Greetings from a very wet and very soggy St. John’s! Environment Canada is predicting up to 40 mm of rain today along with high winds. Yuk! I keep saying that we don’t live in Newfoundland for the weather; we definitely live here for other reasons. Anyways, this is issue # 7 and as of this week, interns, you’re halfway through the internship. As one of you mentioned in one of today’s submissions, “time flies when you’re having fun”. Enjoy!
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
Howe easy the transition really was
I am currently doing my internship in the same school that I did my observations days. When I started, I was nervous about what would happen. Now that I have been in the school for six weeks I am amazed at how easy the transition really was.
This internship has taught me to never take for granted the little things in the classroom. For example, I started reading a novel to my students after lunch every day and one student who would never pick up a book for silent reading before, is now sitting on the floor with his own copy of the book, reading along.
This internship has been an amazing learning experience so far and I hope it continues to be. Each day brings its ups and downs and it is amazing how no day is ever alike. It keeps the classroom exciting for sure. (Elementary Intern)
Having a great time at my old high school
I am having a great time at my old high school. It is nice to work at a school where there are so many familiar faces. I am in Grade 7 Social Studies, Grade 8/9 Social Studies and Language Arts, Grade 10 English and Canadian History and Grade 12 English.
My favorite part so far is teaching the Grade 8’s and 9’s Romeo and Juliet. It is fun listening to them read Shakespeare for the first time. There are a lot of noticeable differences in the school since I graduated in 2001. There is a Skilled Trades classroom, a room full of gym equipment and a large selection of musical instruments. The class sizes are now no larger than 15 students which is just right in my opinion. I can see myself teaching in a rural setting. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)
I have learned so much
I have completed the sixth week of my internship and thus far have had an amazing experience. The staff at my school are very friendly and welcoming and they are willing to help in whichever way that they can.
I am doing my internship in grade one with a teacher who has been teaching for twenty years and I have learned so much from her already. She is a gifted teacher and I am confident that I will continue to learn a lot from her throughout the remainder of the internship.
First starting out I was a little nervous but as my co-operating teacher had assured me, the more I taught, the less nervous I would be and the more natural, teaching would become. In the past weeks I have become more familiar with the technologies of the school, including the Smart Board and have made the transition from observing to teaching a significant amount of time each day.
As I get to know the students in my class better, I am learning to teach lessons that will cater to the diverse needs and abilities in the classroom. I look forward to spending more time with my class and I am very excited to see what the next seven weeks have in store. (Primary Intern)
Everything has gone amazingly well
My internship has been going great so far. At first I felt really nervous in
the classroom but every day that goes by is better than the last.
I now know every student’s name and I’m joking around with them. The Grade 7’s even cheered the first time my co-operating teacher said that I would be teaching so that was a great boost to my self-confidence. They said that they really enjoyed the class that day because I had used the Smart Board in the classroom to make an interactive math quiz for them. At the moment I have fully taken over 3 classes and I will soon be taking over a 4th class in the next week or so. I’ve already made use of a couple of classroom management strategies discussed in our Effective Teaching class such as standing near disruptive students and standing in front of the class and not saying anything; they definitely get the picture and quiet down. Overall, everything has gone amazingly well and I can’t wait to be out doing this as my career. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)
Going great so far
My internship is going great so far. I am teaching three classes in total, two of which are in French. I have a grade 11 French Immersion Law class, a grade 11/12 split core French class and a grade 11 World History class in English.
The law class is tough (being as I have a French and Social Studies background and not Law!!) but also because they don’t speak up in class.
. . like EVER!!!! The other day I did a quite a long presentation on the Nuremberg Trials and I tried to get them to say whether the defendants should have been killed or released. . . crickets!!!! I was dying before the class trying to get them to interact, even my co-operating teacher was getting frustrated. They are not an interactive bunch and are super quiet but I guess with the good comes bad!!!!
My World History class is great. They are almost as keen as I am about History which makes them a fun class. My Core French class is made up of 4 grade 12 immersion drop-outs and 6 grade 11 Core French students that are keen all around students but look at me like I have 2 heads when I speak to them in French (what a concept!). I was even told by one of the parents (who I know) that her daughter thinks I’m tough. . . me! I guess that means I am doing my job well, ha ha ha ha (I still get a kick out of that!!). (Secondary Intern)
The weeks have been zooming by
My internship is going great. It was off to a slow start since I did not start teaching until mid-terms were over. Now that I have started teaching the weeks have been zooming by.
I am teaching one Science course, which is my focus area and three Math courses, which is not my focus and I have not taken a methodology course for. I have taken this challenge of teaching a course I am not extremely comfortable with in stride and teaching Math is slowing becoming like second nature to me. I have also learned the art of making worksheets using manual cut and paste, aka scissors and tape, which I was told were a teacher’s best friend.
My students have been thus far well behaved and I have not encountered
any discipline problems yet besides the casual chatty student. I am learning many tips and teaching strategies from my co-operating teacher that I can take with me in my future teaching endeavors. (Intermediate Intern)
The classes are all good to teach
My internship so far has been going very well. The classes are all good to teach and I am currently teaching all Physical Education classes which include PE 2100, PE 3100 and Healthy Living 1200.
All of the students are very co-operative and just as I suspected, many call me by my first name. I’ve told them repeatedly not to but many continue to do so.
My co-operating teacher has been very helpful and she is very knowledgeable in the subject area. She allowed me to teach her favorite class first because she knew that they would be very co-operative and allow my first teaching experience to be successful. I really appreciated that and I feel like I really lucked out with getting the co-operating teacher that I have.
The school administration and staff have all been very welcoming to me. It’s a little different being inside the staff room and hearing all the stories but it is also nice to get that perspective.
Overall, my internship has been outstanding and I can’t believe how fast the time is going. We’ve been in the school for a month and a half and it only seems like it’s been two weeks. I guess that means that it has been good because as they say, “time flies when you’re having fun”.
Been very busy
My internship has been very busy because I am so involved in extracurricular activities. I am coaching a couple of teams and I have found that this allows one to develop some very positive relationships with those students. I have then used these relationships to help with classroom management. The students have seen that I am willing to put in extra time after school so they can play a sport they love and in turn they have gained a higher level of respect for me.
As a Physical Education student I have always enjoyed playing and being involved in sports but I think that coaching is now my favorite part. That said, I am also enjoying the teaching part of my internship and I have learned a lot from my co-operating teacher. It is great having a co-operating teacher who has 29 years of experience and who is always willing to help. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)
It made me feel a little bit special
The students and staff at my school are so nice and welcoming to us interns. It is amazing how well everyone gets along and how helpful everyone has been so far.
I find it quite amusing how the students are always really excited to have a new teacher for the day. One day my supervising teacher was late getting his lunch so he asked me to go down with the class and hand out their lab so they could get started on the prep work. When I stood up in front of the class, one of the students in the back said “Are you our teacher?”. He was so excited it almost made me laugh. When I told him the teacher would be down in a minute, he rolled his eyes, not impressed at all. It made me feel a little bit special! (Secondary Intern)
I did not realize how much work goes into being a teacher
Well time is certainly flying by. I cannot believe how fast this internship is going. So far it has been great. I’m really enjoying the experience. I did not realize how much work outside of school hours goes into being a teacher. I am even enjoying the planning though!
I love teaching grade 7 and 8. The things that some of them say are hilarious. At the school where I am teaching the students are so polite and so well behaved for the most part.
I’ve also recently had my first experience teaching for my supervisor. That was a little nerve wrecking but it went well.
As time goes on I am becoming more and more comfortable with being in front of the classroom and the students are becoming more and more comfortable with me.
I can’t wait to get out teaching on my own. (Intermediate Intern)
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“When I stop hating girls, she’s the one I’m going to stop
Quote of the Week
“Nine-tenths of education is encouragement.” Anatole France
Recommended Book Resource for Upper Elementary and Junior & Senior High Interns
Written by: Ruth Vander Zee
Illustrated by: Floyd Cooper
Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdsman Books for Young Readers, 2004
It was 1933 and life was good for James William of Mississippi. He did chores at home so his dad could run the town store and he played with his friends. However, when with his friend LeRoy, they “always fished in secluded places” so they would not be noticed. His dad “spoke disparagingly about white folk spending time with colored folk. He said it wasn’t natural”.
Then one day, Leroy told him about the hanging tree and the Klan who rode at night wearing “white robes and ugly pointed hoods”. James William knew that colored folk could not drink out of the same water fountain as white folk, or eat at the same table, but “that’s just how things were” and he could not believe that his dad’s friends would hurt anyone.
Then early one morning, James William’s world of innocent acceptance is shattered when he comes face to face with a Klan member. And as the story ends we hear James William saying: “I still loved my pa. But I never really looked into his eyes again. And he never really looked into mine”.
This powerful tale of a boy becoming aware that life is not as simple as he thought may cause students to realize that relationships are complex. This story should make us think about how we can challenge and change the world to make it a better place for all to live together. The browns and muted tones of the illustrations depict the somberness of the tale but also give warmth to a story that is meant for students from elementary to high school.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“Dad, I want to take a year off before
Kindergarten to find Waldo!”
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“So, your son tells me that you’re with the roller derby, Mrs. Killen, and I understand you’re a hit man for the Mob, Mr. Killen!”
Interns: A Request Re Your Co-operating Teachers
Interns, you are asked to check with your co-operating teachers to see if they would like to have their names added to the listserv to receive these eMEMOs on a regular basis. If yes, please forward their names and their email addresses to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Presently, there may be some co-operating teachers who are already on the listserv but the vast majority would not be.
Perspectives from Co-operating Teachers
Still on the topic of co-operating teachers, one of our readers has suggested that it might be worthwhile to hear from co-operating teachers on how they find having an intern with them in the classroom. An excellent suggestion so we thought we would put it out there.
A Quote from the President of the United States
“To every young person who’s contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation, if you want to make a difference in the life of a child – become a teacher. Your country needs you.” President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, January 25, 2011
Source: Parkay, F. W. (2013). Becoming a teacher (9th. Ed.). Boston: Pearson.
That concludes issue # 7. Again, thank you to this week’s contributors.
And now I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for my hockey comment!
I’m absolutely ecstatic over the Habs 5-0 “shellac-ing” of the Leafs last night at the Air Canada Center in Toronto. It was a great game (for us Habs’ fans) as les Habitants were definitely firing on all 8 cylinders! Yes I do realize it’s a bit of a long shot re the Habs making it into the playoffs; however, to those Habs’ critics, I say we’ll have to wait and see!
Have a great week and a Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone on Tuesday.