Module 5: Setting and Understanding Expectations

Module 5 Progress

Developing a Timeline

Developing a timeline for practicum activities, including planning, instruction, feedback, and reflection.  When these expectations are clarified, PSTs have reported that they feel valued by their Mentor CTs.

Setting a timeline includes setting times for:

  • PST observing the Mentor CT’s instruction
  • Co-planning and co-teaching
  • PST lesson development, and submission for review and approval by Mentor CT
  • Mentor CT observing PST delivering instruction
  • Conferencing/evaluation of the PST’s performance and reflection on next steps
  • Opportunities to observe other teachers in other classrooms in the school (different grades, content areas, and to see different instructional learning strategies)

How can a timeline be created?

  • Develop a calendar from the first day of the scheduled practicum to the last day.
  • Lay out all of the on-site days of the practicum so that both the Mentor CT and the PST can determine how much time to spend in each activity that aligns to their agreed-upon goals.
  • It can be difficult to find time to conference with a PST during the field experience hours. Any available time that the PST has outside of the practicum hours can be scheduled for conferencing and be reflected in the timeline.

Note: sometimes practicum is aligned to more than one course, all required activities across all courses need to be built into the timeline.

Creating a Mutual Understanding

Expectations should be reiterated each time that the PST’s activities within the setting align with the stated expectations. A well-developed system of communication and meaningful feedback will be critical to creating mutual understanding.

For example, if one expectation was that the PST was to develop a small group lesson and submit plans to the Mentor CT for review a certain number of days prior to implementation, the degree to which that expectation was met, both in terms of timeliness and quality, should be discussed so that the PST can use that formative feedback for improvement prior to implementation.

When expectations have not been met, the Mentor CT and PST should discuss this concern and make a plan to correct it.

The PST should be able to articulate their role in terms of the classroom routines, classroom management strategies, and other instructional practices based on these conversations.

Note to Pre-Service Teachers

It is your responsibility to self-advocate and ask questions if you don’t know what is expected of you! Even if it was already discussed it is important to ask clarifying questions.

Question for Reflection

Knowing that both the Mentor CT and PST have very full schedules, what are strategies you can use to keep ongoing communication flowing throughout the practicum experience?