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Graduate Student Teaching / M.A. in Teaching and Learning Internship

The Office of Student Teaching (OST) is responsible for arranging the placement and evaluation of all student teachers in supervised Internships.




  • are required courses (with the subject code EDIN) for all students in the M.A. in Teaching and Learning programs;
  • are the sole responsibility of the Faculty of Education and are organized by the Office of Student Teaching;
  • require that newly admitted and returning students follow registration procedures or risk not being placed in a host school or having their contract approved for Internship;
  • are completed in schools within anglophone school boards or private schools in the province of Quebec in the majority of cases, with the exception of the Teaching English as a Second Language option program Internships, which take place in schools within francophone school boards in the province of Quebec;
  • are completed in secondary schools;
  • require students to be present in the school full-time;
  • can be completed using a teaching contract the student has secured, subject to approval (see Placement Options);
  • are not remunerated for students placed in the classroom of a cooperating teacher;
  • could require that students travel some distance to their host school and students should therefore budget time and money for this purpose;
  • require that students be placed at host schools for specific periods of time (refer to the OST website or Minerva for exact dates);
  • have a concurrent seminar component (see Minerva for date and time);
  • may begin before the first day of lectures or end after the last day of lectures;
  • may continue during the University-scheduled Study Break in the Winter term;
  • may continue through June into the Summer term (refer to the OST website for exact dates).




  • must be registered for Internship 1 (EDIN 601) on Minerva by the end of May of the preceding academic term (see www.mcgill.ca/importantdates);
  • must register for Internship 2 (EDIN 602) on Minerva by the end of September of the preceding academic term (see www.mcgill.ca/importantdates);
  • must be in Satisfactory Standing and have satisfied all prerequisite and corequisite course requirements;
  • should consult an academic adviser for assistance if required;
  • who are registered for Internship will receive instructions for accessing the online Student Teaching Placement Form at their official @mail.mcgill.ca email address. Forms must be submitted by the date indicated in the email.

Minerva does not necessarily prevent students from registering for courses that they should not take. It is the student's responsibility to be aware of prerequisites, corequisites, restrictions, and Faculty regulations that apply to the courses in which they register.

Placement Options

Placement Options


MATL students who have secured an employment contract for the duration of the Internship can choose to use these hours to fulfil the Internship requirements in their own classroom.

  • Consult www.mcgill.ca/ost MATL guidelines for detailed information and to determine if a contract meets the specific Internship requirements.
  • Generally, contracts must be for a minimum of 70% of a 100% teaching workload, and a minimum of 60% (Internship 1) or 80% (Internship 2) of these hours must be in your teachable subject in order to be eligible. Students will still complete the full number of required hours as stated in Internship guidelines (available on OST website).
  • A copy of the contract or a detailed letter from the HR department or administrator confirming the conditions of employment must be submitted to the OST.
  • Modification of contracts, or a request to move from a cooperating teacher’s classroom to a contract must be approved in advance by the OST.

Cooperating Teacher

MATL students who do not have employment that meets these criteria will be placed in the classroom of a cooperating teacher, and will follow the teacher’s full-time schedule. In accordance with University–School Board agreements, students are not permitted to contact teachers or schools to confirm their own arrangements; however, the student can submit suggestions to the OST on the online placement form.

Internship Guidelines (Syllabus)

Internship Guidelines (Syllabus)

Detailed guidelines and evaluation forms for each Internship are posted on the OST website. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the objectives, evaluation criteria, and forms for each level of Internship, and must submit all completed evaluation forms to the OST on the first business day following the end of the Internship in order to receive a grade.

Student Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the policies and rules governing all aspects of Internship, including pedagogical and professional behaviour, available at www.mcgill.ca/ost.

Students should not engage in any type of employment during Internship (with the exception of a contract used to fulfil the Internship requirements), nor register for any course that might interfere with the successful outcome of an Internship.

Attendance and Absences

In case of conflict with school or board HR policies for MATL students who have an employment contract, please contact the OST.

Punctual attendance is required at the assigned school for the entire Internship. Unexcused absences from intensive courses and professional seminars may result in exclusion from the course, course failure, and/or removal from any associated Internship.

Days absent due to illness or McGill exams must be made up at the end of the Internship. Absences due to illness longer than a few days require a valid medical note (see www.mcgill.ca/studenthealth/clinic/notes) to be submitted to the OST, 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, if applicable
  • Office of Student Teaching, telephone 514-398-7046
  • Field supervisor

Student teachers are permitted to be absent for religious holy days, as outlined in McGill's Policy for the Accommodation of Religious Holy Days; see www.mcgill.ca/importantdates/holy-days. Students must notify the OST, cooperating teacher, and field supervisor before the Internship begins if possible, or at least two weeks before the planned absence. The missed days must be made up, usually at the end of the Internship.

Absences related to McGill Intercollegiate Sport events are evaluated by the director of the OST on a case-by-case basis. Student teachers must submit a signed copy of the Intercollegiate Sport Event Accommodation form to the OST at least two weeks in advance of each conflict.

Absences for any other reason, including but not limited to: marriage, family parties, vacation, University extracurricular activities, employment, or conflicting courses, are not permitted during the Internship under any circumstances. Students should consult an academic adviser if they need to rearrange their course schedule.

Judicial Record Verification

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 Internships and consequently would have to withdraw from the program as this is a mandatory requirement of the program. Additional information can be found on the OST website.

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 as a requirement for their mandatory Internships. This is not the same as an off-campus work permit. The internship/co-op work permit is free of charge, but takes time to obtain and may require a medical exam. Detailed instructions are available on the OST website. For assistance with the application students should contact International Student Services, www.mcgill.ca/internationalstudents. Students must submit a copy of their valid permit to the OST before the Internship starts.

Grading and Credit

Grading and Credit

Internships are graded according to the graduate grading scale (Grading and Grade Point Averages (GPA)). Students must submit all completed evaluation forms to the OST immediately following their Internship, and submit all required work for the professional seminar portion of the Internship to the instructor, in order to receive a grade. Summative evaluations from the cooperating teacher or school administrator and field supervisor are combined with the professional seminar grade to calculate the final grade.

In accordance with GPS failure policy (Failure Policy), where a student is experiencing serious pedagogical or professional difficulties in an Internship, the director of the OST will review the case and will make a grade decision:

  • If the student has demonstrated some potential to successfully reach the required standard, the director may grant special permission for a student to repeat an Internship during the next term in which the course is offered. This special permission will be granted once only in a student's program. A subsequent Failure (F, J, KF, WF) in any Internship places a student in Unsatisfactory Standing, requiring withdrawal from the Teacher Education Program.
  • Grade of F, which places a student in Unsatisfactory Standing, requiring withdrawal from the Teacher Education Program.

A student may appeal a failing grade or termination of an Internship by making a formal application to the Executive Director, Student Affairs.

Withdrawal from Internship

  • Withdrawal (with refund) for any reason must be done at least two weeks before the start date of the Internship. The student is responsible for notifying the OST in writing by this deadline.
  • Students having to withdraw for any reason, including illness, from an Internship that begins in less than two weeks or that is underway must immediately inform the OST. Based on the circumstances of the withdrawal, the director of the OST will determine the final outcome of the Internship and Enrolment Services will determine eligibility for refund.

Termination of Internship

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.

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

  • Prerequisite courses not successfully completed.
  • Exceeding the number of permissible unexcused absences for corequisite 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.

Possible outcomes are:

  • Reassignment during the same term, subject to availability of placements.
  • "W" – Withdrawal (normally without refund).
  • Failing grade – At the discretion of the director of Student Teaching, the student may be (a) permitted to register for the Internship again during the next regularly scheduled term, or (b) may be required to withdraw from the program.

If a student cannot continue the Internship due to illness, see Withdrawal from Internship.

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.

Code of Professional Conduct: Code of Ethics for Student Teachers

Code of Professional Conduct: Code of Ethics for Student Teachers

Preamble – A Student-Centred Perspective

  • Mandate

    A joint subcommittee consisting of members from two standing committees of the Faculty of Education (Faculty of Education Ethical Review Board and Student Standing) was created to develop a Code of Ethics for Student Teachers and to examine the ways in which this Code will be communicated to students, faculty members, and educational partners.

  • Goals and Rationale

    The interests of the two Standing Committees of the Faculty of Education in promoting appropriate ethical and professional conduct have led us to develop the following Code of Ethics for Student Teachers. This code seeks to respond to and address the following needs:

    1. The Code addresses the interdependent duties, rights, and responsibilities of student teachers, faculty members, and educational partners.
    2. By addressing common issues and needs, the Code seeks to articulate and make explicit ethical principles that transcend disciplinary boundaries. These principles reflect the fundamental values that are expressed in the duties, rights, and responsibilities of all involved in Teacher Education.
    3. The Code requires a reasonable flexibility in the implementation of common principles. It is designed to help those involved in Teacher Education, as a matter of sound ethical reasoning, to understand and respect the contexts in which they work and accommodate the needs of others.
    4. The Code seeks to encourage continued reflection and thoughtful response to ethical issues. It does not seek definitive answers to all ethical questions or situations. Rather, it seeks to outline the guiding principles to ethical conduct and to identify major issues that are essential to the development and implementation of this Code.
  • Context of an Ethics Framework for Student Teachers

    The principles and norms guiding ethical conduct are developed within an ever-evolving complex societal context, elements of which include the need for reflective action and ethical principles.

    Education is premised on a fundamental moral commitment to advance and construct knowledge and to ensure human understanding and respect for individual and collective well-being and integrity.

    The moral imperative of respect translates into the following ethical principles that assume a student-centred perspective as articulated in the Quebec Curriculum Reform and Competencies outlined for Teacher Education.

Academic Freedom and Responsibilities

Teachers enjoy, and should continue to enjoy, important freedoms and privileges. However, with freedoms come responsibilities and ethical challenges. This Code of Ethics is in keeping with the philosophy and spirit of the New Directions that are embedded in the document “Teacher Training: Orientations, Professional Competencies” (MEQ 2001) and the reflective practice literature.

The role of the teacher and the contexts of teaching have changed. Thus, new resources (knowledge, skills, attitudes) are required to practise the profession and to meet the challenges of teaching and learning in whatever contexts student teachers may find themselves, and to engage in professional development individually and with others.

Ethics and Law

“Teaching is governed by a legal and regulatory framework” (MEQ 2001, p. 120). The law affects and regulates the standards and norms of teaching behaviours in a variety of ways such as respecting privacy, confidentiality, intellectual property, and competence. Human rights legislation prohibits discrimination and recognizes equal treatment as fundamental to human dignity and well-being. Teachers should respect the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly the sections dealing with life, liberty, and the security of the person, as well as those involving equality and discrimination and the Education Act that sets out the obligations and rights of teachers.

Guiding Ethical Principles

Ethical student teachers should respect the following guiding ethical principles:

  1. Respect for Human Dignity
    • Speaks and acts toward all students with respect and dignity; and deals judiciously with them at all times, always mindful of their individual rights and personal sensibilities.
    • Respects the dignity and responsibilities of cooperating teachers, peers, principals, parents, and other professionals or para-professionals within the school, school board, and community.
  2. Respect for Vulnerable Persons
    • Respects and recognizes ethical obligations toward vulnerable persons. This principle recognizes that students are in a vulnerable position and that student teachers are in a privileged relationship with students and their families and will always refrain from exploiting that relationship in any form or manner.
  3. Respect for Confidentiality and Privacy
    • Respects the confidential nature of all information related to students and their families and will share such information in an appropriate manner only with those directly concerned with their welfare.
    • Respects the confidential nature of all information related to all school personnel and will share such information in an appropriate manner.
  4. Respect for Justice
    • Respects and recognizes the right of individuals to be treated with fairness and equity and the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest.
  5. Respect for Safety of Students
    • Respects the right of individuals to expect that student teachers will engage in practices that aim to ensure the physical, psychological, and emotional safety of students.
  6. Respect for Existing Ethical Codes and Professional Standards
    • Respects the authority, roles, and responsibilities of the cooperating teacher, and agrees to adhere to the responsibilities and obligations for teachers as outlined in the Education Act, Faculty, and University handbooks as well as all local agreements by host school boards and schools.
  7. Balancing Harm and Benefits
    • Acknowledges that any potentially harmful practices (e.g., science labs and physical education activities) must be balanced with anticipated benefits and conducted in a prudent, informed manner.

Putting Principles into Practice: Venues for Communication

More than one principle may apply to a given case or situation. For meaningful and effective implementation of these principles, they must be widely communicated and applied in appropriate contexts.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2012-2013 (last updated Dec. 20, 2012) (disclaimer)