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1. Why are Teacher Candidates not asked to complete a feedback form about their Associate Teachers?
Tucker: Teacher Candidates are Associate Members of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation. As such, you, like all teachers, are not permitted to evaluate other teachers. Only Principals who are not part of the Union may evaluate teachers. If the Faculty asked you to provide feedback about your Associate Teachers, we would very quickly have no Associate Teachers at all—the OTF would boycott us. You may remember learning about the Teaching Profession Act in some of your courses. Section 18 (1) (b) (on p. 10) outlines strict guidelines and requirements that must be followed if one teacher wants to make an adverse report on another.
2. Why is the Year 2 schedule so inconvenient?
Having only 5 weeks of classes in the Fall and 4 weeks in the Winter is really expensive for people who don’t live in the area. Couldn’t we have all the classes in one term and not have to come back for the other?
McNay: In Year 2, we placed the practica deliberately to take advantage of the first weeks of September, which is such a valuable time to be in schools, and to take advantage of the final weeks of your program, when you have your best opportunity, with your course work behind you, to show what you can do and launch into your career. It may be inconvenient to attend classes in both terms but the scheduling of the practica ensures new learning experiences each time—invaluable.
We heard the feedback that was given to us last year, though, and we have revised the Year 2 schedule to include 6 weeks of class in the Fall term and 6 weeks in the Winter term—but that won’t take effect, I’m afraid, until next year (2018-2019). The change to 6-week terms is not, I know, what was being asked for, but it will enable us to schedule classes without cramming so many hours into each week. It will help to ensure a more manageable workload, especially for PJ Teacher Candidates.
Zuber: We made some special arrangements for Year 2 Teacher Candidates to try to help with the inconvenience of the short terms, such as negotiating with Housing so you could take a short-term room in a Residence. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but it does for some. I am sure you understand that a schedule that works well for some people will not work well for others. We really do wish we could satisfy everyone but it is just impossible to do so.
This week’s Expert Contributors:
- Dr. Margaret McNay, Associate Dean
- Anna Zuber, Program Manager