Practicum time? But school just started last month...

*This post was written by Susan He, a Master of Teaching student in the Intermediate/Senior stream.

A month ago, this program and all the people in it were new to me. Now that I have become much more familiar with everything and everyone – we are getting separated! (Keep reading to find out why)

As a MT student, October is full of milestones – academic and professional.

Academic Milestones:

I am excited to have received a couple of graded assignments returned to me (they are also the first grades received in grad school!). Personally, the feedback reaffirms that I made the right choice coming to this program and it gives me time to grow and improve. Some of these assignments include oral presentations and making/delivering a lesson plan. I think these are two essential skills teacher candidates should have under their belt going into a practicum.

In my research class, I had submitted a rough draft of my annotated bibliography. Some of my interests going into this included: science literacy, STEM education effectiveness and career exploration in STEM, STEM in pop culture and media, etc. Recording my reviews helped me see where my research question was headed and I had great peer feedback.

Professional Milestones:

OK, I said that my peers and I are getting separated – but it’s only temporary


What am I talking about?

Practicum! Yes, practicum is just around the corner and October has been full of excitement about where everyone is headed and what subjects everyone is teaching. So practicum is about a month-long in November and February each year. This is when teacher candidates are placed at different schools and school boards around the GTA to gain practical experience in their teaching subjects. Prior to the practicum, I get a taste of my host school’s atmosphere and met my associate teacher (AT). These are observation days usually a week or two before the placement. My associate teacher – the person who mentors me – is super knowledgeable and teaches grade 12 biology and grade 10 science (my forte!).

Although I won’t be seeing my classmates in class for nearly a month, I am looking forward to the first day of practicum because it begins on Halloween and I am glad my placement will start off in such a lighthearted way!