Welcome to the 2nd issue of this year’s eMEMO. We’re delighted with the feedback received this past week from teacher interns and we have 10 submissions for your reading pleasure. One of them is all the way from Seoul, South Korea! Enjoy the issue and of course, feedback is always welcomed!
Feedback From This Year’s Interns (2012-2013)
A part of the school community after just one short week
Wow! Only a week has passed and it seems like so much has happened already – staff and department meetings, teaching, preparing lessons, helping prepare assessments, supervision duties, emergency drills and a couple of snow days – we really hit the ground running, didn’t we!
I started teaching on my third day and I’ve been loving it. I’ve only started with one grade, but I’m looking forward to taking on a heavier load next week. Also, I’ll be starting with the Breakfast Program and Homework Club next week as well.
I feel very fortunate to have been placed at a fantastic school with a great co-operating teacher. All of the staff and administration have been very welcoming, providing me with tidbits of information and guiding me through my first week.
With the academics, school programs, and the welcoming environment, I really feel like I’m a part of the school community after just one short week. (Intermediate Intern)
Can’t wait to see what next week brings
In this first week of interning I was graciously welcomed to the school by both the staff and students. I am now beginning to lead more lessons in the classroom and am really enjoying doing so.
I can’t help but mention that the snowstorm really has everyone a little crazy this week; I guess potential snow days do that to people. Even, in the midst of all the craziness our class was still able to do some quality learning and have fun. Can’t wait to see what next week brings! (Elementary Intern)
Been introduced to so many different teaching techniques
I am completing my internship at a primary school not that far from St. John’s. It is such an amazing school with phenomenal staff members. I completed my observation days here as well. I knew from the first day that I wanted to be placed at this school.
Any student would learn a tremendous amount of valuable information from any teacher at this school. This past week I have been introduced to so many different teaching techniques. My co-operating teacher has so many classroom management strategies that work very well especially in Kindergarten. I am very excited to learn new things from the staff at this school so I can become a great educator for students.
P.S. I’m going to enjoy my 1 and 1/2 snow days!!!
Going great so far
My internship is going great so far! I am in a grade five classroom in a small community in Newfoundland. At first I was somewhat nervous as I didn’t know what to expect, but once I got there the staff made me feel completely at home which was great.
My class is wonderful, and my co-operating teacher is very helpful and I am learning so much already. I have already taken on some of the roles of a classroom teacher, and I look forward to taking on more as the internship progresses.
It is so great to actually be out in the school because it gives us the opportunity to take all that we have learned so far in the faculty and apply it in a classroom setting! Looking forward to what’s to come! (Elementary Intern)
First few days were a little stressful
As a student who is doing my internship out of province, you can imagine that the first few days were a little stressful. I had no idea where I was going, I didn’t know any of the teachers and I didn’t know any of the students.
I haven’t made the transition to teaching yet, I’ve just been helping out around the classroom with questions and math support. However, I’ve been learning so much and seeing so many great alternatives to traditional schooling.
First of all, students can either change into their indoor sneakers or walk around school in their socks. I really think that it makes the school more comfortable
for the children. Yesterday we gave our students different colored white board markers so that we could see that all members were included and had them work through group problems on the whiteboards or windows. Also, the students in my computer courses have so many choices in what they wish to learn. One group didn’t want to learn the topics that the teacher outlined so I’m teaching them how to edit videos instead.
Finally, I’m learning about so many different cultures. Since I’ve started we’ve had students who have just moved to Canada from Africa and the Ukraine come join us. It’s been a great week! (Intermediate Intern)
Looking forward to the next few months
The first week of my internship has been a little hectic. I am currently interning at a private school for expats in Seoul, South Korea, and having to get used to a 13 hour time difference, and the culture shock is a little disorienting.
This week I have been spending my morning with a grade 8 science class, while finding other classes to observe during the afternoons (I will also be working in a High School Biology class; however, it is currently exam week for them).
The teacher I am working with is considered to be a master teacher and has an amazing rapport with his students. I am really looking forward to working with and learning from him throughout the internship.
Many of the perceptions I had about middle school have been completely wrong. It is amazing to see the difference between my experience during the early internship and what I am experiencing now. I think many of the differences are due to the culture: students not only seem to respect their teachers to a greater degree, but they seem consistently motivated to participate and excel in school. I am looking forward to the next few months here!
Have already made a quick transition
With about a week and a half into the internship I feel I have already made a quick transition from student to teacher. Leading up to the internship I was a little nervous.
Although I am returning to the same school I had attended as a teenager, I was uncertain how to conduct myself around the people who only a few years ago were my teachers. I was also unsure about what responsibilities to assume right away.
To my relief the staff room proved to be a comfortable and welcoming environment in which I quickly connected to many of the staff. With regards to responsibilities and duties all uncertainty was cleared up through my co-operating teacher allowing me to jump into teaching right away.
By the 2nd day I was co-teaching and throughout this week I have already created my own lesson plans and have taught many full classes.
I have also had the opportunity to help out with after school teams as well as helping in the planning of programs that will start in the upcoming weeks. I feel very much a part of the teaching community at my school and I’m glad the transition from an observation student to a teacher has been a very quick and smooth one. Looking forward to the rest of the journey! (Intermediate Intern)
I no longer felt nervous
On the first day of my internship we had a meeting with the principal of the school. I was among two other interns and the principal looked at me and said your co-operating teacher is very intense and a hard worker and will be expecting the same from you. The principal did not say anything along those lines to the other interns which made me nervous and somewhat intimidated although I am sure the principal did not intend to make me feel that way. Once I met my co-operating I no longer felt nervous; she welcomed me into her class and has been getting me
to participate in her classes since day one.
She has developed a great rapport with all her students and I am looking forward to completing my internship in
her classes. I believe I will learn a great deal from her as I have already learned so much in the short time I have been at the school.
Good luck to all my fellow interns and I hope everyone has a great experience. (Secondary Intern)
Can’t wait to start teaching more classes
My internship has been going great so far. I was nervous at first but my school has been very welcoming and I have felt included by the staff and students.
My co-operating teacher has been going out of her way to introduce me to the world of teaching and help in any way that she can.
I taught my first lesson at the end of the week and was pleased with how it went over with the class. I can’t wait to start teaching more classes and become involved with school functions and activities. (Elementary Intern)
Looking forward to the rest of my internship
I am 3 days into my internship and have loved every minute! Although it took a day or two for the students, teachers, and myself to get back into the swing
of things after the Christmas break, the ball is now rolling. I was fortunate enough to end up back at the same school where I did my 2 week introductory internshipt. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that at first but now I’ve realized that it has its bonuses as the staff and students all remembered me and I could continue to build relationships with the students. I feel much more comfortable this time around. Especially outside the classroom, it is nice to sit down with the other teachers in the staff room and discuss, chat and laugh.
I am already involved in extra-curricular activities in the school as well which is exciting and fun!
I am certainly looking forward to the rest of my internship and hopefully the rest of a long and enjoyable career as a teacher. (Secondary Intern)
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“Cheating? I was just asking him to help us close the achievement gap in this class!””
Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns
P is for Puffin: A Newfoundland and Labrador Alphabet
Written by: Janet Skirving
Illustrated by: Odell Archibald
Chelsea, MI: Thomson Gale, 2006
Janet Skirving is from St. John’s and attended Memorial University, and Odell Archibald is from Stephenville Crossing. Yours truly had the pleasure of attending the book launch where they were both present. I am also privileged to own the original oil painting of the ugly sticks for the letter U. The book is one of a series of alphabet books for each province of Canada, meant for children and adults of all ages. Each letter is illustrated, with a rhyme for the young part of our hearts, and then historical and current information about that which the letter represents. For example, the rhyme for ugly sticks is:
Can you follow the beat of the music?
Any instrument will do.
It really doesn’t matter
Even an Ugly stick that begins with U.
And, what do you think was chosen for the letter D? It was one of the first paintings to be sold—that of the Newfoundland Dog!
Another painting to be sold quickly was that of the Newfie Bullet—what better way to choose to represent N? The information tells about the Newfie Bullet’s first day: “On June 29, 1898, Newfoundland’s very first express train steamed out of St. John’s and arrived in Port aux Basques on the west coast more than 27 hours later.” We are then told how the train got its name and given more historical information. Any readers of the eMEMO know how the train got its name?
This is a proud, wonderful rendition of Newfoundland history, worth reading and enjoying the illustrations, and certainly worth owning. The books in the series are written and illustrated by different people from each province, and would make a valuable contribution to any class library.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“You must be the new hire. Welcome aboard. Here’s our prepackaged curriculum. If time permits, encourage critical thinking.”
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“I think it’s some kind of old-fashioned social-networking tool.”
Asking Questions in Class
The most basic principle of wait time is that a question is followed by a minimum of 3 seconds of silence so that every student has the time to collect his/her thoughts and devise an answer. Then a student is selected and that student is given as long a time as it takes to collect his/her thoughts prior to answering.
By waiting for as long as it takes the student to answer, the teacher conveys the unequivocal message that s/he cares about the individual and that the student must take responsibility for learning.
After only a week of consistent use, you should see a change in your students’ approach to questions and their preparation for class. (Source: MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL TEACHING: Methods, Standards, and Best Practices by J. A. Duplass, 2006)
Concluding Comment From the Editor
That concludes issue # 2. As mentioned in the introductory comment, I’m absolutely delighted with the wonderful response from interns this past week. 10 submissions is indeed a record number for issue # 2 in any of the previous years’ publications.
As alluded to in one of the submissions, teachers here on the Avalon Peninsula had a day and a half “storm days” this week. Almost 60 cms of snow! I’m sure I had close to a 100 cms in my driveway! But the rain, drizzle and fog has certainly been doing its work and several cms have already disappeared; it feels like the spring of the year here in St. John’s.
An obvious “casualty” of Thursday’s storm was our scrimmage game at St. Bon’s on Friday night. Oh well, these things happen and was definitely beyond our control. We’re all looking forward to next week’s game and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the return of Hockey Night in Canada with the Habs v. the Leafs game Saturday night. Hopefully, I’ll be able to send a few shots “across the bow” of those Leafs’ fans this time next Sunday or otherwise, “eat turkey”, contingent of course, on the outcome of that game Saturday night. C’est le but!
Oh, one minor mistake in last week’s issue: I said that one of our goalies, Jon Bennett hailed from Botwood; should have been Lewisporte! Thanks to my Ed 4005 student, Shane Morgan for pointing that out to me!
And lastly, best wishes to my Ed 4005 student, Kim Devison (from Waterloo, ON), a 5th year member of the MUN SeaHawks women’s basketball team on their games tomorrow Monday and Tuesday, January 14 and 15 against Cape Breton University in Sydney, NS and here at Field House next Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 19 and 20) week against the Dalhousie Tigers.
Had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Kim’s parents, Judy and Dwayne at one of the games at Field House back in the fall. Needless to say, we had quite the chat!!!!!!!!!
Best wishes, interns, on your 2nd full week.
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