1.1 The role and tasks of the School Experience Supervisor

School Experience Supervisors might be known to you by a different name, for example School Experience Monitor. The terms we use have a profound impact on how people, including student teachers, think of the role and themselves. For example, School Experience Monitor suggests a more remote, ‘watching’ role than School Experience Tutor, which suggests a teacher as well as an assessor. It is important to be aware of the hidden messages in such terms and reflect on whether the labels we use reflect the role. The term ‘supervisor’ is used in this Toolkit to convey the different aspects of the role.

There are several aspects to a School Experience Supervisor’s role including advisor, counsellor, assessor, teacher, tutor and monitor. A key aspect is to develop the skills and competencies in the student teacher that will enable them to work effectively in the classroom.

An effective School Experience Supervisor carries out the following core tasks:

  • prepare student teachers for school experience e.g. through classes in college
  • observe student teachers teaching during school experience and provide constructive feedback
  • help student teachers develop lessons that use an active learning approach
  • help student teachers evaluate and reflect on their teaching
  • advise and support student teachers through teaching-related difficulties
  • assess student teachers’ performance based on agreed teacher criteria
  • analyse the wider evidence such as the student teachers’ logbooks/diaries
  • identify what student teachers need to do in order to improve
  • discuss with student teachers their progress in teaching skills and competence

Activity 1.1: Core tasks of the School Experience Supervisor

This activity focuses on how you carry out the School Experience Supervisor’s main tasks.

Using the core tasks of a School Experience Supervisor provided above, think about your own practice as a School Experience Supervisor.

  • which of these tasks do you spend most time on? Why?
  • which do you think is most important? Why?
  • which tasks do you think are most important to the student teacher?
  • which task do you enjoy most? Why?
  • which task do you feel most confident about undertaking? Why?
  • which tasks do you feel least confident about undertaking? Why?

Note down your answers in your notebook so that you can refer to them as you work through the Toolkit.

You might find it useful to compare your answers with other School Experience Supervisors.

As a School Experience Supervisor, you are required among other things to be:

  • a role model in all areas, for example in your conduct and teaching
  • able to use methods and strategies that put the student teachers and their learners at the centre of learning
  • knowledgeable in your subject matter and adaptable in the facilitation of learning
  • a good manager of time and resources
  • able to plan and design programmes that will facilitate effective school experience
  • able to use appropriate resources to stimulate and facilitate the development and assessment of student teachers during school experience
  • able to observe and assess student teachers objectively.

Tool 1: The School Experience Supervisor

1.2 Qualities of an effective School Experience Supervisor