Greetings, everyone – welcome to eMemo # 3. Hope all of you 152 interns are enjoying your stint out there in the school system. The feedback received thus far seems to be indicating that. This week we continue to have excellent submissions, 10 in number which if my memory serves me correctly, is indeed a record for the third issue based on any of the previous years. Our thanks to each of those interns for sending these in. Delighted we’re getting more participation from the Primary/Elementary students this year. Enjoy the issue.
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
A little different than the others
I am interning in a kindergarten classroom with an amazing teacher. My first couple of days were a little different than the others I would assume as there was a substitute in for my co-operating teacher. However, this substitute happened to be a previous intern of this very teacher. We got along quite well right from the start, so it was sort of an ice breaker for me. I asked plenty of questions about my teacher, the workings of the school and students/staff. She was kind and helpful. With that said, I was still just as nervous meeting my co-operating teacher Thursday morning. It only took me about 5 minutes to realize that she was as amazing as everyone said she would be and that I was going to have a fabulous semester. In these last 2 weeks, I have learned more than I could have ever imagined I would and I am excited to see my transformation in April. (Primary Intern)
Shocked with how respectful the students are
The first couple weeks at my school have been great. I am teaching at a school that includes grades 8-12. I am shocked with how respectful the students are. I have learned so much in such a short time. I would definitely rather teach Physical Education classes than Biology classes. My PE co-operating teacher is PHENOMENAL! My dream is to be where he is today. I’m so fortunate to get to do my internship with him.
We are heading to White Hills next week with the grade 9s and then again in Feb with the rest of the school. I also get to go on a trip to Marble Mountain in March with my grade 12 students. I am really looking forward to that.
There is also no better feeling then being call “miss”. Everywhere I go now I always run into my students and being called “miss” feels so rewarding. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)
The students ensure that I know what the rules are
My experience leading up to my internship was a little different than most. After completing two semesters of my B. Ed, issues in my personal life caused me to make the decision to take a semester off and complete my internship in September 2017. All of the arrangements were made for me to continue with my classmates in May 2017 and then do my internship, but the decision started feeling very wrong to me. I realized that in order to be a role model who instills resilience and perseverance in my students, I had to find these qualities within myself. After much hard work from one of my instructors, I was placed late into a kindergarten classroom.
As expected, I was very nervous upon entering the classroom for the first time. My biggest concern was that I was coming in after Christmas and I was not familiar with the routines and rules that were already established. For the first 2 days of my internship, this was overwhelming me because I did not want to be in the way or contradict anything that my co-operative teacher had already set down. After observing the routines, talking to the teacher, and interacting with the students, I began to feel much more comfortable being a more active member of the classroom community. The students ensure that I know what the rules are and my co-operative teacher makes sure that I know what she is doing at all times. Although it has only been 2 weeks, I feel as though I make sure that I know what she is doing at all times. Although it has only been 2 weeks, I feel as though I have successfully been immersed into this learning community.
The second situation I had trouble adjusting to was that a couple of the students were very closed off and seemed to feel very uncomfortable with my presence in their classroom. This was something that I took to heart and carried with me until I voiced my concerns to my co-operating teacher after school one day. She assured me that those 2 students felt the same way toward her at the beginning of the year, and with some extra TLC and compassion, she eventually won them over. Since that conversation, I have been trying to show them that I genuinely care about them and I am seeing some progress already. The boy has completely warmed up to me and sees me the same now as his classmates do. The girl has been a bit more difficult to open up, but I am making progress with her as well. She will finally ask me to help her with her snow clothes and if she can use the bathroom (which is a huge step from how we began). This experience made me realize that not all students will be immediately accepting of me. I have to do everything I can to show each and every student that they are important to me and I always have their best interest at heart.
Needless to say, I am very happy that I did not go through with my decision to take the semester off. I have learned so much about myself as a person and a future educator in just 2 short weeks and I am so excited to see what the rest of this experience has in store for me. I know that the teacher I am placed with will have me ready to enter the classroom solo by September. (Primary Intern)
I was not anticipating the heavy amount of preparatory work
My first 2 weeks of my internship have been very busy, and full of work. However, I very much enjoy working in the school environment and it is somewhere I can see myself working for a very long time. I must admit that I was not anticipating the heavy amount of preparatory work and hours after school that must be devoted to working as a teacher. However, I am learning to find this work very rewarding and I enjoy helping the students with their assignments and understanding the material. Sometimes I wonder if I really am reaching the students, but I always feel better when students confirm that they understand or feel comfortable enough to ask me for help. (Secondary Intern)
All I could do was put my head down and laugh
I was just two days in when I had a student try to pull a fast one on me. My co-operating teacher got me to do attendance to help me learn the names of the students. As I was making my way down through the list, I got to one name and called it out to see if s/he was present. I looked up so I could put a face to the name when the student responded “Here”. I had just put my pencil down to put a check mark in when I heard another student shout out that the student whose name I called out was in fact absent that day. The other student was pretending to be him/her. All I could do was put my head down and laugh. They didn’t waste any time trying something on me! After spending more time with the class it’s shaping up to be one of my favorites, despite the little hiccup at the beginning! I look forward to seeing what the rest of my internship will bring. (Intermediate Intern)
It is different now being an intern here
For me, it is a different world, yet one that is so familiar. I am an intermediate/secondary intern at a school on the southwest coast of Newfoundland. This is the school that I attended all my life, so I know most of the teachers that are currently teaching here and most of them have taught me. My background is Math and Social Studies (Math major, Geography minor), but it is important to mention that Social Studies includes junior high Social Studies, all Geography, History, Economics and Law. I have three co-operating teachers: one is the principal who I have known for years, the Social Studies teacher who taught me and is originally from one of the small towns near here and the other teacher is one of the Math teachers here now and he did his internship here in this school when I was in senior high.
I know most of the teachers here and most of them taught me in this school. However, it is different now that I am an intern. It is a strange feeling to be sitting in the staffroom each day talking to them and working alongside them. The students do not quite know how to classify you either. They see you as a person they can remember from years ago in the school system, but they do not see you as a teacher and seem to enjoy tormenting you in a “all in good fun” type of manner. This is very apparent when you are walking down the hall and they accidently refer to you by your first name or blurt out jokes in class to see if they can make you laugh.
It is a very pleasant atmosphere here. I would say that most students are very smart in this school and well above average, so teaching is a breeze. They all respect you in class, yet are much more talkative than what I thought they would be. In fact, for two classes in particular, if they are not talking, then they are getting nothing accomplished; however, if they are all talking in their groups and having group to group collaboration as well, then they are really working and understanding everything.
Overall, I love it here. This experience is even better than I expected it to be and it was well worth coming here for my internship. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)
I was even mentioned in the Friday Newsletter
I am doing my internship in a grade 2 classroom in my hometown. I am loving every second of it and it is only the second week. I have been welcomed into the school with open arms by all the staff and students. I was even mentioned in the Friday Newsletter distributed to students’ families; that was such a happy moment for me and while reading my introduction, I realized I had made the right career choice.
My experience in the last two weeks has been nothing but amazing; each day I am learning something new and using what I have learned in my previous courses to help me teach my class. The first couple of days the students were a little shy, and not really aware of what my role was in their classroom, (for example; asking me to help them or asking me to go to the bathroom) but they quickly caught on that I am also a teacher in their classroom and that they can ask me questions. They also realize that I have positive authority in the classroom and that they have learned to respect me as a teacher in their classroom. I am very excited to see what else is in store for me, while pursuing my dream in becoming a teacher. (Primary Intern)
I’ve been able to hit the ground running
Greetings from a St. John’s high school! Two weeks in as an intern for one of the school’s social studies teachers and so far so good. I am back with the same teacher as I had for my first internship, and so with a relationship established I’ve been able to hit the ground running. I am already responsible for delivering lessons in Entrepreneurship (which is a lot of fun for me, as I also possess a business degree) and the new World History course which my teacher is helping to pilot. I was offered the chance to take Canadian History from the start as well, but we decided to pass on making the transition until after midterms, as I have no particular expertise in the current unit.
I have to say, I have been very pleased with how things have gone so far. Students have, generally speaking, been excellent – and issues with classroom management have been minimal. Meanwhile, I have found great success with the relatively formal style of presentation with which I am most comfortable. My experience has been that as long as my lessons and questions are well planned, and if I bring some energy and enthusiasm to the lesson, I have had little difficulty fostering discussion. This being said, to open up a unit on the Great Depression, I am currently planning on including a short skit to illustrate the role of emotion in stock market speculation based upon Benjamin Graham’s “Mr. Market” allegory. This is rather out of my comfort zone, but I am optimistic that it will drive the point home and get the students laughing in the process. Fingers crossed!
Anyways, I hope everyone else has been enjoying their internships as much as I have, and I wish the best of luck to all of my classmates over the next two and a half months. (Secondary Intern)
I have done more self-reflecting and self-evaluating
For my internship, I have been placed in a high school. The past two weeks of my internship have been extraordinary. I have done more self-reflecting and self-evaluating than I have ever done in my life. I have set multiple goals for myself, which I am working every single day to achieve. This experience so far has been extremely impactful. I have the most amazing co-operating teacher who has already taught me so much. I have been fortunate enough to be placed with a teacher who has 20+ years of experience and will be retiring in 4 years. Being exposed to her years of experience and all the tips she has to offer has been a tremendous benefit. I am thoroughly enjoying my internship so far, and cannot wait to see what the rest of this journey has in store for me. (Secondary Intern)
A wonderful learning experience
My internship is at the junior high level in a school of 700 students, probably the largest school I’ve ever been in. So far the first two weeks of the internship have been going great. It’s a wonderful learning experience for myself and I’m excited to see how I will grow as a student-teacher as I work towards becoming a qualified teacher. The 12 week internship gives me the chance to become more involved in activities within the school such as the underwater ROV team, science fair preparations, and the like.
I am placed at a different school than the first internship. There are many similarities and differences between the two schools. I think that it’s great that I have the chance to explore the different school environments to see how different junior high schools can be in regards to school culture, classroom size, staff/student interactions, and the various extracurricular activities. Considering that the 2 schools are only 20 kilometres apart, it’s amazing to see how the student experience can vary greatly within the same school system. (Intermediate Intern)
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“Thanks for helping me break out of detention, Lisa!”
Quote of the Week
“Sunday is a teacher’s day of rest. Do the rest of the laundry, finish the rest of the housework and grade the rest of the papers.” – Author, Wise But Unknown
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“Don’t pull any wisdom teeth. I need all the help I can get in school!”
Education Law Corner
In issue number 1 of the eMemo, the concept of negligence was defined. There are 4 major elements which need to be considered when attempting to determine whether negligence has indeed occurred. They are: 1) duty of care; 2) standard of care; 3) breaching that standard of care; and 4) damages, if any, suffered by the individual(s) involved. Duty of care refers to the fact that as teachers we have a legal obligation to provide care and supervision to our students. Standard of care refers to the level or degree of care we should provide our students. Obviously, this standard is highly contingent on the age and grade level of the student(s) in question. For example, common sense would dictate that t primary teachers would be expected to provide their students with a higher level/standard of care; contrast that with teaching a Grade 12 class in History where obviously the standard or level of care would be significantly less because of the age and the maturity of those senior high students. Breaching the standard of care simply means not living up to the relevant standard expected of us as teachers, which again would be dependent on the age/maturity level of the student(s). Lastly, re damages, if there are no damages or injury to the student(s) in question, legally-speaking, there is no liability. Next week a further comment on this last point.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“I can’t go to school today because I’m not a morning person!”
Concluding Comments From The Editor
That’s it for issue # 3.
Re my hockey comment, very pleased that les Habs came back from a 4-2 deficit last night to defeat the Rangers by a score of 5-4. I see the Leafs are on a “roll” lately having defeated the Senators last night by a score of 4-2. Good to see these Canadian teams doing well – of course my Habs loyalty prevents me from wanting to see the Leafs do too well!
At St. Bon’s Forum we had another great game Friday night. We don’t keep scores (or at least some of us don’t) but I think our team won and one of our goalies, Randy Oram was “sensationale” having allowed only 3 goals which hardly ever happens in scrimmage hockey! Goals are usually in the double digit range.
As for my own game, this Friday night was much less for me to “crow about” compared to my game last week. Shucks, this week, I think I might have gotten “half an assist” – whatever that is!!!!!!! Ce n’est pas bon! Oh well, there’s always next week.
Absolutely delighted with the response from you student interns; the submissions are excellent and very insightful. One point made in one of today’s submissions was the importance of class preparation; one can never underestimate the importance of being prepared for your classes – if you are not, there are a number of dynamics, most of which are not positive, can take over the class!
A reminder to all interns to periodically check your MUN email account; any emails to you from here always go to your MUN accounts.
Have a wonderful week everyone and as usual, 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