Role of the Site Coordinator
Discussion about the strategies and practices that lead to high quality professional experience placements
So here we are today, we're out of roll, and we're talking about the different roles that occur in the professional experience placement. We're talking about the site coordinators role and I have group Greg Wilkes with me here today because Greg you've experienced that role firstly yourself in a school but also from the perspective of working here at the University. Would you be able to, please, tell us a little bit about these site coordinators role in a school.
Okay, really I think the site coordinators one of the vital links between the University and the school, there if you like the conduit almost like a critical funnel, there the person who receives the communication from our practices in the various come campuses. They're the people who receive the emails and the documentation and so forth and it's really essential that they distribute them promptly and maintain those lines of communication with us. The site coordinators understand that over the years the nature of their practicum experience has changed significantly, so it's really essential that they're up to date with what the expectations are currently. That's very important. I also see the site coordinators role is very important in engaging staff members who will make great mentors, staff members teachers who want to be mentors and have a lot to offer. So some of the good practice I see in place is where as site coordinators actually actively rather than just send out an email to staff saying well who wants a prac student from the University, they actually go around the school and tap people on the shoulder and have a conversation with those people and engage the best possible people to be mentors. Also they're the people who are critical in conducting the initial introduction to the school, the induction process for our people and that's really important.
Fantastic, yes. So could you describe for us what would make a really effective induction program for our pre-service teachers?
I think a lot of schools have something in place already, I think so, teacher aides a new teaching staff, so essentially the same sort of thing so very practical things like it's where the staff room, is where the staff toilets are, dress expectations, when they expect our students to arrive at work in the morning, where they sign on, where they can put their lunch in the fridge, what are the arrangements for tea and coffee, all those practical things. But also things like who's the go-to person of the school for technology, for curriculum, can they borrow materials from the storerooms and a library, who do they talk to in that respect, is there a behavior management plan or a responsible behavior plan at school, can those students, those pre-service teachers, have access to that, what can they do in terms of behavior management, all those practical aspects.
Fantastic, and Greg often we send our students to school sites needing to access particular information, do you have any recommendations around that, as to how a site coordinator might go about either giving them permission for access to policies or to use maybe the school intranet and those sorts of things?
That really does vary from school to school and system to system. It's really essential I think if our pre-service teachers going to have an authentic prac experience that they have the most connectivity to the school systems as possible and whether that is access to CTC or access to school-based classroom websites. It's really essential that they have as much connectivity as the school can allow.
Fantastic, thank you very much Greg.