Good afternoon everyone – beautiful day here in the city, a tad cool at -8 (wind chill of -12). I hear we’re in for a blizzard which I would prefer that we not get but all beyond our control! Welcome to the 3rd last issue of the eMEMO for this year. Not a great number of submissions for this issue but what we’re lacking in quantity is certainly compensated for by the quality of those submissions. Enjoy!
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
Positively reinforced my career choice
This internship has truly been one of the most exciting and interesting experiences of my lifetime. To learn about and live the lifestyle of a teacher for three full months has been absolutely incredible; from all I’ve learned and developed with regards to teaching itself to the interactions with the students and staff members.
Since early January, I have really tried to become fully immersed in my school community, be it in the lessons that I teach or extra-curricular activities. While teaching mostly Grade 8 and 9 Social Studies, I have participated in a range of activities: helping to direct a zombie play for the drama festival, playing drums during a school assembly and being involved with the chess club and student council.
All of this has positively reinforced my career choice and has solidified my decision to become a teacher. One of the coolest things about this internship for me is the fact that I returned to my old junior high 15 years later, but this time I was on “the other side of the fence”! It was a little odd at first, as I had only seen the school from a student’s perspective, but I quickly adopted a teacher mentality and I feel great that my journey has led me back to my old stomping grounds. I am even working alongside some of the teachers that taught me many years ago and several others that were there are still around as well. This brings a level of familiarity to my time back at the school and also helps me to feel right at home.
In conclusion, we never know where the path of life will take us. In my case, it’s been incredible to see the flip side of my past and a promising glimpse into my future. My life in education has indeed come full circle and I can’t wait for the exciting possibilities that lie ahead. (Intermediate Intern)
I have seen them grow as learners and I have built a rapport with them
As I enter in to the final weeks of this winter internship, I feel an overwhelming sense of emotion as I reflect on the weeks that have passed and I look to the weeks ahead.
I feel so grateful for all of the support that I have received throughout this experience. I was fortunate enough to be placed at a fantastic high school in St. John’s, the same school where I completed my internship back in the Fall. The staff has been so welcoming and so helpful throughout this journey; my co-operating teachers in particular have been very supportive of all of my ideas, and have given me many insights that I will carry with me throughout my teaching career.
My students, too, have been absolutely phenomenal. I will admit, when I first started teaching in the fall, I was anxious about taking charge of a high school classroom. What would they think of me? Would they accept me as they do their regular teacher? In the months that have followed, I have been blown away by the response from my classes. I have seen them grow as learners, and I have built a rapport with them. Suffice to say, it will be very difficult to leave them in April.
These remaining few weeks are sure to be action-packed, as the students and I culminate the units that were so painstakingly planned at the start of the internship and we welcome visitors from both MUN and the Department of Education. I am really hoping to make these last few weeks count to round out what has been a truly memorable teaching internship. (Secondary Intern)
An eye-opening experience for me
The internship has been an eye opening experience for me. It has truly showed me the massive workload that is place on teachers. From the start of the day to the end of the day teachers are very busy. Depending on how involved you are in the school you can have a very limited number of breaks. In Physical Education for instance, many PE teachers have the gymnasium open during breaks in the day. And of course these have to be supervised. Your day is filled with you doing something with those limited breaks.
There are indeed prep periods for teachers which are fantastic because it allows you to get caught up on work or to take a few minutes to collect one’s thoughts. Even after the day ends, a teacher job is not done. Many do after school activities such as drama, sports teams, or band practice. After that they go home and have to correct assignments or tests. On top of that teachers need to find time to lesson plan as well. Yet many have families to take care of and support. What I have found is that teachers must learn to balance their very busy careers with time for themselves. I feel that there should be additional teachers in a school so that teachers can actually teach in their speciality areas. This would definitely improve our education system because there would be more teachers teaching in their specialty areas.
Best wishes to all interns in their few remaining weeks in their schools.
The two most important things you can learn as an intern
1) Being an intern is an intimidating position to be placed in. You are working with the teacher to teach the students but fall into a middle ground where you are not the teacher nor the student.
The big question I had first entering my internship was where do I fit in? Don’t Stress! You will find your comfort zone. This may take longer for some people then others but have a positive attitude and you will eventually feel like a part of the school environment. Once you have a positive attitude – KEEP IT! The success of the students relies on the effort and attitude you put forth! Remember that!
2) Being a good teacher relies on a lot of factors. Being organized, punctual, knowledgeable, compassionate, understanding, approachable and inviting are all important to ensuring the success of your students. However, as teachers we need to realize that these factors need to extend far beyond the 9 to 3 scheduled class time.
A good teacher is AVAILABLE! As an intern I have made myself available to the students before class, during lunch and after school. Not all students can successfully learn in the classroom environment, others struggle with independent work and others miss a lot of class time due to outside commitments. Your students should feel as though they can come to you for extra help with the confidence that they will receive it. This is also an excellent way to work on cohesion in the classroom. If you take the time outside of class to build student confidence in areas they are struggling with, you will be building the success of the class as a whole. You want to ensure that the classroom lectures and work are effective. As teachers we make the commitment to provide the building blocks of a good education. Being reliable and available reinforces that the students should be reliable as well. The more you give to the students the more you can expect. BE AVAILABLE! Sometimes they need you more then they realize. Remember that!
Interested in Teaching in England
UTeach is presently recruiting teachers for England for September, 2015. UTeach will be hosting a workshop here in the Faculty of Education to provide information about teaching and living in the UK.
When: Next Monday, March 23, from 5-7 pm.
Where: The McCann Centre (E2030B).
To register please send your résumé to Caitlin King by this Wednesday, March 18th 2015 at firstname.lastname@example.org
Advance Notice: Alberta School Boards Hope To Recruit MUN B.Eds
The Fort Vermillion and Peace River School Districts are presently recruiting teachers for September, 2015. Both districts will be visiting our Faculty of Education on May 13-14.
There will be information booths, presentations and interviews. More information will be available as we get closer to those dates.
Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns
The Legend of Saint Nicholas
Written and illustrated by: Demi (2003)
Saint Nicholas is known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle , and many other names around the world. However, I do not think the origins of Saint Nicholas are that well known. Demi has done her usual extraordinary job of painting, with both words and gold trimmed pictures, a history of the magic man who symbolizes the fun of Christmas.
Nicholas was born to a noble Christian family around A.D. 280 in Asia Minor (present day Turkey). As a child he preferred to attend church rather than play with others. He was saddened by the ill fortune of others and “vowed to always help everyone everywhere in any way he could”. Left wealthy when his parents died, he helped those in need. He became the youngest man ever to be a bishop.
Not everyone believed in Jesus Christ, and Nicholas was tortured for his faith, becoming known as “the Confessor” when around the year 305 he “defended his faith in God and Jesus Christ in a glorious confession”. In 325 he was put on trial before the Emperor Constantine I, but was saved when a holy apparition appeared in the sky to save him.
During his lifetime, Nicholas was claimed to have performed at least 20 miracles. He helped so many children and families that he became known as the patron and protector of children. He was also patron of numerous groups, such as prisoners, seafarers, stonemasons, etc. Around 343, Nicholas died and became sainted. He was one of the most popular saints, and December 6 became his feast day during the Middle Ages in Europe. This was a day of merriment and gift giving. “Because of Nicholas’ reputation as a lover and protector of children, a young boy was chosen to play the part of St. Nicholas during his feast day celebration”. Soon the custom of giving gifts in St. Nicholas’ name started in Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands. In Holland, Sinter Klaas was supposed to fill children’s shoes with nuts and candies. The Dutch Protestants brought this custom to America when they founded New Amsterdam (now New York). “They popularized the belief in the generous, child-loving figure throughout America”. Over time, because the feast of St. Nicholas is so close to the celebration of Christmas, the character of Santa Claus emerged.
“Throughout the world today, whether he goes by the name of St. Nicholas, Sinter Klaas, or Santa Claus, this figure who shows enormous generosity, a love for children, deep care for the poor and needy, and a completely selfless nature is considered to embody the spirit of Christmas and the true spirit of the Lord.”
The Prayer of Saint Nicholas
We call upon
Your mercy, O Lord.
Through the intercession
Of St. Nicholas
Keep us safe amid all dangers
So that we may go forward
On the road to salvation.
This Week’s Recommended Web-Site
This Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) website represents and supports the providers of child and youth mental health treatment services throughout Ontario. .
Reference: Principles of classroom management (4th Canadian edition, 2016) by J. Levin, J. F. Nolan, J. W. Kerr, A. E. Elliott & M. Bajovic. Toronto: Pearson.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“My favorite period? Any of them used correctly
at the ends of the sentences!”
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“I’ve really enjoyed being a kitchen aide this week,
and I only once thought about spitting in the teachers’ soup!”
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“Will we need to store this information for future retention?”
Pics of the Week
Intern Merissa Corrigan sent in these pics of her Physical Education 3100 students.
In Melissa’s words:
Attached are a couple of photos of our recent camping trip to Camp Morristown, near Foxtrap, with my Physical Education 3101 class. It was an excellent experience for fellow intern, Adam Gaye and me as well as for the students. The students had the opportunity to cross country ski, prepare and cook their own meals, and star gaze on our night hike. I could not have asked for a better group of students and I look forward to taking my own classes on similar trips in the future.
Former Students’ Update
Cynthia White (B. Ed., 2010)
When I began my career as a teacher I had not anticipated experiencing so many great and rewarding things in such a short period of time. I graduated from Memorial in the Fall of 2010 with my B. Ed. (Prim/Elem). I spent the first year after I graduated contemplating my next move and whether or not I would make the metro area my home base, given that at the time substituting was rare, or if I would look outside the overpass. Looking back now, 4 years later, I can humbly say that looking beyond my comfort zone was the best decision I could have ever made personally and professionally.
Before the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year I looked to Labrador and found myself as one of three Grade 3 teachers at the Mushuau Innu Natuashish School in Natuashish. I had no idea what it would be like to live and teach in a remote community since I spent the majority of my life living in Toronto and then rural Newfoundland. With that being said, I had an open mind about the experience as a whole, and I knew I was ready for everything that Natuashish could offer. I had a very diverse group of students with abilities that ranged from Pre-K level to junior high. I learned very quickly that as a teacher, regardless of if I was teaching in Labrador or someplace else, I would need to be adaptable because finding two students who learned in exactly the same way would be unusual.
I enjoyed my time in Natuashish and decided to stay for a second year; this time I taught Grade 4 and was able to move up with the same group of students I had taught the year before. In the two years I spent in Natuashish I was able to learn things about myself and my profession that I truly believe I would not have learned otherwise. I gained an appreciation for the great outdoors and learned about a community that is rich in culture and tradition. I witnessed the trials and triumphs of second language learners and they helped me realize that helping kids improve their literacy and other skills is something I wanted to do for the rest of my career. As a result, I began the Bachelor of Special Education program at Memorial.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences in Natuashish, it was time for a new experience in the 2013-2014 school year. I was offered and accepted a 50% IRT and 50% classroom teacher position at LeGallais Memorial in the quaint little town of Isle aux Morts on the west coast of Newfoundland. I had developed teaching and classroom management strategies that worked very well with my previous primary and elementary classes, but I was now the classroom subject teacher of Religion, Health, Art and Tech for Grades 7-9. I am not going to lie, I was absolutely terrified but, as a teacher, you need to be prepared to teach anything and everything at any given time, especially if the position that you are hired for comes with ‘other’ teaching duties.
Once I got over the initial shock, I realized I very much enjoyed my role as both the IRT and one of the junior high teachers. The staff was phenomenal and we were all very close because there were only 8 of us. Our entire staff was very similar in the fact that we were all quite interested in language and literacy. There were many things we organized together to improve literacy in the school and because everyone, including the students, enjoyed the activities and programs that we put in place. we saw much success.
I finished my B. Sp. Ed while I was still teaching at LeGallais; however, overcoming the fear of thinking I wouldn’t be able to teach in the junior high setting also gave me the confidence to apply for and begin the Master of Education (Language & Literacy) program at Memorial (have you noticed the trend yet?). I moved back to St. John’s with my husband for the 2014-2015 school year so he could pursue his dream of becoming a teacher. I enlisted as a full time Master’s student when I came up jobless at the beginning of September. Defeat! That was the only thing I could think as I started subbing once again in the metro area. I was surprised and overjoyed when my phone started ringing and when I got an interview for my now 75% position as IRT at St. Peter’s Primary in Mount Pearl. Each day continues to be just as rewarding as the next and I continue to learn things about this profession that I did not know before. Each new school year brings with it new and exciting endeavors, but now I know that there are no obstacles that this profession can’t help me overcome.
I hear many new and prospective teachers talking about the hardships of finding a job and just getting started in this profession in general; I completely understand where each and every one of them is coming from because I was one of them. My advice to you is this: Do not give up, and, when you find yourself in your very own classroom for the first time, keep a few things in mind: be open-minded and adaptable; always expect the unexpected; and NEVER lose faith in your ability as an educator!
(Editor’s Note: Cynthia is a high school graduate of St. Lawrence Academy in St. Lawrence. Her hubby, Reg is currently doing his intermediate/secondary internship and her dog Goldie is probably missing some attention while both her “humans” are very busy studying and teaching! I have to mention that while Reg is an avid Habs fan, Cynthia is a more than avid Boston Bruins fan!!!!!!!!!! That must make for some interesting banter when both teams play! I’ll keep my own thoughts on Boston to myself, Cynthia!!!!!)
Concluding Comments From the Editor
That concludes issue # 11.
Again, thank you to those interns for sending in the written submissions and to Merissa Corrigan for the 2 pictures – definitely adds a little color to the eMEMO. A special thank you to Cynthia White for her “Former Students’ Update” submission – most informative and most interesting.
As for NHL hockey this week: Well, les Habs finally won their game against the Islanders last night. My latest “rationalization” for their recent “slump” is that better to experience a temporary slump before the playoffs than to get mired down in a permanent slump like a certain hockey team (whose name I won’t mention here) is currently experiencing!!!!!!!!
Re AHL hockey in St. John’s: Great announcement this week that the Baby Habs will be relocating from Hamilton to St. John’s for the next 2 seasons. Have to give full credit to Danny Williams and Glenn Stanford for making that happen. Looking forward to seeing the new IceCaps jerseys with the “bleu, blanc et rouge” colors incorporated into the design.
Our St. Bon’s scrimmage hockey game went well on Friday night. 18 players + 2 goalies; wonderful camaraderie and wonderful banter, both on and off the ice. Yours truly did take a few shots “across his bow” Friday night in the dressing room! On the ice, yours truly did get a lonely point in the way of an assist. One point is better than no points.
Have a good week everyone; stay safe with the impending storm coming our way. “See” you next week.