Welcome to the 9th year of publication for The Monday eMemo. The first issue of this eMEMO was published on January 8, 2007 with a listserv subscription of 80! Today that subscription is over the 3000 mark! I can’t help but think where have these past 8 years gone; the Latin expression, “tempus fujit” (time flies) is so true.
As stated in that first issue, the intent of the eMemo is to provide teacher interns (Primary/Elementary and Intermediate/Secondary) with support and encouragement as well as some relevant pedagogical information they may find useful in their internships. Perhaps the most important aspect of the eMemo is the opportunity for interns to share with fellow interns their thoughts on how their internships are going. These are short “blurbs” (no names of course) and will hopefully start in next week’s issue. Included in this week’s issue are some “samples” from last year’s eMEMO.
This year we continue with our regular “columns”, Recommended Book Resource for Primary & Elementary Interns and the Former Students’ Update. We hope to begin these next week.
As the eMemo has a very wide readership, readers (not just the interns) are encouraged to submit their thoughts/feedback on any aspect of eMEMO content or the B. Ed. internship. We hope you enjoy this year’s “offerings”! Best wishes to all interns for a successful and most enjoyable internship.
Advice For You As A Teacher Intern
- Be on time. [Arriving early is highly recommended. Also highly recommended is not leaving the building one minute after the last bell!]
- Dress appropriately. [I think this means “professionally”.
Business-casual seems to be the “order of the day” and by
that is meant dress pants/skirts – dress shirts/blouses – no
blue jeans or t-shirts – no sneakers unless you’re a Phys Ed teacher
- Be flexible.
- Follow the school rules.
- Plan ahead.
- Befriend the office staff.
- Maintain confidentiality.
- Don’t gossip.
- Be professional with fellow teachers. And lastly,
- Don’t wait to the last minute to call in sick.
Some Additional Sage Advice
Sometimes interns run into difficulty early in their internships. There may be a personality conflict with a co-operating teacher, a problem with classroom management, problems with lesson planning, etc. It is most important that interns seek help early. That help could be in the form of seeking advice from one of your fall semester university instructors, a “seasoned” teacher friend, your MUN internship supervisor, another teacher at your internship school or our co-ordinator of field placements, Mr. Hayward Blake (email@example.com; telephone 864-2169).
Who you speak to is your decision but it is extremely important that you speak to someone for advice. Don’t let the problem “fester” and find yourself too late in the internship to take corrective action. This is not fair to you or to your co-operating teacher.
Feedback From Last Year’s Interns (2013-2014)
I was really nervous going into it
So far my internship has been awesome. I was really nervous going into it but like most of us, we all were I would think. But having an understanding and knowledgeable co-operating teacher seems to make a world of difference. At the current time I am now getting deep into the teaching and have taken full control of all my classes – 2 slots of grade 12 Physical Education and 2 slots of grade 10/11 Physical Education, 2 slots of grade 9 Physical Education and a Communications Technology course and I’m observing a robotics course. So it’s been full during the week.
Just to give you an idea of some of the things I’ve been doing with the students recently since we had so much snow and several beautiful days; I have been taking advantage of the weather and getting some natural exercise by having my classes do some snowshoeing. The students really seem to love the outdoors and it’s nice to have a different venue other than the gymnasium.
I am currently preparing for some more outdoor winter activities such as winter shelter building and having students involved in a “mug up” (i.e., a lunch).
The students here are respectful and I have not had any real troubling encounters yet with any discipline issues. Overall it has been great and I am enjoying getting familiar with doing something that I will continue to do for the rest of my life.
I am looking forward to the remaining weeks I have left and to learning new strategies and techniques which will help me become a better teacher. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)
I was absolutely terrified
I was absolutely terrified my first day. So much so that a teacher at
the school warned me not to show my nervousness because if they sense fear, they will “EAT YOU ALIVE!”. This, of course, only served to make me more nervous. Thankfully, my co-operating teacher was very supportive and assured me everything would go well.
After my first day all apprehension was gone and I began to really enjoy my time teaching. I started teaching two courses on Monday of week
2 and I haven’t looked back since. I’m enjoying being a teacher way more than I ever enjoyed being a student.
One of my favourite things about this gig is the moment when a student realizes they understand a new concept, especially when it’s a student who is weaker academically. It’s even more fulfilling as a teacher than it ever was as a student.
Also, I enjoy getting to know the students and building a good rapport with them. And finally, it might be vain but my absolute favourite moment so far was when one of the students told me I was his favourite teacher. That was an amazing feeling for sure. (Secondary Intern)
Very delighted with my internship so far
I am very delighted with my internship so far. At first I was very nervous and almost scared to make any kind of mistakes; I thought I had to be perfect. I was lucky enough to catch on to how to teach fairly quickly and now after 7 weeks I find I have so much more confidence. My mentoring teacher is fantastic and it’s easy to learn when you have a good role model to go by and learn from.
Doing up lesson plans has become so much easier and the more you do the better you become and it starts to flow nicely. I consider myself fortunate to have been placed at the school I am in. I was nervous at first but very quickly realized that my type of personality fits in very well at this school. I have learned that making mistakes is a part of teaching and no matter what I do I will always have so much to learn. I am getting better at honing my skills.
I am very happy with the way things are going and hope to continue improving in the second half of my internship. I am enjoying my time and getting more confidence with each passing day. I am pleased with my effort and I get good feedback so something must be going right.
One of my sessions consists of ALL boys
I am currently doing my internship in St. John’s at a primary/elementary school. My placement is with a Kindergarten class of a combined total of 24 children. One of my sessions consists of ALL boys (10)!
When I first heard about the all boys group, I thought I would end up losing my mind! However to my surprise, it is a total breeze (well 95% of the time). The dynamic of the classroom changes so much from the mixed boys and girls group to the all boys group that there is NEVER a dull moment. I quickly learned that by playing off the boys’ energy and using it for exciting lessons makes the lessons go much more smoothly and I do not lose them in the process.
I think the best part of my internship so far is that I have been told (and I
have noticed for myself) that I have made a difference for the better
to some of boys in the all boy group. (Primary Intern)
I returned to my primary/elementary school
For my internship I returned to the primary/elementary school that I went to. It’s a very comforting feeling but it does feel a little different being on the teaching side rather than the learning. Some of the teachers that I had when I was there are still teaching and it’s interesting to sit with them in the staff room. I still call them Ms. Whatever – it’s hard to get used to calling them by their first name! It’s also nice to see the kids at my school do some of the same things that I did when I was there – it’s all very nostalgic and I am loving every minute of my internship. I love coming to the school in the morning to see all my students and to hear all their stories. I find most of them quite amusing and often chuckle away to myself listening to them. Waking up and going to school is something I look forward to everyday.(Elementary Intern)
I was headed into unfamiliar territory
I was headed into unfamiliar territory when I began my internship in a grade 4 classroom consisting of 21 Mennonite students in northern Alberta. The school is influenced by and depends immensely on the Mennonite culture embedded in the area and the strong sense of community.
The students themselves rarely show any behaviors and I feel like I’m in a dream classroom. I was made to feel extremely welcome by the students and staff and although we’re quite isolated up here, I think that I could adapt to life quite well here. Despite the bitter cold, (it was minus 44 degrees a few days ago with the wind chill), there is plenty to do and I have never been so busy.
This coming week I’ll be teaching three subjects fulltime. The most difficult part of my internship so far has not been planning, organization or classroom management but learning the subject material well enough to teach it fluently. Most of my preparation time every night is spent reviewing the material I need to teach in the coming days.
The money that Alberta pours into Education has been a huge shock for me as the classrooms are not like what I’m used to seeing on the east coast. Every classroom has a Smart Board and the integration of technology in the schools is very apparent, for better or for worse. I am thoroughly enjoying my time up here and I’m looking forward to see what the rest of this experience will bring. (Elementary Intern)
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“I am a reliable source. . . but don’t quote me.”
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“I’m street smart. I mean, I know what road I live on.”
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“And I have dreams of someday becoming an underwear model.”
Concluding Comment From the Editor
That’s it for our first issue for 2015. Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas and of course best wishes for the new year.
On a personal note hockey-wise, our MUN scrimmage hockey group will have our first game at St. Bon’s Forum this coming Friday night from 9:00-10:00. Ordinarily, we start up in mid-October but the Forum experienced serious ice issues this year; the chiller went down (it was 59 years old!) and then the compressor died. Needless to say, these 2 machines cost in the 10s of thousands of dollars but fortunately, this new equipment has been installed and hockey at the Forum officially starts this week. This is also our 9th year of operation and we can’t wait for our first puck drop of the season! C’est le but!
NHL-wise, yours truly had the perfect Saturday night this weekend: Habs won, Leafs lost and to add icing to the cake, the Bruins also lost – doesn’t get any better than that!!!!!!
Since last year’s eMEMO, full professor, Dr. Dennis Treslan retired in August past after 37 years here in the Faculty of Education. Dr. Treslan taught in the B. Ed program, both Primary/Elementary and Intermediate/Secondary, and our M. Ed. (Educational Leadership Studies) program). Highly respected by students, staff and faculty, Dennis is transitioning well into retirement; however, we do miss the tremendous contributions he made to these programs and to the faculty in general.
And lastly, best wishes, interns, on your first full week in the classroom.
“See you” all next week.