How is my Professional Experience organised?
Once you have completed your application on the student placement management system –In Place. It is processed by the Professional Experience Office, and an available education setting will be allocated to you. Once confirmed, you will receive an email advising you to log into InPlace and view the details of your placement.
Can I change the location of my Professional Experience once it’s finalised?
No. Once a Professional Experience placement has been made you are obliged to take up the placement. Forfeiting the placement will result in the Professional Experience being delayed until the next scheduled Professional Experience period. This will extend your course completion date.
Why does it seem to be difficult to organise a Professional Experience placement?
In Education, the Professional Experience Officers make approximately 1500 placements for Pre-service Teachers throughout the year. To secure this number of Professional Experience placements, in excess of 3000 approaches are made to sites annually; some sites/schools decline to take pre-service teachers. To ensure equity and to meet the needs of all pre-service teachers a centralised process for Professional Experience placements has been established. You need to be aware that every year it becomes increasingly difficult to place students in the locations requested.
I currently work in a child care centre/school/OSCH. Can I obtain credit for my professional experience placement?
Generally no as a placement needs to be supervised. In some cases prior school experience will be considered on a case by case basis. It will need to be discussed with the Directior of Professional Experience, Jackie Thomson.
Can I do my Professional Experience in my childs (partner's, friend's) school/site?
You cannot be placed in a site/school where there may be a conflict of interest.
I am only doing my degree part-time. Can I continue this on my Professional Experience placement?
No. Professional Experience placements must be undertaken on a full-time basis. You must attend the school for full number of days/weeks.
Can I complete my Professional Experience at any time during the year?
No. Professional Experience is undertaken at strictly scheduled times during the year. The Professional Experience calendar is published at the start of each year. Professional Experience placements must be undertaken on a full-time basis. You must attend the school for full number of days/weeks.
How do I find out about Professional Experience?
All Professional Experience information is on the website and in the Professional Experience lecture series relevant to your degree and year level.
Will I be required to travel for placement?
DECD and other employment bodies' recommendation is to place Teachers within 50kms of their home address. We use Google Maps to help determine the distance. That said, the University aims for between 0-35kms of a Student's residential address but very occasionally, we have to invoke the 50km rule.
How do I get a placement if I am ‘out of step’?
If your professional experience and your academic program are out-of-step for any reason, it is your responsibility to ensure that you apply to undertake professional experience subjects in a timely manner. It is suggested to complete an Ask Flinders request to obtain a study plan to assist you in this process. Then contact the relevant professional experience team. Email addresses found under Staff Contacts on the website.
How do I find out which school/site I will be going to?
Once your placement is confirmed, you will receive an email advising you to log into InPlace and view the details of your placement.
Can I choose a school system, public or private?
No. You may be able express a preference only, we cannot guarantee this.
Do I need to contact the school before I start my placement?
Yes. You are required to contact the school as soon as you know of your placement, to introduce yourself.
What if I get a placement I don’t like or can’t get to?
Once you are notified of your placement, there is NO option to change schools unless there are extenuating circumstances, and with approval of the Director, Professional Experience.
Can I organise my own Professional Experience placement?
We ask students not to directly contact schools as this needs to be organised through the Professional Experience program. However if students have contacts in schools they can advise their placement officer and this will be considered according to conflict of interest guidelines.
Where can I complete a Professional Experience placement?
All attempts are made to provide PSTs with a diversity of placement settings. Depending on your degree. You can complete your placement at:
- Early Childhood – Childcare Centres, Kindergartens, and Primary Schools (R-2 only)
- Primary – Primary Schools, Middle Schools (to Year 7), R-12 Schools (in the R- 7 Primary area)
- Middle, Secondary – Primary Schools (upper Primary classes), Secondary Schools, Middle Schools, R-12 Schools
I cannot find my original CRES from DSCI Screening Unit
You will need to organise a replacement via DCSI Screening Unit. They will only be able to send you an email confirmation that you have applied and received your CRES.
I can't attend the Induction days the school coordinator has organised for me
Only under exceptional circumstances should you not attend these days. You will need to discuss alternate days with the school coordinator and let your placement officer know too.
Can I complete my Placement in another State or Territory or Overseas?
You can complete your placement in another State or Territory, please specify this in your In Place application and speak to the Topic Coordinator & WIL Placement officer, in regards to this request.
Can I be left alone in charge of a class when I’m on Professional Experience?
No. Pre-service teachers cannot be given legal responsibility for a class, you are not a registered teacher.
Am I allowed to be paid during my Professional Experience placement?
No. Pre-service teacher are NOT to be paid during a Professional Experience placement.
What is my role/responsibility as a pre-service teacher in a school?
A school is entitled to expect the same level of commitment from a pre-service teacher as is required of permanent teaching staff. Your Professional Experience will be continuous and full-time. You must arrive and depart from the school as if you are a full-time teacher and endeavor to participate fully in school activities (with staff and students).Punctuality and preparation are the keys to a successful Professional Experience. Utmost in your mind must be the safety of the students and yourself.
What additional preparation is required for my placement?
Pre-service teachers must plan ahead in terms of:
- taking leave from employment;
- the additional financial costs of being on placement;
- arranging transport to the practicum placement site, since it is not possible to guarantee placements will be available in the exact location requested;
Do schools have a dress code?
This will be discussed in the Professional Experience lecture series. We advise you to dress smartly especially on your first day. However, on your first visit to your school look at the standard of dress of the teachers at the site and ask your mentor teacher about the dress code of the school. You must present yourself as a member of the profession. We also suggest you do some research on the school before you begin your placement.
What do I do if I am sick during the Professional Experience period or if my family reponsibilities overtake me?
Your first responsibility is to make contact with the school coordinator & mentor teacher BEFORE the school day begins (or the night before if possible). Remember a classroom of children may be counting on you. You will need to negotiate with the school coordinator and mentor to make up any sick days at the end of your placement.
Do I have to make up the days I have been away when on Professional Experience?
Yes you do. ALL days must be made up to allow you to meet Teacher Registration requirements when you complete your degree. You need to negotiate with your school coordinator and mentor teacher a mutually agreeable time to allow all missed days to be made up. You cannot make up missed days when University lectures and tutorials are scheduled.
I am a smoker. Where can I have a cigarette when on placement?
Sites/Schools and their grounds are smoke-free zones, thus no smoking is permitted on the school site during your Professional Experience placement.
What happens if I have an accident when I'm on my Professional Experience placement?
You need to advise your mentor teacher, school coordinator, University liaison and topic coordinator (at University) of the accident and fill in an Accident and Incident Form available at the school. The School coordinator at the school will be able to assist you with this.
I’m concerned about my capacity to meet the requirements of my Professional Experience placement. What should I do?
If you have not commenced your Professional Experience placement, you need to contact your Academic Topic Coordinator, immediately to discuss your options. If you are currently undertaking your placement, please contact your mentor as first point of call & then the Academic Coordinator &/or University Liaison Professional Experience. Confidential counselling services are available at the University to assist you through this time if you so desire. For more information or to make an appointment see the Student Health and Counselling website
I have been given an ‘At Risk’ notice. What does this mean?
At any time during the placement preservice teachers may be issued with an At Risk Notification. This is not a Fail but indicates improvement is needed. However, if at the end of the Professional Experience the preservice teacher’s performance is deemed to be Not Satisfactory, a grade of Fail (F) will be given by the University for the Topic.
I have failed my Professional Experience. What next?
Unfortunately some pre-service teachers do not achieve a satisfactory rating on every Professional Experience. If you are not successful on a Professional Experience placement the University liaison, your mentor teacher, and your school principal will meet to discuss the details of your Professional Experience. You will need to meet with your academic topic coordinator at University to discuss your options for the future.
What if I find my Mentor Teacher difficult to work with?
It is quite possible that you will not form a lasting friendship with every colleague teacher on every Professional Experience placement. Your quest is for a professionally rewarding experience that will allow you to grow developmentally as a pre-service teacher. If you feel you are not being treated fairly contact your university liaison for advice.
What happens if I arrive at school late?
If you are late for a legitimate reason on a one-off occasion, the school will usually be tolerant. If you are late more than once, the school may lodge a complaint with the Professional Experience Unit and you will be called in for an interview with your academic coordinator.
What if there is a public holiday or pupil-free day while I’m on Professional Experience placement?
If schools have a pupil-free day during Professional Experience, the school should determine the attendance and participation of the Pre-service Teacher for that day. We encourage the Pre-service Teacher to participate but understand that it is not always feasible. If this should occur, then Pre-service teachers are expected to negotiate additional time with their supervising teacher to make up the required number of Professional Experience days. Pre-service Teachers are not (is this correct) required to make up missed time in the event of public holidays. Professional experience is intended for you to experience the working day of a teacher. Therefore, you must be prepared to be in school or site at least 8 hours on each professional experience day.
What if I lose my name badge?
It is your responsibility to look after your belongings. If you cannot find your name badge you will need to order a new one.
Requirements for Placement
What documents do I need to complete an Education Professional Experience?
You will need: Please see the website for all documents.
- Child Related Employment Screening (CRES)
- Promoting Safety & Wellbeing certificate(PSW)or RAN-EC (MTeach students only)
- LANTITE certificates
- Medical Practitioner Statement link (Early Childhood Only)
Where do I get a Name Badge from?
All pre-service teachers from the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work are required to wear a name badge during their Professional Experience. Pre-Service Teacher badges are issued by Unicard: go to the Unicard office, Level 1 Central Library (main campus, one level up from Flinders Connect) with the following:
- Student ID card (Pre-service teacher badges are not issued without this ID)
- $4.40 for the cost of the badge. Unicard is cashless, there is a machine next to the office where you add credit onto your student ID card, the machine does not give change.
When can I request my report?
Please see the Professional Experience website or FLO site for a copy of your relevant handbook?
What is InPlace?
InPlace is the University's placement management system through which all student placements are managed. You log in to InPlace using your regular fan and password.
I can't change my details on InPlace?
The contact details you have put in the student system are what flows through into InPlace. For example, if you change phone number or address you must change them through the student system and not InPlace.Please keep all your contact details up-to-date at all times.
Scholarships and Awards
What is the Medal for Excellence in Beginning Teaching award?
The medal for Excellence in Beginning Teaching is awarded to a Bachelor of Education/Master of Teaching graduating student who demonstrates exemplary performance in their final year professional experience.
How do I get nominated for the Medal of Excellence award?
Firstly you must have completed or completing a final year placement. A preservice teacher can be nominated by two of the following people: Your mentor teacher, the site coordinator or university liaison.