Greetings, everyone, and welcome to the 2nd last issue of the eMEMO for this year. How quickly those past 3 months have gone by. Interns, you’re obviously “winding down” your last several days in the internship and many of your submissions have spoken to the sadness you will experience when leaving your students and all those teachers who have been so helpful to you these past 13 weeks. That’s part of teaching and obviously speaks to how successful you have been in the internship experience. “Savor” those remaining few days and in all probability those remaining days may be a tad emotional for you, but not only for you but also for your students. Best wishes as you figure out how to deal with those emotions.
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
If you are unhappy, you will project it onto your students
During my internship, I have been having a really hard time stepping away from my prep work. There is always something to do, whether it is for the next day or for one or two weeks down the road. I find it hard to put my personal life and my relationships ahead of my work.
In saying that, I have learned over the course of my internship that if you don’t make time for yourself and for things that make you happy, you will not be a very good teacher because, let’s face it – who wants an unhappy teacher! I’ve noticed that my toughest weeks have been following the weekends that I’ve stayed in correcting and preparing for the upcoming week, without allowing for relaxation with friends and family. Frustration comes out much easier if you don’t make time for yourself, and if you are unhappy, you will project it onto your students. After speaking with other new teachers, they have said much of the same thing! When I asked for advice, they said “make time for yourself, because if you don’t, you won’t be able to make time for your students”.
A great career awaits us all
As we approach the conclusion of our internships, I have a bittersweet feeling in my heart. I am very much looking forward to continuing onto the next stage of my life as a teacher but I’m also quite sad to be leaving. I will truly miss the students, the staff and the incredible times that I experienced during the last three months. It has been, beyond the shadow of a doubt, one of the most interesting and enjoyable times in my life. Developing lessons, assignments, tests, correcting and all the other aspects of being a teacher have taught me many of the skills and traits that I will need going forward. Beyond this, the interactions and relationships that I have begun to develop seem equally important to me, as this makes everything all the more worthwhile.
This experience has indeed reaffirmed my decision to become a teacher. The internship really could not have gone any better and I am lucky and thankful that I was placed in such a great school and environment. I knew before I began that this was the path for me and I believe even more strongly now that I am meant to be a teacher. To me, this will be the ultimate profession; one that we can enjoy day in, day out, but also one that has incredible value and significance. There was never a moment that made me question it either, even when the going got a little tougher or difficult situations arose. There will surely be hard times but I believe that there will be many good ones to outweigh them. I always like to look at the big picture and in this case, the big picture is incredibly bright and rewarding.
Though our time in the extended internship is drawing to a close, we should think of all the good times we experienced and indeed remember them. We must also look forward to our promising futures as teachers,
be proud of what we will accomplish and the difference that we will all be able to make in the lives of our students. Onward and upward, fellow interns. A great career awaits us all! (Intermediate Intern)
I watched myself grow, change, and adapt to the school environment
I cannot believe how fast this internship went by! I feel like it was just the other week when I stood up in front of the class and began to “teach”. I was pretty nervous, and hadn’t the sweetest clue what I was doing . . . or what I had gotten myself into. I’ve been stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, and depressed at times during the run of the internship – but I constantly learn, and strive forward.
If anything, I do feel a whole lot more confident in myself. I also have amazing days, where everything goes so perfectly, and I actually feel like I accomplished something. Over the course of the internship I watched myself grow, change, and adapt to the school environment.
The staff and students have been amazing and very welcoming to me. It will be very surreal leaving them all behind in the next few weeks. My Level 3s want me to come back out for their graduation at the end of April – which will be another surreal experience. Although I’ve only been with them for three months, they’ve all grown on me. This whole intern experience has been amazing; I couldn’t have picked a better school. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)
Most gave me a completely new way to look at students
As we are approaching the end of this internship, I can’t help but feel both hopeful and sad that I may never see these students again. I’m amazed every day at the different personalities that I see and the different perspectives they have given me on education. Every day is an adventure.
This past week I had the opportunity to meet with the parents of more than 30 students. It was an experience that I will never forget and one that has informed and confirmed my future in education. Although some interviews were merely a pat on the back for the parents, most gave me a completely new way to look at students.
Unfortunately I feel like I’ve only just scraped the surface with most students and now I will have to leave them. I wish I could have more time, as I’m sure many other interns do at this point. (Intermediate Intern)
Where I am supposed to be
This internship has been the most amazing experience! I was beyond nervous when I started in January, but since then I have finally found my rhythm in the classroom. It’s hard to believe that the end of the internship is fast approaching and I find myself dreading when I have to say goodbye to both my students and the faculty. This school is important to me because it is the place where I finally was able to start defining myself as a teacher.
I feel like what I have learned here will stick with me far into my career, and I owe so much to my co-operating teacher who has been there for me every step of the way, from talking me through my first lesson plan to not letting me beat myself up when I had a rough class. Classroom
management continues to be something that depends on the day, but I am now equipped with the tools and techniques to create my own style of teaching.
This experience has also shown me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be because no matter how crazy a class is or how tired I am at the end of the day, I can’t wait to get right back in there and teach my students. (Secondary Intern)
A positive school environment
From what I have experienced in both my internships, I think that school administrators and teachers have created a positive school environment to help students achieve academic success. Students get along well with their teachers and they are encouraged to express their needs, thoughts, and feelings when they encounter any kind of difficulties. With the purpose of improving students’ academic performance, teachers endeavor to maintain students’ motivation in learning and helping them to build their self-confidence.
The main reason that this junior high school has a friendly and positive school atmosphere is that all students feel accepted and welcomed. Teachers are able to recognize the differences in culture and guarantee that all students are treated with respect. The many international students who come from all over the world are welcome to attend the English as a second language program (ESL). The ESL teachers also assist these students in completing their assignments in various subjects.
Another reason is that teachers encourage optimistic methods to learning. Teachers motivate students to perceive learning as interesting and to acquire new knowledge based on their individual abilities. In an active learning environment, students put more enthusiasm in practical activities and feel proud of what they have done. Students also build their self-confidence in doing things independently and solving difficult problems. Those students who have different cultural backgrounds become eager to improve their English skills and became better able to interact appropriately with their peers. (Intermediate Intern)
I feel 100% more comfortable teaching
This internship has been simply amazing. Can’t believe it is almost over. Time flies when you are having fun. I have been teaching Grade 8 & 9 students and can honestly say that I love junior high.
I feel 100% more comfortable teaching than I did at the beginning of this internship. A few struggles I have ran into: use of cellphones, student motivation and chatty students; nothing out of the ordinary.
Getting involved with extra-curricular activities definitely helped me in this internship to get to know some of my students as well as meet teachers and students I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet.
I am so grateful to my co-operating teacher and the students for the immense amount of knowledge I have gained throughout this internship. It has been an excellent experience. Although I am very sad to be leaving the students, I can’t wait to get back to MUN to get that last semester out of the way and get teaching! Hoping all my fellow interns enjoy the remaining days. (Intermediate Intern)
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: Today, Monday, March 23, from 5-7 pm.
Where: The McCann Centre (E2030B).
If you haven’t already registered, please send your résumé to Caitlin King at email@example.com
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
See the Ocean
Written by: Estelle Condra (1994)
Illustrated by: Linda Crockett-Blassingame
Nellie and her family went to their beach house at the ocean every summer. When Nellie was a baby, she loved to lie in the sand and wiggle her toes in the saltwater. She took her first steps on the beach, and her brothers Gerald and Jamin collected seashells for her. Her mother made “a beard and eyebrows from sea foam on Nellie’s face” and her father carried her on his shoulders into the surf. Nellie asked many questions about the ocean, “How old is it? How big? How deep?…”
Every year her family drove through the flat desert and high mountains to their beach house. During their long drive Gerald and Jamin played games, and Nellie was the scorekeeper, keeping the scores in her head so they would know who won and by how many points. And every year, the brothers competed to see who would be the first to see the ocean from the top of the mountain. Nellie never competed, she “sat quietly, listening to the talk and excitement and feeling excited herself”.
One year there was a heavy mist and no one could see the ocean. Then, a salty breeze brushed through the open car window, and Nellie cried, “I see it”. The boys complained that no one could see the ocean on a day like this, so their dad asked Nellie to describe what she could see. Nellie began, “The ocean is an old, old man at the beginning of time. He breathes a loud, salty breath, and his beard flows white on the sandy beach. Fish swim in his long, wavy hair. On his head he wears a crown of pearls. On his feet he wears shoes of shells.” And she continued with her story like description.
No one spoke for a long while. The Nellie’s mom turned around and stroked Nellie’s cheek. Jamin and Gerald grumbled, “how could she see through the mist when we can’t? She can’t even see!” Their mother responded, “listen and pay attention. Though your sister’s eyes are blind, she can see with her mind”. And Nellie smiled as she thought of how much she loved the ocean.
This sensitive tale, painted in soft water colours, is a message to all of us that we can see with more than our eyes, and that while we all have challenges in our lives, we can use them to see the world in different and wondrous ways.
This Week’s Recommended Web-Site
Effective teachers very often use appropriate humor in the classroom to promote a positive and relaxing atmosphere. Puns are a great source of humor and the following web-site has a multitude of puns for teachers to use:
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“Chad cleaned his ears with my stylus!”
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“I know Anatomy class like the back of my hand”
Pic of the Week
Intern Gladdale Matthews sent in this pic of students she worked with in a Drama Club from Booth Memorial and Bishops College.
In Gladdale’s words:
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with these fabulous students for the last few months preparing a play called “Voices” for the Eastern Avalon Drama Festival. They performed at the LSPU hall on March 12 and did a fantastic job. They represent Booth Memorial and Bishops College! A mixture of great students!
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“No, but you can replace the swear jar with an improper grammar jar!”
Concluding Comments From the Editor
That takes care of issue # 12.
Again, thank you to those interns for sending in this week’s written submissions and to Gladdale Matthews for the picture of her drama students.
As for NHL hockey this week: Delighted with the Habs’ last 2 games – both were shutouts I might add! The playoff race for a number of teams is getting most interesting, especially re the Bruins, the Sens, the Jets and the Kings!
Our St. Bon’s scrimmage hockey game continues to go well on Friday night. This week we had 18 players + 2 goalies again – great turnout. Yours truly got a goal this week – “c’est le but”! Nothing overly picturesque but a backhander on the second try! To date, my 4 goals and 3 assists in 11 games should cause no worry for Ovie of the Washington Capitals, Sid the Kid of the Pens or Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL scoring race!!!!!
Have a great week everyone. “See” you next week in our last issue for 2015!