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Education - Make Your Mark!

Information for Teacher Candidates

Friday, January 21st, 2022

Dear Teacher Candidates:

This week's update letter was sent via email and is also available through the following link: BEd Weekly Update Letter: January 21st, 2022.

Best wishes!

George

Guoqiang (George) Zhou, PhD, Professor
Acting Associate Dean - Teacher Education
Faculty of Education, University of Windsor


Wednesday, January 19th, 2022

As per the important announcement from the President and Provost, dated January 17, 2022 (https://www.uwindsor.ca/returntocampus/476/important-announcement-winter-2022-semester):

On Monday, January 31st, the Faculty of Education will welcome back to campus those teacher candidates who signed up for face-to-face courses.  Only B.Ed. courses designated as in-person will be delivered on-campus.  All other B.Ed. courses are designated as online and will remain online for the duration of the semester.

ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS (OCT):
Revised Policy: Temporary Certificates of Qualification and Registration

It was announced by the Ministry of Education on January 13, 2022 that additional amendments have been made to Ontario Regulation 176/10 Teachers Qualifications. The amendments expand the use of Temporary Certificates of Qualification and Registration that may be granted by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) under the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996. These Temporary Certificates have been introduced as a time-limited emergency measure to respond to occasional teacher shortages in Ontario school boards due to the health impacts of COVID-19.

The OCT has not yet updated its website to reflect the changes, but further details will be available here: https://www.oct.ca/becoming-a-teacher/requirements/temporary-certificate

Who Can Apply?* 

1) Year 2 (Consecutive) and Year 5 (Concurrent)

Teacher candidates who are in their second year in the consecutive B.Ed. program

Teacher candidates who are in the final year of their concurrent B.Ed. who have also completed all requirements of their undergraduate degree

  • Teacher Candidates must have successfully completed at least 20 days of in-school practicum (either face-to-face or virtual).
  • Teacher candidates must be in the final semester of their B.Ed. degree
  • Teacher candidates must be in good academic standing across each semester of their program and as determined by the Faculty of Education.

Year 2 teacher candidates are encouraged to apply for the Temporary Teaching Certificate in January 2022.

2) Year 1 Consecutive

Teacher candidates who are in their first year in the consecutive B.Ed. program may be recommended for the temporary certification after the successful completion of winter 2022 courses and practicum

  • Teacher Candidates must have successfully completed at least 20 days of in-school practicum (either face-to-face or virtual).
  • Teacher candidates must be in good academic standing across each semester of their program and as determined by the Faculty of Education.

Year 1 Consecutive teacher candidates are encouraged to apply for the Temporary Teaching Certificate in May 2022.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

The temporary certificate enables Ontario teacher candidates to be employed as occasional teachers on days that otherwise would have been designated as practicum days.  This teaching experience may be used to satisfy practicum requirements, as determined by the Faculty of Education.  In the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, the following shall apply:

  • Teacher Candidates holding a temporary certificate may act as an emergency occasional teacher as part of their designated practicum placement and, normally, only within the same school as their practicum placement.
     
  • In the event that a Long-Term Occasional position becomes available in another school, the teacher candidate is identified as a possible fit, the school board and the Faculty of Education must come to agreement as to whether this alternate plan is appropriate in the situation.
     
  • As per agreements with our school board partners, all placement arrangements are made by and through the Field Experience Office.  These placements and any paid teaching work taken by a Teacher Candidate should be made within the division and subject area requirements to be counted toward practicum requirements.
     
  • Teacher candidates in possession of a valid temporary teaching certificate who complete paid teaching work outside their normal practicum placement location or the normal practicum dates, may apply to have these paid teaching days accepted toward practicum requirements.  Further details on this process are forthcoming.  PLEASE NOTE:  Even when in possession of a valid temporary teaching certificate, Teacher Candidates may not take paid teaching work during scheduled class time or other required activities of the B.Ed. program (e.g., PLS).  Under no circumstances will paid teaching work taken without a valid temporary teaching certificate be counted toward practicum requirements.

* Teacher candidates in the Technological Studies program normally apply to the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) for a Transitional Certificate of Qualification and Registration.  Questions about the potential relevance of the Temporary Teaching Certificate should be directed to Tim Tiegs, the Coordinator of the Technological Studies program (Tim.Tiegs@uwindsor.ca).


Friday, January 14th, 2022

Dear Teacher Candidates:

This week's update letter was sent via email and is also available through the following link: BEd Weekly Update Letter: January 14th, 2022

Best wishes!

George

Guoqiang (George) Zhou, PhD, Professor
Acting Associate Dean - Teacher Education
Faculty of Education, University of Windsor


Monday, January 10th, 2022

Dear Teacher Candidates:

As a result of a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice – Divisional Court, the Mathematics Proficiency Test (MPT) is no longer a certification requirement. The full text of the court’s decision can be viewed here.

This means that evidence of successful completion of the MPT is no longer required for:

  • Applicants in order to become certified; or
  • Members in order to fulfill a condition.

See: Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) | Math Proficiency Test No Longer a Certification Requirement

A brief announcement is also available through the landing page of the official Mathematics Proficiency Test website, as follows: "At this time the requirement to successfully complete the Math Proficiency Test (MPT) for certification with the Ontario College of Teachers is no longer in effect. All testing is paused. Please visit the Ontario College of Teachers’ website for updates."


Friday, January 7th, 2022

Dear Teacher Candidates,

While we would like to wish you all a happy new year, the new Covid variance of Omicron has put us into another difficult semester. With much uncertainty ahead, the Faculty launches an initiative to maintain better communication with all teacher candidates. A weekly update letter will be sent to keep you informed of many matters that impact your studies in the Faculty. It is our hope that this weekly update will reduce the anxiety some of you may have experienced before and help you plan your studies throughout the semester.

You may read the first update letter through the following link: BEd Weekly Update Letter: January 7th, 2022

Best wishes!

George

Guoqiang (George) Zhou, PhD, Professor
Acting Associate Dean - Teacher Education
Faculty of Education, University of Windsor


Friday, December 17th, 2021

Dear Consecutive and Concurrent Teacher Candidates:

Following today’s announcement from Dr. Rob Gordon (President & Vice Chancellor ) and Dr. Patti Weir (Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic), we wish to provide additional clarity about the winter semester for the Faculty of Education.

For all pre-service students in the first or second year of their B.Ed. program (Concurrent year 3 and 5/ Consecutive Year 1 and 2) the start date for classes remains as originally planned: Monday, January 3, 2022.  The last day of classes also remains the same, March 11, 2022, and there is no change to the scheduled reading week break (February 21-25) or practicum calendar.  However, all B.Ed. courses, including those scheduled as face-to-face, will now begin the winter semester as online classes. 

In consultation with local health authorities, we will plan for face-to-face courses to begin when it is safe to do so.  We will provide at least two weeks’ notice regarding the return to face-to-face delivery for these courses, but the earliest date for a return will be January 31st, 2022, consistent with the University of Windsor plan.

All concurrent students in the undergraduate years of their concurrent program will begin on Jan. 17, 2022 and follow the revised schedule determined by the University.  This applies to Education courses EDUC 1199, EDUC 2299, and EDUC 3399, which will be delivered online for the duration of the winter semester.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as the University of Windsor navigates the complex context of the pandemic with a priority on health and safety.

Ken Montgomery, PhD
Dean and Professor, Faculty of Education


Thursday, December 9th, 2021

ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS (OCT):
Temporary Certificates of Qualification and Registration

Attn: Year 2 B.Ed. Consecutive Teacher Candidates:

It was announced by the Ministry of Education on December 1, 2021 that amendments have been made to Ontario Regulation 176/10 Teachers Qualifications. The amendments expand the use of Temporary Certificates of Qualification and Registration that may be granted by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) under the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996. 

Further details can be found here: https://www.oct.ca/becoming-a-teacher/requirements/temporary-certificate

These Temporary Certificates have been introduced as a time-limited emergency measure to respond to occasional teacher shortages in Ontario school boards due to the health impacts of COVID-19. Temporary Certificates allow eligible teacher candidates to be employed as occasional teachers and complete required practicum days at the same time. Temporary Certificates issued to current teacher candidates will be effective on or after January 1, 2022, and expire December 31, 2022.

To be eligible, teacher candidates must have already successfully completed a portion of their practicum, be progressing well in their academic program, and be on track to successfully complete their teacher education program by December 31, 2022.  Teacher candidates in their 5th year of a concurrent program are not eligible for the Temporary Certificate until their undergraduate degree has been conferred (for most Teacher Candidates at the University of Windsor this will be in June 2022). 

Who Can Apply?

Ontario teacher candidates can apply for the temporary certificate if they:

  • are expected to successfully complete their initial teacher education program by December 31, 2022
    • In the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Education, this means:
      • Teacher candidates who are in their second year in the consecutive B.Ed. program
      • Teacher candidates who are in the final year of their concurrent B.Ed. (contingent upon conferral of their undergraduate degree in spring 2022)
      • Teacher candidates in the technological education program who are scheduled to complete their program by August 31, 2022
  • have, as of the date of their application, successfully completed a portion of the practicum as determined by reports made by Faculties of Education to the College
    • In the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Education, this means:
      • Teacher Candidate must have successfully completed at least 20 days of in-school practicum (either face-to-face or virtual).
  • have made satisfactory progress in their program as determined by reports made by Faculties of Education to the College
    • In the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Education, this means:
      • Teacher candidates who have successfully completed all required coursework as part of their B.Ed.
      • Teacher candidates in good academic standing

Please note:  Eligible teacher education candidates will only be recommended for the temporary certification after the successful completion of courses on March 11, 2022. Once grades are finalized, should a teacher candidate have failed a course, a recommendation will be made to the OCT to revoke the temporary certificate without refund.  Any teacher candidate who takes a paid position in advance of that timeline or who does so without a valid temporary certificate does so at their own risk.  Under no circumstances will paid teaching work taken prior to March 11 be counted toward practicum requirements. Similarly, under no circumstances will paid teaching work taken without a valid temporary teaching certificate be counted toward practicum requirements.

In order to be granted the temporary certificate, applicants must have also paid all necessary fees and have met all other applicable certification requirements including passing the Math Proficiency Test and successfully completing the Sexual Abuse Prevention Program.

What Can I Do With a Temporary Certificate?

The temporary certificate enables Ontario teacher candidates to be employed as occasional teachers on days that otherwise would have been designated as practicum days.  This teaching experience may be used to satisfy practicum requirements, as determined by the Faculty of Education.  In the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, the following shall apply:

  • Teacher Candidates holding a temporary certificate may act as an emergency occasional teacher as part of their designated practicum placement and only within the same school as their practicum placement, once the school has followed its regular protocols to fill a teacher vacancy and is unable to locate a suitably qualified occasional teacher, in accordance with existing hiring norms and regulations.
     
  • In the event that a Long-Term Occasional position becomes available in another school, is unfilled after the school board has completed its hiring process, and the teacher candidate is identified as a possible fit, the school board and the Faculty of Education must come to agreement as to whether this alternate plan is appropriate in the situation.
     
  • All placement arrangements are made by and through the Field Experience Office.  These placements are made so ensure that Teacher Candidates meet their respective division and subject requirements.  Paid teaching work taken by a Teacher Candidate should be made within the division and subject area requirements to be counted toward practicum requirements.

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS (OCT) CERTIFICATION MANDATE:
Sexual Abuse Prevention Program (SAPP)

All Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs), applicants, and re-applicants are required to complete an online sexual abuse prevention program (SAPP). The program is being offered at no cost and will be available on January 3, 2022. 

This program was developed in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P), a national leader in advocating for youth safety.

All individuals who are members of the OCT as of January 1, 2022 must successfully complete the SAPP program by August 31, 2022. 

Key information pertaining to the SAPP training for OCTs is as follows:

  • consists of a series of video modules 
  • available in French and English 
  • entirely online
  • only considered complete after the individual has viewed all modules and passed the assessment component with a minimum score of 80 percent 
  • can be retaken if initial attempts were unsuccessful
  • approximately three hours in length. It can be completed all at once or taken over multiple sessions.  

You can find out how to complete the program and more answers to questions through the OCT website here: https://oct.ca/becoming-a-teacher/requirements/sexual-abuse-prevention-program?sc_lang=en&


Thursday, November 18th, 2021

ALTERNATIVE PRACTICUM and ALTERNATIVE TO PRACTICUM

Year 1 Consecutive and Year 3 Concurrent Teacher Candidates were given the opportunity to attend two virtual information sessions pertaining to the Alternative Practicum (AP), and the Alternative to Practicum (ATP) plans. 

Questions raised and answered within the 2nd session are posted below, as well as answers to questions submitted but not answered within the session due to time constraints. 

VIDEO RECORDINGS:

Alternative Practicum Plan (Session 1 of 2) Recording (from: Oct-29-2021)

Alternative Practicum and Alternative to Practicum (ATP) Plans (Session 2 of 2) Recording (from: Nov-04-2021)


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
 

If you opt out of the practicum this semester, roughly 20 days are added to other placements in the remainder of your program

Police Clearance and TB test results were due September 10th. Any student who did not satisfy requirements by specified due dates were notified that they were ineligible for practicum. It is within the faculty’s rights to oblige you to withdraw from the program. Instead, students received notice that they will not receive a practical experience this semester, and they will have to make up any missing practicum days outside the normal semesters and at additional tuition cost.
No teacher candidate will be permitted to participate in an in person or virtual placement in schools unless they are fully vaccinated or formally exempted under the University of Windsor vaccination policy. However, those who submitted all required Faculty documents and completed both required vaccination attestations (1. University of Windsor, 2. Faculty of Education), regardless of their vaccination status, are permitted to participate in the Alternative Practicum.

This policy is not unique to the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Education. The  rationale for such a policy is twofold. First, it is to avoid conflict of interest pertaining to the evaluation of the practical. Selecting the person to evaluate you is a conflict of interest. Second, it is to avoid damaging long-standing and fledgling relationships with school boards across Ontario. School boards are generally opposed to Candidates facilitating their own placement arrangements.  Each school board has uniquely positioned representatives who oversee placements, and very specific processes and procedures that must be followed. They also have very specific health and safety regulations – especially under COVID-19 – as part of these procedures. The faculty cannot risk important relationships with these boards. However, the Faculty is committed to opening more formal discussions with school board partners regarding policies and procedures, but an immediate change to existing policy should not be expected

Anywhere between 1 to 4 students (minimum) is acceptable. More students allow you to accommodate for different needs, and to generate satisfaction with the learning objectives. Tutoring is still a viable option to move your learning forward  and potentially gain experiences equally important to other modes of practicum.

While the faculty might be willing to waive the conflict-of-interest  aspect under these difficult circumstances, school boards across the province are not amenable to this. The faculty is not able to change its policies at this point in time. The best approach in this scenario is to ask the potential Associate/Mentor Teacher to contact the Field Experience Office directly to indicate that they are willing to have a student teacher.

The tutoring plan is scalable across three divisions. 45 minutes maximum of actual tutoring of a  P/J student is the absolute limit. This is enough instruction time exposure for accumulation of learning and for diversity of different activities. Even for a high school student, an hour to an hour and half-long tutoring session is the limit. In getting to know your tutees, be cognizant of their needs, and other demands and commitments.

Every effort is made every semester to secure as many in-person placements as possible. Our goal is to place all teacher candidates in schools (in person or virtual) next semester.  The process will take into consideration the placement experiences that all teacher candidates have had to this point. 

Recording events of working with a minor provides protection for you, the Teacher Candidate. A recording also allows an auditor to monitor your progress and provide formative and summative evaluations. For these reasons, only tutor students  whose parents have given permission to record.

As for being on camera (image recording) -- this is not required. In fact, if students and/or their parents do not consent to video recording (audio only), then you need to respect these wishes.

It will be done online at common times when you and your group members can meet consistently, and at times when your Advisor can observe. Your sessions will also be recorded. This ensures that your advisors have an account of your full participation, and it allows you to complete reflective tasks. As for evaluation, your advisors will use the AP and ATP summative evaluation reports that were created for these modes of practicum. The areas of evaluation focus for these reports are what an Associate/Mentor teacher would address in a school practicum setting.

When you are delivering a lesson, your peers will be making commentary of their observations based along areas described in the evaluation report and assessment criteria. You will submit evaluations by your peers to your Advisor. You and your Advisor will use them to critique yourself and shape your future teaching plans and goals. The listed domains and criteria for evaluation and assessment will inform your lesson planning, execution, and reflection. The thinking and preparation that goes into microteaching, and experiences gained from microteaching, will better prepare you for conventional practicum settings.

You are not being discouraged from participating in the AP or ATP options. They are excellent opportunities for you to refine your teaching skills and preparation for in-school experiences. Considering present circumstances, these are two viable options that do not create a gap in the record of your learning for year one. It is in everybody's best to select one of the alternative routes if you are not placed in a traditional classroom virtually or in person.

 

The commitment should be to one or the other (AP or ATP). If you struggle to find one or two tutees, move to ATP immediately. Blending will cause unnecessary difficulties for you and your advisors.

You are taking the lead from what the tutees/their parents identify as areas in which they need additional support or reinforcement. What can you do to increase confidence and interest? This is your compass and where you find directives for what you do with your tutees.

If it's online, the session needs to begin and end with the parent checking in. At beginning, establish what you are doing, and indicate the length of time. At the end of the established time, if there are things the tutee can work on or consider, provide that information.

In-person tutoring is not recommended and to be avoided. A recorded session is an audible author.  It documents the contents of the session/activities.  Also,  we need to be certain that, due to  COVID-19, all precautions are taken, and  that there is adherence to strict policies. Protection of the vulnerable is paramount.

Communicate special requests, concerns, and unique circumstances to your Advisors. The faculty will do what we can to accommodate exceptional cases.

If you do not have contacts, then you are to select the Alternative-to-Practicum (Peer-to-Peer) option

Should you choose to postpone, The faculty will provide several opportunities for make-up days in your remaining three semesters.

Your program is four semesters. If you do not complete 20 days in a semester, The faculty will provide a path forward for you to complete them in subsequent semesters.  If the program calendar must also be modified next year to accommodate make up days, the faculty will attend to this.

The faculty will select your groups. With firm numbers of students requiring AP and ATP, Advisors and Pre-Service program personnel will work together to create ATP peer groups.  

No, graduation will not be delayed. Each of the three pathways presented today (AP, ATP, postpone) lead to graduation on-time. If a Candidate continues to proceed successfully through course work, all program requirements, and maintains eligibility within the program in accordance with all policies and procedures, graduation will not be delayed due to the practicum option selected.  80 days of  practicum, or equivalent, recognized by the OCT  will be completed within the two-year program.

There are no specific task assignments (from the faculty). Time can be used to do other work deemed necessary/beneficial, and/or in preparation of the winter term (e.g., catch up on assignments, reading, other meaningful activities). Take every opportunity to stay engaged in learning contexts. This is only to your benefit and will enrich your experience.

The faculty is attempting to place you in groups according to division/teaching subjects. However, in cases where this is not possible, there is opportunity for crossover of learning in pedagogical approaches between candidates in all divisions.

This option is available in year 2, when  enough professional growth and  practicum experience has taken place under close observation of your assigned Advisor.  It takes time to become competent enough for the faculty to place Candidates in a geographical location that is difficult to access by local Advisors.

Often, there aren’t even enough external placement openings for Year 2 requests. Many boards are also accommodating Teacher Candidates from other regions in Ontario for practice teaching. There are also far more legal and logistical complications involved in arranging external placements.

Yes, this is possible. Four allows opportunity for exposure to different learning types and levels of learning readiness. Remember that this is a scaled-down version of practicum. However, there is still diligence and opportunity for teaching and learning with two students.

No, there will be no refunds. The faculty’s obligation is to provide candidates with at least 80 days of practicum and the opportunity, if all courses and practical experiences are successfully completed, to be awarded a Bachelor of Education degree and to be recommended to the OCTR for certification.  We remain fully committed to fulfilling this obligation.

 

What is being assessed is the nature of activity that a student at your level of experience and exposure can handle successfully.

Teaching time can’t always be quantified. You will have the opportunity of going deeply into addressing what is a successful lesson and collecting data on a student based on what they produce and analyzing it.

We are going to provide everybody with the default position of some face-to-face classes. Two courses, at a minimum will be face-to-face. The rest of your courses will be online. In recognition of challenges that everyone faces, the faculty will also provide an alternative, virtual, or asynchronous option for each face-to-face class. This means providing additional sections in support of varying student needs.

If you can be in Windsor in person, and you want to have in-person experiences, you can begin looking for accommodations. If you cannot move without considerable hardship to you or your loved ones, then the faculty will have accommodation plans in place.

The faculty’s goal is to provide all Candidates with an in-person or virtual placement next semester. If we are unable to reach that goal, the solid backup plan is in the alternative placement options that are already prepared and underway. We are still in a pandemic, and it’s difficult to fully know what is at hand for winter.

You will follow the procedure the school will take. If the class is turned to online, your placement will turn to be online. You will not be transferred to AP or ATP.

Yes, you can tutor family members. Tutoring one student at a time is recommended. However, if you have many students to work with, it is acceptable to tutor a couple of students at one time.

If a school is placed on lockdown, a placement will be adjusted following the change of the school's scheduling.

The faculty does not allow teacher candidates to arrange their own placement as explained above. Finding your own students to tutor is different. Students do not evaluate your teaching performance. There is no conflict of interest here.

It is up to your working group for schedule. Your advisor will outline the specific requirements to you.

That is the question the faculty will consider. The faculty will ensure you meet the required 80 days of practicum.

All teacher education programs provide alternative placement through one way or another. AP and ATP were carefully designed to develop your OCT required teaching skills. They are recognized by OCT.

The faculty will not make direct requests to school boards for board email addresses for tutors in Alternative Practicum. School board email addresses are assigned at the discretion of school boards, and in accordance to their policies and procedures. School board email addresses are only assigned on a temporary basis for Teacher Candidates in practicum placements in schools (in-person or virtual).

 

Yes, you can work on your first or second teachable. It is not recommend that you teach the subject other than your own teachable. But you may end up critique your peers’ lesson on the topic that does not fall in your teachables.

This is recommended, but if not possible, a subject that closely relates to your teachable is best.

No, this manner of calculation does not apply to this option. Your time will, however, be factored in equitably into practicum experience requirements. 

Lesson planning at tutoring takes different format than conventional classroom teaching. At each tutoring session, teacher candidate needs to have a plan on checking what the student learned from last week, listen to students about the new topic that why have learning difficulty, and provide tutoring to the new topic that students have difficulty with.

Online resources are great. Additionally, draw on resources pointed to/discussed by your various course instructors.

Yes, you can talk to SAS or the faculty for support. Please email sas@uwindsor.ca, or educexternal@uwindsor.ca

Yes, this is required. If this arrangement is not possible, ensure that you find students to tutor where this arrangement is possible.

Yes, you may tutor your own children.

Microteaching takes place when one teacher candidate teaches a lesson usually designed by him/her/their self. The teaching is video recorded for later review and analysis. Microteaching can take place with or without audience. In the ATP format, you are required to microteach your own designed lessons to your peer teacher candidates for the purpose of mutual support and learning.

This is not a recommended option. Please discuss any special circumstances and requests with your assigned Faculty Advisor. 

You will have an Associate/Mentor Teacher from the school where you are placed. Advisors will be available through emails, calls, or online meetings with you and Associate/Mentor Teachers.

 

While communication with school boards about alternative placement options have occurred on many occasions in different forms, the faculty will not directly acquire a list of students to tutor. Candidates are to make tutoring arrangements with known or contacts acquired through their own networks. 

The faculty is working toward a blended model of delivery (for courses, practicum, etc.) for the winter 2022 semester. A survey was disseminated to Teacher Candidates to garner as much required information as possible about anticipated needs. The faculty will provide a concrete update at the earliest opportunity.

 

ARCHIVED UPDATES 

RE: Alternative Practicum Plan

Dear B.Ed. students,

During and after the presentation made by Dr. Cherian this morning, in which he outlined Faculty of Education plans for an Alternative Practicum, we appreciated hearing from many of you indicating your thoughts and concerns.  We value your perspective and are taking your feedback into consideration. This letter will provide some important context and then outline some immediate changes that we have made.

In what continues to be an emergency context, Faculties of Education across Ontario are having difficulty securing adequate practicum opportunities for teacher candidates.  In some cases, faculties such as ours, with the approval of the Ontario College of Teachers, are developing an alternative practicum as an opportunity for teacher candidates to keep pace with the usual scheduling of respective B.Ed. programs. 

However, there is no requirement for practicum blocks to be scheduled in each of the four B.Ed. semesters.  As with all Faculties of Education in the Province of Ontario, the regulatory requirement obliges us to offer a “minimum of 80 days of practical experience in a regular classroom or other setting approved by the College” (i.e., the Ontario College of Teachers) over the 4-semester (2 year) program.  EDUC-5499 is the course associated with your practicum; you take this course for the entirety of your program, and we need to build 80 days of practical experience into this course over the 4 semesters.

In the pandemic context, in which placements with the school boards have been a challenge to secure, we have had to rely significantly on the “or other setting approved by the College” portion of the regulation (I.E., virtual practicum placements and alternative practicum placements).  As virtual teaching in the K-12 system has been dramatically reduced by comparison to last year, we are very grateful to Dr. Cherian for agreeing to take on the significant challenge of designing an Alternative Practicum. 

We understand that this is not the same experience as an in-person placement in the school system.  We also appreciate the concerns raised about the requirement to find students to tutor in a short timeframe.  Therefore, we have adjusted our plans immediately as follows:

  • The Field Experience Office will continue to work diligently toward securing in-person placements for all eligible teacher candidates across both years and all divisions. 
     
  • Those teacher candidates who do not receive an in-person or virtual placement this fall semester will have the option to participate in the Alternative Practicum OR have the length of their remaining practicum placement blocks (in semesters 2, 3, and 4 as applicable) extended so that the total number of days meets the requirement of 80 days of practical experience.
     
  • The Alternative Practicum plan will be revised to permit both student tutoring experiences as outlined by Dr. Cherian AND peer-to-peer instructional opportunities as was done last year.
     
  • The Alternative Practicum will be begin on November 22, 2021 and end December 15, 2021.

Our Field Experience Office is deeply committed to your practicum experience and each member is working many overtime hours to secure practicum placements so that you can complete your requirements within the 2-year degree period.   We are exceptionally grateful to the members of the Field Experience Office and their dedicated efforts on this front. 

We look forward to providing further updates as they become available.

Respectfully,

Ken Montgomery, PhD.
Dean and Professor
Faculty of Education
University of Windsor

RE: Fall Practicum (November 15 to December 15, 2021) Update 

Dear Year 1 Consecutive and Year 3 Concurrent Teacher Candidates:

​Due to the impact of the global pandemic, the recruitment of Associate/Mentor Teachers this year has, once again, been a significant challenge for our Field Experience Office.

Teacher Candidates in their first year of the B.Ed. program (i.e., Year 1 Consecutive and Year 3 Concurrent) who are in compliance with University of Windsor and Faculty of Education vaccination policies may expect to proceed with practicum according to the following plans:

Primary/Junior (P/J) – Year 1 B.Ed.

We expect that approximately 50% of our Year 1 P/J Teacher Candidates will receive an in-person (face-to-face) practicum placement. The small number of available virtual practicum placements are reserved for Teacher Candidates with University of Windsor-approved vaccine exemptions. All other P/J Teacher Candidates will receive an Alternative Practicum that is fully congruent with the certification requirements of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). 

Junior/Intermediate (J/I) – Year 1 B.Ed.

We expect that approximately 50% of our Year 1 J/I Teacher Candidates will receive an in-person (face-to-face) practicum placement. The small number of available virtual practicum placements are reserved for Teacher Candidates with University of Windsor-approved vaccine exemptions. All other J/I Teacher Candidates will receive an Alternative Practicum that is fully congruent with the certification requirements of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). 

Intermediate/Senior (I/S) – Year 1 B.Ed.

All Year 1 I/S Teacher Candidates will receive an Alternative Practicum that is fully congruent with the certification requirements of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). 

Considering the difficulty many Teacher Candidates have with re-location, in-person (face-to-face) placements will be assigned to Teacher Candidates who live in the local area (Windsor-Essex/surrounding). Teacher Candidates who receive Alternative Placement in the fall semester will be prioritized for in-person placement in the winter semester.

RE: UWindsor COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for BACHELOR OF EDUCATION (B.Ed.) Students (Teacher Candidates) with Respect to Practicum Placements

The Ontario Provincial Government has announced that all teachers, education assistants, and administrative staff must disclose their vaccination status to their school boards and get regular rapid antigen tests if not vaccinated.   Additionally, many school boards across the Province of Ontario have already announced that vaccinations will be mandatory for Teacher Candidates on placement.  Teacher Candidates at the University of Windsor must meet any COVID-19 vaccination requirement set out by the school board in which their practicum placement is located, in addition to the following:

As per the University of Windsor policy, all UWindsor staff, students and faculty must complete the vaccination attestation at uwindsor.ca/vaccine by no later than October 7, 2021. To be eligible for practicum placements that are part of the B.Ed. degree requirements, Teacher Candidates must attest to their vaccination status and upload their proof of vaccination at uwindsor.ca/vaccine by this same deadline.  To do so, Teacher Candidates will need their vaccination certificates and their UWinID and password.  Teacher Candidates may download copies of their vaccination certificates through the Health Canada website. 

VACCINATION CERTIFICATE AND PROOF OF EXEMPTION APPROVAL - FACULTY OF EDUCATION SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Teacher Candidates are also required to submit copies of these vaccination certificates to the Field Experience Office of the Faculty of Education via a Qualtrics survey athttps://uwindsor.ca/vaccine. The Field Experience Office must receive vaccination confirmation via the survey by 5:00 pm on October 7, 2021.

Teacher Candidates who applied for a vaccination exemption by the University of Windsor’s September 20, 2021 deadline are required to submit proof of their approval for vaccination exemption to the Faculty of Education Field Experience Office by October 7, 2021 via the Qualtrics survey (url above). 

Teacher Candidates who have a University of Windsor-approved vaccination exemption will be accommodated with a virtual or alternative practicum placement.  They will not be placed in a face-to-face schooling context.  Effective September 20, 2021, any teacher candidate wishing to access campus must, as per University of Windsor policy, be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption in accordance with the vaccination policy and be participating in the rapid antigen testing program.

The University of Windsor Vaccination Policy stipulates that any student who does not comply with the policy by October 7 will be at risk of affecting their curriculum or future study plans. Teacher Candidates who have not confirmed their vaccination status and submitted their proof of vaccination to the UWindsor vaccination attestation process AND the Faculty of Education Field Experience Office through the Qualtrics survey by October 7, 2021, and who do not have a vaccination exemption, will not be permitted to participate in the practicum placement (whether face-to-face, virtual, or alternative) during the Fall 2021 semester.  In such cases, the missed practicum placement may be deferred to an additional semester, beyond the regular 2-year program, at the Teacher Candidate’s expense and with coinciding delays with respect to both convocation and OCT certification.

The purpose of this data collection is related directly to the Faculty of Education’s obligations to administer practicum placements in relation to our school board partners and in accordance with their health and safety requirements, such requirements of the University of Windsor, and applicable provincial government advisories and directives.  This data and all related documentation shall be managed by the Field Experience Office of the Faculty of Education.  It shall not be shared with other academic or administrative units of the University of Windsor, but may be shared with the school board in which you are placed for your practicum assignment for the purpose of complying with the school board’s vaccination policy.  Your personal information is being collected under the authority of the University of Windsor Act, 1962-63.  It shall be stored in password protected digital files within the Faculty of Education, accessible only to staff and administrators for the purposes described above, and its collection shall be compliant with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of the Province of Ontario. 

If you have any questions about the collection of your personal information, please contact the Field Experience Office at educforms@uwindsor.ca

RE: COVID-19 Vaccination Exemptions

Further to our earlier communication about vaccination policy and our strong recommendation for Teacher Candidates to be fully vaccinated well before practicum placements are to begin, we wish to advise you that the university's deadline for Teacher Candidates to apply for vaccination exemptions for medical reasons or under grounds protected by the Human Rights Code is September 20th, 2021

To apply for an exemption, please go the University of Windsor’s Requests for Exemptions | Return to Campus (uwindsor.ca) website.

The Bachelor of Education Program Orientation for Year 1 Consecutive / Year 3 Concurrent Teacher Candidates was held on Friday September 3rd, 2021.

The following resources are available for your review:

Video of entire Bachelor of Education Program Orientation Event: ​mp4 icon BEd-Orientation-Recording_F2021.mp4

PowerPoint Presentation by Dr. George Zhou, Acting Associate Dean of Teacher Education

PowerPoint Presentation by the Education Society

RE: B.Ed. Practicum Placements and COVID-19 Vaccinations

On August 13, 2021, The University of Windsor announced that it requires all staff, faculty and students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a Health Canada-approved vaccine beginning this fall (UWindsor announces mandatory vaccinations for staff, faculty and students | Office of Public Affairs & Communications).  At least a first dose of a vaccine will be required by September 7, 2021 and a second dose will be required by October 7, 2021. Accommodations will be made, by the University of Windsor, for vaccination exemptions for medical reasons or under grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code. All members of the University of Windsor community returning to campus will be required to declare their COVID-19 vaccination status and regular testing protocols will be established for those who are not vaccinated and/or have received accommodations.

Although all fall semester B.Ed. courses are online, the Faculty of Education strongly recommends that all B.Ed. students who are not already fully vaccinated to complete the process immediately to ensure that they are fully vaccinated well before practicum placements are scheduled to begin in mid-November.  Many school boards across the Province of Ontario have already announced that vaccinations will be mandatory for teacher candidates on placement.  We expect all other boards to eventually follow suit.  Teacher candidates must meet any COVID-19 vaccination requirement set out by the school board in which their practicum placement is located. Additionally, the Ontario provincial Government has announced that all teachers, education assistants, and administrative staff must disclose their vaccination status to their school boards and get regular rapid antigen tests if not vaccinated.  This would apply to teacher education candidates as well.  Further information on vaccinations at UWindsor can be found here: Take a Jab! | Return to Campus (uwindsor.ca).

Further UWindsor updates pertaining to vaccine exemption forms and protocol, testing protocols, Safe Lancer App updates, and provincial vaccine passport applicability are expected soon and will be communicated promptly.

Attention Year 1 Consecutive / Year 3 Concurrent Teacher Candidates:

The schedule for next Friday’s virtual orientation to the Bachelor of Education program is below.

Important Notes:

  1. All Consecutive Year 1 and Concurrent Year 3 Teacher Candidates are required to attend orientation.
  2. Have your Fall course schedule open online (or printed) and available for viewing during this meeting.
  3. A Microsoft Teams meeting Invitation/Link to this event will sent by email early next week.

Bachelor of Education Program Orientation Schedule
Friday, September 3rd, 2021

9:00 – 9:05 a.m. Virtual drop-in

9:05 – 9:10 a.m. Greetings and welcome – Dr. George Zhou, Acting Associate Dean of Teacher Education

9:10 – 9:20 a.m. Dr. Ken Montgomery, Dean

9:20 – 9:30 a.m. Professional practice – Dr. George Zhou, Acting Associate Dean of Teacher Education

9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Faculty panel (Q&A) - Dr. Lana Parker, Dr. Kara Smith, and Dr. Bonnie Stewart

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Education Society introduction and activities

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. Teacher Candidate panel (Q&A)

11:00 – 11:05 a.m. Virtual coffee break

11:05 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Meet Your Advisor (you will receive a separate virtual invitation from your Advisor for this meeting)

RE: Fall 2021 Course Schedules - Update

The population of courses into schedules is still in progress. We ask for your patience until it is completely done.

We will contact everyone when schedules are complete and ready for viewing through UWinsite Student.

Registration for elective courses (including Service Learning) specifically, will not open until August 27th at noon.

We will send you the information you need to choose and register for electives in advance of registration opening. For the time being, there is nothing further you can do in terms of registration.

RE: Fall 2021 Course Schedules

We understand that many of you have been waiting for your Fall 2021 schedules, and we appreciate your patience. 

It is expected that schedules will be complete and viewable through UWinsite Student by August 24th. 

The Registrar’s Office will register you into most of your courses on your behalf.  Therefore, when your schedule is ready, you will be able to login to UWinsite Student to view your schedule.  In addition to the courses they will register you into, Year I Consecutive and Year 3 Concurrent Teacher Candidates will need to select and register for one elective, and Year II Consecutive and Year 5 Concurrent Teacher Candidates will select and register for one Service Learning Program (SLP) course from a list of many exciting choices. 

The Faculty of Education will provide a more detailed email to you with respect to registration, and the choice of electives prior to August 24th, so please keep watch for something from us closer to that date! You will be able to register for your elective or SLP on August 24th. 

As well, we know you have concerns regarding when your tuition will be due.  We have been informed that tuition will not be due for Education students until two days following the date that registration opens for your electives.

All Faculty of Education Pre-Service (Teacher Education) B.Ed. courses will be delivered entirely online this coming fall semester.

Following a virtual orientation for Year 1 Consecutive and Year 3 Concurrent Teacher Candidates on September 3rd, all Pre-Service (Teacher Education) B.Ed. courses will begin September 7th and run until November 12th, 2021. 

From November 15th until December 15th, 2021, all Teacher Candidates are expected to begin their practicum (practice teaching) placements.  It is our hope that the school boards will permit face-to-face placements by this date, but this is not yet confirmed.  We will provide further updates as they become available.

We are also optimistic that we will be able to conduct all winter Pre-Service (Teacher Education) B.Ed. courses beginning January 3rd, 2022 via face-to-face delivery mode.  We will provide further updates as they become available.

For further information about the University of Windsor’s return to campus plans, please see Information for Students | Return to Campus (uwindsor.ca).

Check your personal and/or UWindsor email accounts for the following important letters from the Faculty of Education:

Year 1 Consecutive and Year 3 Concurrent Welcome Letter 
(for new Teacher Candidates)

Year 2 Consecutive and Year 5 Concurrent Program Letter 
(for returning Teacher Candidates)

Questions or concerns about the program and related requirements may be emailed to educ@uwindsor.ca.