My pre-service teacher is arriving late or leaving early, what should I do?

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At RMIT we expect pre-service teachers to arrive at school between 8am-8.30am or at a time organised with their mentor teacher. PSTs are expected to remain after school hours  to discuss, plan and prepare for teaching. We encourage students to be guided by what their mentor teacher says and does. It is essential that you discuss your school’s expectations as well as RMITs expectations with your PST at the beginning of placement. Please do not dismiss your student early or encourage them to arrive late as this creates confusion for pre-service teachers surrounding professional expectations.


  • If punctuality is a problem please discuss this with your PST as soon as possible. Whilst students are told to clear their schedules during placement periods there may be other factors impacting on their punctuality. You may like to use the following prompts to guide and support your discussion.
  • “I have noticed that you have been arriving at ____ (give the specific time so that students know you are aware) in the morning. At (insert school name) this is considered to be late. We expect students to arrive by (insert time). Are there any factors that are making it hard for you to arrive on time?”
  • “I have noticed that you are leaving straight after school. Is there somewhere in particular that you need to be?”
  • “An important part of your role as a pre-service teacher is to spend time with myself outside of school hours to develop ideas for planning and teaching. You are also required to attend meeting. It would be great if we could schedule some times to meet this week so that I can go over your lesson planning with you.”
  • If your PST has no valid reason and continues to arrive late and leave the school please make a note of it in their Mid-Placement Review form and re-address the issue with them. You might also like to contact RMIT so that a  representative can come out to the school and talk to the pre-service teacher.
  • Depending on other elements of the PSTs professional practice you might also consider marking them as unsatisfactory on Standard 7 of the RMIT Professional Experience Report form.

Additional Resources:

  • Read through the Managing Competing Demands section of the Project Evidence website to further develop your thinking in this area.
  • The following Conversation Plan (link to file) will help you to make notes to prepare for your difficult conversation.




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