Good evening to all and welcome to issue # 5. A tad late getting this eMEMO out due to another pressing commitment earlier today. But, as they say, better late than never! Thank you to those interns who sent in submissions for this issue – most appreciated. Enjoy!
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
Some of them really do look up to us
I am sure most of us Education students become nervous before the internship. My situation was no different. However, after the first couple weeks (which flew by), I started to become very comfortable with the staff and students alike. I never dreamed that I would be able to teach a class without feeling nervous beforehand, but with the help from my co-operating teacher, I was able to do so.
Lesson planning has become part of my daily routine, and although it has been overwhelming at times, it has no doubt been very rewarding. There is no better feeling than after teaching a lesson when you know that the concepts you taught were successfully transmitted to the students.
This internship has definitely solidified my career choice, and I have no doubt that this was the path I was supposed to take. Although I have had many memorable moments over the past four weeks, my most memorable one to date was when I entered the classroom and a student shouted “Yay! Miss is teaching us today!”. What a great way to start off a Monday! It made me realize that these connections we are making with the students really are solidifying, and that some of them really do look up to us. (Intermediate Intern)
Totally smitten and blown away
Four weeks into my internship in an elementary classroom, and I am totally smitten and blown away by how creative, smart, and caring my students are.
The school where I am interning is both strengthened and challenged by the diverse cultural, linguistic, and social backgrounds of the 160 or so students who attend the school. During summer course work, I had the opportunity to prepare a presentation on teaching ESL students, and also had the occasion to do a fair bit of reading on multicultural education. At the time, it felt like little more than theory piled on top of theory. Now, in the classroom, I feel that this knowledge is serving me well, giving me a theoretical base in which to ground the more practical needs of the day to day classroom.
I can’t wait to see what the next three months will hold. I am trying to absorb every bit that I can, so that my future classroom will be as creative, inviting, and full of love as the one I have been welcomed into by my co-operating teacher and my students. (Elementary Intern)
Enlightening and helpful
The experience I have gained this far in my internship has been both enlightening and helpful. Although I have not had the chance to do much teaching as there have been midterm exams going on at the school, I have had the opportunity to sit in on a lot of classes, helping out whenever they need me to.
Recently, I have been working on unit plans and lesson plans, getting prepared for the upcoming weeks of teaching. I am currently spearheading one particular unit because it is new to the curriculum and there is not much to be borrowed, meaning I get to pick quite freely what and how the lessons are taught.
My experiences so far have been great, and the staff are all very friendly. I’m getting to know the students better as the year progresses; I have found this aspect to be an integral part of the teaching profession. I look forward to diving into some classes and gaining valuable teaching experience. (Secondary Intern)
When select students try to push their limits
Thus far my internship has been a great experience! I am placed in a local high school – the same high school I graduated from – and I have a great co-operating teacher. Since the second week of my placement, I’ve been teaching five classes of grade nine Social Studies, and will eventually teach grade nine English and possibly two classes of grade 9 Religion. Despite my great experience so far, my biggest challenge has been when select students try to push their limits (and my buttons) in class by talking too much, not taking notes, or by being inappropriate or disruptive.
Although I am fully aware that they are trying to push their limits, it can still be challenging to curb such behavior before it escalates. My students will usually listen to me when I ask them to pay attention, stop talking, or to take notes, but a few instances have occurred where students will not listen or ignore my requests to focus on the task at hand. My co-operating teacher is really supportive and encourages me to remain adamant and confident in such situations. By following this advice, I feel like I have gained the students’ respect and these incidents happen less frequently.
There have only been one or two extreme circumstances in which the students still did not listen to me, so my co-operating teacher has stepped in to tell the students to pay attention, and to respect and listen to my instruction. Although some students do try to push their limits, my students are wonderful and I am looking forward to continuing teaching them over the next couple of months. I feel so lucky to have such a supportive co-operating teacher and a great group of grade 9 students! (Intermediate Intern)
Like an ice cream twist – there’s both a dark side and a light side
The first month of my internship at the junior high level has been like an ice cream twist – there’s both a dark side and a light side, and it tastes great! There are challenges with balancing work and life, which I’m sure many of you can relate to, and in dealing with incredibly unruly students who seem to enjoy making weird noises and slamming doors, which hopefully many of you cannot relate to.
However, that has been far outweighed by the lighter side of the placement. Getting to know the students and being involved in extra-curricular activities with them, having a lot of positive interactions with the students and staff, and learning a lot about teaching and the details of the job have been incredibly rewarding.
I’ve been able to coach some of the boys in hockey, so it has been great getting to see and know them outside of the classroom environment and they seem to appreciate that as well. We were also able to take the 7’s and 8’s on a ski trip, allowing us to have a lot of fun together in a different setting. Building relationships with the students has definitely been the highlight so far. Every day has presented new scenarios from which to learn, and every day I find my smile is a bit bigger as I walk through the doors in the morning. (Intermediate Intern)
We take to it like the proverbial duck to water
During the first month of my teaching internship, there are many things that came as a surprise to me—things I hadn’t counted on. Things that didn’t surprise me were like how being a “5ft 4” female means that most of my students are bigger and more intimidating than me and how the “butterflies” in my stomach would increase their tempo on my first day to the point that I was sure someone on the outside could hear the furey of their wings.
What surprised me, however, was how much these young people changed and impacted my life. I’m addicted to the high I get when students grasp a concept and I am not immune to the sense of personal failure when they falter.
I truly believe that those who seek out this career, and enjoy it, are the ones who are leaders, organizers, and planners, in the other aspects of their lives. We were the employees and students that our previous employers and teachers could count on because we are driven, and determined to succeed.
Teaching is our element, it is where we live and thrive and we take to it like the proverbial duck to water. It was such a beautiful surprise to have the butterflies ebb away as I started teaching because this, this of all things, was something I knew I could do. (Secondary Intern)
An experience of a lifetime
I can hardly believe the first month of our teaching internship is over. Time flies when you’re having fun, and boy does time fly for teachers. I am teaching both junior and senior high classes in a Northern Alberta high school. Getting the chance to live and teach up north is nothing short of spectacular, and my internship is shaping up to be an experience of a lifetime!
I have managed to balance my role as a teacher and a student, while being engaged with my students both in and out of the classroom. Life is so very different up here, and it has taught me to stay positive and be ready for whatever comes next. I hope to keep my students interested and engaged throughout the next two months, and leave feeling like my teaching journey has just begun. (Intermediate-Secondary Intern)
The kindness of the students as well as the staff members
I am completing my internship at a St. John’s high school. I really enjoy the kindness of the students as well as the staff members. The first few weeks have gone by super quick. It’s hard to believe that February is just around the corner. For the majority of my internship I am with the Phys Ed teacher but for one section in the schedule I am with a World Geography teacher.
I am so happy to be able to get some experience in the classroom since it is where I need it. I feel confident in the gymnasium from having taught my own PE program in northern Manitoba.
This past month has allowed me to come to the realization that I want to be more educated in First Aid. There was an incident a few weeks ago when I needed to act quickly and in an appropriate manner. During a basketball drill a girl lost her footing and tripped into the wall (running full speed) head first. She ended up needing an ambulance to the Janeway to check her vitals and was later informed that she had a minor concussion. She passed out in the gym (the substitute and brought her to the gym office) and let me tell you it was scary! There was a substitute in for my co-operating teacher and we were happy to know we performed the correct precautions. Having more knowledge in First Aid will definitely benefit me in my teaching career. In saying this – it would certainly be helpful for many teachers, especially those in high risk learning environments.
Other than this minor incident everything has been going wonderful!
I feel absolutely spoiled
My first month into the internship has been fantastic! The Phys Ed program at my school is amazing. They have everything they could ever need to run such a vast and complete program. The students get winter survival training, snow shoe adventures, swimming, skating, multi- cultural games, dance, archery, self -defense, wrestling, curling, very informative fitness sessions and appraisals along with the usual territorial games. Of course, it would not be complete without the knowledgeable Physical Education teachers there.
Their program is very informative, diverse, and keeps the students active. I’m happy all the staff treat me like any other staff member in the school. Exams are going on right now lesson planning for the next two months. After exams I plan on popping into some English classrooms on my prep periods to get exposure to the world of the classroom with the sea of desks.
So far the students have been an absolute delight! There are a number of students who like to carry on a conversation with me about their weekend, their extracurricular activities, or debate which superhero is the best. I have had any problems with students I could not handle. I am having a great time and I’m really grateful to be having such a wonderful experience thanks to my co-operating teacher and the school’s staff. I could not have wished for a better school for my internship. By the way, I am teaching at a senior high with a student population of about 800. (Secondary Intern)
Have been able to make a difference
The first two weeks of my winter internship were probably the most challenging because I went to a completely different school from my two week internship so I did not know what to expect. I was also worried because at first some of the students only saw me as an intern and not as a teacher. However, as the weeks have passed, this has improved as the students have become more comfortable talking to me in the classroom and I have also gotten to know them even more.
If there is one thing I have come to conclude about teaching so far is that although I am a teacher in training, I can still be the teacher who makes a difference. Every morning I greet each of my students individually and ask them how they are (even my homeroom students). Some teachers may feel there is no need to get to know their homeroom students because they are only in the class for attendance in the morning which is for a very short time (10 minutes) and then the students go off to their classes.
However, I am glad I made the choice to speak with all my students even the students who are in my homeroom. One day I asked a student from my homeroom class how he was and I found out that the student was very upset. I knew the student was upset because his response was different from every other morning when I asked my students how they were. The student felt comfortable enough to tell me what issues he had that were bothering him and from that day on, I realize that although I may not have as much teaching experience as teachers here at the school, but I have been able to make a difference to students – even to a student I do not even teach. (Secondary Intern)
If We’ve Missed Your Submission
Interns, if you have sent in a submission and for some reason it hasn’t appeared in the eMEMO to date, please bring it to the attention of the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. We receive a significant number of emails during the week, not all related to the eMEMO and sometimes they can get overlooked or buried in the “pile”. Our apologies if this has happened to you.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“It needs editing!”
Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns
Goldie and the Three Hares
Written by: Margie Palatini (2011)
Illustrated by: Jack E. Davis
Papa, Mama, and Baby Hare were having a lovely day down in their rabbit hole, when they heard, “GET ME OTTA HERE”, and that did not sound lovely. When they opened the door they saw a curly golden haired girl with a big, swollen, little foot screaming at the bottom of their steps. If you guessed she was Goldilocks, you are correct. She was running away from the three bears!
The three hares took Goldilocks in because her little foot was getting bigger by the minute. But, Goldilocks did not prove to be a pleasant house guest. When she complained about the chairs, the hares gave her the couch to lie on. Her first demands were, “Hey! I need a pillow here! Now! Quick like a bunny—and remember, not too hard. Not too soft. Just right…And get one for my foot too.”
The hares tried to return to what they were doing before Goldilocks arrived, but they could get no peace. “Uh…? Haven’t we forgotten something here? Like a blanket? I need a blanket!” When she was given a blanket, did she say thank you? “Too scratchy. Too itchy. Too big. Too little. Too hot. Way too skimpy! Actually, I prefer cashmere. And somebody turn up the heat, will you?”
And so the visit continues, with the hares trying several unsuccessful plans to get Goldilocks to leave. I won’t tell you what made Goldilocks leave. You will have to read the book yourself. But… when the hares settled peacefully once again after Goldilocks’ departure, there came another thump outside, and when they peeked through their window they were greeted with “Pardon me. I say, has anyone seen a white rabbit lately?”
A hilarious tale for those familiar with the Three Bears and Alice in Wonderland. The illustrations will captivate young audiences and help to bring the tale alive. Children will want to enjoy this story again and again.
This web-site is a good classroom resource; it provides links to resources that may help with behavioral problems and classroom management. Go to:
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 2)
“Maybe I’m not getting enough Grade A eggs in my diet!”
Former Students’ Update
This article is unavailable this week but will return next week.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“It couldn’t have been me cursing.
It must have been the cursor!”
The Pettty Harbour Mini Aquarium Fundraiser
This is being held on Sat., Feb. 7 and is designed to benefit their operations and education programs. Please contact their executive director, Keith Moore (B. Ed., 2005) for more information (tel: 730-3507; email: email@example.com; web-site: www.miniaqua.org). This is a valuable community resource for teachers and if you’re able to support this fundraiser, we encourage you to do so.
Concluding Comments From the Editor
That takes care of issue # 5.
All is well here in the Faculty of education. We currently have search committees in place for professorships in Educational Leadership, French Immersion, Science Education and Technology Education. We look forward to those committees reviewing applications and developing short lists. The search process is a lengthy one, culminating with short-listed candidates coming in and doing a bunch of interviews along with a Faculty presentation. And then, Faculty input followed by Search Committee recommendations to our Dean.
On a personal note, another great scrimmage hockey game at St. Bon’s this Friday night past. The good news is that yours truly scored; the bad news is that it was against yours truly’s own goalie!!!!!! The details:
I was in a rare defensive mode, standing in front of a goalie trying to prevent Chara-like, Keith Horlick from scoring against us. A shot from the point hit my skate and ricocheted into our net!!!! Woe is me! There’s more! Later in the game I got a pass from someone on our team – was skating over the other team’s blueline and fell right on my derriere – no damage done; only my pride was hurt! Took some ribbing on both of the above incidents. Ah well, there’s always the next game. . . .
On a more + note, les Habs are doing well overall; lost today to the Coyotes but won the previous 2 games. C’est le but and c’est la vie!
Take care – “see” you next week.