Hello to everyone out there in eMEMO-land! You are about to read (I hope!) issue # 10.
Had a record number of submissions last week (10) – this week we’re down to 4. But as per usual, the comments are all of excellent quality and some are extremely poignant.
Feedback From This Year’s (2018) Interns
These kids blow my mind
Before starting my internship, I was terrified. Unlike many of my peers, high school had not been a great experience for me. Throughout my schooling experience, I had struggled with, as many teenagers do, debilitating mental illness. Little did I know, that my experiences as a teenager would be foundational to my educational philosophy; essentially, forming a distinct part of my ‘tool box’.
Re-entering a high school, I’m embarrassed to admit, was a shock to me. I had expected my role as an educator to be just that, a role where I taught students the curriculum. Little did I know, that it would become so much more than that. Students today are of a different generation; they learn differently and see much of the world through a very different lens. Additionally, they have a lot to deal with. Today’s youth are exposed to and plagued by a plethora of drugs, distractions, and just the mundane day to day activities that seem like the end of the world when you’re 15.
As students have gotten to know me, I have begun to hear about their struggles. Slowly but surely, students have begun to open up to me on a level that blows my mind (of course, it is on a professional level) but it is still crazy to me that students are asking me questions regarding their future with issues like anxiety, etc.). And I, have become an accommodating listener. Honestly, without my past struggles, I don’t know if I would have been able to effectively understand theirs.
They say, whoever they are, that everything happens for a reason. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever believed that until now.
These kids blow my mind! (Secondary Intern)
At my Kindergarten graduation I declared my passion to teach
Teaching is everything I thought it would be, and more. At my Kindergarten graduation I declared my passion to teach, and despite some wavering moments I stand here in dress pants and heels, plan book in hand, and feel like I have finally accomplished my very first dream.
My biggest fear when I began this internship was that I would just be a “by the books teacher”, that I wouldn’t be able to reach the students or build relationships or go beyond to help them, but I’m glowing every second I spend with a student and know that I am guiding them, whether academically or in another element of their lives.
I feel assured that this is the career for me, and that with experience under my belt I will be able to fill the giant shoes I set for myself in this profession, which is to impact as many students as I can (positively of course) and know that I’ve made some small difference. (Intermediate Intern)
I was actually a bit disappointed with my teaching early on
After finishing off week # 9 of the internship, I’m looking forward to what the remaining weeks have in store. I sometimes didn’t feel this way earlier in the internship; I was actually a bit disappointed with my teaching early on. Classes often didn’t go quite the way that I wanted them to, and a large part of the problem was that I hadn’t figured out my own teaching style.
I can definitely say that I’m not discouraged anymore! Every week I’ve been able to improve upon my teaching in some way, and with each small step, the classes become more enjoyable for me and my students. I’ve learned that it’s the little things you do that make all the difference. Most importantly, I’ve seen the enormous effect that a teacher’s self-efficacy has on the entire class. Even though I still make little mistakes every day, I’ve become more confident in my ability to teach my students, and they seem to be getting much more out of my classes.
Now that the end of the internship is approaching, I wish that could stay at my school for a while longer. Although teaching can be tiring and leaves me with a shortage of free time, there’s no beating the feeling you get after a successful day at school. (Secondary Intern)
This nervousness drastically affected how I was teaching
Entering my internship, I was most nervous to perform well, and prove to myself and my co-operating teachers that I would make a great teacher.
This nervousness drastically affected how I was teaching, I came to discover. I was overthinking every action, and every word. I didn’t want students to dislike me, and I didn’t want to show a teaching approach different than my co-operating teachers.
The students at my school are wonderful, the staff is great and the overall community has been so welcoming that this fear of failing was unnecessary and actually lead me to failure in some ways.
I’m happy to say that after a few weeks of holding back, something clicked and I let my inner teacher and inner self be exposed. What I noticed is that by not holding back, students wanted to get to know me more. My co-operating teachers trusted me more. It is now at the point where I feel like the classes are my own, my confidence has sky-rocketed, I have complete control over the classroom and feel not like ‘just an intern’ but an integral part of the school culture and community. I could not be happier with this journey and my chosen career path. (Secondary Intern)
Quote of the Week
Sunday is a teacher’s day of rest. Do the rest of the laundry, finish the rest of the housework and grade the rest of the papers! (Unknown)
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“I can’t believe I flunked my Philosophy final. I was wearing my superman underwear and everything!”
Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns
Author and Illustrator: Demi (2016)
Marie Curie was one of my heroines when I was in grade 4, so when I saw this latest biography of her life I couldn’t wait to purchase it, and it did not disappoint! Demi has used her signature gold tones to accentuate her illustrations, bringing to life the first woman to win the Nobel Prize.
Maria Salomea Sklodowski was born in Poland in 1867. Her mother was a principal and her father taught Physics. Maria was fascinated by his Physics instruments from a very early age. She learned to read at age 4, and was always top of her class, even though she was two years younger. Maria spoke Russian, Polish, and French. She lost her sister when she was eight and her mother when she was ten.
In 1893 she graduated from university in Paris with an advanced degree in Physics and a scholarship for another year. She met, fell in love with, and married Pierre Curie, another brilliant physicist. They worked together to make many scientific discoveries, including the creation of radium, which was one of the “greatest contributions to the world of modern medicine”, and in 1903 they received the Nobel Prize in Physics. They had two children when tragedy struck in 1906—Pierre was killed in a traffic accident.
Marie eventually took over Pierre’s professorship at the Sorbonne to become the first female professor at that university. In 1911, Marie Curie was awarded a second Nobel Prize, this time for Chemistry, “making her the first person to win the Nobel Prize twice”. However, her long exposure to radium ended with her becoming ill, and she died at age 66.
But Marie’s belief was that “humanity would draw more good than evil from new discoveries. And so, throughout her life’s work, she never hesitated in the pursuit of knowledge”. This book is a motivation to all of us, young and old, to keep trying, to persevere, and to be determined. It should be enjoyed by all.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“My Dad’s a car salesman. I can bring you a candy apple Ferrari!”
If We’ve Missed your Submission
Please email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish it in the next issue.
Education Law Corner
This week we have an example of a misconduct case which involved a teacher’s inappropriate behavior with a female student.
Member: Kenneth Charles Derr
Registration No: 406845
Decision: Suspension, reprimand, conditions
A Discipline Committee panel suspended the certificate of College member Kenneth Charles Derr for engaging in inappropriate conduct with a female student on a school trip. Derr, who was certified to teach in December 1996, attended the hearing on July 12, 2017, and had legal representation.
Derr conducted himself inappropriately by wrestling with the student on a bed in her room, and entering the bathroom while she was showering and throwing cold water over the top of the shower curtain.
The Discipline Committee panel found him guilty of professional misconduct. The panel ordered that his teaching certificate be suspended for six months and that he appear before the panel immediately after the hearing to receive a reprimand.
In addition, Derr was directed to complete, at his own expense, a course on boundary violations. He was directed to do so within 120 days of the panel’s decision.
In its written decision, the panel stated, “As educators, members hold a position of trust and authority. They are expected to know and respect the boundaries of the teacher/student relationship. In this case, the Member failed to recognize the emotional impact of his actions on the student and demonstrated insensitivity to the need for privacy of adolescent girls.”
Source: Ontario College of Teachers Professionally Speaking magazine (March, 2018).
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“She’s like a GPS for careers.”
For follow-up, please contact:
Jerome G. Delaney, Editor
Associate Professor – Educational Administration
Faculty of Education
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John’s, NL Canada A1B 3X8