Handbook for Student Teachers in Australia


Table of Contents
Conceptual Framework
Course Description

Course Objectives
Background of Student Teaching in Australia Program
Overview of Current Programming
Eligibility and the Application Process
Next Steps
Anticipating Costs
Preparing for Departure
Upon Arrival Abroad
Ensuring a Successful Classroom Experience
Attendance Policy for Student Teachers
Assessment and Feedback
Disciplinary Consequences

Conceptual Framework

The College of Education, Health and Society is a community of collaborative practitioners who are committed to fulfilling Miami University’s mission to prepare caring, competent, and transformative educators by infusing skills, knowledge, and dispositions that promote the highest caliber professional programs in the areas of education, health, and society.

A caring, competent, and transformative practitioner is a person who holds the unique responsibility of preparing young people for their roles in society. A teacher’s role and relationships with students are evolving, and transforming. Caring means that you understand the perspective of others. Competent means that you have a good command of your subject area and know how to teach that subject to your students. A transformative teacher is engaged within critical reflection upon the practice of teaching and the learning environment in the classroom and the larger community.

Course Description

Student Teaching is a practical experience in a Pre-K – 12th grade classroom, working closely with a cooperating teacher for 15 weeks who will model safe, effective, and current teaching methods.  

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, teacher candidates will be able to:

  • Teach effectively with knowledge of students’ background experiences
  • Articulate clear learning goals for the lesson
  • Demonstrate connections between previous, current, and future content
  • Plan teaching methods, activities, and materials aligned with lesson goals
  • Select evaluation strategies appropriate for students and lesson goals
  • Communicate challenging learning expectations for each student
  • Establish and maintain rapport with students
  • Maintain consistent standards of classroom behavior
  • Create an environment that promotes fairness and is safe and conducive to learning
  • Clarify learning goals and procedures for students
  • Make content comprehensible for students
  • Create opportunities for students to extend their thinking
  • Monitor student comprehension and provide feedback
  • Make effective use of instructional time
  • Demonstrate a sense of efficacy
  • Reflect on the extent of learning goals being met
  • Build professional relationships to support student learning
  • Communicate with parents or guardians about student learning

Background of Student Teaching in Australia Program

Miami University has placed student in Australian schools for almost a decade. These schools offer English-language learning with international curricula in modern schools in order to meet the needs of a diverse, globally mobile student body.

Overview of Current Programming

Student teaching in Australia is offered only during the spring semester. This 14-week program aligns well with Miami’s new calendar with classes beginning in late January, the start of the academic year in Australia. A 2-week break in April allows student the opportunity to explore the geographic and cultural wonders of this ancient island nation.

Eligibility and the Application Process

Students considering student teaching in Australia during the spring of their fourth year must be in good standing and demonstrate a 3.0 GPA in their content area. Additionally, the following needs to be completed:

  1. Review the information posted on the Student Teacher website.
  2. Check with Lifelong Learning regarding university requirements.
  3. Attend the general student teaching abroad informational seminar, and the student teaching in Australia seminars offered in the fall.
  4. Complete the Student Teaching Abroad application found on the website.
  5. Provide 2 letters of reference from faculty familiar with the student’s academic record.
  6. Submit the application and reference letters, along with 3 copies of the autobiographical narrative, and a copy of the DARS to the Office of Student Teaching no later than October 1.
  7. Participate in a brief individualized interview with the Director of Clinical Field Experiences and School Partnerships.

*Disciplinary history is a factor in the application process. All students will be required to sign a behavior contract. Any university disciplinary violations will preclude participation in student teaching abroad.

Next Steps

During the fall semester, the Office of Student Teaching will be working with contacts in Australia to make placements in schools. Students who do not have a passport should apply during this period. Seminars will be held during the fall in order to provide information regarding flights, placements, housing, and supervision.

Final information regarding cooperating teachers and host families will be sent via email to students as soon as it becomes available. Often this information is not confirmed until late fall due to the Australian school calendar.

All Miami students who study abroad are required to register through the Office of Lifelong Learning in room 127 McGuffey. 

Anticipating Costs

While all costs are dependent on a variety of factors beyond the control of Miami University, the following represents an approximation of expenses:

Anticipated Costs
Item Australia
Register for: 15 hours undergraduate/12 hours graduate Tuition plus $1200 fee for student teching abroad
Housing Approx. $150-200/USD week with host families
Flight/transportation to and from Oxford $2200-$2700 USD round trip
Insurance/health care HTH International Student Insurance
Approx. $10.50/week
Passport/Visa $100/Passport application

$350 Occupational Trainee Visa

Other documentation may be required at an additional cost

Preparing for Departure

While the Office of Student Teaching works on placements and other logistics abroad, the student should address the following responsibilities:
  1. Buy airplane ticket and provide departure information to the Office of Student Teaching.
  2. Purchase HTH Insurance, as required by the university.
  3. Email a letter of introduction to the cooperating teacher and Principal of the assigned school thanking them for your placement.
  4. Students placed in Australia should complete the Housing Information Form and submit it to the Office of Student Teaching.
  5. Email your host family with an introduction, detailed arrival plans and any specific personal needs or requests.

Upon Arrival Abroad

After arriving abroad, students should complete the following:
  1. Notify the Office of Student Teaching
  2. Contact your school to arrange a meeting with your cooperating teacher
  3. Purchase necessary transportation passes
  4. Contact supervisor regarding any orientations sessions

Ensuring a Successful Classroom Experience

In all contexts, a student teacher is a guest of the host school and cooperating teacher. Student teaching in another country may differ from US experiences in a number of ways, and the amount of time spent co-teaching or solo teaching can vary. Students are encouraged to engage in volunteer experiences, such a tutoring, mentoring, or coaching to enrich overall understanding of students and their culture.
Lesson Planning continues to be a mandatory element of student teaching. Student teachers are to have complete lesson plans for every lesson they teach or are responsible for in Europe. These should be retained electronically and available for review at each observation. Lesson plans are working documents; after a lesson is taught it should be used for reflection, notes, and ideas for improving the lesson. There is a lesson plan template on the last page of this handbook that can be used for reference. Formats may vary, but should include the following: the academic standards, anticipatory set, activities, materials and resources, accommodations for special learners, assessment (formal or informal) and reflection.
Dress code in Australian schools is typically more formal and conservative than in the United States and many schools require students to wear uniforms. Student teachers are expected to dress professionally, to be clean and well-groomed, and to wear clothing that is not distracting or inappropriate. Please ask for the school dress code, including policy for footwear and neckties, and clarify with your cooperating teacher his/her expectations for your appearance. Student teachers should not wear clothing that reveals their stomach or back, and should ask if tattoos, piercings, or unusual hairstyles are acceptable.
The use of appropriate technology, including but not limited to Smart Boards, iPads, and computers is encouraged in Australia. However, personal devices should not be used during the school day, with the exception of lunch and planning time. Facebook and Twitter postings must be kept confidential and should never include students or any identifiers that would disclose information about the class or school.

Attendance Policy for Student Teachers

Student teachers are required to be on time every day of the student teaching experience and are expected to stay at school during the hours required of a regular classroom teacher. A student teacher who must miss a day due to illness or another severe issue is required to inform their cooperating teacher and university supervisor prior to the absence. Students who miss more than five days will be required to make up the days or repeat the student teaching experience upon return to the United States.
Two tardy incidents or early departures will equal one day’s absence. Any unexcused absence is cause for removal from the student teaching placement.
Student teachers in Australia must follow the calendar of their host school for the duration of their placement.  
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A STUDENT TEACHER ACT AS A SUBSTITUTE TEACHER.  If the Cooperating Teacher is absent, a licensed substitute must be in the room with the student teacher. The student teacher can, and should, continue regular teaching while the teacher is absent, thus maintaining regular standards of learning and classroom management.

Assessment and Feedback

The Ohio Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) is the benchmark assessment for student teaching and is required in order to pass student teaching. Students placed in Australia will complete and submit their edTPA in classrooms abroad.
The cooperating Teacher will also submit a Letter of Recommendation to be used for reference purposes at the conclusion of the placement. This letter should describe the context of the school and classroom, curricula used, strengths and progress of the student teacher, and any special projects or activities that took place during the 8 week experience.
University supervisors are assigned to work with all student teachers, including those placed in Australia. They serve as a liaison between the student teacher, cooperating teacher, and the university. The supervisor makes site visits, arranges formal observations, schedules conferences with the student and cooperating teacher, and is available, either in person, or electronically to address the needs of the student teacher. Feedback from formal observations should be used in a constructive manner; it is vital to the growth and success of the student teacher.

Other factors that will influence passage of student teaching are attendance and punctuality at school and at the mandatory seminars, lesson planning, and professionalism.

Disciplinary Consequences

Students who violate program dispositions or the disciplinary contract while abroad may be asked to return to Oxford. Students who are removed from a classroom by either university or school personnel will not be permitted to remain in Australia and will need to return to the United States at their own expense.

Office of Student Teaching and Field Experiences

Mrs. Amy Emery
Director of Clinical and Field Experiences
202 McGuffey Hall