Greetings to all and welcome to issue # 5. One point that hit home to me this issue is the excellent quality of the co-operating teachers (with very few exceptions!) who work with our interns to provide them with a wonderfully valuable teaching experience. That consistency of such quality has been there and continues to be there over these 11 years the eMemo has been published. We do realize that having an intern creates extra work for the co-operating teacher and it is gratifying to see that these experienced teachers are always there to provide that service to our B. Ed. students. A great big thank you to all of you. Enjoy the issue.
Feedback From This Year’s Interns
Students seem to relate to younger teachers
In my internship I find that teachers are very willing to help and I thoroughly enjoy my experience so far. The students seem to relate to younger teachers much easier than the older teachers which helps build confidence.
I have come to realize just how important being organized and preparing well ahead of time really is. I find another problem is that being young has its drawbacks as some students do not view me as an authority figure and when working with a few of them by myself in a group they were extremely difficult. It is also hard because you do not want to step on the teacher’s toes as it is that teacher’s classroom but I have been more stern and they are coming around. It is hard to find the balance between them having respect for you as a person who they like and an authoritative figure but I am working out the kinks and I am noticing a difference.
As this is a learning experience I am learning many, many valuable lessons even within the first month and I am glad that we have more time to learn more. (Secondary Intern)
She remembered what I had taught her
This semester I’m interning at my old junior high school. It was a little strange at first opening the doors and walking through the hallways where so many memories had been made. However, the school environment is quite different from a teacher perspective. Now I am the one responsible for telling kids not to run in the hallways or to remind them to bring all of their books to class.
With regards to my new colleagues I have to say, I have never met a more welcoming bunch. My co-operating teacher has been wonderful and has given me lots of great advice. Thanks to her, I now have a folder bulging with resources and a full portfolio. I even have my own desk!
I started teaching the first week of my internship and have picked up a couple of classes since. I’m still trying to figure out my own way of doing things and I know I have a few things to work on. I’d like to try to improve ending a lesson as it seems I always forget to check the time and the bell always rings before I can give a good summary of the lesson.
The students are fantastic (for the most part)! After a couple of weeks I noticed that they started seeing me more and more as a teacher and not just someone who was also a student there to learn. I actually had the best teaching moment today: I Had previously done a lesson on prepositions in a French Immersion class because I noticed that they kept repeating the same mistakes. Today while in the computer lab, I heard a girl say, “une ville… une ville… I know! It’s ‘à’!” Just the fact that she remembered what I had taught her and used it correctly without being prompted by a teacher was enough to make my day and reinforce what I already knew – that teaching is the right career choice for me! (Intermediate Intern)
I cannot wait to see how the next few months play out
I am doing my internship at a K-6 school and I certainly love it so far. My co-operating teacher is a very well-rounded teacher who I have already learned so much from and I am only just finishing up my 4th week. As well, along with my co-operating teacher, the staff at my school was very welcoming when I first started and they have been very kind to me and I have learned a lot from them as well. It is certainly such a great feeling be at a school that has such a great atmosphere.
When I first started, I was told that I will either love teaching or I will love the idea of teaching; I knew after the first week that I loved teaching and I was exactly where I was supposed to be. A few of the teachers at my school ask me from time to time if I am still enjoying it, and if this is what I want to do for a living, and my answer is always yes.
There are certainly the challenging and hard days, but it does not change how I feel. I have always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I remember and it is great being able to pursuit my dream. Since it is only just the end of the fourth week of my internship I know that I will learn so much more in the upcoming months, but I know that I have already learned so much already. I have already gotten to see a lot of different areas, accommodations, and situations that I know that I will have to deal with in the future. I feel that I am at a very diverse school as well as in a diverse class, which will certainly prepare me for the future; I am very thankful for that. I love my internship so much so far and I cannot wait to see how the next few months play out. (Primary Intern)
I was filled with apprehension
At the beginning of the January, I was filled with apprehension. Now nearing the end of January I find that I am truly enjoying my experience as an intern. Having at least one class who looks up to you and enjoys having you in the classroom makes it all worth it. The only downside is having to leave them in March and the fact that they gave me the flu! I’m excited to see what the next two months bring. (Intermediate Intern)
I was so nervous about everything
Today I have been interning for an entire month. When I first started my internship 4 weeks ago, I was so nervous about everything. Now, that I have gotten to know my students and the staff better, I am loving every minute of being a teacher.
I am now teaching one full class a day and I do a lot of correcting. I really enjoy the correcting and going over the material I corrected with my students in class to show them where they went wrong, so they will know better for next time. I found correcting a bit difficult at first, but now that I have the hang of it, I love it.
I have two great co-operating teachers (Science and Math) who I am learning so much from and I look forward to the next two months of my internship. It can only get better from here on. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)
Worried that I would fall flat on my face
As the fourth week of my internship draws to a close, I couldn’t be any happier with the way in which this internship has been going. Entering into this four weeks ago, I was filled with a mixture of emotions; excited to get into the classroom and start teaching, but nervous and worried that I would fall flat on my face and not connect with the rest of the students and faculty/staff. However, from the moment I stepped in through the doors of this school I’ve been treated like one of the staff, with each and every teacher offering support and advice.
Since I’ve started, the number of things I have learned has been growing exponentially each day. From getting familiar with school protocol, to learning to use systems and technology such as PowerSchool and Gradebook, it’s been four weeks of learning, for both myself and my students. Of course I have seen my share of ups and downs, dealing with behavioral problems and learning how to manage the class effectively, but overall I think I am finally beginning to get a handle on my class dynamics and working towards keeping my students engaged.
The first couple of weeks were trying as it was a transition, trying to adjust the students to the idea that I was now the teacher and that the respect they showed their other teacher, they must now show me. However, as week four comes to a close, student behavior in my classroom is drastically improving, leaving more time for instruction and activities. As for my lessons and teaching, I am getting experience in both junior and senior high: teaching English Language Arts to grades 9, 10 and 12, while also teaching the high school drama and career courses. Getting to experience both junior and senior high is great, as I’m able to not only get familiar with the curriculum, but also the way in which dynamics can change from grade to grade. Aside from the in class aspect, I’ve also been taking on roles in the extra-curricular scene, co-directing the high school drama club’s production for the upcoming Regional Drama Festival and loving every minute thus far! Overall, it has been a great four weeks, and I look forward to what the next nine have in store. (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)
My co-operating teacher was actually my grade two teacher when I was a little girl
I am doing my internship at a primary school in central Newfoundland. I am interning in a grade two classroom and fortunately my co-operating teacher was actually my grade two teacher when I was a little girl!
So far, it has been a pleasure working alongside my co-operating teacher; she has taught me so much in just these 4 short weeks. One important aspect of teaching that she has taught me is to always model what the students are expected to do. Throughout my Education degree so far, I have learned about modelling and its importance. However, now that I am in an actual classroom it is only now that I’ve realized the real significance of modelling. Before I taught a lesson, my co-operating teacher stressed to me how children at this young age definitely need to be shown visually how to do an activity or piece of writing. No matter how well you think you’ve explained the steps of how to do something, modelling certainly helps the students understand much better.
The students have also been making my internship easy and enjoyable. I am working with such a great group of students; they listen well for the most part (still trying to work on my classroom management skills). I really hope to gain my students’ trust and friendship throughout my internship. I am really looking forward to seeing what else I will learn throughout my internship and the memories I will make. (Primary Intern)
You just taught me something and I actually learned it
I am currently completing my internship with a grade 2 and 3 multiage class. So far my internship has been very busy (I do not think I realized how late teachers actually stayed after school once it ended until now), but it is going well and I feel as though I take something new from it each day. My co-operating teacher is very helpful and resourceful; she offers great feedback, constructive criticism when necessary, and is overall a great mentor.
The school that I am interning at has been very welcoming in regards to both the staff and the students.
In the beginning I found myself sometimes questioning lessons, and wondering if students would take something from them or not. While doing a guided reading lesson one day I had a student look at me and say, “You just taught me something and I actually learned it!”. It was a very rewarding moment for me as a new and upcoming teacher and made me realize that I am in the right place, doing exactly what I should be doing.
Classroom management is definitely one of the bigger obstacles to overcome as a teacher. My co-operating teacher has some wonderful classroom management skills that I someday hope to possess. I have built relationships with students in the class and they treat me with the same respect as their regular teacher, which I feel will go a long way when it comes to classroom management.
Overall I am having a very positive experience so far and am hoping that the remainder of my internship will be the same. (Primary Intern)
I have been very busy
The first month of my internship is about to conclude and the time has gone by “with the blink of an eye”. While there were no mid-term examinations at my school (junior high), I have been very busy with teaching my classes, working with extracurricular activities and staying up with my own personal life.
I am finally beginning to understand my roles and responsibilities as an educator. With some late nights and early mornings it is safe to say that things can become stressful at times. However, my passion and ability to take a step back to enjoy some personal time when needed has allowed me to be focused on my duties as an educator.
My school is very community-oriented and it allows me to develop relationships with the students much easier. Thus far, I am really enjoying my internship but I understand the hard work has just begun. I am really looking forward to learning more in the next two months and developing my skills as an educator. (Intermediate Intern)
Approach to teaching is not quite the same as what I would like to see
My supervising teacher is an excellent teacher and loves to make students learn something new. However, this teacher’s approach to teaching is not quite the same as what I would like to see. The first thing I was told when I walked in my first day was that the students this year are far worse than any in previous years, both academically and behaviorally. Though I cannot fully disagree with this teacher’s assertion, I believe a different approach to teaching could turn the students’ attitudes around which could, in turn, improve their academic achievements.
If the teacher doesn’t seem to care about the students, why should they care about their work in the class? The most blatant example I can pull from my first few weeks in the class was correcting the first batch of reading comprehension tests that were written before the Christmas break. I noticed that nearly all the students in our classes cheated, even the most academically inclined. The worst part was that the majority of the test was opinion-based. After speaking with a few of the students in private, I understood the reason they cheated: the teacher was either on a cell phone or on the computer and didn’t pay attention to the class writing the test. I have seen this behavior from this teacher, even in the middle of lectures. This teacher then gets angry at the students when they use their phones in class. The way I see it, the students mirror the teacher’s actions.
Respect, effort and kindness are three qualities that I hope I exemplify and that I expect from the students. I made that clear the first class I was present and, thus far, the students have responded extremely well. Many of the hundred plus students in these classes have complained to the
guidance counselor about the teacher, but no action has been taken. It made me happy to see the students so ecstatic when I walked in the first day because they knew they would have a different teacher, someone who made it a priority to show that their education matters.
In spite of these concerns, I have indeed learned a lot from my co-operating teacher and from the students as well. While I know the co-operating teacher cares a lot about our students and their success, this is oftentimes not shown. My own personal experience thus far has shown me that students truly are sponges soaking up the knowledge and the behaviors presented to them. (Secondary Intern)
I am loving every minute of it
It’s pretty crazy to think about how far we’ve all come but how far we have left to go as “novice” teachers. Our time as interns is truly priceless. Being an intern thus far has truly been a roller coaster of an experience. The work load is very intense and the school days are busy. Although, being in front of a class has been a very rewarding experience. I can feel myself improving every day and that is keeping me motivated. It is important for us to take advantage of this experience that will help define ourselves as teachers.
I have been placed in a junior high school for the extended internship with two co-operating teachers. I am teaching grade seven Early French Immersion Francais, grade seven Late French Immersion Francais, Grade seven Mathematiques and grade eight Mathematiques. One co-operating teacher is a French immersion Mathematics teacher and the other is the department head for Francais. I have been very fortunate to be placed with such experienced, knowledgeable and caring teachers. I have learned so much from them and look forward to what other wisdom they have to share with me during the internship.
During the internship, I have become involved with the school as a volleyball coach, helping out with after school tutorials and as a teacher sponsor for the Math team. I am loving every minute of it. (Intermediate Intern)
Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns
Lost Boy: The Story of the Man Who Created Peter Pan (2010)
Author: Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Steve Adams
Peter Pan has been loved by children for more than a hundred years. There have been numerous renditions of his story in books and movies — the boy who would not grow up. Today’s book is about J. M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, to whom Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “I am a capable artist: but it begins to look to me as if you are a man of genius.”
James Matthew Barrie was born in Scotland in 1860, the youngest of seven children. His mother read to them in the evenings, stories like Robinson Crusoe, which she got from the library for a penny a day. James grew up writing stories and plays to entertain others.
Although James wanted to be an author, his parents insisted he go to university. However, he was not interested in studying and was not a good student. But he fell in love with the theatre and began writing reviews and more stories. By 1884, a number of his stories had been published in the London St. James Gazette. Within the next three years his stories were published in all the best magazines in Britain. He began writing novels about imaginary characters, and his first novel The Little Minister became famous throughout the world.
In 1894 he married Mary Ansell and got a Saint Bernard dog. He used to walk his dog in the park faithfully and eventually met a couple of young boys with their nanny playing in the park. James loved to play with the boys and made up lots of plays that the boys would act out. Then, at a New Year’s Eve dinner, James met a woman who was hiding sweets in her purse and said they were for her son Peter. It turned out that she was the mother of the two boys James played with in the park. The two families became good friends and spent much time together.
In 1904 he began writing Peter Pan, based on the boys with whom he spent so much time playing imaginary games. He wrote to the boys, “I always knew that I made Peter by rubbing the five of you violently together…” As we all know, the play/story was a huge success, still enjoyed by children and adults all over the world.
Throughout this story of J. M. Barrie, quotes from Peter Pan are on the bottom of each illustration. These quotes match the intent of the text on the page. For example, on the page that talks about James writing stories as a child is the quotation from Peter Pan, “He was a poet: and they are never exactly grown-up.” On the page that tells of James meeting and marrying his wife, the quotation from Peter Pan reads, “Wendy (aghast), don’t you know what a kiss is?”
The final quotation that ends this brilliant book leaves us with this lovely sentiment, “you just think lovely thoughts and they lift you up in the air”.
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)
“I want a jury trial!”
Quote of the Week
I love teaching because every day I get to do something great! Every day I get to lead children and colleagues on a new quest, we get to do something new, we practice, we dream, we learn, and we work together. I’m also the oldest sixth-grader you’ll ever meet; inherently, I, too, am very curious and easily excited – it’s the perfect storm! – Stephen Ritz
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)
“I need your undivided attention!.”
Education Law Corner
In last week’s issue reference was made to teacher misconduct. We very seldom hear about teacher misconduct in the public domain unless it’s behavior that warrants prosecution in a criminal court. The most common serious type of teacher misconduct of this nature has to do with sexual assault. However, there are other types of teacher misconduct happening across Canada as well. In the province of Ontario there exists a teacher self-regulatory agency known as the Ontario Teachers’ College (OCT). In addition to the OCT licensing teachers to teach, this agency also conducts hearings into teacher misconduct and has legislative authority to issue sanctions to teachers in the form of license suspensions and permanent cancellations.
Four times a year they publish a magazine, Professionally Speaking, which contains articles of a professional development nature as well as specific details regarding teacher misconduct cases, often including the actual names of transgressors. This information is available on their publicly-accessible web-site: www.oct.ca. Click on Professionally Speaking at the top of the page and in the Table of Contents, scroll down to the section titled “Governing Ourselves”. Commonly referred to as the “blue pages”, this regular feature makes for interesting and fascinating (in a not-so-positive way) reading. I’d highly recommend you have a look at the various misconduct issues that teachers get themselves “tangled up” in!
On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3)
“Today we’re going to look under the microscope and see
what’s living and growing in my beard”
Interested In Teaching in England
The London experience is aimed at students who are considering teaching in the UK and would like to experience life in London and interview in schools in person before they commit to moving.
What is included in the London Experience?
- Return flights to London
- Transfers in the UK and all travel to schools whilst on the London Experience
- Hotel accommodation for 5 nights close to our Liverpool Street offices
- Breakfast and some meals and entertainment included
- One full day teacher training and ongoing lesson planning support through the week. Access to the Career Teachers training and resource room.
- 4 days teaching/interviewing in schools
- A guarantee of work in the UK
How long is the London Experience?
We have planned the London Experience to be for a whole week to give a good idea of working and living in London. Career Teachers will work with graduates to arrange a suitable time in May/June for their London Experience and we will aim for them to be arriving with other overseas teachers.
As a guide we have put together an idea of the London Experience schedule
Saturday/Sunday – Fly from Europe to London.
Monday – You will spend the day at the Career Teachers offices where you receive training, meet the team and have time to prepare plans and resources for your teaching days
Tuesday – Friday – Trial days/Interviews and teaching in schools.
Friday evening/Saturday morning – Return to Europe.
How do Graduates qualify?
They must be eligible to work in the UK.
- Hold a British or European Passport
- Apply for a youth Mobility VISA
- Apply for an ancestry VISA
In order to teach in schools during their visit to London they will need to have obtain a visa. This process can take up to 3 months. We therefore recommend Visa applications are made by the end of February.
Graduates must hold relevant police checks.
A Canadian police check and any other relevant police checks for countries they have lived in for the past 5 years. Career Teachers can offer advice on how to obtain this information.
I hope this information was helpful, we would love to be able to support more of your students with this programme this year.
7th Floor, 63 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8AA
1 800 796 3126
Concluding Comments From The Editor
That takes care of an information-packed issue # 5. Ordinarily, we like to keep the eMemo to 4 pages but this issue has sneaked up to 6 pages!
A record number of submissions, 11 in all, provide as per usual, wonderfully insightful commentary from the interns which is what the eMemo is all about and obviously they could not have been reduced in length. Plus, we were asked by Mr. Hayward Blake, our Faculty internship co-ordinator, to include some information about teaching in the U.K. – very very interesting information as well.
Hockey-wise, our St. Bon’s game this past Friday night went ahead as usual after last week’s cancellation. We had a record number of 15 players plus our 2 goalies. A tad of a lack-luster showing on my part but I did manage to score 1 goal; there was a melee in front of the goalie at the right side of the net, I kept banging at the puck and it eventually went top-shelf – ‘twasn’t pretty but hey it counted!
Feedback is always welcomed from the current interns and from the general readership. My email address is email@example.com
Best wishes to all – Jerome