The ultimate purpose of CSL is to provide teacher candidates with opportunities to become familiar with school communities, to participate in and contribute to the wide range of educational experiences in school, and to learn and gain insights regarding school culture and the professional community. It is an essential component of the practicum experience.
An example of the type of school-based collaboration is demonstrated in this story from Adrienne Clarkson Elementary School, OCDSB.
WHAT DOES CSL ENTAIL?
- Teacher Candidates will complete 90 – 150 hours of community service learning over the course of the year.
- For Year 1 teacher candidate’s community service learning will consist of one day a week (Wednesdays) September to December 2016 and a two-week block from December 5 to 16, 2016. These school-based placements are linked to their practicum placements.
- For Year 2 urban teacher candidates, teacher candidates stay connected to local schools through their capstone project. A three-week CSL block also takes place from April 3 – 21, 2016 in a school, community or alternate setting. A variety of educational opportunities are arranged in partnership with the Faculty.
- Approved and verified CSL activities will be recorded on teacher candidates’ co-curricular Record (CCR), a university document that recognizes service to the community, and helps trace the development of leadership, compassion, ethics, and self-confidence.
- With the adaptive expert model, the development of each teacher candidate may be different and there is flexibility in the process. The Faculty has expectations for high levels of professionalism, initiative and engagement demonstrated by teacher candidates in their CSL placements.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE BEGINNING OF CSL FOR YEAR 1?
- Become familiar with school culture and environment, including expectations for teachers, students, and volunteers in the building.
- Get to know school routines including procedures for signing in, parking, class schedules, duty times, and access to photocopier and other technology in the school.
- First introductions in the classroom and begin to build rapport between Associate Teacher, Teacher Candidate, other staff, and students in the classroom.
- Meet with Lead Associate Teacher and Principal to discuss possible school based CSL projects
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS FOR LEAD ASSOCIATE TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS IN YEAR 1?
- Welcome the Teacher Candidates to the school and provide information the Teacher Candidate may require regarding school or board policies.
- Provide modeling, leadership, and support for Teacher Candidates and Associate Teachers.
- Help facilitate opportunities for Teacher Candidates to experience all facets of the school community.
- Ensure that whenever Teacher Candidates are with students, they are under the supervision of a member of the Ontario College of Teachers.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS FOR TEACHER CANDIDATES FOR YEAR 1?
- Become familiar with, understand and follow school, board, and the University of Ottawa policies, as well as school-specific procedures for student safety.
- Demonstrate initiative, a positive engaging professional attitude, and a willingness to learn in all interactions in the school community.
- Observe and record the Associate Teacher’s instructional techniques, strategies, and methods of establishing effective class management and a positive environment, including ways to engage and build rapport with students.
- Use their observations to engage in a professional dialogue with their Associate Teachers. The questions they ask should help in their understanding of the strategies and approaches used in planning and implementing of the school-based and/or class activities and in understanding the ways students are learning.
- Complete and submit weekly written reflections and self-evaluations for PED 3150.
- Over the course of the CSL placement teacher candidates collaborate with teachers to support student learning in school-based and classroom-based programs, and should begin to co-plan and co-teach classroom learning activities.
- Demonstrate growth in professionalism, initiative, comfort and confidence in the classroom and school settings.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS FOR ASSOCIATE TEACHERS?
- To mentor and guide the Teacher Candidate in his/her development as a teacher by providing ongoing feedback (oral and/or written) on professionalism, collaboration, planning, communication, instruction, classroom management, and assessment.
- During CSL provide feedback regarding the performance of the Teacher Candidate in the three of the five teaching competencies (professionalism, communication, engagement in community) using the CSL Feedback sheet.
WHAT ARE SOME POSSIBLE EXAMPLES OF CSL PROJECTS?
- Support in AT’s classroom- small group, one-to-one, teaching once a week stand alone subject
- Support in Resource Setting
- Tutoring at lunch or after school
- Literacy programs (reading with students)
- Numeracy support programs
- Social skills/mentoring projects
- Peer mediation support
- Technology training- assistive technology, maker space
- Assistance in breakfast and lunch programs
- Support for clubs or lunch hour extra-curricular activities
WHAT TO EXPECT FOR THE TWO-WEEK BLOCK IN DECEMBER?
- The two-week placement in December provides the teacher candidate with an opportunity to observe and participate in the routines and course schedule/classes of the Associate Teacher over the course of two weeks.
- Continue to support individual, small group and/or large group learning. In some classes this might be an opportunity to co-plan and co-teach a unit of study, to conduct an inquiry, or to co-develop learning centers.
- Continue to participate in or implement the school-based project that was developed with the school staff assistance.
- If the teacher candidate has not already done so, plan with assistance at least two large group instruction activities.
- Assist in co-planning and co-evaluating an assessment piece or pieces. This brings the teacher candidate learning from their curriculum course into action.
- Receive feedback regarding their progress to date in their CSL placement. PED 3150 professors will provide a brief checklist that will help in providing guidance for second semester and the start of a plan for evaluated practicum.
- Provide an extra support in classrooms and schools at a very busy time of year when schedules are not always consistent.
EXPECTATIONS FOR YEAR 2 COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING
The goal of the three-week community service placement is to provide teacher candidates experiences in alternate educational and community settings. The expectations and structure of the placement are dependent on the collaboration between the teacher candidate, the faculty representative, and the school or community partner. In the CSL placement the teacher candidate is supervised by the site placement supervisor and PED 3151 professor. Teacher candidates are expected record their hours and to submit a written reflection at the end of their placement.
Final Capstone research project – Year 2
This capstone/action research project is designed to help students find and engage with knowledge that pertains to their practice, making connections through reflection/research/praxis-pedagogy. The capstone project is something that can be showcased in a teaching portfolio.
Individually or in a group, students engage in a school-based initiatives. This capstone project could be classroom, school or community based, but links to an issue or concern that we have addressed in the urban cohort. The project supports student/community driven initiatives and also supports digital citizenship. This project is an opportunity to give back to your placement school by fostering student agency, voice and community building. Our umbrella term for these initiatives is Students for Change, which grew out of an initiative at Ridgemont High School that has been shared across our school communities. As part of our partnership with the Urban Priority Schools, our aim is to support initiatives such as Students For Change. This initiative is student driven and is grounded in Ridgemont’s local and global school community. Features included awareness campaigns, fundraising and support for projects such as sister schools in Lesotho, collecting tabs for wheelchairs for those in need, hosting a Hunger Banquet, participating in Ryan’s Well, food and clothing drives for Syrian refugees, volunteer hours with homeless Ottawans including serving at soup kitchens, and rallying numbers of students to participate in a blood drive.