Preservice teachers who have been notified of a placement should contact their placement provider at least one week before their start date to introduce themselves and arrange at least one preplacement visit. These visits are regarded as a compulsory part of every teacher-education program. The aim is to begin the process of establishing a professional relationship between each preservice teacher and their placement provider, and in particular, their cooperating teacher.
The visit provides an opportunity for the preservice teacher to develop an understanding of the placement-provider's context, become familiar with staff induction documentation and procedures (including work, health and safety requirements), and discuss possible learning experiences and expectations for the block placement. Routines, expectations and responsibilities associated with preservice teachers’ roles need to be clear.
As soon as practicable after the visit – and definitely within the week of the placement commencing – preservice teachers should contact the tertiary mentor assigned to them by the Office of Professional Experience, in order to arrange mentor visits, and to submit a copy of their timetable. If the placement provider operates on a cyclic timetable, preservice teachers need to indicate on what part of the cycle the Professional Experience begins. Any dates that the preservice teacher will be away from the school or centre attending activities/events outside its normal routine should also be included.
Early Childhood programs
In early-childhood settings, preplacement visits should be planned so that the preservice teacher can meet all groups of children, complete the centre’s orientation process and arrange shifts for the duration of the placement (normally no less than 7 hours and no more than 8.5 hours).
Primary and secondary education programs
For preservice teachers in primary and secondary education programs, the preplacement visit should be arranged through the school's professional experience coordinator and should include an extended interview with the cooperating teacher, during which the following should be covered:
- The overall aims and purposes of the particular placement, including the completion and sharing by the preservice teacher of their Professional Experience Profile. (pdf, 68kB)
- Planning of appropriate observation and teaching experiences, including classes to be assigned (if possible, for secondary placements).
- Timetables for lesson observations and teaching lessons.
- Programs and units of work for assigned classes.
- Relevant details of school organisation (for example, the names of the principal and assistant principal/s, professional experience coordinator, cooperating teacher/s and subject heads).
- Induction documents appropriate for preservice teachers, including work, health and safety.