Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to the last issue of the eMEMO for 2015. How quickly these past 13 weeks have gone by. Interns, all indications are that you have had a very positive experience in the schools. Granted, these experiences were not without their respective challenges but that’s what internships are all about. Congratulations on doing good, at times great work with your students and we look forward to your returning to our classes here as of April 13. You have been “transformed” during these internships and you’ll be more eager than ever to complete your B. Ed. and get back out there in the classrooms in this province and elsewhere. Have a wonderful last 4 days in your internships.
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
I hope to be back in September
Things have been amazing up here and I will be very sad to have to leave! I have been teaching a lot more Math than I anticipated, but I have come to accept that sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!
The students have been somewhat challenging to deal with at times. They come from a variety of backgrounds and home situations, but I find it useful to remember that they are a product of their environment just like anyone else. To that end, I try to create a warm atmosphere with clearly defined rules and expectations. Sticking to KHRPO (knowledgeable; humorous; respectful, patient & organized – all highly desirable characteristics of effective teachers) has been a bit of a goal to aspire to, but I like to think that on the whole I stick to it more than I deviate from it.
I have had the opportunity to do some very interesting things up here: we hosted a family literacy night at the school; we have had several baby celebrations for staff (pregnancy may very well be an airborne condition among teachers up here it seems), and I had the lovely chance to chaperone a group of students to an energy conference in Banff, which was an amazing experience on multiple levels. I look forward to finally getting to check out the farm our school runs this Friday when we host our winter carnival. (a short video about the farm can be found here https://vimeo.com/114310178)
Surprisingly, the climate has been much less harsh than anticipated! I have called my parents on many occasions and been told to stop comparing weather. On the whole, I would encourage anybody to look into teaching in northern Alberta. It’s been quite the experience and I hope to be back in September. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)
It is a wonderful feeling when students “get it”
I am doing my internship at a high school teaching both English and Physical Education. Both of these are very different subjects but it is a wonderful experience. In the Physical Education portion it is very rewarding to do fun things with students while having them be physically active. This is an important part of Physical Education and students have fun while doing so. Students often come to me asking what are we doing in class today and can’t wait for class to begin because they know it is an enjoyable class. I love that I am able to make an impact on my students and they love coming to my classes. Also, being a physical educator at my school involves “gym duty/supervision”. This is another rewarding portion of my internship because while I am not teaching I get an opportunity to get to know the students and connect with them to find out what they like to do. This gives me the chance to lesson plan around the 20th century learning of what students in today’s society are interested in.
In the English portion of my internship it is rewarding to see how well students grow and develop. It is a wonderful feeling when students “get it”. It is very rewarding to know students understand what I am teaching them and that they are able to apply it. I had one class where students said, “Miss you’re an awesome teacher and you make class fun”. This is what teaching is all about, making sure the students are having fun while learning.
Overall, my internship has been a very great learning experience as well as rewarding. I have learned a lot about teaching and how to have more effective classroom management. (Secondary Intern)
I have in fact chosen the right career path
It’s hard to believe that we’re down to the last week of our internships. Where has the time gone? It only seems like yesterday that I walked through the doors of this school, stomach in knots, beyond nervous of what the next few months had in store. This term I’ve been teaching Biology, as well as a basic Math course. I was a little nervous when I found out in January that I would be teaching a basic Math
class on my own, since I was warned that “the class was a doozy”, and I thought that I’d have a lot of trouble with classroom management (out of a total of 30 kids in the class, 24 are boys). At first I did struggle with classroom management, but as time progressed I think the kids began to respect me and therefore I didn’t have as much trouble with classroom management after the first few weeks.
This week my kids are expressing their emotions about me
“Miss, can you just stay and take over?”
“Miss we’re all in basic Math for a reason, but we’re all passing with you! Can you please just stay?”
“Miss, I love the way that you teach, I don’t want you to go!”
It warms my heart to hear these things, and it just reassures me that I have in fact chosen the right career path. It’s going to be sad to leave next week, and I am really going to miss everyone, but hopefully I will see them again! (Secondary Intern)
A truly inspirational journey and an eye-opening experience
This internship has been a truly inspirational journey and an eye-opening experience. I have worked with some amazing students and teachers who have helped me grow as a person. Throughout this experience I have come to know and understand a lot of how teaching works and what it really means to be a teacher. It is not all about teaching in the classroom; there is so much more.
For me, building a relationship with my students has helped me make the best of this experience. They have taught me that it is so important to understand them as individual students and not as an entire class. Treating 25 students as one will get you nowhere in this career. Everyone is different and each student learns differently, and that is what makes every student I teach, and every student there ever was, and ever will be, unique in their own individual ways.
I hope I continue to grow from this journey. I am so sad to leave this school behind and all of the students I have come to know. The last day is nearing, and I am actually dreading it in some ways. I wouldn’t have had such a fabulous time if it were not for these students and teachers.
All that I hoped it would be and more
Before I started my internship, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I was definitely a little anxious and nervous because I realized how important this experience was for the start of my career.
One of my main concerns was how the staff and the students would act towards me. I wanted to have a good relationship with the staff, and I hoped that the students would accept me and treat me with the same respect as they do with their “real” teachers.
Now that the internship is coming to an end, I can say that the experience was all that I hoped it would be and more. I have made some new friends and formed some professional connections that I am sure will benefit me throughout my career. I am looking forward to moving on to the next step of my career, but I will always remember the staff and students that made my first real teaching experience such a positive one. (Intermediate Intern)
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
Written and Illustrated by: Patricia Polacco (1988)
Babushka lived all alone in the country. She was well known for her beautifully painted eggs that she worked on all winter, and she always won first prize at the annual Easter festival in Old Moscow. One winter day as a flock of geese flew overhead, one of them fell from the sky, injured. Babushka took the little goose into her home and nursed her back to health. She named the goose Rechenka, and Rechenka laid an egg every morning for Babushka’s breakfast.
One day when Rechenka was wandering around the house, she knocked over the basket of painted eggs that Babushka had ready for the festival. Poor Babushka felt very sad, and Rechenka felt terrible about what she had accidentally done. Babushka now had no reason to go to the festival.
The next morning when Babushka reached into Rechenka’s basket to get her breakfast egg, she picked up a brilliantly colored egg. “A miracle”, she whispered, “a miracle!” For the next twelve mornings there was a beautifully decorated egg in Rechenka’s basket, each more beautiful than the one before.
Finally it was spring, and the morning of the Easter festival. Babushka knew that Rechenka would soon leave her and return to the wild. As Babushka prepared to go to the festival, she spoke to Rechenka, “ I shall sorely miss you, but you are a wild thing. . . . and a miracle sent you to me. It would not be right to ask you to stay here with me forever.”
Babushka went to the festival, and her friends marveled over her lovely eggs, which seemed to glow as if the paint was part of the shell itself. Babushka won first prize. On her way home she saw a flock of geese overhead and wondered if Rechenka was one of them, and when Babushka got home, Rechenka was gone. But, that night Babushka was awakened by a small sound from Rechenka’s basket. She peeked in and saw a glorious egg, different from the others.
“It quivered and moved. It made tiny muffled sounds….Then, there was a crack and Babushka could see the very special gift that Rechenka had left her.” “All a miracle,” Babushka said. And this little goose remained with Babushka always.
Definitely a book to appeal to the young, and to those who believe in possibilities. Patricia Polacco, through her understanding of human nature and her genius of illustrating, has given us a gift that will live forever in our hearts, just like the little goose remained forever with Babushka.
This Week’s Recommended Web-Site
Journalist Heather Sinclair Wood is a writer-producer for CNN. Heather recently went back to university to do a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree and she wrote an article titled “6 Lessons I Learned as a Student Teacher”.
Read this interesting article at:
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“I learned my numbers today. Just not in a row!”
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“But I have a very good reason why I make
excuses for my child’s poor performance!”
Pics of the Week
Intern Andrew Bullen sent in these 2 pictures from northern Alberta: the first one is of the beautiful northern lights and the 2nd one, a much less beautiful and very muddy one of his Jeep! How’s that for quite the contrast!
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
Research Study: “Educators’ Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Principals”
This week yours truly launched this study online. It’s open to all Newfoundland and Labrador certified teachers/educators in the K-12 school system. Retired teachers are also encouraged to participate.
All participants are eligible to participate in a random draw for an Apple iPad Mini valued at $359.00.
Go to: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/effectiveprincipalsstudy/ and read more about this exciting study.
An advertisement about this study will be posted in the upcoming May-June issue of the NLTA Bulletin.
Concluding Comments From the Editor
That concludes The Monday eMemo for another year. Next year will be year # 10; the first issue will come out on Sunday, January 3, 2016! The editor is currently researching a new way of delivering the eMEMO but we’ll keep you in suspense until next year!
At this time I wish to thank all those interns and others who sent in submissions to the eMemo these past 13 weeks. We realize that these student teachers are extremely busy and their time was at a premium. Their efforts in penning those submissions have been most appreciated and highly informing. Without these submissions, this eMemo would not be possible.
As for NHL hockey this week: Things are starting to heat up with a number of teams still vying for playoff positions. The regular season ends on Saturday, April 11 and the playoffs will start shortly thereafter. The Habs’ last game is that night against the Leafs in Toronto! I’ll have to don my Montreal jersey for that one!
Re St. Bon’s scrimmage hockey this week: Unfortunately, the Forum lost its power Friday night as a result of a pole fire just behind the building and our game was cancelled. Hated to lose a game but better the pole than the Forum itself! Really looking forward to our game next Friday.
Until January 3, 2016, best wishes, everyone, and “see” you then.