Candidates for Part 2 of the Teaching Certificate must undertake structured teaching practice, keeping records that are submitted as Unit 4 no sooner than 12 months and no later than 10 years after successfully completing Part 1. Although Unit 4 is assessed in advance of taking the examination for Unit 5, it is integral to the process leading to Unit 5 and must be taken in conjunction with preparation for that Unit. Applications to take Units 4 and 5 must be submitted together, on the same form, and all Records of Teaching Practice (Unit 4) must be received at the RSCDS office no later than six months in advance of the date of the examination for Unit 5.
Mentored teaching practice
Candidates should seek to gain as much and as varied experience of teaching as possible during this period, guided by email, telephone or live discussion with and advice from an experienced RSCDS teacher who will act as their mentor and who will visit, ideally at least twice, to observe their teaching.
During this period candidates should be applying the skills that they learned in Part 1, such as lesson planning; class management; observation and giving helpful correction; varied teaching approaches, with emphasis on demonstration; giving clear instructions and coaching effectively; choosing and making effective use of music. In addition, they should be learning new skills, such as pacing lessons, flexibility, developing their own style of teaching and finding ways to establish a good rapport with their class.
By keeping records, they may constantly evaluate their own performance and find ways to improve it. Six hours of the teaching practice require more detailed recording, for the Record of Teaching Practice (see below): during these lessons, only RSCDS dances can be used (see X4-05: Guidelines for Preparation of Record of Teaching Practice).
Candidates should also take every opportunity to observe and learn from others’ teaching, by attending classes, day schools and other such events.
Record of Teaching Practice
In their Record of Teaching Practice candidates must list all the classes that they have taught since passing Unit 3 (one A4 page) and present a detailed review (8-12 A4 pages) of six hours’ independent teaching of one or several different classes, including lesson plans, self-evaluation and reflection on ways of improving personal teaching performance.
Candidates should check that the Record of Teaching Practice exactly matches the specified requirements, using the Checklist, and submit these, along with the completed Cover Sheet, the mentor’s confirmation sheet, fee and photograph, to the RSCDS office at least six months before the date on which they intend to take Unit 5. If a Branch is organising their Unit 5 examination, the Branch must at the same time send in an application to submit candidates for Unit 4 (actual) and Unit 5 (predicted).
Here are three examples of Unit 4, to give a clearer idea of what the examiners expect to see in the detailed review. In all cases there is an Introduction, the details from one of a series of lessons, a Review of the music, and a self-evaluation section:
Candidates’ Records will be assessed and returned by three months before the date of their Unit 5 exam: there is no pass/fail, but if their Record does not exactly match the specified criteria, candidates may be asked to amend and resubmit it within 12 months.