Professional placement conduct requirements
When undertaking placement you should conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times. You are a visitor to the school/centre in which you have been placed and, as such, need to respect fellow colleagues and the ethos of the school/centre in which you have been placed. Being on placement is comparable to being employed and there are certain expectations that supervisors, schools/centres and the University will have of you. These are set out below.
- You should ensure you are on time, arriving no less than 30 minutes before the official school/centre start time.
- You are expected to be on placement fulltime; that is, you attend your placement in line with the opening and closing hours of your placement location for the number of assigned days.
- You should exhibit a professional manner at all times.
- Your dress should be appropriate to your placement – check with your placement setting what the dress code is if you are unsure.
- You are expected to observe and respect the culture/custom of the school/centre at all times.
- You are expected to participate fully in the life of the school/centre; e.g., yard duty, after school duty, attend staff meetings etc.
- You have an obligation to keep the school/centre informed of any variation to the agreed dates of placement attendance.
- You must NEVER use force or touch students.
- You must limit the use of personal mobile devices to breaks and emergencies.
What to do prior to placement commencement
In the weeks prior to a placement commencing, and definitely no less than 3 working days before a placement commences, you should:
- contact the relevant staff member at the school/centre to confirm arrangements including start time, reporting location, attendance at an orientation session (many schools organise these sessions and you are obliged to attend even if it is not on a day you would usually be attending)
- know the location of your placement, including the best route to get there (via vehicle or public transport) allowing sufficient travel time
- read through the relevant Placement Manual to understand the placement objectives and requirements
- know what is required during placement and organise other commitments such as employment, family, sporting, etc., accordingly. If you are employed during the placement period you must arrange with your employer to take time off as necessary to complete the scheduled placement.
What to do during placement
The first day…
- arrive at the School/Centre at least 30 mins prior to the start of when children/students are expected to arrive and report to the advised location.
- complete any applicable forms (i.e. Emergency Contact Form, Teaching Timetable, Memorandum of Understanding) and forward to the PPPO.
- ensure you are gaining exposure to the appropriate requirements of your placement and discuss/negotiate with the school/centre. Any concerns you may have can be communicate to the PPPO.
- Be enthusiastic!
- Shadow your mentor teacher and ask questions.
- Demonstrate interest and engagement
- Be open to criticism. You are there to learn so any criticism should be received as it is intended, as a tool by which to improve skills – there is nothing personal involved.
- Be well prepared and versed in content.
- Keep a record of how many placement days you have completed.
- Be prepared to teach outside your subject area - this is what happens in real teaching life.
- Prepare your lesson plans the day before and show these to your supervisor in advance so that discussion and revision can take place.
- Primary and Secondary pre-service teachers maintain daily lesson plans/evaluations/bookwork and discuss these with supervising teacher as required.
- Primary and Early Childhood pre-service teachers should ensure the attendance sheet is signed daily.
What to do at the end of placement
At the end of the placement, you should:
- let your supervisor and the organiser of student-teacher placements know how appreciative you are of their time and efforts to support you in your placement experience
- discuss and complete the placement report with your supervisor; you need to sight and sign off the report written by the supervisor
- request a copy of the placement report from your supervisor (you should never accept and take home the original, as these are strictly to be sent by the school/centre with the invoice directly to the PPPO)
- return any property borrowed from the school/centre while on placement
Primary and Early Childhood pre-service teachers should also submit their attendance sheets to the supervising teacher so they can be sent to the PPPO with the placement report.
If you have experienced problems or have concerns with a placement please contact the Partnerships and Professional Placements Office immediately. In a situation where you are due to return to the same placement setting (e.g., part-time students) and it is not appropriate, alternative arrangements need to be made, so do not wait until the next placement round is due to commence before contacting us.