Experienced teachers who have the endorsement of their immediate supervisor and their principal or director, mentor our Teacher Education Students. Mentors share their pedagogical expertise and discipline-content knowledge. They model effective teaching practice and provide constructive, scaffolded feedback on specified professional teaching standards. They also fulfil a generally supportive role, helping facilitate Teacher Education Students’ reflective professional practice.
Teacher Education Students gain valuable insights into effective teaching practice from observing and interacting with their Supervising Teachers. They have an opportunity to link theory with professional practice in classroom settings. The pedagogical and curriculum-related knowledge and skills Teacher Education Students are developing are applied in classrooms over an extended period of time. The students' classroom-based experiences are used to frame and inform the learning experiences that take place in their other program units. These units also provide a forum for the students to share and reflect on their experiences in the classroom.
Working with experienced teachers is a foundational part of our Teacher Education Students’ experience, providing them with motivation and inspiration as they pursue excellence in teaching. Professional Experience provides Teacher Education Students with invaluable teaching practice in real situations that support them to explore and discover their beliefs and what they can do. These situations also support Teacher Education Students to understand what they have to learn and to set realistic goals for their future placements. The Supervising Teacher’s role in the professional development of the Teacher Education Student is vital. Provision of practical guidance, positive encouragement and constructive criticism will support development of professional attitudes in Teacher Education Students. The Supervising Teacher is a powerful role model.
Our Teacher Education Students are at different stages of development. The ‘Professional Experience Expectations and Evaluation Report’ indicates the standards of practice we expect of our Teacher Education Students at each stage of their development. With your support, the Teacher Education Student is helped to develop an understanding of how their expectations can be integrated with those of the centre or school in which they find themselves. To assist this negotiation, the University offers documents that provide a specific outline of the tasks a Teacher Education Student must undertake before completing their Professional Experience.
As the Supervising Teacher, it is your responsibility to negotiate with the Teacher Education Student the best way forward for the Professional Experience. Establishing a time to chat with your Teacher Education Student is of great value. At this time you may wish to clarify your expectations and go through the University’s expectations together. We recognise that expectations may at times need adjusting to suit specific settings in which our Teacher Education Students find themselves. If this is required, please speak with the Teacher Education Student and Tertiary Supervisor.
Privacy and confidentiality
An integral component of Professional Experience units is observation and documentation of children’s/students’ work. However, we are aware of the importance of confidentiality and privacy in terms of collecting and recording information about children/students and the broader prior-to-school or school community. We would ask that during the first few days you would take some time to speak with your Teacher Education Student about policies and procedures in your educational setting and what Teacher Education Students are required to do prior to collecting information or observing children. We will assist in this process by:
- speaking with Teacher Education Students about the importance of this conversation prior to commencement
- speaking more broadly with Teacher Education Students about privacy and confidentiality when collecting information, observations and work samples, particularly in relation to use and misuse of photographs, social media and the internet generally
- providing form letters for Teacher Education Students to discuss with you and distribute to parents where necessary in relation to observing children/students.
Guidance and evaluation of the Teacher Education Student
During Professional Experience you have primary responsibility for the supervision, evaluation and guidance of the Teacher Education Student. This involves daily communication and clarifying ways in which you expect them to engage with the children/students in your care. Supervising Teachers should be aware that due to legal reasons Teacher Education Students should not be left alone with children/students or given sole responsibility for supervision; we ask that you ensure all teachers are informed that at all times legal responsibility lies with the teachers. Therefore Teacher Education Students should not be asked to relieve for absent teachers or staff members.
Supervising Teachers in schools are encouraged to use the ‘Professional Experience – Evidence Guide for Supervising Teachers’ document. This guide for Graduate Teacher Standards is designed to help build the capacity of Supervising Teachers to make professional judgements by clarifying the meaning and significance of each Graduate Teacher Standard descriptor. It is a practical guide that develops from the conceptual to the operational with indicators of practice:
Supervising Teachers in prior-to-school settings are encouraged to use the guide relating to early childhood teachers from BOSTES:
As a Supervising Teacher you are required to complete a Professional Experience ‘Evaluation Report’ for the Teacher Education Student. When completing this evaluation you may take into account accumulated information gained through the Teacher Education Student's interactions with children and adults, analysis of the Teacher Education Student's record keeping, comments from other personnel involved with the Teacher Education Student and the Teacher Education Student's own contribution through self-evaluation and reflection. If aspects of the report are marked as unsatisfactory the Teacher Education Student cannot pass the placement so it is important if you have any concerns that these are raised early with the Tertiary Supervisor and/or the University convenor. At the completion of the Evaluation Report, you are asked to recommend whether a Teacher Education Student is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Simply mark the appropriate box on the final page of the evaluation. The final grading of Professional Experience is thereafter the responsibility of the academic who is responsible for the Professional Experience unit.
Other ways that you can provide professional development for the Teacher Education Student include:
- arranging an initial orientation to the centre or school for the Teacher Education Student
- introducing the Teacher Education Student to other members of staff
- outlining expectations clearly for the Teacher Education Student at the beginning of the placement
- providing opportunities for the Teacher Education Student to observe aspects of teaching and learning
- providing guidance on the planning and presentation of learning experiences/lessons
- observing the Teacher Education Student's work and providing oral and written feedback which is honest, positive, analytical and constructive
- foreseeing potential difficulties and communicating these to the Teacher Education Student
- offering suggestions to the Teacher Education Student concerning the development of teaching skills and strategies
- helping the Teacher Education Student understand children's/students behaviour and interpret their characteristics,
- supporting the Teacher Education Student when faced with difficult situations
- encouraging the Teacher Education Student to reflect on their experiences and evaluate their own teaching
- discussing the Teacher Education Student's progress with the Tertiary Supervisor
- leading evaluation meetings and completing the Professional Experience ‘Evaluation Report’
- undertaking appropriate procedures if the Teacher Education Student is ‘at risk’ of failing the Professional Experience.
The requirements for the supervision of children/students will vary among educational settings, but Teacher Education Students must never assume sole supervision of a group of children either indoors or outdoors, or outside the grounds of the setting. They must not be treated as replacement staff nor be included in the adult to child ratio, related to licensing in centres.
If at any time you feel your role or responsibilities are being compromised or if you need further clarification regarding your role or the University’s requirements of Teacher Education Students during Professional Experience, please contact either the Tertiary Supervisor or the unit convenor responsible for the relevant Professional Experience unit.
Teacher Education Student wellbeing
You may find yourself in a situation where a Teacher Education Student discloses, in confidence, personal or family situations which are concerning. This can impact on the Teacher Education Student’s progression through the unit. Staff in the department support the health and wellbeing of all our Teacher Education Students, and services on campus can provide support and counselling. In the event of a concerning disclosure, please respond along the following lines:
- To the Teacher Education Student: “Thank you for informing me. The university has a duty of care so I will be advising the unit convenor that they need to contact you in relation to a current personal/ medical issue.”
- Straightaway notify the unit convenor that there are personal issues needing attention. Details do not need to be provided to the unit convenor as the Teacher Education Student can share these.
The unit convenor will follow up with the Teacher Education Student.
Supervising Teacher payment procedures
New Supervising Teachers must submit a Withholding declaration’ form from the ATO. Supervising Teachers who had a Teacher Education Student in the previous year do not need to submit a new Withholding declaration’ form from the ATO. Supervising Teachers whose circumstances have changed and/or if they have claimed the general exemption on the forms submitted must complete a new form. Supervising Teachers who need to submit Withholding declaration’ form from the ATO should complete Section A only and not claim the General Exemption as Macquarie University is not your primary employer. Some Supervising Teachers prefer their payments to be taxed at the highest rate to offset HSC marking earnings. If you wish to be taxed at the highest rate, please attach a signed note to your completed Withholding declaration’ form from the ATO stating this preference.
Payment is made via an electronic transfer into your nominated bank or credit union account. This is the only method of payment. A Banking Authority Form is to be completed by all new Supervising Teachers and by renewing Supervising Teachers who wish to change their banking details. Supervising Teacher payments are processed and payment is deposited into the Supervising Teacher's nominated account within three to four weeks.
The number of days each Teacher Education Student is required to complete is specified and we cannot pay more than the required number of days. If the Teacher Education Student has more than one Supervising Teacher, whether in the same subject area or in a different area, the allocated number of days are shared between subjects/Supervising Teachers. If a Teacher Education Student withdraws from the Teacher Education Program, payment will be made for the time the Teacher Education Student spent with the Supervising Teacher.
Human Resources will post to the Supervising Teacher's home address, notification of the amounts paid, tax deducted and account details. Please note that the ‘units’ shown on the advice are actually the number of days and not hours. The Supervising Teacher's Macquarie University staff number will also appear on the advice above their name and should be quoted if querying a payment. Payment summaries will be issued to the Supervising Teacher's home address.
As a Supervising Teacher in the Macquarie Professional Experience Program, you have borrowing rights to the University's Library. Supervising Teachers apply for associate membership of the Library. Associate membership for Supervising Teachers expires on 31 December each year.
Borrowing privileges are 10 items for two weeks, with one renewal. Database access is available for use in the Library only. Complete the online application form Register for Macquarie University Library to apply for Library membership.