Manage your Practicum

  • 'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?'
    "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to', said the Cat.
    'I don't much care where -' said Alice.
    'Then it doesn't matter which way you walk,' said the Cat.
    'So long as I get somewhere,' Alice added, as an explanation.
    'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.'

    Do you know where you want to get to? What do you hope to achieve at the end of practicum? For yourself? For your students?

    As you ponder about your goals, do bear in mind that the Desired Outcomes of Education are attributes that educators aspire for every Singaporean to have by the completion of his formal education. We would like the person to have a good sense of self-awareness, a sound moral compass, and the necessary skills and knowledge to take on challenges of the future. He is responsible to his family, community and nation. He appreciates the beauty of the world around him, possesses a healthy mind and body, and has a zest for life. In sum, he is 

    • a confident person who has a strong sense of right and wrong, is adaptable and resilient, knows himself, is discerning in judgement, thinks independently and critically, and communicates effectively;
    • a self-directed learner who takes responsibility for his own learning, who questions, reflects and perseveres in the pursuit of learning;
    • an active contributor who is able to work effectively in teams, excercises initiative, takes calculated risks, is innovative and strives for excellence; and,
    • a concerned citizen who is rooted to Singapore, has a strong civic consciousness, is informed, and takes an active role in bettering the lives of others around him.
  • Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right. - Henry Ford

  • To reach a child's mind, a teacher must capture his heart.
    Only if a child feels right can he think right.
    - Ginott 

    Motivation is one of the central issues in human affairs. Understanding its role in human behaviour is important if we want to educate our children and prepare them to be the self-directed and lifelong learners.

    The Self-determination theory (SDT, Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991) is one of the most comprehensive and empirically supported theories of motivation today (Pintrich & Shunk, 2002). According to the SDT, human being have 3 basic phsychological needs that are crucial for the development of the self in terms of growth and personal well-being. The three needs are -

    • need for competence
    • need for autonomy
    • need for relatedness

    All individuals desire to feel autonomous, competent and related, and if these needs are satisfied, intrinsic motivation for doing the activity will increase. 

    You can source for practical tips from NIE's Motivation in Educational Research (MERL) Lab.

    Do you create a supportive learning environment that satisfies your students' basic needs? 

  • Reflective practice is “a deliberate pause to assume an open perspective, to allow for higher-level thinking processes. Practitioners use these processes for examining beliefs, goals, and practices, to gain new or deeper understandings that lead to actions that improve learning for students” (York-Barr, Sommers, Ghere, & Montie, 2001, p.6). 

    A good teacher must be a reflective practitioner. To make sense of and learn from your experience during practicum, you need to ask yourself the following questions when you do your reflections (adapted from York-Barr, Sommers, Ghere, & Montie, 2001; Richardson, 2002): 

    1.   What happened? (What did I do? What did others do?)

    2.   Why? (Why did I think things happened this way? Why did I choose to act the way I did?)

    3.   So what? (What have I learned from this? How might this change my future thinking, behaviour and interactions?) 

    4.   Now what? (What do I want to remember to think about in a similar situation? How do I want to act?)  

  • Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. - Will Rogers

    Flannery (1990) found that stress-resistant individuals 

    • take personal control in their lives
    • are task involved and focused
    • have a sense of humour
    • seek social support systems
    • exercise aerobically
    • practice relaxation exercises
    • consume few dietary stimulants
    • claim religious values
  • NIE Wellness Centre provides support and resources for the student teachers. Our services are confidential and free of charge for all NIE students. For an appointment or inquiries, please email 

    Practicum can be a stressful time but you do not have to figure it out all alone. If you are a student teacher who would like to learn ways of managing the demands of practicum and is interested in sharing your experiences with your peers, in which you can learn from each other, please email All our services are free of charge and confidential.