Greetings everyone and welcome to issue # 11, only 1 issue remaining after this one. The forecast is calling for some white stuff here today – hopefully a cosmetic amount! And, if you’re Irish-minded, best wishes on the upcoming St. Paddy’s Day and weekend.
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
I have loved watching my students grow
I could not have asked for a better internship especially working with my amazing co-op teacher and all of the incredible teachers at the school who have all been so helpful and welcoming.
I’ve become so comfortable at my school and with my students that I don’t even want to think about how close the end is! I have loved watching my students grow and expand their learning throughout the last few months.
I have taken over a few subjects and taught a unit of the Math curriculum. To see the children go from not knowing a concept to helping them learn and to be able to apply it is so rewarding and makes the stress worth it. I feel I have learned so much from the last three months with how to deal with different behaviors in students to what methods of teaching students really understand.
I hope everyone truly enjoyed their internships and learned lots from teachers and students alike. (Primary Intern)
When students complain about the amount of work that is assigned to them
I think the most annoying aspect of the internship is when students complain about the amount of work that is assigned to them. Last weekend I assigned 4 quizzes online for the weekend (the course has an online section) but they had from Wednesday till Sunday to complete them. One student emailed one and voiced his opinion that it was too much work; he stated he had 3 other courses, work, and a life.
I merely said I would take it into consideration the next time. I cringed at this email, thinking that next year the majority of these students will be attending post-secondary institutes. I believe they will not be able to keep up with the rigorous work of university and college level courses. As much as I like all of my students, I think they do not know what is in store for them. (Secondary Intern)
The internship has taught me so much about myself
This internship has taught me so much about myself and showed me that I am extremely capable of being a very successful teacher. I have grown so much as a person and now have a great idea of the teacher I am.
The school atmosphere is like home to me and I know I made the right choice by choosing to become an educator.
I have so many positive things to say that after thinking for a minute, not a negative thing comes to mind. The students actually appreciate my efforts and love how I’ve differentiated myself from my co-operating teacher and that am doing new and exciting things in the classroom.
I feel so equipped to continue on in my career and be the best teacher I could ever possibly hope to be. I want to be the teacher that everyone wants to return to see years after graduation and remember for a life time. (Secondary Intern)
Walking away from this internship with a newfound level of confidence
As the last two weeks approach, I feel emotional thinking about leaving all my students. Returning to the school that I attended for junior high was such an odd, yet exciting experience. Experiencing how a school operates and how much time and effort teachers put into their jobs behind the scenes, and the fact that both co-operating teachers have been excellent role models for me. I will be walking away from this internship with a newfound level of confidence in myself as a teacher after this experience.
Furthermore I will have an abundant amount of resources and teaching styles that will carry me as a new teacher. I have learned a great deal about this profession and feel that I will certainly enjoy my career as a teacher. (Intermediate Intern)
The most enjoyable thing thus far for me has been the relationships
The most enjoyable thing thus far for me has been the relationships I have built within the school community.
When I began my internship, I had never imagined how significant the bonds I created with my students would be. Each one has impacted me in some sort of way. The other side of it is the relationships I have built with other teachers, not just my co-operating teacher, but the other teachers at the school who have given me guidance throughout the internship.
Another thing I’m going to miss is the teaching aspect of the internship. Coming up with an engaging lesson that the students really enjoy is such a rewarding feeling.
The internship has really made me look forward to my future career of teaching! (Intermediate-Secondary Intern)
I have had some amazing experience and I have also experienced things that I do not wish upon my worst enemy
Throughout the time I’ve spent at my school, I have had some amazing experiences! I have also had experienced things that I do not wish upon my worst enemy, the loss of a student.
During my short time at this school, I have lost two students, one over Christmas break in a car accident and another lost her long fought battle with cancer.
How do you look at your students and begin to comfort them? Students who sat behind their friend in the car accident that ended her life, or comfort a group of girls who lost their best friend and one of whom lost her twin sister. I hope no one ever has to sit at a funeral for one of their students and watch your entire class morn a loss.
But these students are amazing and strong individuals! Although they are going through some incredibly tough times, they never fail to brighten my day. They are wonderful and intelligent young people and I learn from them every day.
Apart from the sad times, I have loved every moment of my internship. I already have students begging me to stay and one who said he would hold me hostage so I couldn’t leave! I can’t believe we are coming to the end! I hope everyone enjoys these last two weeks to the fullest and cherishes every moment. (Secondary Intern)
I honestly went into it with moderately low expectations
When my internship started three months ago, I honestly went into it with moderately low expectations. I didn’t want to set too high expectations as I didn’t want to end up being disappointed at the end of three months.
However, I’m glad to say that things went exceptionally well, and I have to admit that it was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things that I have ever done in my life. It’s amazing to see how much of an impact my short teaching career has had on both myself and my students. It was fun to make relationships with each and every student and it’s nice knowing that I’m not even gone and they’re already anticipating my return.
Small things such as, “I wish you were our full time teacher” means a lot. One of my most rewarding things which I accomplished is help struggling students improve their marks and achieve to the best of their ability as they realize their full potential. (Intermediate-Secondary Intern)
Quote of the Week
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“Is it an open-minded test?”
Recommended Book Resource for Primary & Elementary Interns
If Kids Ran the World
Leo & Diane Dillon (2014)
The celebration of children runs throughout this book, from the font with the childlike “a” to the colorfully clothed children on every page and the language of children that dominates the prose. If you ran the world, what would you do? The first page begins to tell us, “If kids ran the world, we would make it a kinder, better place”.
Narrated by “kids”, there is a message for adults: “We’d take care of the most important things”. These most important things include feeding hungry people delicious food; safe housing for everyone that will not ruin the environment; medicine and visitors for the sick; more time for laughter and playing; no bullying; schools for all children with lots of books, music, art, and sports; people dressing however they wanted; children living with people who loved them; more protected forests; parks for everyone; no litter; religious freedom, and so forth. The authors included just about everything that children could possibly think of, with bright colorful illustrations that represent hope.
A mantra from the children was that “friendship, kindness, and generosity would be worth more than money”. And why did the kids think these things would be possible? Because…
“kids know that the most important thing in the world isn’t money, or being king or queen, or pushing other people around. It’s love: giving it, sharing it, showing it.”
“And that’s why, if kids ran the world, we’d make it a wonderful place for everyone to live. Grown-ups, too.”
Leo, the husband in this wonderful team who have written and illustrated many books for children, did not get to see this book published. He died in 2012, and this book is dedicated to him. This optimistic story does justice to the lifetime work of Leo Dillon and will be enjoyed by many children from many places.
A Little Bit of Levity
The following anecdote was received from one of my former Education Law (Education 4641) students who graduated with a B.Ed. (Intermediate/Secondary) not that long ago.
I’m writing to tell you that one of your most-used examples and my most-feared sub days came to be a reality yesterday. I was called in to a certain high school to substitute in the Tech lab for a certain teacher.
You’ll recall that one of your favorite examples for negligence and liability was yours truly doing this very thing, and deciding to leave for a moment to go to a Tim Horton’s outlet during class when of course a student would misuse a saw and lose a finger!
Of course, the latter section of that was not a reality, but the call alone was enough to give me a little anxiety about the day’s impending liability. With this on my mind (and with one of my former B. Ed. classmate’s advice: “It was an EXAMPLE, not a prophecy!”), I went to work. In the very first period, a student had the audacity to ask me: “Miss, go on a Tim’s run for us will you?”. My blood ran cold!!!!!
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“We make choices every day, Albert. Which will it be?”
Education Law Corner
In last week’s issue I discussed a categorization of teacher misconduct in Canada that I developed as a result of researching such conduct in British Columbia and Ontario. These are the only 2 provinces in Canada that, to the best of my knowledge, publish the specifics of their teacher misconduct cases.
Category 2 refers to teacher misconduct of a sexual nature.
There is indeed a paucity of research on teacher sexual misconduct in Canada and consequently, statistics applicable to the total Canadian teacher population are either non-existent or very hard to come by. . However, Shakeshaft (2004) does offer some statistical insight into the United States context:
To get a sense of the extent of the number of students who have been targets of educator sexual misconduct, I applied the percent of students who report experiencing educator sexual misconduct to the population of all K-12 students. Based on the assumption that the American Association of University Women (AAUW) surveys accurately represent the experiences of all K-12 students, more than 4.5 million students are subject to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade. (p. 18)
Shakeshaft (2004) does acknowledge that there may be limitations to the numbers stated in her study. However, surprisingly, she has suggested that those limitations may have resulted in an under-estimating of the actual overall statistical picture in the United States (U.S.):
Possible limitations of the study would all suggest that the findings reported here under-estimate educator sexual misconduct in schools. The limitations which might result in under reporting are:
- Students report on their entire school career, thus making it difficult to determine prevalence by year or grade.
- Sample includes only 8th to 11th-graders which might miss earlier incidents not remembered later.
- Questions on educator sexual misconduct are limited.
- Analysis was broad-brushed and cursory, excluding many details of educator sexual misconduct.
- Survey only asked about incidents that were unwanted, excluding reports of misconduct that were either welcome or that did not fall into either a welcome or unwelcome category. (p. 18)
It would be unwise to extrapolate these U. S. numbers to our Canadian situation. However, given the increasing prevalence of teachers in Canada being involved in sexual misconduct with students as reported in the various media in recent years (TC Magazine, Professionally Speaking, LEARN), one can conclude that this is indeed a problem area in our schools. In reviewing the various teacher misconduct cases in Ontario from 2007-2012, 33.3% of the complaints acted upon by the OCT were of a sexual nature. In British Columbia, that percentage was 40.0%.
Shakeshaft, C. (2004). Educator sexual misconduct: A synthesis of existing literature. Long Island, NY: Hofstra University.
The author is continuing his study titled “Educators’ Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Principals”. If you are currently a teacher in the Newfoundland and Labrador school system (private or public) and are interested in participating, please go to the following website:
The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. This study is also open to all retired teachers in this province.
If you participate and would like to be entered into a draw for an Apple iPad Mini 2 WiFi 32GB (valued at $359.00), please follow the instructions in that section of the website.
International Teaching Positions
Maple Leaf Educational Systems, a Canadian company, operates a number of schools in China. If you are interested in the possibility of teaching in China, please go to their website:
Further information can be obtained by contacting Mr. Archie MacEachern (Teacher Recruitment Representative for Atlantic Canada)
Another company, Randstad Education, is currently recruiting teachers for jobs in the United Kingdom. For further information, please contact Ms. Emily Brady (email@example.com).
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“Do you speak Pig Latin?”
Concluding Comment From The Editor
That takes care of issue # 11. A special thank you to those interns who sent in submissions for this issue – very much appreciated.
Hockey-wise, no call from the sister-in-law in Stephenville last night!
Both the Habs and the Leafs lost their respective games – I guess that negated a phone call from either one of us – no gloating required!
Re our game at St. Bon’s Friday night, got another goal and at the risk of being a tad boastful, I have to say it was indeed “a thing of beauty”! Was skating down the right wing, got a pass, aimed and shot at the space between the goalie’s right post and his arm, and, lo and behold, “c’est le but”!
AHL hockey: great game at Mile One – last night (Saturday) the Ice-Caps defeated the Washington Capitals’ farm team, the Hershey Bears by a score of 2-1, an excellent game! They play again today at 4:00 pm – should be another great game.
Until next Sunday, have a great week, everyone – Jerome