Tag Archive | internship

Well Internship Is Over, Now What?

I still remember my first day at university – really it feels like it was yesterday (just with a bunch of great events and memories that somehow happened in between there!).  But now, here I’m saying: It has been over two months since I completed my internship… WOW! To finally be able to say those words and knowing that I have 2 months left of university left… well… it’s absolutely insane! I can’t believe how my journey through university has gone by so fast (I truly am beginning to believe the expression “where did the time go?”).  

To comment on my internship, words cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for the people I was surrounded with during my experience.  As much work as it was, I enjoyed every minute of it.  And every morning, I didn’t wake up thinking “Ugh, now to go to my job… can’t wait till 3:30 comes!” Instead, I woke up every day excited for what was going to happen next and to surround myself with the positive support network that I had.  Yes, there were days when I could have wished for a few more minutes of sleep or even wished a redo for a day/lesson, but I always went to school feeling excited.  When end of December came, it just didn’t feel right leaving – I was very nervous to come back to school to be a student again!

So now that internship is done, I’m in my last semester of university.  To say the least, the teacher back to student transition has been a bit rough for me.  I feel like my rating as a student fluctuates constantly between a good student and the worst procrastinator in the world.  There are times when I tackle homework and actually surprise myself in what I have accomplished work-wise.  But then there are times when my mind starts to wonder from what my students are doing, how they are doing, and how much I miss teaching and being in the classroom.

Because I had taken a few summer classes during my summers, I am only taking 3 classes, and wow! What a huge help this has been (I definitely encourage everyone to do this!).  I am finally able to start relaxing and take a break from internship and I now even have time for a job (which is at the university).  Dealing with loans this year has been a huge struggle and now having the time to be able to work has been awesome! So right now, I’m working and in university and I’m still able to find the time to relax and actually blog (I have surprised myself with this, but I really do miss blogging – however now that I announce that to the world… I will probably fall off the band wagon again and not post for another month or two…).

Anyways, so now all that is left for my time at the university is to hopefully stay on my “good student” self rating and get through this last semester.  Also, it is currently job application time so wish me luck (which I will add is not easy! There are so many possibilities and considerations to make! Oh boy!)!  And to all you future educators and those graduating, good luck and I hope your university experience has been as amazing as mine! I hope you see you all on the flip side!!!

And hey! While I’m at it, I just wanted to thank all the people in my life for being so supportive and caring.  I know that having to deal with me at times can be difficult but it’s everyone in my life that has helped me get to where I am now. 🙂

Advertisements

The First Week – Huge Respect for Substitutes!

September 3rd-6th

So first week… what can I say? It had it’s ups and downs which is to be expected.  I began the semester by teaching Workplace and Apprenticeship 30 class (for those who don’t know, this is a grade 12 math class).

So, the very first day of class I only had my students for 20 minutes since we had an assembly part way through the class.  This was okay but it felt very chaotic.  I had a few things planned but with my mind running everywhere, I came off as very disorganized and did not have a teacher presence/authority.  The next day, however, I feel like my teacher authority came out when discussing the classroom expectations and rules and that I finally had established myself as a teacher (and not as some young person who thinks they can teach but can easily be run over by the students).

Things seemed like they were going well until my teacher had asked me to try “subbing” for one of her classes (don’t worry there was another teacher present!).  I asked what class it was and when she said “Foundations 10,” I figured “Hey, it’s grade 10 math! This should be a piece of cake!”   Was I ever wrong! The material that was being taught that day was converting units in the Imperial system (US metric system).  This was most definitely not on the top of my “most favourite topics in math” list.  In fact, I feel like I have put a block on this high school memory and I actually don’t remember learning it.  Asking my friends, they admit that they learned this material so I have come to the conclusion that I just chose to forget it because it was that horrid! So, if you could guess, this lesson did not go so well! I had trouble explaining the material and we actually ended up moving to the assignment and not finishing the examples (with the promise that my co-op would go over it the next day).  The one thing that I remember clearly in my mind is the fact that I kept trying to hint for the actual substitute teacher to take over (because he knew the material very well!) but he wouldn’t.  However, as sad as I had become about this lesson, this was a huge learning experience for me and I’m glad that he didn’t let me back out.  The next day I apologized to the class and taught the last example to the students. By doing this, I hoped that I could redeem myself as a teacher in those students eyes (which is huge I feel because I will be teaching them in about a month!).

With that said, my actual class went very well and I have already learned a lot! The sub day had me question myself as a teacher but you know what? We all have our bad days! It’s going to be okay and you know what? It’s only my first week! It’s not expected to go great! Internship is where you should be taking risks and making mistakes.  Just know that if you make mistakes, take them as a learning opportunity and don’t let it get you down!

“Blog About It” Entry 6: Part A – 3 BIG Questions

Three BIG questions about field experience and the role of teacher education:

1. What do you think is the purpose of field experience (i.e. pre-internship practicum, internship, etc.)?

I feel that field experiences serve many purposes that are all important.  The first is that the field experience allows us a chance to take what we have learned in our classes and actually apply that information into the classroom.  Throughout the past three years, there has been a tremendous amount of information that we, as teachers, need to know.  We can memorize and try to understand this material as much as we can but the best way for us to actually learn and understand this material is by experiencing it in the classroom and putting it into practice.  I can say that this is true for a fact because I’ve been through this.  One specific example was ECS 200 and 210.  There was a lot of information that, sure I thought was important, but I didn’t fully grasp the idea of what this might look like and how it would affect my teaching.  It wasn’t until ECS 300 when I got to teach is where I saw a lot of this information coming back to me and finally being able to see how it impacts the classroom and teacher.

The second purpose is that it’s a chance for us to practice teaching and work towards becoming the teacher that we imagine ourselves to be.  Also, it gives us a chance to try new things (ex. teaching styles/methods, classroom management, etc.), see what works and what doesn’t, and make mistakes while we still can and have someone to help us out if things get rough.

Another purpose includes being able to observe others and expand our ideas of and knowledge about teaching.  Sometimes, you don’t get to experience a wide variety of classrooms and teaching styles, especially for those in small schools.  Thus, being able to experience different classrooms and different teachers expands our knowledge of more current teaching practices and the different methods and practices that occur that differ from our own schooling experiences.

Being able to increase PLN (personal learning network) and get our names out in the schools is another purpose of field experiences.  Being in a school, there are many teachers and staff that you can become acquainted with and add to your PLN.  PLN’s are very important as the people in this group share information with one another and help each other out if needed.  Also, getting your name out and around to different teachers and administrators can increase your chances of getting a job.  Listening to many stories from interns and new teachers, their field experiences (mainly internship) got their name out to different people and many have been given high recommendations and some even got hired at their internship school immediate after graduation!

Lastly, then field experience allows us to gradually get used to the idea of teaching and makes us aware of some of the things to expect when we begin teaching.  Gradually get us used to the idea of teaching is important because that way it doesn’t feel like we are being thrown into teaching and become overwhelmed.  Being aware of what to expect and have few surprises will help increase the likeliness that we actually become great teachers and that teaching is something that we make a career of.  Statistics say that the first 5 years of teaching is the most difficult and this is when many teachers quit their jobs and move on to other professions.  A huge factor of this loss is because of the stress and complications that teachers had not foreseen and then become greatly overwhelmed and stressed.  Field experiences allows us to practice, observe, and become aware of and prepare for some of the complications, stress, and any other troubles that they may face in the future.

2. What roles does (or should) a teacher education program play in the process of becoming a teacher?

Just like the field experience, the teacher education program provides us with the opportunity to prepare for and work towards becoming the teacher that we want to be.  It also provides us with the information that will help us succeed as teachers, to be the best we can be for our students, information about students and their learning so that we can prepare to educate our students and help them to maximize their chances of success in school, and in life.

The teacher education program also allows us the opportunity to put this information to the test by applying it to actual teaching experiences.  Through these experiences, we are also provided with the opportunity build our own teaching philosophies and theories, to put these into context, and make changes and amendments to work towards perfecting these philosophies and theories.

Also, the teacher education program challenges our current views of teaching and education.  Teaching and education is rapidly evolving and changing; thus, it is important that we constantly challenge our ways of thinking and think of new ways to better ourselves and make our teaching more effective and efficient so that students can maximize their learning experience at school and make it more enjoyable.

3. What do you already know now about being a mathematics teacher that is unlikely to change through your upcoming field experiences (i.e. fundamental beliefs, values, commitments, etc.)?

There are a few things that I can be certain about being a mathematics teacher that is unlikely to change through my upcoming field experiences.  This includes:

1. As a mathematics teacher, I need to help my students understand math, rather than memorize it.

2. Rather than just the answer, it is more important to teach and assess the thought process and steps of a solution.

3. As a mathematics teacher, I need to be 100% committed to teaching my students, be there if they need help, and provide them with everything they need to help the succeed.

4. In mathematics, not every lesson has to be inquiry-based.  There are many factors that can affect this such as timing and the type of class.