Stay safe and stay informed! Consult the Faculty of Education's COVID-19 FAQ Page!

FAQs: Impact of COVID-19 on Student Teaching in 2020-21

Prior to reviewing the FAQ section, please verify the Tentative Placement Contingency Plan for the 2020-21 academic year. Note that future changes to this plan are possible.

In this section you will find FAQs on:

Student Teaching

    Teacher Certification & IPSS

    I am graduating and would like to apply for Teacher Certification. How can I do it now that McGill University is closed?

    Students can currently exceptionally submit their applications by email. Please follow the instructions and see the “Application Guide Video” as well as the “Sample Applications” on the ISA Website.

    I am completed FE4/IN2, how can I apply for the Intern Perseverance and Success Scholarship (IPSS)?

    The Quebec Ministry of Education now allows students to apply online for the IPSS. Please visit the ISA's Intern Perseverance and Success Scholarship page for more information.  


    I have not passed one/both parts of the English Exam for Teacher Certification, when can I next take the EETC?

    A special session of the EETC exam is scheduled for December 8th. This exam is only for a small number of select students (students who are on FE3 in Fall 2020 and have not yet passed the EETC). These students will be contacted by ISA in mid-November and given information on how and when to register for this special session. Other students will be able to sit for the exam when it is next offered in 2021.

    Student Teaching: Rescheduling

    What if I want to defer my field placement?

    If you wish to defer your field placement, there are several options available to you. Please contact your academic advisor to discuss those options. If you are currently registered for a field placement and will be withdrawing from the term, please inform your [at] (Placement Coordinator) as soon as possible. Please refer to the withdrawal with refund deadlines here

    With FE3 Phys Ed postponed* to Fall 2021 according to the new contingency plan, what courses can I take this Fall? If I have a few courses to complete, should I sign up for those courses this Fall instead of FE3?

    Please discuss this with your academic advisor.
    *Some exceptions apply (ex: students who already finished FE2 before Summer 2020 and have passed the EETC exam)

    Student Teaching: General Placement Information

    Can/will I teach a subject outside of my subject profile during my placement?

    The Quebec Ministry of Education has accredited the Faculty of Education to offer our programs leading to teacher certification. Teacher candidates in the B.Ed and MATL programs must complete 700 hours of student teaching in their registered subject area in order to be considered for the eligible a Brevet (teaching certification). We recognize, however, that in classrooms in English school boards, the Cooperating Teachers we work with do not always have a complete teaching load in the subject profile of the teacher candidate. In these cases, we first ask the school if it is possible for the teacher candidate to also work with a second Cooperating Teacher who teaches the same subject as the teacher candidate's subject area. If this is not possible, we examine the Cooperating Teacher’s full teaching load. If the Cooperating Teacher’s teaching load falls within the same field of study (e.g. English and Social Studies or Math & Science), we look at the number of available hours, the suitability of those hours, and the possibility of extending the placement (within the confines of the academic term) to ensure the teacher candidate attains enough hours in that placement. We cannot offer placements in subject areas that we are not accredited to offer (e.g. French in the MATL program).

    Can I do my placement online?

    The Ministry of Education has not endorsed online learning as option for most Quebec students. In keeping with this, no school is able to currently offer a student teaching placement online. If that situation changes, then we will work to secure those placements. Please keep in mind, that if these opportunities are permissible by the Ministry of Education and offered by schools, they could be in a very limited capacity. The ISA acts as the intermediary to coordinate teacher candidates’ needs and what placements schools are able to offer. We cannot offer teacher candidates a placement that is not offered to us.

    When will I get placement details?

    The ISA Office understands the anticipation students are experiencing in advance of receiving their placement details. We ask for your patience at this time in recognition of the realities that the pandemic planning has on school administrators and the added time it takes host schools to confirm placements with our office. We anticipate placement details will generally be released 1-2 weeks before the placement.

    Student Teaching: In the Field

      *NEW* Where can I find resources on online teaching?

      A new section for online teaching resources has been added in the Student Teaching e-Handbook.

      *UPDATED* How will Field Supervision work this year?

      The ISA respects the efforts of schools to limit the presence of non-school staff in their buildings as they strive to maintain social and physical distancing measures. As a result, we have exceptionally allowed for remote field supervision. In most cases, this will require you to either (a) livestream a video of you teaching directly to your Supervisor or (b) record a teaching episode then upload it privately to YouTube for your Supervisor to view. Ahead of your placement, once you are provided with your placement details including your Cooperating Teacher and Supervisor contact information, please discuss which option is preferable to you, your Supervisor and your Cooperating Teacher. To protect the confidentiality of the young people with whom you will be teaching, we have created consent forms that both you and your Cooperating Teacher need to complete. In situations where schools have requested that you obtain parental consent, we have included a specific consent form for parents. You will send these forms to your Supervisor along with the learning plan for your teaching episode. All consent forms can be found on the ISA website.

      Instructions for asynchronously recording and uploading a video of your teaching episode to YouTube, or using WebEx or Zoom to synchronously livestream a teaching episode are also available on the ISA website. All Supervisors participated in a workshop in the Fall term that provided an overview of best practices in remote supervision. They have also been provided with clear instructions for how to facilitate video recording and livestreaming.

      *NEW* Can I do substitute teaching as a student teacher?

      Given the current needs of schools, The ISA is prepared to exceptionally authorize McGill Student Teachers in FE3, FE4, IN1, and IN2 to substitute for their Cooperating Teacher in the event of their CT’s absence under specific conditions. Further information can be found here.

      Student Teaching: COVID-19

        If I have to quarantine for 2 weeks/10 Days, what will happen to my field placement?

        Provided the constraints of the term allow, additional time may be added to your current or future placements to ensure that you have obtained the number of student teaching hours required by the Ministry of Education in order to be recommended for the Brevet. If you have quarantined as a result of a positive test for COVID-19, schools may require you to present a negative test before re-entering the school. It is possible that a prolonged absence may result in a field placement having to be retaken at a later date.

        What should I do if I think I have COVID-19 during my field placement?

        If you are showing flu-like symptoms, please call 1-877-644-4545 immediately and isolate yourself from others. Based on your symptoms and travel history, a health care professional will advise you on the best course of action. McGill students and employees should also consult the COVID-19 self-declaration form and procedures.

        • Call 1-877-644-4545 for instructions.
        • Based on the instructions received from Info-Santé, the individual may be required to self-isolate for a certain period and/or get tested.
        • Complete the Confirmation of Illness for Field Placements form. Send to your Placement Coordinator.
        • Follow all school and school board protocols as required.

        Student Teaching: Fall 2020

        If I am doing FE2 and FE3 back-to-back this Fall, will I be placed at the same school?

        Yes, this is ISA’s preference to accommodate the influx of placements we will be accommodating in the Fall, but please note that this depends on CT and host school availability.

        Will students that only need to do FE3 in Fall be following the same schedule (and start date) posted for FE3 as students doing FE2 and FE3 back-to-back?

        Yes, FE3 will begin after FE2 this Fall. Please click here to verify the dates.

        How will MATL IN2 be impacted this Fall?

        We are not presently anticipating changes to the IN1 nor IN2 schedule. IN1 and IN2 will continue as planned, though this is subject to change as details regarding school closures continue to evolve.

        Student Teaching: Winter 2021

        *UPDATED* Will FE4 Winter 2021 still be available to be completed as a distance placement?

        McGill University has cancelled all inbound and outbound exchanges and term away for Winter 2021, which includes distant placements. Contact your Placement Coordinator if you are already residing out of Montreal and should be going out on FE4 this winter.

        What will be the impact on FE4 in Winter 2021?

        We are hoping that there will not be an impact on FE4. However, placement availability depends entirely on host school availability. Should government mandated closures be further extended, then FE4 placements may be impacted. Rest assured that the ISA Office is trying to limit the repercussions of any potential impact.

        How will MATL IN1 be impacted this Winter?

        We are not presently anticipating changes to the IN1 nor IN2 schedule. IN1 and IN2 will continue as planned, though this is subject to change as details regarding school closures continue to evolve. Quebec's amended school calendar for December/January has been announced by the government and at present does not affect the start date for IN1 (Monday, January 11).

        Student Teaching: Spring 2021

        Several factors, such as the pandemic, recent changes to the Winter 2021 term academic dates, and schools' reduced ability to host teacher candidates have all had a direct impact on our office’s ability to plan for and manage placements as usual. Nevertheless, the ISA Office has worked with your academic departments and host schools to create new solutions that will allow FE1 and FE2 to proceed in Spring 2021 for students who need to do them this term in order to graduate on time as per their program overview. Please remember that this entire situation is exceptional and we continue to work hard to create contingency plans that allow for flexibility as possible and that aim to meet the varying needs of our placement team, our students, and our partners in the field.
        Spring 2021 placement and registration/withdrawal dates can be found here.

        Should I register for FE1 and/or FE2 in Spring 2021?

        You should register for FE1 if:

        • Your FE1 was postponed in Spring 2020 (You should therefore be doing FE1 & FE2 back-to-back in Spring 2021)
        • You are a U1 student and your program overview advises you to do FE1 in the Spring (i.e. Music, Phys Ed, and Secondary Math/Science students)
        • You are a newly admitted student with Advanced Standing transfer credits, doing the 2-year Secondary program, and your FE1 was postponed in Fall 2020 (You should therefore be doing FE1 & FE2 back-to-back)

        You should register for FE2 if:

        • Your FE2 was postponed in Spring 2020 and you were not able to do FE2 in Fall 2020 (You should therefore be doing FE1 & FE2 back-to-back in Spring 2021)
        • You are a U2 student and your program overview advises you to do FE2 in the Spring

        My FE1 was postponed in Fall 2020. Should I be doing it in Spring 2021?

        Students whose FE1 was postponed in Fall 2020 will be doing FE1 in Spring 2022, except for newly admitted Secondary students with Advanced Standing transfer credits doing a condensed 2-year program who need to do both FE1 and FE2 in Spring 2021 to graduate on time.

        Am I "guaranteed" a placement if I register?

        Presently, it is difficult to anticipate what the situation will be for schools in Quebec in April/May and what capacity, ability and availability these schools will have to host our student teachers. The ISA Office will make every effort to find a suitable placement for every student who should be registering for FE1 and/or FE2 in Spring 2021. In the event that there is limited/reduced availability in our partner host schools, we will prioritize placing students who had their FE1 or FE2 placement postponed in Spring 2020 and/or students who need to do FE1 and/or FE2 in Spring 2021 in order to graduate on time.

        Why do the dates for placements go into late May?

        Because of placement postponements in 2020 due to the pandemic, many students will need to do FE1 and FE2 back-to-back. We also need to ensure that we are sending the minimum amount of students out into the field at any given time. The schedule for Spring 2021 allows students to complete both placements as soon as possible, while host schools are still open for the year. We are not able to have the schedules for FE1 and FE2 run concurrently.

        If I only need to do FE2, can I start it earlier?

        Because of how placements are organized and managed, we cannot allow students to do placements outside of the prescribed schedule. FE1 and FE2 need to be done during the days they have been scheduled, regardless of if you are only doing FE2.

        What happens if I have exam conflicts during the FE1 dates?

        Due to the delayed start of the Winter term and the need for FE1 to begin in mid-April, FE1 dates now may conflict with some students' final exams. Students with any McGill final exams taking place during FE1 will receive a permitted absence from the field according to our standard policy. Students will NOT need to make up day(s) missed in the field for this particular excused absence.

        Do I need to be in Quebec for FE1/FE2?

        FE1 and FE2 need to be done in a Quebec school, according to Ministry guidelines. If you will not be in Quebec in April/May and/or cannot travel to Quebec for your Field Experience(s), please speak with your Placement Coordinator about whether we will be able to exceptionally accommodate you by placing you in a host school in your current location.

        What do I do if I am not available to do FE1/FE2 during those dates or don't want to do FE1/FE2 this year?

        Please speak with your Academic Advisor about the possibility of amending your program progression so that you can do the Field Experience(s) in a later year. Take note that, depending on your situation and reason for electing to defer your placement(s), this decision may ultimately affect your intended graduation date.

        If I am doing FE1/2 back-to-back, will I be doing it at the same school / with the same CT?

        While doing both placements at the same school is preferable and possible, because of the structure of FE1 and FE2, doing both placements at the same school may not be always possible. Ultimately, it will also depend on the host school's capacity and CT availability.

        I am in Phys Ed / Music and am supposed to do FE1 and FE2 at different levels (Elementary & Secondary). If I need to do FE1 & FE2 back-to-back, will I be doing both at the same level/school?

        Exceptionally for Spring 2021, Phys Ed and Music students who need to do FE1 & FE2 back-to-back will do both at the same school at the same level, when possible. On your placement form, please indicate any preference for which level (Elementary or Secondary) you do both placements. Preferences will be taken into consideration but may not always be possible, depending on the availability of CTs in host schools in your area. Please note that the ability to place a student back-to-back at the same school is also dependent on host school ability/CT availability. 

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