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Policies and Rules for Field Experience / Internship

See McGill's Course Calendar for official Faculty regulations and detailed program descriptions:

Undergraduate (B.Ed) Regulations

Graduate (MATL) Regulations


Quick links: Field Experience / Internship Dates   Guidelines, Assessment forms and Rubrics 


How Placements are Determined

  • Field experience placements are made through the Office of Student Teaching.
  • It is the responsibility of each student teacher to register for their EDFE course on Minerva and then submit their online Placement Form.
  • Students are expected to do their field experience in the school designated by the Office of Student Teaching.
  • Under no circumstances are students to approach schools or teachers to make their own arrangements. This is prohibited by agreements between universities and school boards.
  • Students will not be placed in schools where they have relatives (members of the administration, teaching staff, student body and support staff).
  • Students will not be placed at the same school for both 3rd and 4th Field Experiences.
  • Students are not permitted to do their 3rd or 4th Field Experiences in the Spring/Summer session.
  • Only one Field Experience may be completed in a private school setting during the B.Ed program.

Judicial Record Verfication

Quebec’s Education Act, section 261.0.2, grants school boards the right to verify the judicial record of any person regularly in contact with minor students, and this includes student teachers. Each school board or private school may have its own administrative procedures for verification. Students are responsible for complying with their request. Anyone unable to obtain the required security clearance will not be permitted to undertake their field experiences and consequently would have to withdraw from the program as this is a mandatory requirement of the program.

  • Students placed within the Lester B. Pearson School Board for Field Experience 3 or 4 must go to Lester B. Pearson School Board Human Resources and click on the "Student Teaching" tab. Mail your completed form to the board at least 10 days before your field experience begins. If you already submitted the form because you worked as a substitute teacher at LBPSB, you do not need to complete another one. Contact the LBPSB HR department to confirm your clearance.
  • Students placed in private schools should call the school office before the placement and make an appointment to pick up a police check form. Many schools also request that you meet with the cooperating teacher at the same time
  • Any other requirements will be communicated to affected students as the information is made available.

Mandatory Work Permit for International Students

International students (students who are not permanent residents or citizens of Canada) must apply for an internship/co-op work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as a requirement for your mandatory Field Experiences. This internship/co-op work permit is free of charge. Processing times vary, but can be over 3 months. Submit a copy of your valid permit to the Office of Student Teaching. Students without a valid co-op/internship work permit will not be placed for field experience and therefore may be delayed in their program of study.

Because all teacher education students will be working with youth, you must attach proof (a receipt) from a medical exam by a CIC designated physician to your application.  See CIC website for full list of occupations requiring a medical. 

Carefully review the information on the International Student Services application guide (Co-op/Internship Work Permit) with links to apply on the CIC website.  You can also contact International Student Services. Please note:International Student Services (ISS) provides information regarding immigration documents (i.e. Study Permits, CAQ, Temporary Resident Visas, Work Permits) required for  international students to study or work at McGill. ISS cannot provide advice to you, or act on your behalf, on such immigration matters.  The ISS website provides links to Immigration Quebec and Citizenship and Immigration Canada where complete information, application forms and instructions are available.

Consult this PDF for more information.

You must obtain the letter confirming that the Co-op/Internship is a required part of your program by emailing the ISA sao [dot] education [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Student Affairs coordinators.)  Include your Name, ID, and specify that you require the letter for your Co-op/Internship Work Permit.  

Dress requirements

The student teacher is expected to project a professional image, and conform with the established dress code of the assigned school. Students who do not conform with the school's dress code cannot be guaranteed a student teaching placement.

Examples of inappropriate dress in most schools include:

  • bare navel
  • baseball caps, tuques, hoods, or bandannas worn indoors
  • micro-mini skirts
  • wearing skintight leggings as 'pants'
  • visible cleavage
  • underwear exposed by low-rise pants
  • t-shirts with racist, sexist, or violent logos
  • spaghetti straps
  • visible multiple body piercings
  • multicoloured hair

Conduct & Confidentiality

Student teachers are bound by the Code of Ethics, as well as the rules of their host school. Be sure to discuss these rules with your cooperating teacher or the school administrator.

McGill student teachers should not post any photos or information about their students or host schools on Facebook or other websites. This is a breach of confidentiality. Note that it is also not appropriate to fraternize with your students on Facebook.

Time commitment and Travel

  • Student teachers are strongly advised not to engage in activities (eg. employment, courses) which could interfere with the time and energy required to prepare lessons and effectively teach during their field experiences.
  • DO NOT make plans to leave the city for 1 week (minimum) immediately after your field experience--you may be required to make up days lost to illness or school closure.
  • Student teachers are expected to attend school all day and be on time every day of their field experience.
  • An effort is made to place students within reasonable traveling distance from their address as indicated on Minerva. However, circumstances vary, and this cannot be guaranteed. Students must budget time and money for travel to and from their assigned school. For example, you may choose to rent a car, or you may need to purchase a transit pass for a different region.

Absence from Field Experience

Days absent due to illness must be made up at the end of the FE. Absences due to illness longer than a few days will require a valid medical note to be submitted to the office, and the outcome of the Field Experience will be evaluated on an individual basis. Student teachers must contact the following people as soon as possible on the morning of the day of their absence:

  • School office
  • Cooperating teacher
  • Office of Student Teaching (514-398-7046)
  • McGill Supervisor, particularly if a visit is planned for that day

If you will be absent for religious reasons, please notify the Office, Cooperating Teacher, and University supervisor before the field experience begins if possible, or at least 2 weeks before the planned absence. The missed days must be made up, usually at the end of the Field Experience, at a time convenient to your Cooperating Teacher. McGill's Policy for the Accommodation of Religious Holy Days

Absences related to McGill Intercollegiate Sport events are evaluated by the Director on a case-by-case basis. You must submit a signed copy of the Intercollegiate Sport Event Accomodation form (PDF) to the Office of Student Teaching two weeks in advance of each conflict.

Absences for any other reasons (e.g. marriage, vacation, work, university extra-curricular activities) are not permitted during Field Experiences under any circumstances. Please see an academic adviser if you need to rearrange your course schedule.

Exam during a Field Experience

  • If you have an exam during a Field Experience you must take the exam as scheduled.
  • Advise your cooperating teacher, supervisor and the Office of Student Teaching before the Field Experience starts.
  • Make up the day(s), usually at the end of the field experience.

Pedagogical Days and Snow Days

  • You are required to attend pedagogical days at your school, unless your cooperating teacher or school administrator inform you that student teachers are not invited. Pedagogical days do not have to be made up at the end of field experience. If you are not permitted to attend, you do not have to make up an extra day.
  • Snow days that cause a school to be closed need not be made up by the student teacher, as long as the school closure does not exceed 2 school days. If a school closure exceeds 2 school days, each case will be looked at on an individual basis. Check the OST home page for updates.

Distant Placements

Distant placements are defined as placements more than 1 hour outside Montreal (but within Quebec), and placements in Canada or in another country. Most distant placements are organized and funded by the student themselves. For more information, including eligibility, consult the Special Opportunities page.

Substitute Teaching and Tutoring

  • Student teachers are not allowed to substitute teach during their Field Experience.
  • Student teachers may not receive remuneration from schools or school boards during field experiences for teaching.
  • Student teachers may tutor in the school where they are placed for their field experience, and they may receive remuneration for that tutoring.
  • Student teachers may not tutor any students that they interact with and teach during their field placement.

Guidelines for taking photographs of students

In accordance with the guidelines for conducting classroom based research, including the taking of photographs involving live subjects, the following cautions are to be respected:

  • Obtain the permission of the principal of your host school by providing a letter for the principal and parents explaining what the photos are to be used for, what precautions you will take to respect the anonymity of any children in the photographs, and how you will dispose of any photograph negatives, files, etc).
  • Try whenever possible to take pictures of children in classrooms or in schoolyards, or on field trips from behind – showing backs of heads that are impossible to identify.
  • Make sure that identifiers are not captured in the photographs (name of school, name of teacher, number of classroom etc).
  • Photos are taken from the front should be modified to blur out the faces of any children in the photograph so that they cannot be facially identified. 
  • Use pseudonyms (first names only) for students and teachers.

Exemption from Field Experience

Many newly admitted students enter the B.Ed. Program with prior teaching experience. While such experience adds richness and depth to a student’s experience of their program of study, it is not considered grounds for exemption from any field experience. The Comité d’agrément des programmes de formation à l’enseignement (CAPFE) discourages exemptions from any field experience required as part of a Quebec teacher preparation program. If you require further clarification, please contact the Director of the Office of Student Teaching.

Transfer Credit for Field Experience from other University

Students who completed field experience(s) at another university may be eligible for transfer credits for the first field experience. You must submit your transcript and the syllabus or detailed course description to your Education adviser and the Director of the Office of Student Teaching with your request by August 31st. More details on the transfer credit policy for the Faculty of Education on the Student Affairs Office website

Transferring to a different B. Ed Program

Returning students in the B.Ed. K/Elementary, B.Ed. Secondary or B.Ed. TESL who wish to transfer from one program to the other will not be required to repeat First Field Experience.

Withdrawal from a Field Experience

Withdrawal for any reason before commencing a Field Experience must be done at least 2 weeks prior to the start date of the Field Experience. You are responsible for notifying the Office of Student Teaching in writing by this deadline;

If you withdraw for any reason from a field experience that is underway you must immediately inform the Office of Student Teaching. Based on the circumstances around the withdrawal, the Director of the Office of Student Teaching will determine the final outcome of that Field Experience.

Termination of Field Experience

At any time students may be removed from their field experience placement at the request of the host school administrator and cooperating teacher, or at the request of the Director of Student Teaching. Students who are removed from a field experience placement will be informed of the reason for the termination and will meet with the Director of Student Teaching.

Circumstances that could lead to termination include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-requisite courses not successfully completed
  • Exceeding the number of permissible unexcused absences for co-requisite courses (consult the syllabus for each course)
  • Failure to pass a judicial record check, if required by the school or school board where the student is placed.
  • Unprofessional behaviour; behaviour that contravenes the Code of Ethics for Student Teachers
  • Failure to make the improvements outlined on a Notification of Concern by the date indicated.

The final outcome for a field experience that is terminated will be decided by the Director of Student Teaching.

Possible outcomes are:

  • Reassignment during the same semester, subject to availability of placements
  • “W” Withdrawal (normally without refund)
  • “D” Student will be permitted to register for the field experience again during the next regularly scheduled session.
  • “F, J, KF, WF” Failure in any field experience places the student in Unsatisfactory Standing 
  • Students in Unsatisfactory Standing will be removed from their program; consult the Education Student Affairs Office

If a student cannot continue the field experience due to illness, see “Withdrawal” for complete information.

If a student chooses to end his or her field experience, the Director of Student Teaching will evaluate the circumstances and determine an outcome. Possible outcomes are the same as those listed above.

Satisfactory standing

  • A satisfactory result in student teaching will be determined by the student teacher's performance in the aspects itemized on the formative and summative evaluation forms.
  • Students must obtain a Pass (P) in their field experience in order to continue in the program. Exceptionally, students may be granted the mark of 'D' and permitted to repeat the field experience in the next regularly scheduled session. (See 'Termination of Field Experience' above).
  • Failure (F, J, KF, WF) in any Field Experience places a student in Unsatisfactory Standing, requiring withdrawal from the Teacher Education Program. Consult the Education Student Affairs Office. Students who fail in a Fall term Field Experience may be allowed to continue taking courses in the program to enable transfer to another faculty.

Graduation requirements

Successful completion of field experiences is a requirement for graduation and certification for Bachelor of Education students. Detailed information on graduation and the teacher certification process.

How Placements are Determined

  • Internship placements with a cooperating teacher are made through the Office of Student Teaching. 
  • Students employed in their subject area must have their contract validated by the Office to confirm that these hours will count as an official internship.
  • It is the responsibility of each student teacher to register for their EDIN course and to submit their online Placement Form.
  • Students are expected to do their internship in the school designated by the Office of Student Teaching.
  • Under no circumstances are students to approach schools or teachers to make their own arrangements. This is prohibited by agreements between universities and school boards. Students may make suggestions on the placement form and the Office will make a request if appropriate.
  • Students will not be placed in schools where they have relatives, be they members of the administration, teaching staff, student body and support staff.
  • Students will not be placed at the same school for both Internships. (Students using their employment to fulfill Internship requirements are exempt, provided the employment is in a secondary school in the youth sector.)
  • Only Internship 2 can be completed in an Adult Education centre, even for students who are using a contract to fulfill their Internship hours.

Judicial Record Verfication

Quebec’s Education Act, section 261.0.2, grants school boards the right to verify the judicial record of any person regularly in contact with minor students, and this includes student teachers. Each school board or private school may have its own administrative procedures for verification. Students are responsible for complying with their request. Anyone unable to obtain the required security clearance will not be permitted to undertake their field experiences and consequently would have to withdraw from the program as this is a mandatory requirement of the program.

  • Students placed within the Lester B. Pearson School Board must go to Lester B. Pearson School Board Human Resources and click on the "Student Teaching" tab. Mail your completed form to the board at least 10 days before your field experience begins. If you already submitted the form because you worked as a substitute teacher at LBPSB, you do not need to complete another one. Contact the LBPSB HR department to confirm your clearance.
  • Students placed in private schools should call the school office before the placement and make an appointment to pick up a police check form. Many schools also request that you meet with the cooperating teacher at the same time
  • Any other requirements will be communicated to affected students as the information is made available.

Mandatory Work Permit for International Students

International students (students who are not permanent residents or citizens of Canada) must apply for an internship/co-op work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as a requirement for your mandatory Field Experiences. This internship/co-op work permit is free of charge. Processing times vary, but can be over 3 months. Submit a copy of your valid permit to the Office of Student Teaching. Students without a valid co-op/internship work permit will not be placed for their internship and therefore may be delayed in their program of study.

Because all teacher education students will be working with youth, you must attach proof (a receipt) from a medical exam by a CIC designated physician to your application.  See CIC website for full list of occupations requiring a medical. 

Carefully review the information on the International Student Services application guide (Co-op/Internship Work Permit) with links to apply on the CIC website.  You can also contact International Student Services. Please note:International Student Services (ISS) provides information regarding immigration documents (i.e. Study Permits, CAQ, Temporary Resident Visas, Work Permits) required for  international students to study or work at McGill. ISS cannot provide advice to you, or act on your behalf, on such immigration matters.  The ISS website provides links to Immigration Quebec and Citizenship and Immigration Canada where complete information, application forms and instructions are available.

Consult this PDF for more information.

You must obtain the letter confirming that the Co-op/Internship is a required part of your program from Andrea Nguyen, Graduate Program Coordinator in the Dept. of Integrated Studies office (#244).

Dress requirements

The student teacher is expected to project a professional image, and conform with the established dress code of the assigned school. Students who do not conform with the school's dress code cannot be guaranteed a student teaching placement.

Examples of inappropriate dress in most schools include:

  • bare navel
  • baseball caps, tuques, hoods, or bandannas worn indoors
  • micro-mini skirts
  • wearing skintight leggings as 'pants'
  • visible cleavage
  • underwear exposed by low-rise pants
  • t-shirts with racist, sexist, or violent logos
  • spaghetti straps
  • visible multiple body piercings
  • multicoloured hair

Conduct & Confidentiality

Student teachers are bound by the Code of Ethics, as well as the rules of their host school. Be sure to discuss these rules with your cooperating teacher or the school administrator. The Guide to Ethical Conduct for Student Teachers also gives examples of best practices for ethical behaviour.

McGill student teachers should not post any photos or information about their students or host schools on Facebook or other websites. This is a breach of confidentiality. Note that it is also not appropriate to fraternize with your students on Facebook.

Time commitment and Travel

  • Student teachers are strongly advised not to engage in activities (eg. non-internship employment, courses) which could interfere with the time and energy required to prepare lessons and effectively teach.
  • DO NOT make plans to leave the city for 1 week (minimum) immediately after your Internship--you may be required to make up days lost to illness or school closure.
  • Student teachers are expected to attend school all day and be on time every day of their Internship.
  • An effort is made to place students within reasonable traveling distance from their mailing address as indicated on Minerva. However, circumstances vary, and this cannot be guaranteed. Students must budget time and money for travel to and from their assigned school. For example, you may choose to rent a car, or you may need to purchase a transit pass for a different region.

Absence from Internship

Days absent due to illness must be made up at the end of the Internship. Absences due to illness longer than a few days will require a valid medical note to be submitted to the office, and the outcome of the Internship will be evaluated on an individual basis. Student teachers must contact the following people as soon as possible on the morning of the day of their absence:

  • School office
  • Cooperating teacher
  • Student Teaching Placement coordinator (514-398-7046)
  • McGill Supervisor, particularly if a visit is planned for that day

If you will be absent for religious reasons, please notify the ISA, Cooperating Teacher, and University supervisor before the Internship begins if possible, or at least 2 weeks before the planned absence. The missed days must be made up, usually at the end of the Internship, at a time convenient to your Cooperating Teacher. McGill's Policy for the Accommodation of Religious Holy Days

Absences related to McGill Intercollegiate Sport events are evaluated by the Director on a case-by-case basis. You must submit a signed copy of the Intercollegiate Sport Event Accomodation form (PDF) to the Office of Student Teaching two weeks in advance of each conflict.

Absences for any other reasons (e.g. marriage, vacation, university extra-curricular activities) are not permitted during Internships under any circumstances. Please see an academic adviser if you need to rearrange your course schedule.

Students using their employment to fulfill Internship hours should also refer to their school's Human Resources regulations.

Exam during Internship

  • Take the exam as scheduled.
  • Advise your cooperating teacher, supervisor and the Office of Student Teaching before the Internship starts.
  • Make up the day(s), usually at the end of the Internship.

Pedagogical Days and Snow Days

  • You are required to attend pedagogical days at your school, unless your cooperating teacher or school administrator inform you that student teachers are not invited. Pedagogical days count as part of the Internship. MATL student teachers must complete all Internship days/hours, and may need to extend the Internship in the case of snow days.

Substitute Teaching / New contract offers

  • MATL student teachers are permitted to substitute in the classrooms that are part of their regular Internship assignment (for students in Internship 1 this is only permitted after students have passed the week 4 assessment of readiness); schools must follow their board protocols regarding selection of substitute teachers.
  • MATL student teachers who receive an offer for long-term substitution or a contract in their subject area during an Internship must submit the details for approval to the Internships & Student Affairs Office. These offers will be evaluated to ensure the pedagogical goals of the Internship will be met and the student teacher's progress will not be disrupted.

Guidelines for taking Photographs of students

In accordance with the guidelines for conducting classroom based research, including the taking of photographs involving live subjects, the following cautions are to be respected:

  • Obtain the permission of the principal of your host school by providing a letter for the principal and parents explaining what the photos are to be used for, what precautions you will take to respect the anonymity of any children in the photographs, and how you will dispose of any photograph negatives, files, etc).
  • Try whenever possible to take pictures of children in classrooms or in schoolyards, or on field trips from behind – showing backs of heads that are impossible to identify.
  • Make sure that identifiers are not captured in the photographs (name of school, name of teacher, number of classroom etc).
  • Photos are taken from the front should be modified to blur out the faces of any children in the photograph so that they cannot be facially identified. 
  • Use pseudonyms (first names only) for students and teachers.

Withdrawal from Internship

Withdrawal for any reason before Internship must be done at least 2 weeks prior to the start date. You are responsible for notifying the Internships & Student Affairs Office in writing by this deadline;

If you withdraw for any reason from an Internship that is underway you must immediately inform the Internships & Student Affairs Office. Based on the circumstances around the withdrawal, the Director of the Office of Student Teaching will determine the final outcome of the course.

Termination of Field Experience

At any time students may be removed from their Internship placement at the request of the host school administrator and cooperating teacher, or at the request of the Director of Student Teaching. Students who are removed from an Internship placement will be informed of the reason for the termination and will meet with the Director of Student Teaching.

Circumstances that could lead to termination include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-requisite courses not successfully completed
  • Exceeding the number of permissible unexcused absences for co-requisite courses (consult the syllabus for each course)
  • Failure to pass a judicial record check, if required by the school or school board where the student is placed.
  • Unprofessional behaviour; behaviour that contravenes the Code of Ethics for Student Teachers
  • Failure to make the improvements outlined on a Notification of Concern by the date indicated.

The final outcome for an Internship that is terminated will be decided by the Director of Student Teaching. See list below.

For students using their employment in a school to fulfill the EDIN Internship requirements, the employment relationship is separate from the relationship with McGill for the purposes of the EDIN course. Sample situations:

  • The Internship is terminated by McGill because the student is missing pre-requisite courses. The student remains employed as a teacher at the discretion of the school.
  • The Internship is terminated by McGill because the improvements outlined on a Notification by Concern have not been made. The student remains employed as a teacher at the discretion of the school.
  • The student is dismissed from the school's employment during the Internship. The Director of Student Teaching will decide the outcome of the course.
In all cases, the student will meet with the Director of the ISA, who will review the file and decide the final outcome of the Internship from the choices listed below.

Possible outcomes are:

  • Reassignment during the same semester, subject to availability of placements
  • “W” Withdrawal (normally without refund)
  • Grade of B- (permission to repeat the course). Student will be permitted to register for the Internship again during the next regularly scheduled session.
  • “F, J, KF, WF” Failure in any Internship places the student in Unsatisfactory Standing, which results in removal from the program.

If a student cannot continue the Internship due to illness, see “Withdrawal” for complete information.

If a student chooses to end his or her Internship, the Director of Student Teaching will evaluate the circumstances and determine an outcome. Possible outcomes are the same as those listed above.

Satisfactory standing

  • Satisfactory standing in student teaching will be determined by the student teacher's performance in the aspects itemized on the assessment forms.
  • Students must obtain a grade of B or above in their EDIN course (Internship and seminar) in order to continue in the program. Please note that this is an exception to the regular McGill Graduate Studies grade scale. Both the seminar and internship portions of the course must be passed for the overall course to be successfully completed.
  • A grade of B- requires that the EDIN course be repeated in the next term in which it is offered.

Graduation requirements

Successful completion of Internship is a requirement for graduation and certification for MATL students.