Considering supervising a pre-service teacher? Check the fine print!
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 124 No 6, 16 August 2019, page no. 5
Before agreeing to provide supervision to a pre-service teacher, it is important that you check the terms and conditions you’re being asked to accept.
The following are just some of the issues members have contacted us about – don’t be caught unawares!
- Ensure any monetary payment is being offered directly to you. Some interstate universities (eg. Swinburne) will pay the school, rather than the individual teacher. The Department of Education doesn’t have the capacity to then pass this money on to individual teachers. Thus it will either be retained at the school level (possibly to be spent on PD for the supervising teacher) or the university will have to accept a refund and then pay the teacher directly. While DoE has been very helpful in assisting teachers through this process, it is further work, inconvenience and delay. It is worth noting that this shouldn’t occur if you are accepting a pre-service teacher from a Queensland-based university, as they are signatories to our existing industrial agreement, which ensures payment directly to the supervising teacher.
- Check the rate – some universities (eg. Southern Cross University) are paying a higher daily rate for supervision, as they pay the rate applicable to the state their main campus is based in. If multiple universities are asking you to provide supervision, you may wish to opt for the student from the university who pays a higher daily rate – it all adds up!
- Watch out for contextual days – these are days where the pre-service teacher will be in your school observing rather than actually teaching. Because the pre-service teacher isn’t teaching, the universities argue that the supervision payment isn’t required on those days. Universities themselves set how many “contextual days” each course has, and the number varies between universities and their different course offerings.
Understand the difference between internships and prac supervisions. Pre-service teachers must have their supervising teacher in the classroom at all times and teachers are paid by the universities to provide supervision. Interns are those university students who have completed all their mandatory practicum placements and are about to graduate. With the exception of Griffith University, which provides payment for teachers who supervise, other universities do not pay for intern supervision, even though there is still an element of mentoring and feedback involved.