On this page:
- Policies concerning Placements
- Dress Requirements
- Conduct and Confidentialityf
- Guidelines for Images & Video in Schools
- Time Commitment:
- Concurrent Events:
- Substitute Teaching/Tutoring
- CT Presence in Classrooms
- Support Visits
- Problems & Procedures during Placement
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- McGill Principles of Practice, Behaviour and Ethical Conduct for Teacher Candidates
Student Teachers are responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by all the policies and rules pertaining to Student Teaching.
Field Supervisors and Co-operating Teachers should also be familiar with the policies and rules, to ensure that placements are being carried out properly.
Policy application and liability may be different for MATL students on contract; please confirm with your Placement Coordinator if you are unsure.
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).
- Field Experience and Internship placements are made through the Internships and Student Affairs Office and student teachers are expected to conduct their Field Experience or Internship in the school designated by the ISA.
- It is the responsibility of each student teacher to register for their EDFE or EDIN course on Minerva and then submit their online Placement Form.
For further information and policies regarding placement organization, please consult the Placement Process page.
While we appreciate that "dress codes" and regulations about personal appearance can be inequitable and debatable, we must also work with the expectations and, at present, norms that are present in the field. While opinions of what is "appropriate" can vastly differ, the student teacher is expected to project a professional image, and conform with the established dress code of the assigned school. Students are encouraged to find/ask for the school's dress code in advance of their placement, to ensure they are adhering to it as of their first day. Students who do not conform with the school's dress code cannot be guaranteed a student teaching placement.
Need advice on how to dress?
- Dress in a way that first and foremost makes you feel comfortable and confident - but that also meets or exceeds typical expectations for "professional" attire. A helpful tip: Dress as you would for a job interview. (In a way, your placement is a long-term job interview.)
- Typical expectations around professional dress in schools are that teachers do NOT wear: jeans, leggings, sweatpants, ripped pants, shorts, short dresses/skirts, baseball caps, hoodies, tank tops, or clothing that exposes excess skin.
- Be safer than sorry with the choices you make, and defer to being more professional than typically required in your attire during your placement. Don't let your clothes be something that your Supervisor, CT, students/teachers/parents, or the school administration need to take note of (to you or to themselves).
- Do not necessarily go by what your CT wears/suggests, either, as you will be interacting with many members of the school community, and do not have the same job security and positioning in the school community as your CT.
- If you are unsure about what to wear, check:
- Your host school's website to see if they have an official dress code/policy.
- Your host school's website or social media for what teachers from that school might be wearing in posted photos.
- With your Supervisor or Placement Coordinator.
- With trusted (and honest) members of your personal support network.
- Pinterest and blogs, for ideas and inspiration.
- Phys. Ed. students: The easiest thing to do is wear your McGill-approved uniform! (white golf shirt with McGill crest, black basketball shorts). Yoga pants/leggings worn alone are not appropriate.
Student teachers are bound by the Principles of Practice (below), as well as the rules of their host school. Be sure to discuss these rules with your cooperating teacher or the school administrator.
In addition to the Principles developed by McGill's Faculty of Education, the Consultative Committee on Student Teaching for Greater Montreal created the Guide to Professional Behaviour with practical examples of appropriate and inappropriate behaviours for use by student teachers and staff at all Quebec universities.
McGill student teachers should not post any photos or information about their students or host schools on Facebook, social media or other websites. This is a breach of confidentiality. Note that it is also not appropriate to add or fraternize with your students on social media.
It is essential that Student Teachers safe-guard the privacy of children/youth in school settings where their Field Experience and Internships take place. This policy is to make clear what is and is not permitted as regards the photographing of any images and video recording of children/youth you might work with in classrooms and other school settings - whether for use in your portfolio (electronic or paper), for a McGill course, class project, assignment, or other related professional purpose.
You ARE permitted to:
- Share the written work/products (i.e. drawings, etc.) of students whom you have taught during a Field Experience/Internship but must insure the removal of any and all reference to the name of the student, or any other student(s) mentioned, school, cooperating teacher(s) and/or school administrator(s).
- Share photographs and videos that feature ONLY yourself teaching or leading a learning activity of any sort (i.e. classroom or non-formal learning activities).
- Placements have specifically prescribed start and end dates, and weekly schedules, which are based on a number of considerations and requirements. Students are asked to comply with this schedule and it is expected that they will start on the prescribed start date and end on the prescribed end date, barring needing to make up missed days due to illness, religious observations, etc.
*NEW* PILOT PROJECT FOR 2018-19: In an effort to better support student teachers, ISA is prepared to receive requests for the schedule of a placement to be slightly amended – if a student presents a clear, compelling, and pertinent reason, such as:
- Responsibilities related to financial need
- Family care responsibilities
- Serious health concerns (not serviced by the Office for Students with Disabilities*)
Requests for amendments due to personal travel plans or course conflicts will not be considered.
Any request for amendment must be sent to your Placement Coordinator a minimum of 2 months before the placement start date, and should include:
- Your Name and Student ID
- The placement for which you are requesting an amendment
- Your reason (with supporting documentation, as possible)
- Your amendment request
Requests will be reviewed by the ISA Director on a case-by-case basis, and decisions will be based on, among other considerations, the amendment’s impact on the ISA Office, your host school, your Supervisor, and/or the placement timeline. Please allow 1-2 weeks’ time before a decision is rendered.
*Note: Guidelines for student teachers in the Faculty of Education requiring accommodations from the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD) for student teaching placements are available here.
FE1-specific policy amendment: Excused absences – and whether they need to be made up – will be reviewed by the ISA office on a case-by-case basis; confirmation of the make-up plan may be rendered closer to the end of the FE, when the full context and total amount of missed days are better known.
- Student Teachers must attend school all day and be on time every day.
- Student Teachers must follow the schedule determined by the School Administrator at the start of their Internship.
- Student Teachers are strongly advised not to engage in activities (e.g. employment, courses) which could interfere with the time and energy required to prepare lessons and effectively teach during their placements. Course conflicts with a field placement will not be grounds for an excused absence from the field.
- DO NOT make plans to leave the city for 1 week (minimum) immediately after your placement - 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 placement.
- MATL and B.Ed. students are not permitted to participate in overnight field trips with their host school, without a thorough review of the context and circumstances by the ISA Office.
- An effort is made to place students within reasonable traveling distance (defined as up to 1.5 hours of travel time each way by the assigned method of transportation) from their address as indicated on Minerva or within reasonable distance from the downtown McGill campus (since students must also be able to travel to campus during this term). However, circumstances vary, and this travel time cannot be guaranteed and may be beyond the 1.5 hours. 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.
The following events may take place concurrently to a placement, and should be handled as follows:
The following policy on substitute teaching and tutoring applies equally to B.Ed. and MATL students.
*NEW* Student teachers are not permitted to substitute teach during their Field Experience/Internship.
Student teachers completing FE4 or IN2 who are discovered to have done any substitute teaching will be in violation of this policy AND will be ineligible for the Intern Perseverance and Success Scholarship because it will constitute "remuneration".
Student teachers may tutor in the school where they are placed for their Field Experience/Internship, and they may receive remuneration for that tutoring, provided they are not tutoring any students that they interact with and teach during their placement.
In the case where a host school's policy conflicts with ISA's (i.e. a school does not permit student teachers to tutor), the host school's policy shall prevail.
Co-operating Teachers are mentors, coaches and models to their student teachers and must exercise good judgment as well as professional accountability at all times. Relative to classroom presence, the professional expectation is that the Co-operating Teacher will always be within "easy reach" in the event that an emergency arises or the student teacher encounters a problem (the sole exception being MATL student teachers on contract in their own classroom).
"Easy reach" means that the Co-operating Teacher should always remain within a reasonable distance from the classroom (e.g. teachers' lounge, library, office, etc.) and should not leave the school or its premises at any time while they or the student teacher are "on duty."
Furthermore, Co-operating Teachers should never assign a colleague to conduct their job of mentoring/supervising a student teacher without the express knowledge and agreement of the School Administrator.
Depending on the Field Experience/Internship, Student Teachers may (or may not) be left on their own in the classroom, per the guidelines below:
- 1st Field Experience (B.Ed): The Student Teacher should never be left alone in the classroom, even for short periods of time
- 2nd Field Experience (B.Ed): The Student Teacher should rarely be left alone in the classroom and, even then, only for reasonable periods of time (i.e. not exceeding 20 minutes)
- 3rd Field Experience (B.Ed.)/1st Internship (MATL, unless on contract): The Student Teacher may be left alone in the classroom and/or to teach portions of or an entire class as the Field Experience/Internship progresses and based on the assessment of readiness by the Co-operating Teacher; however, they should never be left alone for an entire day or used as a substitute teacher
- 4th Field Experience (B.Ed.)/2nd Internship (MATL, unless on contract): The Student Teacher may be left alone in the classroom and/or to teach portions of or an entire class; however, they should never be left alone for an entire day or used as a substitute teacher
Field Supervisors may register a request with the ISA (via your Placement Coordinator) to make an unannounced or extra support visit if you feel that it is warranted.
Support visits MUST be pre-registered and approved by the ISA!
Certainly, you do not want to be obtrusive in the school but you may take the necessary measures to ensure that the Student Teacher is performing adequately under a variety of conditions (i.e. when you are not present).
If you have questions about the appropriateness of a support visit, please contact your Placement Coordinator.
- The Co-operating Teacher should inform the Field Supervisor if the Student Teacher shows professional shortcomings in any of the following, including but not limited to: pedagogical weakness; punctuality and reliability; responding well to feedback and suggestions; following established rules and routines; appropriate dress and grooming; working to develop good relationships with students/staff;.
- Prompt action is necessary. The first step will be to call a meeting with the Student Teacher, Co-operating Teacher and Field Supervisor, in order to discuss everyone’s concerns and determine a course of action.
- The Field Supervisor and Co-operating Teacher may use the 'Record of Early Concern' or ‘Competency Improvement Plan’ form to notify the ISA Office of a Student Teacher’s problems or a pedagogical and/or professional nature and the plan of remedial action.
When Challenges Arise...
- Refer to the ISA website/e-Handbook for confirmation on rules, policies, etc.
- If it involves another person, communicate with the individual and clarify the problem/issue/miscommunication
- If the issue is between a Student Teacher and CT, and you cannot resolve the issue directly, communicate with your Supervisor and ask for guidance about how to proceed
- If you cannot resolve the issue through these methods, communicate with your Placement Coordinator or, as required, other ISA staff
Whether resolving conflicts or providing feedback, the following principles should be kept in mind:
- The Student Teaching experience is first and foremost a learning space; approach any interaction as an opportunity for learning
- Be timely, ideally sometime soon after your observation/experience and when there is still time for resolution/change
- Focus on what you've observed/experienced rather than what you may be assuming or inferring
- Describe specifically what you have observed/experienced
- Offer specific suggestions for improvement or change, but be prepared to be flexible and responsive to other ideas
- Give the other person an opportunity to respond, and listen actively to their response
- Summarize and express your support
- Above all, be professional and respectful
McGill places a great deal of importance on honest work and the fair treatment of all members of the University community. A solid understanding of everyone's rights and responsibilities can ensure that all our interactions are fair and respectful. Students are encouraged to fully review McGill's Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures. Take note of the following:
McGill students have the right to:
- The safeguard of their dignity and a right to be protected by the University against vexatious conduct displayed by a representative of the University acting in an official capacity
- Equal treatment by the University; this right must not be impaired by discrimination based on race, colour, ethnic or national origin, civil status, religion, creed, political convictions, language, sex, sexual orientation, social condition, age, personal handicap or the use of any means to palliate such a handicap
- The protection of their personal information
- The freedoms of opinion and of expression
- Safe and suitable conditions of learning and study
In turn, McGill students are expected to behave and conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism and honesty.
Namely, no McGill student shall:
- Plagiarize and/or cheat
- Knowingly misrepresent material facts for the purpose of obtaining academic advantage or credit
- Knowingly create a condition that unnecessarily endangers or threatens or undermines the health, safety, wellbeing, or dignity of another person or persons
- Knowingly defraud or abuse the trust of any University office, facility, or service
- Violate McGill's Principles of Practice, Behaviour and Ethical Conduct for Teacher Candidates