Supervising Teachers are powerful role models

As a supervising teacher, your support enables teacher education students get the most out of their Professional Experience placements.

As the supervising teacher you have primary responsibility for the supervision, evaluation and guidance of the teacher education student. This involves daily communication and clarifying the ways in which you expect them to engage with the children/students in your care. All teachers should be aware that legally a teacher education student should not be left alone to supervise children/students. Legal responsibility lies with the teachers at all times.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the supervising teacher's role can be found below.

Supporting the student

How can you help teacher education students before and during their Professional Experience placements?

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:

Professional Experience – Evidence Guide for Supervising Teachers

Supervising Teachers in prior-to-school settings are encouraged to use the guide relating to early childhood teachers from BOSTES:

Proficient Teacher Evidence Guide: Early Childhood Teachers

How can I help the teacher education student?

Open and honest communication is key to a productive relationship between a supervising teacher and a teacher education student. Please assist your students by doing the following.

Before the placement, provide:
  • information about any dress code requirements
  • a list of staff names and roles
  • a layout of your facility
  • any other relevant policies and procedures.
Each day:
  • read the student's plans before they teach
  • clarify objectives, in terms of learning outcomes for children/students
  • provide feedback, encouraging the student to reflect by asking questions.
Each week:
  • clarify objectives, in terms of the student's professional development
  • observe the student, noting examples to be used in the follow-up session
  • provide written and verbal feedback on planning, teaching strategies, management techniques, responsiveness to the children/students, and adaptability.

You can also help by:

  • arranging an initial orientation to the centre or school
  • introducing the student to other members of staff
  • helping the student understand the behaviour of children/students and interpret their characteristics
  • providing opportunities for the student to observe different aspects of teaching and learning.

Please consider who can supervise your student if you are absent. To avoid confusion, inform the student about who the replacement supervisor could be. If for any reason you cannot continue as the supervising teacher, please ensure the tertiary supervisor is notified as soon as possible. If you are unavailable on the day of the tertiary supervisor's visit, please request that the student make other arrangements that are suitable to you.

Teacher education students have been advised to notify you or the director/principal/designated person no later than 8:30 am on the day of absence. Please discuss the appropriate procedure with your student. The student is also required to notify the Professional Experience Office and their tertiary supervisor as soon as possible.

Please notify the tertiary supervisor of concerns about the student's performance as soon as possible, to ensure the best support for the student. If you are unable to get in contact with the tertiary supervisor, contact the unit convenor or the Professional Experience Office. Struggling students may be placed 'at risk' of failing the unit. Read more about the 'at risk' process.

Professional Experience expectations

How can you find out about Professional Experience requirements, and what the teacher education student is expected to do?

Requirements vary depending on which Professional Experience unit the student is enrolled in. Students are provided with very specific details about their teaching requirements before they begin orientation days, and you can ask them for more detail. You can also refer to the information emailed to the centre prior to the placement.

The Professional Experience Evaluation Report criteria relate directly to the Professional Experience expectations. When completing the evaluation you may take into account:

  • accumulated information gained through the student's interactions with children and adults
  • analysis of the student's record keeping
  • comments from other personnel involved with the student
  • the student's own contribution through self-evaluation and reflection.

A student cannot pass the placement if aspects of the report are marked as unsatisfactory, so it is important that any concerns you have are raised with the tertiary supervisor and/or unit convenor as early as possible.

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. Final grading is then completed by the academic who is responsible for the Professional Experience unit.

Submitting the report


  • ensure the report is completed by the student's last day of placement
  • email the completed report to the address indicated if the unit uses a digital evaluation form.

It is the student's responsibility to submit the report within one week of finishing their placement.

Observation and documentation of children’s/students’ work is integral to Professional Experience units. We are, however, 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 ask that during the first few days you take some time to speak with your teacher education student about policies and procedures in your educational setting and what they are required to do prior to collecting information or observing children.

We will assist by:

  • speaking with teacher education students about the importance of this conversation prior to commencement
  • speaking more broadly with 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 students to discuss with you and distribute to parents where necessary in relation to observing children/students.

We give our students the information needed to complete the university requirements, so you don't need to be an expert on our approach to education. In many cases our students will adapt their requirements to suit the needs of your setting.

We recognise that there are many ways to teach, and hope that beyond their university requirements our students can draw value from your modelling. Constructive feedback and time spent showing the student how to teach effectively in your particular setting are invaluable.

Teacher education students are expected to attend the same hours as their supervising teacher unless otherwise advised.

For example, in a long day care setting students are expected to attend a maximum of eight hours a day, five days a week, undertaking the same shift as their supervising teacher. In a school placement or traditional 9am to 3pm preschool, students are expected to attend for a minimum of seven hours each day, five days a week. Students are not permitted to attend a 10-hour day, four days a week.

Students must never assume sole supervision of a group of children indoors, outdoors, or outside the grounds of the setting. They must not be treated as replacement staff or be included in the adult-child ratio related to licensing.


Where can you find forms and resources during Professional Experience?

Your feedback helps provide the best experience for teacher education students. We ask that you direct comments, complaints or concerns to either the tertiary supervisor or the unit convenor. Contact details can be found in the email package or obtained from the Professional Experience Office.

Withholding declarations

You will need to submit an ATO Withholding declaration form if you

  • are a new supervising teacher
  • have already been a supervising teacher, but your circumstances have changed
  • have claimed the general exemption on the form you have submitted previously.

Please complete Section A only and do 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 stating this preference.

Payment process

Payment will only be made via electronic transfer into your nominated bank or credit union account. Payments are processed and deposited within three to four weeks. Please submit a Banking Authority Form if you are a new supervising teacher, or your banking details have changed.

Payment cannot be made for more than the number of days the student is required to complete. If the student has more than one supervising teacher, they share the allocated number of days. If a student withdraws from the program, payment is made for the time they spent with the supervising teacher.

Human Resources will post notification of the amounts paid, tax deducted and account details to the supervising teacher's home address. Please note that the 'units' shown on the advice are days, not hours. Your Macquarie staff number will appear on the advice above your name, and should be quoted if querying a payment.

If you have any further questions about your pay, claim forms or other administrative matters, the Professional Experience Office should be your first point of contact.

Supervising teachers in the Macquarie Professional Experience program can apply for associate membership  of the library. 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. Associate memberships expire on 31 December each year.