The practicum portion of the Bachelor of Education program consists of two mandatory four week placements in a local high school. As a student teacher, I taught the full time schedule of my Associate Teachers, and had many opportunities to learn from their vast combined experience. My associate teachers provided me with invaluable advice that can only be learned on the job and in the actual classroom. They allowed me the freedom to try my own methods, and after each lesson we debriefed and decided what worked well and what could be improved upon. Practicum was by far the steepest learning curve of the program, and both placements proved to be wonderful experiences that served to enhance my personal growth as a teacher.
The Bachelor of Education program at the University of Toronto also mandates that all teacher candidates complete a 5 week internship at the end of the program. I had such a positive experience at my first placement that I was asked back and will be working with the same associate teacher planning a marketing showcase for the grade 11 Marketing students, and working in the Special Education classroom dealing with students from grade 9-12 that need extra help and attention than the standard classroom can provide.