Welcome to issue # 2. As you know, the eMemo went “blog” last week and the feedback on this change has been quite positive. This issue marks the beginning of regular submissions from the 152 Primary/Elementary and Intermediate/Secondary B.Ed. students currently out in the system doing their internships.
Today we have 5 submissions, a small number which is understandable as the internships just started on Tuesday past with the reopening of schools after the Christmas holidays. It is hoped that in the future we will have approximately 10 submissions per issue. So one could say, we may not have quantity but we do have quality as the submissions are indeed excellent.
Another point worthy of note is that yours truly had a “career high” in his scrimmage hockey game on Friday night past – the details of which are in the eMemo’s “Concluding Comment”!!!!!! Enjoy!
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
Humor and consistency in the classroom
I am currently doing my internship in grade 4 at a school on the west coast of Newfoundland and I am really enjoying the experience thus far.
One of the things that I realized during my first few days of the internship is the importance of consistency and humor when it comes to addressing the class and also in terms of effective classroom management. As a teacher, you do not want to be “friends” with the students but you have to be a mentor and authority figure. This does not mean that you cannot have fun with the students. My co-operating teacher, I think, is a great mentor in this regard as she works to encourage students to have fun and to discuss topics, but she is also able to deal with behaviour issues as they arise.
On another note, my teacher has also allowed me to teach a lesson and try out some of her suggested classroom management techniques. I have to say that consistency is key. Classroom management was one of the most intimidating aspects of teaching before I started my internship. Now I realise that, not only have I chosen the right profession, but I am gaining the confidence to be able to deal and approach such aspects of teaching. (Elementary Intern)
I feel numerous emotion
As I sit here with the first week of my extended internship over, I feel numerous emotions. It would be impossible for me to sum up how I am feeling in one emotion. As I walked in my first day, it felt as though I had never left. I had done my two-week observation days there back in the fall semester, and I remember it being one of the best schools I have ever been in. I still felt that same way going in on Tuesday past. It felt as though nothing had changed: the teachers were still as friendly, welcoming and comforting as I remembered; the students were well behaved, respectful, and welcoming. I guess you could say I felt a sense of belonging and comfort being where I was, even though it was such a short period of time back in September.
I was informed that I would be teaching 6 slots of 4 courses. I first felt a little overwhelmed trying to think how I would manage that right away; however, I have had reassurance and advice from both of my co-operating teachers who always answer any questions or concerns I might have. They are both wonderful teachers and display the perfect rapport with students. I am a little concerned that because the students get along with, and like them so well, that I will not measure up anywhere near where they are. They have told me that over time that comes, and no one expects you to have all these stories to tell right away! I feel blessed to have the two teachers I have to help me in becoming a great teacher.
Thursday night past, I chaperoned their high school dance. I want to experience as much as I can while I am at this school. It was interesting to see what I was probably like when my high school had high school dances. Let’s just say, if I knew how ridiculous I looked back then, I probably would not have acted that way. Who am I kidding, of course I would have! You could tell the students were having so much fun, and that’s what they should be doing at that age. Currently, I am mainly creating in-class assignments and take home assignments for students to be evaluated on prior to their midterms, and I am starting to have some fun in developing review material to do with them the week before midterms. I will begin to teach all 6 slots full time after the midterm week is over. Overall, I can say that I am excited, nervous, happy, scared, and eager to continue with this journey. (Secondary Intern)
I think this school is doing it right
My school is great. Most of the staff and students have been very welcoming and I’m looking forward to becoming more involved in after school programs (even though I don’t feel like I have any talents to bring to the table)! The best part of the school is the feeling of unity – whether that’s starting off a staff meeting with a slideshow of pictures from school events, remembering a teacher who has passed, or supporting a trans student in their name change, I think this school is doing it right.
I survived the first week of the internship, but next week I start teaching lessons and I’m nervous – but it’s time to rip off the band-aid and dive in. With the help of my amazing cooperating teacher, I know I’ll make it through the next 11 weeks too. (Secondary Intern)
I am starting to get into the natural flow of the school
The first few days of the internship have been good! The classes that I am helping with are getting ready for their exams, so class time is spent mostly on review. My school is using Google Classroom and so I have been added to all of the classes online and am beginning to explore how all of that works. I also have started attending the department meetings so I am starting to get into the natural flow of the school. In terms of how I am feeling, I am anxious for teaching more lessons but also really looking forward to it. We’ll see how it all goes! (Secondary Intern)
I already know I am in the correct profession
It has been only four days into my internship and I already know I am in the correct profession. I am very fortunate that my co-operating teacher has confidence in allowing me to take over some classes already. The respect from students and staff at the school is truly amazing. When you see a smile on the students face at the end of the day and students coming to you while on duty asking you if they can complete that lesson again because they enjoyed it so much, you know that you are doing something right. Every morning when I put my two feet to the floor, I cannot wait to arrive at the school and began my teaching day. I wish nothing but the best to all other interns as they enter their second week of the internship. (Secondary Intern)
Finding my “firm voice”
This week has been very exciting and a bit overwhelming. It’s safe to say I went to bed earlier than usual this week. I am interning at a school just outside St. John’s. We have 20 students and it’s definitely a class that keeps you busy! I feel I’ve come with some skills and lots of enthusiasm for teaching little ones – but I have some learning to do in the areas of finding my “firm voice.” My teacher has 16 years under her belt and as such I feel she will be able to teach me a lot. We both have a Science concentration, and I look forward to working with her to do fun experiments. I think this will be the most challenging semester yet- but certainly the most rewarding. (Primary Intern)
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“Quit living in the past! Let it go!”
Quote of the Week
“Theories and goals of education don’t matter
a whit if you don’t consider your students to
be human beings.” – Lou Ann Walker
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“Yes, being a teacher is like living in a fish bowl!.”
Education Law Corner
Another concept in Education Law is that of “in loco parentis” which is a Latin expression that means “in the place of the parent”.
“In loco parentis” has moved from being primarily a right of restraint and coercion used to discipline students to being a duty of school officials to protect those same students. Teachers are expected to use the same degree of caution that careful or prudent parents would use in caring for their own children. Although the Education Law literature is frequently critical of this concept saying that in modern day schools where numbers of students are commonly much larger than those back in the day of the “little small school house” and that it is an outmoded concept and not a realistic one. However, courts in Canada still on occasion quote the concept of “in loco parentis” when dealing with teachers cases related to misconduct and liability and negligence.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“No, I don’t believe the other kids were making fun of your hairstyle – it was the teachers!”
Concluding Comments From The Editor
That concludes issue # 2.
As promised in the introductory comments of this issue, I “need” to apprise you of the specifics of a great scrimmage hockey game yours truly experienced Friday night past at St. Bon’s Forum. We had 14 players, 7 on each side along with the customary 2 goalies; we play 4 on 4 so 3 are on the bench. Anyways, to make a long story short, yours truly had a “career night” scoring 4 goals along with 1 assist!!!!!! You’ll note that we did have 2 goalies as some of my “critics” are prone to saying when I boast about my goal production (which I should add is somewhat infrequent), “Was it an empty net?” to which I passionately respond “Yes, there were!”. Unfortunately there were no caps tossed out on the ice to celebrate my first-ever hat trick but that’s primarily because there were no spectators!!!!!!! Had there been spectators, I’m sure we’d still be collecting those hats!!!!!!! Just being a tad facetious here! Needless to say, I’m still euphoric as a result of this “milestone” and cautiously optimistic that it might/will happen again this season or next season!
On matters related to the internship: interns, good luck with your work in the classrooms and may your experiences with your students be enjoyable and successful.
Have a great week everyone and of course, feedback is always welcomed from the current interns and from the general readership. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Best wishes to all – Jerome