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 and Wellington District school boards to provide TECs with extensive, in-depth and sustained field experiences.
|Aug. 28 – Sept. 1||Professional Teaching Orientation Week (mandatory).|
|Sept. 5 – Oct. 6||Classes; two field days per week in a Professional Development School (PDS) site.|
|Oct. 10 – Oct. 20||PDS field days block.|
|Oct. 23 – Nov. 24||Classes; two field days per week in a PDS site.|
|Nov. 27 – Dec. 15||Practicum 1.|
|Jan. 2 – March 9||Classes; two field days per week in a PDS site.|
|March 12 – March 16||March Break|
|March 19 – April 6||Practicum 2.|
|April 9 – April 27||Alternative Placement.|
|April 30||Professional Teaching Transition Day (mandatory).|
|Aug. 27 – Aug. 31||Professional Teaching Orientation Week (mandatory).|
|Sept. 4 – Oct. 5||Classes. Two field days per week in a PDS site.|
|Oct. 9 – Oct. 19||Practicum 3.|
|Oct. 22 – Nov. 23||Classes. Two field days per week in a PDS site.|
|Nov. 26 – Dec. 14||Practicum 4.|
|Jan. 2 – Feb. 1||Classes. Two field days per week in a PDS site.|
|Feb. 4 – April 19||Laurier Professional Placement, except March Break, March 13-17.|
|April 22 – April 26||Professional Teaching Transition Week (mandatory).|
A three-week alternative placement at the end of your first year allows the opportunity for community service-learning in educational settings outside the regular K-12 school system (e.g. Section 23 programs, KidsAbility, museums, outdoor education centre), or to take advantage of international teaching opportunities. 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.
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.
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.
The four semesters of the program build from an introduction to teaching to critical and creative professional knowledge and skills:
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 a diversity series will provide specialized focus on equity and diversity, mental health, First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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