Support from the university during your placement

You will not be alone during your professional experience placement!

Apart from the support you will receive from your supervising teacher and site coordinator at the school or learning site, you will have continuous support from the university throughout the day visits and the block component of your placement.

This support will come from a University Coordinator. A University Coordinator is different from the unit coordinator for your university course because he / she is the person who will contact or visit you and your supervising teacher at the school / learning site during your placement.

If you live close to a campus location, the University Coordinator will visit your school / learning site at least once during the block component of your placement. This visit will usually occur close to the time of completing the Interim Report. Further visits may be conducted at the request of the supervising teacher or on an as-needs basis for pre-service teachers who need additional support.

If you are completing your placement in a location where it is not possible for a University Coordinator to conduct a physical site visit, contact with you and your supervising teacher will usually occur by email or phone. Pre-service teachers in distance locations will be required to send samples of planning, reflection and observation tasks to the University Coordinator for moderation and feedback.

What does the University Coordinator do?

The University Coordinator will:

  • clarify the expectations for your placement with your supervising teacher and respond to any queries about the placement materials or reports
  • check on your progress during the placement and advise on ways that you can improve your practice and record-keeping,
  • provide feedback on your planning and other materials in your Working Portfolio,
  • moderate your achievement against the Standards outlined on the Interim and Summative Reports
  • conduct an ‘at risk’ meeting, if required, and develop a support plan that outlines strategies and indicators of improvement for pre-service teachers who are not meeting expectations.

What happens if you are not showing progress during your placement

Supervising teachers will use the Guide to Making Judgements for a professional experience placement to give you feedback and to make a judgement about your progress and achievement.

If you are not showing adequate progress or if you are not responding to feedback to improve areas of your practice that are “Below expectations”, you may be identified as “at risk” of failing the placement.

In this case, your supervising teacher or site coordinator will contact your University Coordinator to formally identify the areas where your practice must be improved to meet the expectations described in the Guide to Making Judgements by the end of the placement.

It is important to understand that all of the people associated with your placement are keen to see you succeed but, of course, if you are judged to be “at risk”, you also have important responsibilities to improve your practice so that you meet the stated expectations. One important outcome of an “at risk” meeting is to ensure that everyone has a clear idea of the evidence that needs to be produced to show that a pre-service teacher is meeting the expected standard as well as a clear and well-documented plan of strategies for supporting this growth and improvement.

What happens at an “at risk” meeting?

A model for an at risk meeting

This video shows how and why an “at risk” meeting might be conducted.  The video is a role play and does not use real pre-service teachers, supervising teachers or site coordinators but each “actor” explains how they prepare for the meeting and carry out their role during the meeting.

The additional videos below show the follow-up to the meeting when each “actor” reflects on the process and the outcomes for the supervising teacher and the pre-service teacher.  You will find the reflections helpful in understanding why a formal process was needed to help the pre-service teacher show improvement.

Pre-service teacher reflection

Supervising teacher reflection

University coordinator reflection

Site coordinator reflection