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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Laurier’s Faculty of Education offers a two-year consecutive teacher education program. Graduates of the program will earn a Bachelor of Education degree and will be qualified to teach the Ontario curriculum within the Primary/Junior division (kindergarten to Grade 6) or the Junior/Intermediate division (Grade 4 to Grade 10). What makes Laurier’s program unique is the amount of time you spend in the classroom practicing your skills.

Only Laurier’s Teacher Education Candidates (TECs) have the opportunity to spend two days per week in schools throughout the program, in addition to five block placements. This Professional Development School (PDS) model will afford you with 40 weeks of practical experience over two years. You'll experience two host schools over the course of the program to help you learn more about the diversity of Ontario classrooms. Laurier has partnered with the Waterloo Region, Waterloo Catholic, Upper Grand, Halton District and Wellington District school boards to provide TECs with extensive, in-depth and sustained field experiences.

Proposed 2018-2020 Schedule

Year 1: 2018-2019

Fall Term

Aug. 27 – Aug. 31 Professional Teaching Orientation Week (mandatory).
Sept. 4 – Oct. 5 Classes; two field days per week in a Professional Development School (PDS) site.
Oct. 9 – Oct. 19 PDS field days block.
Oct. 22 – Nov. 23 Classes; two field days per week in a PDS site.
Nov. 26 – Dec. 14 Practicum 1.

Winter Term

Jan. 3 – March 8 Classes; two field days per week in a PDS site.
March 11 – March 15 March Break
March 18 – April 5 Practicum 2.
April 8 – April 26 Alternative Placement.
April 29 Professional Teaching Transition Day (mandatory).

Year 2: 2019-2020

Fall Term

Aug. 26 – Aug. 30 Professional Teaching Orientation Week (mandatory).
Sept. 3 – Oct. 4 Classes. Two field days per week in a PDS site.
Oct. 7 – Oct. 18 Practicum 3 (except October 14 for Thanksgiving).
Oct. 21 – Nov. 22 Classes. Two field days per week in a PDS site.
Nov. 25 – Dec. 13 Practicum 4.

Winter Term

Jan. 6 – Feb. 7 Classes. Two field days per week in a PDS site.
Feb. 10 – April 24 Laurier Professional Placement (except March 9-13).
April 27 – May 1 Professional Teaching Transition Week (mandatory).

What Our Students Are Saying...

“No other program offers as much classroom experience. Through weekly placement days you become part of a staff and learn things about teaching and your own identity as a teacher that no textbook can teach you.”

– Christina Siderius, BEd ’17

“Nothing will prepare you more for the teaching world than this program; the field days allow you to fully immerse yourself and grow into better teachers and people.”

– Shaylyn Dwyer, BEd ’17

Alternative Placement

At the end of your first year, you will have a three-week alternative education placement where you will apply community service-learning outside the regular kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) school system. You can also take advantage of international teaching opportunities. Past placements have included Section 23 programs, KidsAbility, museums, outdoor education centres and international placements in Haiti, Nepal, China, Egypt and Finland. The alternative placement provides you with valuable practical experience that may not be available at your host school. Because this placement occurs at the end of first year, there may be opportunities to continue the placement during the summer months.

Laurier Professional Placement

To support the transition from teacher education candidate (TEC) to practicing professional, TECs complete an extended, 10-week Laurier Professional Placement (LPP) at the end of second year. In the LPP you will work hand-in-hand with a mentor teacher, assigned to you at your PDS site for the second year of the program. During the LPP, you will meet with a small seminar group on a regular basis to reflect on your practice and construct professional knowledge as a community of learners. The LPP provides extensive opportunities for varied classroom and school experiences that will deepen your knowledge of current Ontario curriculum and policy and allow you to demonstrate and build your professional teaching skills.

Learn From the Best

Laurier’s intimate learning environment helps each of our TECs to succeed. With small class sizes, you'll enjoy a favourable student-to-teacher ratio in dynamic classes and professional learning seminars. You'll receive constant support and instruction from our talented and committed faculty members and associate teachers, setting you up for success.

Teaching and Learning for All Learners Across the Curriculum

The four semesters of the program build from an introduction to teaching to critical and creative professional knowledge and skills:

  • First semester: Building Foundations in Teaching
  • Second semester: Building Content Knowledge
  • Third semester: Reaching Every Learner
  • Fourth semester: Connecting Foundations and Content to Reach Every Learner

You'll not only build a deep understanding of teaching and assessment in each curriculum area, but will also learn how to integrate instruction and assessment across curriculum areas to meet the needs and increase the engagement of 21st-century learners. Courses that form our Diversity Series will provide specialized focus on equity and diversity, mental health, Indigenous issues in education, special education and English-language learners. A course in self-regulated learning enables you to support students to succeed as self-aware, goal-directed and strategic learners.

Knowledge Creation

With the assistance of faculty, principals and associate teachers, you will integrate your personal interests with the needs of your Professional Development School to complete an action research (inquiry) project. You will apply what you learn in your classroom observations and university courses to investigate stimulating topics of interest and need; for example, the impact of SMARTboard technology on instructional methods in mathematics.

21st-Century Learning and Technology

Technology is an integral part of teaching and learning in our program. You are required to bring a device to support your learning and will have access to current and emerging technologies for your own learning and for instruction at your PDS sites. Detailed information about the minimum hardware requirements will be sent to successful applicants when they receive their offer of admission.

Flexible Learning Spaces

Laurier's active learning classrooms create student-centred learning environments that encourage and facilitate more active and collaborative teaching approaches. These classrooms break free from the traditional lecture space with folding and moveable tables and advanced technologies that allow students to collaborate and share their work with their group or the entire class. In this way, we are able to model cutting-edge pedagogies for maximum student engagement to our TECs. A new modular wall also facilitates special events and speakers.

Professional Teaching Orientation Week

Before classes begin, you'll start your education career at Laurier with a dynamic professional learning experience. Here, you meet other students and instructors, participate in interactive team-building activities, tour the campus, train on available technologies, become acquainted with your PDS and learn about other resources available to you at Laurier.

Post-Graduation Mentoring

Laurier’s Career Centre provides support for all our graduates through mentoring, resume building, mock interviews and other services to help you prepare for future employment. You'll also have the opportunity to network with your peers and to attend professional development seminars on topics of interest to you.

A Global Perspective

Laurier offers more practical teaching experience in the classroom than any other education program. But did you realize you could be in classrooms around the world to gain this experience? Laurier graduate Sarah Fischer travelled with Assistant Professor Steve Sider on a service-learning trip to Haiti.

“It would be fitting to say that this trip has changed my life in an abundance of ways — mostly the way I see the education system and the way I see developing nations,” says Sarah. “Taking the time to see all aspects of the culture in Haiti, including the different school systems and the malnourishment center, gave me the chance to reflect on the bigger picture.”


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