Vol. 11, Number 6

Good afternoon everyone  and welcome to issue # 6.  January is gone and here we are into the month of February, a short month at that.  Interns, you are about halfway into your internships; hope all is well with you.  We have a limited number of submissions this week; not sure why but it might have something to do with my email account.  Hopefully, we’ll return to our regular numbers next week.

We do feature in this issue the return of a popular column from years past, “Former Student Update”.  Amanda Goulding (B.Ed., 2015) offers some sage advice to our current interns.  We thank her for putting that article together.

A new feature titled “An Education Research Study” is being introduced in this issue; our thanks to Faculty member, Dr. Gabrielle Young for her submission.

Enjoy issue # 6.

Feedback From This Year’s Interns

Respect came because I earned it
I am doing my internship at a K-12 school which just so happens to be my old school. Having only graduated 5 years ago many of the staff and students already knew me before my internship even started. This created a little issue with getting some of them to look at me as a figure of authority in the school, them being the students and the staff who already knew me.

At the beginning this was a little frustrating as I wanted the respect that came along with being a teacher. Such things as having to observe some classes, having to have a teacher supervisor for the classes I taught and not having a key to the school doors all made me very frustrated with only being an intern. It was my belief at the beginning that it was these things and the way certain staff treated me that made some students not see me as a ‘real’ teacher and give me the respect I desired.

As I began my transition into teaching classes, being a major part of extracurricular activities and socializing with the staff I quickly began to earn the respect of the school. Mostly every teacher and student now look at me as “Sir”. It was not until I reflected upon how this respect came about that I realized that this respect came because I earned it. I learned that it was not because people knew me or I did not have a key that they did not show me respect but rather I did nothing to earn their respect. So one of the first things I learned on my internship is respect is a privilege that is earned not a right.  (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)

Enables me to develop my teaching abilities
This ‘real-life’ physical education setting enables me to develop my teaching abilities. With my co-operating teacher I hope to gain qualities as a physical educator that will enable me to have a positive impact on students throughout my internship. Intermediate/secondary Physical Education teachers get the opportunity to organize activities and challenges daily that promote physical activity among adolescents.

Besides being knowledgeable about a sport, I need to be able to communicate and demonstrate properly if I want to keep my students engaged. By exposing students to various physical activities and sports throughout my internship it better provides a sense of enjoyment towards physical activity. Throughout my internship I hope to provide the means for students to enjoy physical activity and become more confident with their individual abilities. I hope to provide students with attainable goals, as well as challenge them. However, my major focus will be to make my daily lessons as enjoyable as possible as I prepare myself for teaching my own classes.

Recently completing my Physical Education degree I’m entering the gymnasium with activities learned throughout my previous Physical Education programs, new knowledge from the recently completed program, and an enthusiastic attitude that leaves me wanting to learn. With this opportunity to complete this internship I look forward to the knowledge I will gain from this experience. This new knowledge along with previous experience acquired from my first degree will prepare myself for teaching.  (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)

I have gained their trust and their confidence
I can’t believe it has been five weeks already. I have been interning at one of the high schools in St John’s with a whole array of classes in Math, Science and Physics. I was handed total control of one class my first Friday, and another class the middle of the second week. Now that mid- terms are over I have been given full control of 3 of my 6 classes, team teaching two more and there for support for the last.

I am getting to know some of my students very well. Most of them would hesitate to call on me when they needed help with something in the first week, always turning to my co-operating teacher for reassurance.  It now seems to be turning the other way. I have gained their trust and their confidence; they no longer come in the room asking if my co-operating teacher is there when I just opened the door and their questions tend to come to me first.

They also have an incredible span of interests; one who wants to be a professional dirt bike racer and another student who come up at the end of class asking about properties of specific radioactive elements (in grade 10 Science!). What I think is one of the most important parts of recognizing this is seeing each student’s interests as valid. The two students mentioned are polar opposites and while as a teacher I would love my students to aspire to academics and trades, it is the reality of the world that not all people are interested in those routes and to be forced into one would lead them to an unfulfilled life, and a loss of potential. I try to make my classes relevant for each of these students; while I don’t always hit my mark, my students always know I value their interests and views.  (Secondary Intern)

How do you know my name already
Hi everyone! I am interning at a high school in the St. John’s area and so far I am having a wonderful time. I am teaching Biology 2201, Science 1206 and Technology 9. I’ve succeeded in learning all of my students names and now when I call them by name I get the same response: “Miss, how do you know my name already?”.  My reply to them is always the same: “Magic!”. I am learning so much and my co-operating teacher is awesome, I couldn’t ask for any better.

I’ve probably asked upwards of two million questions by now (a slight exaggeration) and he happily answers them all for me. The kids are hilarious, and I’ve discovered that I am destined to be that teacher who tells extremely corny jokes and then proceeds to laugh at her own jokes (while the students roll their eyes). I hope you are all having a great term and looking forward to seeing you in April. (Intermediate/Secondary)

Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns
What Do You Do With an Idea? (2013)
Author: Kobi Yamada
Illustrator: Mae Besom

For all those who get ideas they are nervous about sharing with others—this is the book for you! It is ageless, for the young to the old, for the shy to the bold, from the nervous to the confident, from the tiny to the enormous—all of us get brilliant ideas that we keep to ourselves and do not bring to fruition. This book will encourage children and adults to try out some of their amazing ideas.

The book opens with neutral shades and a golden oval shaped being with a small golden crown on its head. A small boy, part of the beige background is staring and saying, “One day I had an idea.” But, the boy did not know what to do with his idea. So he walked away from it.

But it followed him. The boy wondered what others would think of his idea, so he kept it hidden. However, the boy felt better when his idea was around, and as we see the idea following the boy it is getting bigger and brighter in hue. It wanted attention, it kept getting bigger, and the boy and his idea became friends.

The boy began showing his idea to friends, and some of them laughed at it. Others said it was weird or a waste of time. At first, the boy thought about giving up on his idea. But then he thought, “This is MY idea. No one knows it like I do. And it’s okay if it’s different, and weird, and maybe a little crazy”. So he decided to give his idea some attention. And his idea grew and grew.

As the boy began to pay more attention to his idea, we see the illustrations turn from gray to bright colours. Then one day his idea became part of everything in the boy’s world. The story ends with the boy realizing what you do with an idea…”You change the world”.

This book is for all those who have ideas and are afraid to develop them further because of discouraging words from others. To quote Emily Dickinson, it encourages all of us to “dwell in possibility”.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)

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“I guess that’s why it was once called a knapsack!”

Quote of the Week
T-Shirts for Teachers:  Everything I say will be on the exam!

An Education Research Study
Researcher:  Dr. Gabrielle Young
Title:               Using Assistive Technology within the Framework of Universal Design for Learning

Teachers must employ instructional approaches and tools that assist all students in accessing the curriculum, engaging in learning activities, and demonstrating their achievements. Universal design for learning and assistive technology make the curriculum and instructional practices accessible and engaging for all students. As there is little research examining the use of assistive technology in inclusive environments, this exploratory study used semi-structured interviews with 19 teachers, focus groups with students, and classroom observations to examine how elementary teachers implement assistive technology in general education classrooms within the context of universal design for learning and the supports and challenges that influence these practices.

The results from this study highlight the importance of providing teachers with professional development to purposefully integrate technology as a means to provide multiple ways for students to learn and demonstrate their learning. This investigation revealed that teachers are learning about technology implementation through dialogic discourse with other teachers. Interviews with teachers highlighted that there is value in enabling teachers to engage with other teachers in sharing how they are using technology as a tool to help students with diverse learning needs access and learn from course material. This study reveals that teachers need to be taught about technologies that are available and how those technologies can be used to support students in accessing and learning the curriculum. In addition, this study highlights the need for a consistent vision surrounding the use of technology in schools and classrooms.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)

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“But honey. . . you’re the teacher!”

Former Student Update
Hi everyone, my name is Amanda Goulding. I completed my Bachelor of Education (Intermediate/Secondary) in 2015. Seems like only yesterday I was completing my internship at Leo Burke Academy in Bishop Falls.  I hope you are all enjoying your time thus far and getting involved in your respective schools. I found the internship was one of my biggest learning experiences throughout the program.

After completing my degree in August and applying for many jobs I was awarded a teaching position at Main River Academy, a K-12 school in Pollard’s Point, NL the Labor Day weekend. In 3 days I moved from my hometown of Grand Falls-Windsor to an apartment in the small community on the west coast and started a new career teaching junior and senior high Math and Science. The first few weeks of the school year were very challenging. At times I didn’t know if I would be able to do it: new courses, new students, new colleagues, and a new community. It was a lot coming at me at once! However after a few weeks I quickly settled in and it became one of the greatest experiences of my life. I had a wonderful year and became very involved in the school and community. I was the teacher sponsor for graduation, helped with the Allied Youth Group and even got involved in a card club with members of the community. This position was only a one year term contract and I was very sad to leave. I met people who I will always stay in contact with. I’m actually going back to visit this weekend!

This year I started a teaching position closer to my hometown at Hillview Academy (K-9 school) in Norris Arm teaching junior high Science and Health. It has been a great year so far getting to experience a new school and getting to help out with the student leadership team. I have also met some awesome colleagues here as well.

My advice to you interns would be to enjoy the rest of the B.Ed program. Get involved with the faculty and appreciate the time with your classmates. The people I met in the program are some of my best friends and we still talk and often get together. When it comes to teaching positions I would say take a chance and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  I didn’t even know where Pollard’s Point was before I moved there to teach but it turned out to be a fabulous experience. Get involved in your school and community and enjoy every minute of it! Good luck with the rest of your internship!

Education Law Corner
Last week we talked about the role of the Ontario Teachers College (OCT). A similar agency existed in British Columbia, the British Columbia College of Teachers (BCCT) until 2011 when it was “decommissioned” by the provincial government. In 2011, in a report commissioned by the government of British Columbia, the BCCT was deemed dysfunctional and, consequently, the organization was abolished and replaced by the Teacher Regulation Branch of the B.C. government Ministry of Education on January 9, 2012. Similar to the Professionally Speaking magazine published quarterly by the OCT, the Teacher Regulation Branch of BC Education also publishes a magazine 4 times a year titled Learn.  Here’s one disciplinary case from a recent issue:

Certificate Holder:  Anthony Albert Drolet
Agreement:  Professional Misconduct and Conduct Unbecoming/Standards 1 and 2
Disposition: Director of Certification will never issue a teaching certificate or letter of permission

In June 2013, a district made a report about Mr. Drolet under Section16(2) of the School Act.  After a female student taught by Mr. Drolet graduated in June, 2012, the student followed Mr. Drolet on his Twitter account.  In May, 2013Mr. Drolet contacted her using Twitter and over approximately three weeks, sent her numerous inappropriate messages of a sexual nature, including references to having sex with her, using Twitter and text messaging.  On June 7, 2013, Mr. Drolet called in sick to work.  However, he was not sick but had gone to Seattle for a party and over that weekend, had sent numerous inappropriate messages to his former student.  On July 24, 2013 Mr. Drolet signed an undertaking not to practice and subsequently relinquished his certificate on October 24, 2014.  On March 22, 2016, the Commissioner executed a consent resolution

Agreement in which Mr. Drolet agreed that he will never apply for, and that the Director of Certification will never issue to him, a certificate of qualification, an independent school teaching certificate or a letter of permission.

 On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3) 

cartoon-2017-21

“The test is true/false not true/whatever!”

Please Check Your MUN Email Accounts
Interns, you are asked to check your MUN email accounts on a regular basis as that’s the only email address we’re expected to use to contact you.

Submissions Not Published in the eMemo
Interns, if you have sent in a submission for the eMemo and it has not yet been published, that’s an oversight on the editor’s part.
You are asked to email me (jdelaney@mun.ca) at your earliest convenience and the submission will be in the next issue of the eMemo.
I don’t think that’s happened thus far this year but please bring it to my attention if/when it does happen.

Concluding Comments From The Editor
That’s it for issue # 6.

Our thanks to the interns who sent in submissions this week.  A special thank you to former student, Amanda Goulding for her most interesting and most insightful commentary about her life “post B.Ed.”.  We wish her continued success with her teaching.  Thank you also to Faculty member, Dr. Gabrielle Young for providing us with a submission for our new feature, An Education Research Study.

Hockey-wise, not a lot to report this week. We had a record number of players, 16 + the usual 2 goalies at our St. Bon’s game Friday night.  Yours truly had an uneventful night re points but did have some wonderful chances at scoring, albeit unsuccessful ones!  Mes Habs lost Saturday to Ovie and the Capitals; the Leafs won a nail-biter with the Bruins and les Habs lost Sunday in the shootout to Connor McDavid et al. of the Oilers!!!!!  Obviously, nothing to cheer about there!  I received the standard “gloating” telephone call from my sister-in-law in Stephenville – I was polite!

As usual, feedback is always welcomed from the current interns and from the general readership.  My email address is jdelaney@mun.ca

Have a great week everyone – Jerome

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Vol. 11, Number 5

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)

v11-05-01

“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)

v11-05-02

 “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)

v11-05-03

   “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.

Claire Welch

Canadian Resourcer

claire.welch@careerteachers.co.uk

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 jdelaney@mun.ca

Best wishes to all – Jerome

 

Posted in Volume 11 (Winter 2017) | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Vol. 11, Number 4

Hello everyone – issue # 4 already – time is indeed flying by!  Interns, you are going into week 4 – hope all is going well for you.

Enjoy this week’s issue.

Feedback From This Year’s Interns

 Knowing the routine and the rules of the classroom is very important
I have officially been interning for two weeks and I am loving every moment of it so far. The number of things I have learned over these past two weeks truly amazes me! I have been doing the morning routine and a lesson a day ever since my first week and although this was a little nerve-wrecking in the beginning, I am very thankful that I started this early. I began to notice after my first 2-3 days in the classroom that standing beside the teacher and not doing a whole lot, the students began to view me more as a student and less in the teacher role. This was beginning to result in me having a hard time getting them to listen to me (and for me being able to manage them appropriately). The moment I started to step in and do more things (such as morning routine/lessons/activities), the more they would start to take me seriously and view me as a teacher and not just another student. I have also noticed that tweaking the morning routine to make it my own and not following/doing the exact same things as my co-operating teacher did, seems to make them respect me even more as a teacher.

In my first week, I began to fear that the students not listening to me was setting myself up for a challenge when it came to classroom management, which is one of my biggest fears as a new teacher. But now that I have been doing more things on my own, it is not only helping my students gain more respect for me, but it is also helping me build my confidence and comfort level as a teacher. My co-operating teacher was out sick one day and I was in with a substitute, which was very interesting, considering I will probably be doing that at some point in my career. After that day, I noticed that knowing the routine and the rules of the classroom is very important and a crucial component of managing the classroom. The substitute was not sure of the routines and rules, and this gave me the opportunity to assume this role; I realized that the students were more attentive to me than they were with the substitute. I feel that this was due to my knowing more about how their classroom operated. I am beginning to realize that some days go smoothly, while others may go not so smoothly.  I am, however, very excited to allow myself to learn and grow over these next four months. (Primary Intern)

I was nervous, excited, and a little on edge
Leading up to the first day I would walk into my grade five interning class, I was nervous, excited, and a little on edge. I was nervous because this was a whole new ballpark for me. After 6 years of university I was used to studying, working on projects, taking notes, and going to classes myself, which made the concept of finally becoming the teacher feel so surreal. Despite this fact, I was excited to dive into the curriculum and finally start developing engaging activities that would excite my students in the learning process.  I was also extremely eager to meet the 28 very interesting and very different personalities that I would get to know and love over the next four months.

After the first day of my internship I felt very overwhelmed from everything I had taken in that day; from learning all the students’ names to getting an understanding of the various exceptionalities in my class, to knowing how the class is managed throughout the day. The rest of the first week I felt practically the same way, as I got to know the staff I didn’t already know, from attending the same school when I was an elementary student, and as I got to see a staff meeting take place.

However, despite the fact that the first week felt much like an overload of information the following two weeks have been some of the best weeks of my life. I have gotten to know my students and enjoy coming into the class every day and seeing how excited they are to learn. They have truly all made me feel welcome and have even gotten into this habit of clapping after I teach a lesson, which for an over-sensitive person like myself, means quite a lot of subtle tear covering.  I hope the remaining weeks of my internship continue the same way and I hope I gain even more insight into effective classroom management, including how to accommodate the needs of all my students, as well as how to make the curriculum enjoyable for them.  (Elementary Intern)

 I can already see little improvements
I am interning at a 10-12 high school here in St. John’s. I have two incredible co-op teachers who are a joy to work with. They are both very experienced and have shown me a lot already. The students have been very respectful and have treated me the same as my co-op teachers. I am starting to build some relationships with the students and I have found that it goes a long way with classroom management and that earning of mutual respect. I can already see little improvements from my first lesson taught today. I have also realized the amount of work that goes into being a teacher and it can seem a little daunting at times. Even though I can feel stressed and feel like I am in over my head, I keep taking it day by day; I accept the fact that I am not going to be the perfect teacher. All I can do is keep working hard and try and do the best that I can. (Secondary Intern)

Tiring and really hard work but positive
My first three weeks in my internship have been really positive. Tiring and really hard work, but positive. That is mainly due to the support of my co-operating teachers and the welcoming of the school – I really have fallen on my feet. Despite the upcoming exams, my co-operating teachers have been willing to let me loose, teaching really early on which I have definitely appreciated, although it has meant some fairly late nights prepping classes!

Being shared by a Science teacher and a Social Studies teacher is going to be a big plus, too, as I will be exposed to the different teaching styles and requirements of those different disciplines, all with the safety net of having the experts nearby. I’m looking forward to the exam break over the next week to get a head start on planning now that I have a bit of a better idea of what I need to do. Definitely starting to believe that going back to class in April will be a welcome rest!  (Secondary Intern)

 I am finally beginning to feel like a real teacher
After these initial couple of weeks of the internship, I am finally beginning to feel like a real teacher! The junior high/high school I am placed at seems like a great environment to be in, with friendly staff and great students. I feel that I will learn a great deal about the many expectations and responsibilities of being a teacher during this internship. My co-operating teachers have already given a good number of teaching responsibilities to me and for the first time I truly feel that all the staff at the school treat me as an equal colleague. I am learning that specialist teachers in the school have to have very different classroom management techniques than classroom teachers. I do find it challenging for me to teach in a classroom environment, after lots of experience teaching Physical Education in a gym; the classroom setting is something very new for me. I am hopeful that my experiences throughout this internship will better prepare me for beginning my teaching career in the fall.   (Intermediate/Secondary Intern)

Recommended Book Resource for Primary and Elementary Interns

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille (2016)
Author: Jen Bryant
Illustrator: Boris Kulikov

Louis Braille was a clever, active boy, born in a small town in France, who loved to watch his father make harnesses and bridles. He wanted to be just like his father and spent hours in his father’s shop watching him work. Louis wanted to do what his father did, and didn’t listen when his father kept telling him to wait until he was older. One day Louis hurt his eye with the awl, and even though his father kept telling him to not touch his eye, Louis was young and couldn’t keep his hands away, causing the infection to spread to his other eye. By the time he was five years old he was blind.

Louis learned to walk with a cane and to rely on his other senses. He asked the priest if there were books for blind children but the answer was no. He went to school, listening and memorizing. He asked the teacher if there were books for blind children but the answer was again no. When he was ten, he was given the opportunity to go to the Royal School for the Blind in Paris. His family did not want him to go, but Louis had been told there were books for the blind at the school. “I love you, but I must go”, he told his family.

When he got to the school, it was not an easy place, and only the best students were allowed to read the books. “Then I will be one of the best,” he replied, and he achieved his goal. However, he was frustrated. The books had huge waxy letters for him to trace, very few sentences on a page, and only 2-3 pages per book. How could he learn with books where one sentence took up half a page?

Then, a French army captain invented a code using dots that stood for the sounds in words such as “ou” or “ch”, and you needed to use a stylus to punch the code. It was so difficult that gradually all the students in the school gave up. Louis offered to work with the captain to improve the code, but the captain wasn’t interested. Louis was being told “no” once again.

Louis was as determined as he had ever been. Late at night, while the others slept, Louis tried to invent a code. He tried “hundreds of ways to simplify the captain’s code”. The years passed and Louis turned 15. He was often sick, but he refused to give up. Finally, he was ready to test his code. He went to his headmaster to try it out, and was successful. Everyone was excited, and quickly learned to use Louis’ code.

And, “as his friends traded messages, Louis remembered watching Papa in his shop, bent over rough strips of leather, making them useful. He had become like him, after all.”

The story of how Braille came to be is one of courage, perseverance, and independence. The story brings to life what it is like to be blind and dependent upon others. However, it goes beyond this to exemplify how all of us can become independent when we persevere. Louis Braille is an excellent role model for children.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)

v11-04-01

“Your son is flunking out at an alarmingly advanced level!”

 Quote of the Week

Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.  – Bill Gates

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)

v11-04-02

“No, Thomas, it would not be okay for you to outsource your homework assignment.”

Education Law Corner   

Last week we discussed the 4 major elements which need to be considered when determining whether or not negligence has occurred in the strict legal sense of the word.  One of those elements was the actual occurrence of injury or damage to the individual/student concerned.  However, just because there was no actual injury to the individual/student, doesn’t mean that there was no professional misconduct on the part of the teacher.

A “silly” example here to illustrate this point:  A Tech Ed teacher in a senior high Technology Education class has his/her students using a chop saw in a unit on design and fabrication.  While the students are using this particular tool, the teacher decides to leave the class unsupervised and drop over to the local Tim Horton’s right next to the school for his morning coffee!  Luckily, nothing happens while the teacher is gone, so legally-speaking “no negligence”.  However, I think we would all agree that such behavior on the part of a teacher is totally unacceptable and extremely dangerous and irresponsible.

This kind of behavior would/should in all probability be taken very seriously by the school administration and I would suggest at the very least would result in a serious reprimand being issued to said teacher.  This reprimand could be a verbal warning but my personal opinion is that it should be a formal reprimand (in writing) which should be placed on the teacher’s personnel file at the school board office. In other words, this kind of professional misconduct (although not negligence technically-speaking), for obvious reasons, and as already mentioned above, needs to be taken very very seriously by teachers and school administrators.  Student safety is a primary responsibility of all teachers.

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3) 

v11-04-03

“Actually, all mine are home schooled!”

Concluding Comments From The Editor

That takes care of issue # 4.

Hockey-wise, our St. Bon’s game this past Friday night was cancelled because of the snow storm, so nothing to report there!  We all hate to miss our Friday night game!  Re NHL hockey, les Habs’ loss Saturday night was somewhat “neutralized” by the Leafs’ loss to Ottawa, but ce n’est pas bon!

Thank you to those interns who sent in submissions this week – they are always interesting and most insightful.  Your time and efforts in putting those together is most appreciated because to say you are busy would be a tad of an understatement!  And, of course, the Primary/Elementary interns are doing an online course, Education 4425 (An Intro to Educational Administration) while on their internships; this of course adds a whole new dimension to being “busy”!

Have an enjoyable week everyone and as mentioned before, feedback is always welcomed from the current interns and from the general readership.  My email address is jdelaney@mun.ca

Best regards to all – Jerome

Posted in Volume 11 (Winter 2017) | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vol. 11, Number 3

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)

v11-03-01

“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)

v11-03-02

“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)

v11-03-03

“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 jdelaney@mun.ca

Best wishes to all – Jerome

Posted in special issues, Volume 11 (Winter 2017) | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Vol. 11, Number 2

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)

v11-02-01

“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)

v11-02-02

“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) 

v11-02-03

“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 jdelaney@mun.ca

Best wishes to all – Jerome

Posted in Volume 11 (Winter 2017) | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Volume 11, Number 1

Welcome to our 11th year of publication for The Monday eMemo.  This is a momentous occasion for the eMemo as we are now utilizing a blog format to bring you this publication.  A tremendous word of thank you to our Teaching & Learning Commons co-ordinator here in the Faculty of Education, Maurice Barry who is my “lead” on making this transition.  Without Maurice’s expertise, this could not have happened and I’m eternally grateful to him for that expertise and for his abundance of patience in mentoring me through this process.  I’m anticipating a few start-up “bugs” but hopefully they will be short-lived.  Enjoy!

Feedback From Last Year’s Interns

With our Primary/Elementary and Intermediate/Secondary interns just beginning their internships as of today, we obviously do not have feedback on those internships to date!  However, as we have done in past years, we include in this section a few submissions from years past in order to give both current interns and the general readership a “flavor” of what to expect in those submissions.

 Knowing the names of 24 little ones

Sometimes it feels like I have been attending Memorial an eternity. With one degree down, half of another in the works, and graduate school looming as an eventuality on the horizon, it’s easy to feel exhausted and burnt out. You get used to a daily grind: go to class, write tests, go home, write assignments, feel stressed. Rinse and repeat. “Don’t forget you’re here forever”. Walking into my internship felt like a breath of fresh air. There was a little nervousness about the dynamic of returning to a school I attended as a child (and returning to the same Grade One classroom, albeit with a different teacher), but my observation days alone had confirmed that this is the right path for me. It feels like I am finally doing something that I actually want to be doing. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a learning curve. Not every day or every lesson is going to be shining perfection. But I’m doing something productive with a great class and I have the support and guidance of an excellent co-operating teacher. Knowing the names of 24 little ones, teaching them and getting to know them feels good. I’m watching their lives and their progress, and I’m taking part in their triumphs and their challenges.  We’re learning together. For the first time in my life, I look forward to Mondays!  (Primary Intern)

Got my first report card today

Got my first report card today! I did excellent on everything except for my voice and ability to get the students to settle down. Although I knew this would be my weakness going in, I feel that I have come a long way in just a month. Overall my teaching experience has been good and the students tell their peers to be quiet while I’m teaching.On a side note, we took the students snowshoeing today and I noticed how most of them complained that their feet hurt, they were tired, etc. AND we were only outside for 30 minutes!!! I’d like to plead to all the other interns who will be teachers soon to please bring their students outside when the opportunity presents itself. Having a lesson outside may make the students remember/appreciate the world they live in and not the TV/PS3 world.  (Elementary Intern)

A wonderful teacher and person

I’m 1 month into my internship and I can honestly say I couldn’t have asked for a better co-operating teacher. I have learned more from her in 5 weeks than I could have ever hoped for.  The thing that continues to amaze me is how much she genuinely cares for her students. I see it each and every day, but more importantly, the students see it as well. They trust her completely, know they will be given the best instruction possible and feel comfortable talking to her about personal issues.

What I find incredibly interesting is how quickly the students have transferred those feelings from her to me. My co-operating teacher and I have spoken about this privately and we both expressed our surprise at just how quickly and smoothly this transference has happened. I consider myself so lucky to have been paired up with such a wonderful teacher and person. I hope the next 8 weeks prove to be just as rewarding.   (Intermediate Intern)

 For the first time in my life I’m conflicted over snow days

Things have been off to a slow start here in Nova Scotia, something I have been grateful for. Students here are finishing up exams week this week and I will be coming out in full force – well 50% load starting on Monday! I have only been able to lead a couple classes thus far because my co-operating teacher has been hard pressed to finish material off to prepare the students for their exams.

In the meantime I have been able to get so much prep work done. I am eager to really get things going and feel what it is like to teach every day.

The staff and the students are all so wonderful here at this school; I feel comfortable coming in every morning. For the first time in my life I am conflicted over snow days and whether or not I want them. I recognize the value of class time now and what it’s like when you don’t have enough. It then becomes even more of a challenge to cover all the material in the curriculum and present it in such a way that students can get a deep understanding of the content in the shorter timeframe.

(Secondary Intern)

 

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 1)

v11-01-01

“I flunked History but that’s obviously
living in the past.”

 

Advice For You As A Teacher Intern

  1. Be on time. [Arriving early is highly recommended. Also highly recommended is not leaving the building one minute after the last bell!]
  2. Dress appropriately. [I think this means “professionally”. Business-casual seems to be the “order of the day” and by that is meant dress pants/skirts – dress shirts/blouses – no blue jeans or t-shirts – no sneakers unless you’re a Phys Ed teacher intern!]
  3. Be flexible.
  4. Follow the school rules.
  5. Plan ahead.
  6. Befriend the office staff.
  7. Maintain confidentiality.
  8. Don’t gossip.
  9. Be professional with fellow teachers. And lastly,
  10. Don’t wait to the last minute to call in sick.

 

Some Additional Sage Advice

Sometimes interns run into difficulty early in their internships.  There may be a personality conflict with a co-operating teacher, a problem with classroom management, problems with lesson planning, etc.  It is most important that interns seek help early.  That help could be in the form of seeking advice from one of your fall semester university instructors, a “seasoned” teacher friend, your MUN internship supervisor, another teacher at your internship school or our co-ordinator of field placements, Mr. Hayward Blake (hblake@mun.ca; telephone 864-2169).

Who you speak to is your decision but it is extremely important that you speak to someone for advice.  Don’t let the problem “fester” and find yourself too late in the internship to take corrective action.  This is not fair to you or to your co-operating teacher.

 

Reminder To All Interns About Sending In Submissions for the eMemo

Back in early December all interns received a schedule indicating the deadline date for your submission.  This week you will receive an e-copy of that schedule and you are asked to check your submission deadline date.  And as mentioned in December, your submissions are totally voluntary and may be whatever length you wish.  Your co-operation in this regard is most appreciated and of course, this eMEMO could not exist without those submissions!

 

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 2)

v11-01-02

 

“The homework assignment tonight is to find
the dogs that ate your spelling lists and take the
words right out of their mouths.”

 

 Education Law Cornerv11-01-03

Two very important concepts in Education Law are liability and negligence.

Liability simply means that we are responsible for our own behavior.  As teachers we are indeed liable or responsible for how we conduct ourselves as professionals both within the school walls and outside those school walls.  Some would even go so far as to say that we are teachers 24-7!  For example, if you are teaching in a school here in St. John’s and a student sees you at the Avalon Mall, the student will in all likelihood tell his mother or father that there goes his teacher; whether it is on a weekday or weekend doesn’t matter – that individual is still the student’s teacher!

The other concept, negligence, simply means doing what a reasonable person should not do or not doing what a reasonable person should do. Of course, in Education, the context we operate in is the classroom specifically and school in general.  And for true negligence in the legal sense to happen, there has to be injury or harm done to an individual. A basic but perhaps silly example is: if you are a Tech Ed teacher and students are using serious equipment in your class such as a band saw – you tell them to continue working with this piece of equipment while you saunter next door to Tim Horton’s to get a coffee and a student accidently cuts off a finger!  This is obviously negligence as it is definitely something a reasonable person (i. e., a teacher in this case) would not do and in this case there is obviously injury or harm done to an individual!

Food for thought!

 

On The Lighter Side of Teaching (Part 3) 

v11-01-04

    “I obviously haven’t taught you
how to make coffee!”

 

Concluding Comments From The Editor

 That’s it for this year’s first issue. Hope you have a great start to your internship this week and we anticipate a number of submissions in the next issue (which will come out on Sunday, Jan. 8) describing those first few days of a completely different experience for all you interns.

Some of you already know that yours truly is a fanatical Montreal Canadiens fan and that I play a scrimmage hockey game every Friday night at St. Bon’s Forum here in the city.  I started this group 11 years ago, around the same time as the eMEMO got started.  No surprise then that should I score a goal or get a point in our game (happens somewhat infrequently!), you will hear all about it in this section of the eMEMO.  As one of my Intermediate/Secondary students plays with us, Brett Hoyles, I’ll have to keep my “embellishments” to a limit – darn it!

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 jdelaney@mun.ca

 

Best wishes to all – Jerome

Posted in Volume 11 (Winter 2017) | 8 Comments

Vol. 1

THE MONDAY eMemo: VOLUME 1

Posted in Volume 01 (Winter 2007) | Leave a comment