and knowledge of students and discussing teaching practice
- Support pre-service teachers to build constructive learning relationships and plan and implement an appropriate learning program for students
- Help pre-service teachers understand and interpret student data to effectively plan and modify their teaching practice
- Provide feedback on the pre-service teacher’s practices using the focus areas outlined in the Information and Guidelines Booklet or areas of strength and need for improvement
- Assist pre-service teachers to identify evidence of the impact of their teaching on student learning
- Liaise with the University Supervisor allocated to the site to clarify expectations for the placement and discuss the pre-service teacher’s progress
- Assess the pre-service teacher’s progress towards, or demonstration of, the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at a level appropriate to his / her experience or progress throughout the course of study
- Complete the Interim Report and Final Summative Report by rating the pre-service teacher’s progress against the criteria outlined in the Guide to Making Judgements for the given placement (See Appendices in the relevant Information and Guidelines Booklet for the criteria and Guide to Making Judgements)
- Finalise the pre-service teacher’s Summative Report at the conclusion of the placement.
This list of roles makes it obvious that supporting pre-service teachers and making good judgements on their progress at different stages of their development depends on supervising teachers having clear, shared understandings of the expectations for their practice during a particular professional experience placement.
Professional experience placements represent a developmental continuum where pre-service teachers move from needing high levels of guidance and support during their first placement towards independent demonstration of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at Graduate Career Stage in their final placement.
In other words, context matters when providing appropriate support for pre-service teachers and making assessment judgements. A first year pre-service teacher will be at a vastly different stage of development to a final year pre-service teacher.
Information and Guidelines booklets contain useful information about the prior knowledge that pre-service teachers bring to a particular placement. Specifically, each booklet contains a Course Map which provides a snapshot of the curriculum, content, pedagogical and professional knowledge that pre-service teachers have acquired through university coursework prior to a given placement.
The following topic called Assessment of Pre-service Teachers provides more information and video clips that explain the resources provided by CQUniversity for making judgements on pre-service teachers’ demonstration of the Standards at their current stage of development during placement.
Overview of Assessment and Reporting Processes
Assessment of pre-service teachers at all stages of development throughout their course of study is made against the focus areas of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Graduate Career Stage). The criteria for assessment vary according to the pre-service teacher’s stage of progression e.g. the criteria for assessing a first year pre-service teacher are different from those that apply to a second year, third year or final year pre-service teacher.
Assessment and monitoring of pre-service teachers’ progress for each professional experience placement occurs in four main ways that are either formative or summative. These strategies include:
Classroom observations on an agreed focus of pre-service teachers’ practice throughout the assessable days. (The Information and Guidelines booklet for each placement lists specific skills linked to the APST that can be observed in the classroom using the classroom observation template.)
Working Portfolio checks. (Records of observations, planning, strategies for assessing and recording student learning and reflections should be completed and shown to the supervising teacher on a daily basis.)
The Interim Report. (This report is completed at the midway point of the placement and is an opportunity for focused feedback on the pre-service teacher’s progress towards demonstrating the expectations described in the Guide to Making Judgements.)
The Final Summative Report. (This report determines the final outcome for the placement. It is completed electronically. The pre-service teacher’s practice is assessed using the ratings: Below Expectations - B, Developing towards expectations - D, At expectations – A, or Exceeding expectations - E.)
Assessment Resources for Supervising Teachers and Site Coordinators
A range of materials and resources are provided in each Information and Guidelines Booklet to support supervising teachers.
This video describes the assessment materials provided for supervising teachers and explains how they are used to provide feedback to pre-service teachers at various stages throughout their placements.
This video explains more about the Guide to Making Judgements that is included in the Information and Guidelines booklet for each placement. The Guides describe and clarify the minimum expectations for a pre-service teacher according to their level of progression in a course. The Guide to Making Judgements has been written to align with the way in which Standards are grouped on the reports. These groups focus on five aspects of the pre-service teacher’s practice: planning, teaching, management of the learning environment, assessment practices and professional conduct.
Other resources to support assessment judgements:
The Queensland College of Teachers has produced an excellent guide to the types of evidence that can help supervising teachers make judgements about pre-service teachers’ progress against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Graduate level).
The evidence guide is organised using the same groups of Standards as the reports and Guide to Making Judgements in CQUniversity’s Information and Reporting materials. It describes a wide range of sources of evidence of pre-service teachers’ engagement with or demonstration of the Standards including artefacts, observations and discussions with the pre-service teacher.
The Queensland College of Teacher’s Evidence Guide emphasises the importance of understanding where a particular professional experience placement fits within the pre-service teacher’s course of study. For example, at an early stage in a course of study, a pre-service teacher will engage with the knowledge, understanding and skills embedded in a Standard descriptor, while at the end of a course in the final professional experience placement, a pre-service teacher should demonstrate the Standard with evidence in his / her practice.
You can access the Evidence Guide through the link provided here. The examples cover all focus areas of the Standards and the Guide also includes excellent advice to supervising teachers to support their roles, decision-making about pre-service teachers’ achievement and considerations about the impact of context on their judgements.
In this video the alignment between assessment and the tasks and activities that pre-service teachers are required to complete during a professional experience placement is explained. It is important to note that pre-service teachers must be given the opportunity to perform the required tasks to be able to demonstrate the assessment criteria for their placement.
You can find copies of all Information and Guidelines Booklets and Reports for pre-service teacher placements throughout all of our initial teacher education courses on this site.
A final year pre-service teacher may be enrolled in either an undergraduate or a post-graduate course. Regardless of the course of enrolment, the common characteristic that defines all final year pre-service teachers is that their achievement will be assessed against demonstration of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Graduate Level) during a professional experience placement.
For all our pre-service teachers, assessment for a final professional experience placement is completed using an electronic version of Queensland’s common report: the Final Professional Experience Recommendations.
More about Queensland’s common final professional experience report
The Final Professional Experience Recommendations report groups the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Graduate Level) in ways that can be observed and assessed through the evidence produced by a pre-service teacher during the final professional experience placement.
The five main areas for assessment of pre-service teacher’s classroom practice include:
- Planning effectively
- Teaching effectively
- Managing effectively
- Assessing and recording student learning
- Professional conduct
The report also identifies some sources of evidence for making assessment judgements in each of these five key areas. These sources are listed at the beginning of each section of the report to guide the supervising teacher’s feedback and final evaluation of the pre-service teacher’s readiness to teach.
The Final Professional Experience Recommendations report is the summative report used to assess CQUniversity’s pre-service teachers in the placements and courses listed below. Supervising teachers will be supported to moderate each pre-service teacher’s achievement of the Standards and descriptors on this report by a University Supervisor during these placements.
assessed by the Final Professional Experience Recommendations
|Bachelor of Education (Secondary)||Professional Practice 4|
|Bachelor of Education (Primary)||Professional Practice 4|
|Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)||Professional Practice 4|
|Master of Teaching (Primary)||Professional Praxis 4|
|Master of Teaching (Secondary)||Professional Praxis 4|
|Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)||Professional Praxis 4|
Other requirements for final year pre-service teachers
All final year pre-service teachers at CQUniversity will complete a Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment (the GTPA).
The GTPA is a task that meets the national requirement for all pre-service teachers to undertake an authentic culminating summative assessment to demonstrate their readiness to teach. Essential to demonstrating “readiness to teach” is the ability to engage in the full cycle of teaching practice including planning, teaching, assessment and reflection to defend a teaching approach that has an impact on student learning. More information about the GTPA for supervising teachers and schools is outlined on the Fact Sheet attached here.
The way that the GTPA aligns with the final assessable professional experience placement is introduced in this video. Pre-service teachers make connections between the academic knowledge they have acquired during university coursework and the authentic context of planning for and teaching their placement class. The opportunity for a pre-service teacher to engage in the full cycle of teaching practice, including the interpretation of assessment data, during the placement is an important consideration that underpins the completion of this task and the design of the final assessable professional experience placement.
The Working Portfolio is the name given to pre-service teachers’ records of the tasks they complete throughout a professional experience placement. The working portfolio may be in hard copy form in a folder or it may be constructed in electronic format. It is a working document that includes all preparation, planning, observations, assessment strategies, student work samples, classroom observations, teaching evaluations, reflections and resources constructed and completed by the pre-service teacher during professional experience.
It is an expectation that pre-service teachers maintain up-to-date records of their practice and can produce their working portfolio for the supervising teacher, site coordinator or university supervisor at any time throughout the placement. Pre-service teachers are also expected to provide supervising teachers with copies of their planning and preparation for any teaching activities prior to implementation.
An incomplete Working Portfolio (planning, evaluations, reflections or observations incomplete or not up-to-date) indicates a lack of professional commitment on the part of the pre-service teacher and may be used to initiate the “at risk” process.
In this video, a third year pre-service teacher explains how she has organised her Working Portfolio. Her organisation makes it easy for her to locate planning and resources for teaching and produce evidence of any of the required tasks.
A supervising teacher may identify a pre-service teacher as being “at risk” of failing a placement. This judgement would usually happen if the pre-service teacher was not responding to feedback or demonstrating adequate progress towards meeting the expectations for a particular placement.
An “At Risk” meeting is held in these circumstances. The meeting is attended by the supervising teacher, the pre-service teacher, the university supervisor and the site coordinator (where possible). At the meeting, an “At Risk” form is completed and a “Support Plan” is put into place to address the concerns that have been raised.
Pre-service teacher – At risk form
The main purpose of the form is to formally record that a pre-service teacher is currently “At risk” of failing a placement by recording the reasons for this assessment judgement. Dates for reviewing whether the identified concerns have been met are set and recorded on this form (See Column 3). The pre-service teacher must have a minimum of three placement days to address the issues requiring corrective action.
The outcome of an “at risk” process can be either:
(a) The pre-service teacher addresses the concerns and progresses to successfully complete the placement.
(b) The pre-service teacher is withdrawn from the placement on the basis of failing to meet the expected level of performance as outlined in the Guide to Making Judgements in the Information and Guidelines Booklet.
An essential part of an “at risk” meeting is the development of strategies to address the identified concerns and support the pre-service teacher’s progress for the remainder of the placement. These strategies should be outlined on the form.
The completed template should outline suggested strategies for improving the pre-service teacher’s practice within specific timeframes. The Support Plan encourages the pre-service teacher to reflect on his/her progress and the corrective actions that have been taken to address the identified issues. The pre-service teacher should complete the final column on the template prior to the scheduled review meeting.
A Model of an “At Risk” Meeting
The video has been produced to model the process of conducting an “at risk” meeting. While the examples are role plays and do not involve real pre-service teachers or supervising teachers involved in the “at risk” process, they provide some guidelines about the role that site coordinators and supervising teachers play in the process for conducting a clear, fair and productive meeting. As you view the video, you might consider the following reflection questions:
- Why is it important to provide clear examples of the concerns leading to the decision to place the pre-service teacher at risk?
- Why is the site coordinator’s participation a valued feature of an effective “at risk” meeting?
- What would you expect of a University Supervisor if your pre-service teacher was struggling to meet your expectations?
The “at risk” process often involves having difficult conversations with pre-service teachers. The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has produced a professional learning package for supervising teachers that includes strategies for giving feedback and managing difficult conversations that you may find helpful. You can access the learning package through the link provided. The section on feedback is in the second module in the package called “Practice Analysis”.
University support for placement hosts
This section provides schools and supervising teachers with information about the support they can expect from academic staff and placement officers throughout a professional experience placement.
The information is organised into 3 sections which describe the partnership, support and communication strategies between university staff and site- based staff at all stages of pre-service teacher placements. These sections are outlined broadly as:
During the placement, an academic staff member from the university plays an important support role for both supervising teachers and pre-service teachers. This staff member is called the University Supervisor for the placement.
Schools will usually be advised of the name and email contact details of their University Supervisor at the time of confirmation of pre-service teacher details and the supply of documentation for the placement.
The table below provides detail about the communication between University Supervisors, supervising teachers and pre-service teachers while a professional experience placement is in progress.
(Contact may be via email, phone or visit to the site or in response to a request for clarification from site coordinators, supervising teachers or pre-service teachers)
Contact with sites to clarify expectations, answer queries, address concerns, and / or to arrange a schedule for a visit (in locations within the area served by a regional campus)
Contact with pre-service teachers (introductory and clarification of expectations where required)
Prior to the commencement of the placement or during the first week.
* A visit may be via phone, email, online platform or a physical site visit depending on proximity to a regional campus
Contact with sites to check, monitor and support pre-service teacher’s progress and moderate assessment judgements
Contact with pre-service teachers for support and moderation
Approximately at the time of the Interim Report or on request
|Follow-up visits*||Contact visit with sites to provide targeted support for pre-service teachers identified as “at risk”|
On notification from sites about concerns
At meeting times set on a support plan for “at risk” pre-service teachers.
Typical communication processes occur between Site Coordinators and Placement Officers from CQUniversity’s Professional Experience Office before placements are scheduled to begin.
Effective communication helps to organise the placements and ensure the timely supply of placement materials to supervising teachers. What schools can expect from the university at this stage of the placement process is summarised below.
|Communication details||Approximate timing of communication|
|Email contact with attachments that include a brief overview of the requested placement and its timing and duration on a calendar of placement dates for the school year.|
At the time of the initial request for a pre-service teacher placement
(Requests may be sent up to one school term prior to the expected commencement of the scheduled placement)
|Email or phone contact to clarify requirements or provide further information about placement requests||On request for further information from site coordinators prior to the offer of a placement|
|Email from the Professional Experience Office to confirm the offer of a pre-service teacher placement at the site||Following an offer from the site coordinator to support a pre-service teacher placement|
Email to confirm:
name (and teaching areas where applicable) of pre-service teachers placed at the site
name and contact details of the academic staff member (University Supervisor) who will be the main point of contact between site coordinators, supervising teachers and the university throughout the placement.
|Approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the placement (or earlier if possible)|
Email to site coordinators with the following attachments for distribution to supervising teachers:
Information and Guidelines Booklets for the specific placement
Forms for claiming payment for site coordinators and supervising teachers
|Approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the placement (or earlier if possible)|
On conclusion of the placement, the Professional Experience Office may communicate with site coordinators and supervising teachers to:
- Request the submission of electronic final summative reports
- Request the return of pay claim forms that have not been submitted
- Confirm processing of pay claims and advise of expected date of receipt of payment
- Seek feedback on the placement through evaluation forms supplied following completion of the electronic report
- Respond to any follow-up administration details regarding the placement
- Thank school staff for their commitment and support for CQUniversity’s pre-service teachers