January is but a memory and here we are into the month of February already. Welcome to issue # 6. We’ve been receiving a fair amount of feedback from the intermediate/secondary interns and your taking the time to provide us with these submissions is most appreciated. We would like to hear more from the primary/elementary interns as this eMEMO is intended for all levels in the K-12 system. Enjoy!
FEEDBACK FROM THIS YEAR’S INTERNS
They are moody and hormonal [but] sincere, inquisitive and responsive
I cannot believe that we have just finished up week five of the internship. This semester, like the last, is speeding past. After December’s finals I really did not think it possible to learn any more than I already had. I mean, where would I squeeze more information? I now realize that I could not have been more wrong!
There is nothing like standing in front of a Grade Nine class to make you realize how very much you have left to learn. To say that junior high kids are challenging is quite the understatement.
They are moody and hormonal and test the boundaries at every opportunity. Thankfully, they are also sincere and inquisitive and responsive to every effort you make on their behalf. They participate in class discussions and laugh at my lame jokes! They certainly keep me on my toes!
Surprisingly, despite my initial doubts, I now see myself remaining with this age group. Though each day I return home exhausted, I am excited to start each new morning! Becoming a teacher was a great decision! (Intermediate Intern)
To the London Dungeons and Parliament Buildings
Hello from the UK! I am just over a month into my internship in the UK and I am loving it more andmore each day. I am teaching Geography at a secondary school in Harlow, England.I teach year 7, 8, 9 and 10 which is really grade 6, 7 ,8 and 9 in Canada! The topics covered in the curriculum are very similar to those taught in Canada. I have also had the opportunity to go on field trips with students to the London Dungeons and the Parliament Buildings. There are many Canadian teachers at my school so I never feel too far from home! Overall, I am having a great experience and am enjoying the opportunity to teach in the British school system and travel on the side! (Intermediate Intern)
The opportunity to face my biggest fears
I am interning in a French immersion classroom in a junior high school. This is the same school where I completed my observation days.
I am gaining more confidence as time goes on and my French communication skills are improving every day. Although teaching is much more challenging than I first realized, I am learning so much and I am starting to think of myself as a soon-to-be teacher. Wow!
Just writing this makes me realize that we will soon become teachers. It feels like yesterday when I first started this program. Every day I learn something new in school and I realize that I can do so much to mentor students in the classroom, corridors, or wherever I encounter students. I am currently co-mentoring a student who is at risk of failing Mathematics, which is a challenging yet rewarding endeavor.
I am also currently pursuing personal interests in media and technology with the school’s MCAST media production group and this helps me to build rapport with the students. I feel like I am finally becoming part of the school community and I am taking every possible opportunity to learn new skills and become involved with extracurricular activities and initiatives. This is a true accomplishment!
During my internship, I have also had the opportunity to face my biggest fears in the classroom and to push myself beyond my limits. I actually successfully taught my first Math lesson today, despite my personal struggles with this subject. Students even comment on my lessons and I am starting to receive some positive feedback.
This proves that we can do so much when we put our minds to the task and set our goals high. Good luck everyone! I know you will all ace your internships and face every challenge with great skill and determination!
It is somewhat jarring
My internship has been off to an interesting start. It has been an odd feeling for me to transition into the role of a teacher especially since in some of my classes the students are only four years younger than me. However I feel that my internship is off to a good start. My school has a large staff with a great deal of collaboration between teachers. I find this environment ideal for my purposes because it provides me the chance to observe a variety of teaching strategies to better develop my own style in the classroom. It is somewhat jarring to try to adjust to this new environment after spending the first part of my education as a teacher in the purely theoretical framework of university courses. However, my cooperating teachers have been immensely helpful in showing me the steps involved in bringing the learning theories we studied intothe classroom. I have found my internship to be a very rewarding andenlightening experience so far. (Secondary Intern)
Fake it ‘til you make it
Well it’s been a month now and all I can say is that the internship has wiped away any reservations or regrets that I may have had regarding the teaching profession! I have truly been blessed to be placed at a school where the staff have been nothing but accommodating and resourceful. From our Education 4005 (Effective Teaching) classes we learned students desire teachers who are knowledgeable, humorous, respectful, patient and organized. During my internship I have realized that it is not only students who appreciate and desire these character traits of teachers but interns, colleagues, administration and parents alike.
I believe that I have been successful in my internship because I have followed these guidelines and have been fortunate enough to have been placed with a co-operating teacher who has mastered these characteristics.
I truly believe that if we know what we are talking about, respect the personal qualities of our students, are patient with their learning needs and are organized and prepared for our lessons, then there is no way we can fail. If you can add a bit of humor here and there as well, then you too can master the art of teaching. As we all have figured out by now, it is certainly an art and until you have completely figured it out, remember to “fake it ‘til you make it”, all while being prepared of course! (Secondary Intern)
My internship is going well
I am happy to say that my internship is going well. I feel very fortunate to be working with a great staff at the school where I was placed. They have all been very friendly, supportive, welcoming and willing to offer advice. One of the most positive and uplifting aspects of my education internship was noticing the integration of the challenging needs students into the Art courses which I am teaching. Inclusion is currently a hot topic in education and I am happy to see that my co-operating school has risen to the occasion and granted every student an equal opportunity to learn, develop and gain hands on experience in the arts. Inclusion may cause more work when creating lesson plans but in the end, it should contribute to a more enriching experience for all students. I think teachers should do their best to see that every student, no matter what their ability, should be given the opportunity to reach their potential. (Secondary Intern)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
If a child can’t learn the way we teach, then maybe we should teach the way the child learns. (Ignacio Estrada)
FROM THE LITERATURE
As a result of observation and analysis, Jacob Kounin (1970) described what effective classroom managers do. To create and maintain a positive and productive learning environment, teachers must practice withitness. This term refers to a teacher’s awareness of what’s going on in the whole classroom, which enables the teacher to step in when needed to keep the environment positive. Teacher withitness often surprises students because they perceive the teacher must have eyes in the back of his or her head. Withitness allows teachers to do what Kounin calls overlapping, which means multitasking, or taking care of several things at once. A teacher who has withitness and the ability to overlap can help a small group with an assignment, see a student pestering another student, and give a “cut-it-out” look while answering a question and checking the clock to see how much time remains in the class period. (To be continued next week)
Reference: Powell, S. D (2009). Introduction to education: Explorations in teaching. Boston: Pearson.
RECOMMENDED BOOK RESOURCE FOR PRIMARY & ELEMENTARY INTERNS
The Boy Who Painted Dragons
Written and illustrated by: Demi
New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007
Ping painted dragons everywhere. He told his friends that he loved dragons, but he was secretly terrified of them. The real dragons in heaven were happy with Ping, so one day the Heavenly Dragon visited Ping, and discovered that Ping painted dragons out of fear. The dragon gave Ping three pearls on which were inscribed “Seek your truth”, “Find your truth”, and “Dare to be true”.
Ping went on an adventure to accomplish these challenges. He returned with all the power and wisdom of the dragons inside himself, and painted with joy instead of fear. Demi used paint and ink and with Chinese silk brocade to beautifully illustrate this mystical tale, with her signature gold embellishments. It is a treat for all those who seek the truth, find the truth, and dare to be true.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE (PART 1)
“They never quit, do they?”
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE (PART 2)
“I’m good under pressure. I get all my
homework done during the commercials.”
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE (PART 3)
“When I approved your field trip, Ms. Harris, I assumed you’d be going along with your class!”
SUCCESSFUL PHD (EDUCATION) DEFENCE
Congratulations to our student, Ellyn Lyle of Prince Edward Island, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation on Friday, Feb. 4. Ellyn received a “Pass with Distinction”. Congratulations also to her supervisor, Dr. Barrie Barrell.
Yours truly had the pleasure and privilege of being a member of the Examination Committee along with colleague, Art Education professor, Dr. Heather McLeod and Curriculum professor, Dr. Basil Favaro of the Faculty of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island. Dr. Faye Murrin, associate dean of the School of Graduate Studies, chaired the defence.
Well done indeed, Dr. Ellyn, and best wishes on your future endeavors.
That concludes issue # 6.
Thank you to those interns who submitted feedback for this issue; the time and effort you took in preparing those submissions is most appreciated.
As this issue is “going to print”, we’re anticipating another round of snowy weather, 15 cms in total accumulation according to Environment Canada. Not sure if this will translate into a “snow day” tomorrow Monday! Personally, I think someone should press the “stop button” on the snow – no need for any more.
Have a great week everyone.
Feedback or submissions are highly encouraged by contacting the editor: