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After an initial period of workplace familiarisation and observation, pre-service teachers are expected to begin participating actively in all aspects of the daily program under the supervision of the Supervisor. It is important that pre-service teachers begin to take on responsibility for planning, preparing, implementing and evaluating learning experiences as soon as possible, and that this responsibility gradually increases over the duration of the placement. This includes taking observations of focus children as well as all children in the group and acting on this information to implement a relevant and stimulating program. In their third and fourth placements, pre-service teachers are expected to assume full control of the program during a control week.
Pre-service teachers need to experience a cycle approach to planning for individual children's needs whilst maintaining records on the children. Responsibility for observing & documenting, planning, implementing, evaluating and the next ending or modifying a program for focus children should be started in the first week. Guidance by the Supervisor is vital here so that the pre-service teacher can experience this type of ongoing planning. Over the placement, the focus children will need to be rotated so the pre-service teacher can experience a cycle approach to planning for individual children's needs whilst maintaining an enriching program for all of the children in the group.
Pre-service teachers are expected to participate in all aspects of life in the educational workplace, such as meetings, planning sessions, professional development sessions and in-services etc. providing the manager or director grants permission for their involvement. It is also important that pre-service teachers are made aware of, and participate in, the administration and management of a centre and all that this entails. Supervisors are encouraged to assign administration and leadership tasks to pre-service teachers where and when they deem appropriate.
Pre-service teachers will be aware that they are required to maintain a Professional Experience Portfolio that provides substantive evidence of their progressive development as a student teacher. This portfolio should include reflections on their own professional development, records of progress towards achievement of the competencies, resources collected, child observations, planning and work related to the subjects the pre-service teacher is studying at Deakin University. This portfolio should be kept up to date and be accessible to the Supervisor on request.
The primary purpose of professional experience placements is to support pre-service teachers' studies. While on professional experience placement, pre-service teachers will also be working on tasks/projects related to the coursework units of the Master/Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Pre-service teachers are aware that they must obtain permission from relevant authorities before interviewing or surveying staff, parents, children, or viewing particular provider documentation.
In monitoring a pre-service teacher's progress, we ask Supervisors to provide feedback and comments that enable the pre-service teachers to reflect on their own teaching practice and challenges them to consider different ways of looking at issues.