McKaylee Michaelson had the opportunity to be a first grade teacher to 28 students in the Alpine School District. She learned that each child learns differently and that not every day has to be perfect. Read more about her time in the classroom here!
What was your internship experience?
I have had the wonderful opportunity to teach first grade at a school in Alpine School District. During this year long adventure, I have been the head teacher and taken part in collaborative efforts with team members. I have had many opportunities to share insight and new/upcoming research regarding best practices in teaching young children. During this time, I have had aides work in my classroom and have learned how to delegate duties among others. In my class of 28 students, there are many different levels of learning. Each child learns in different ways and enjoys different things. It is important for me to know each child individually, culturally and in the context of our classroom.
One unique aspect of my internship includes working with a child who is deaf. The world of Deaf/Hard of Hearing has been opened to me- a world in which I have only considered in brief moments during CPSE classes. I have loved working with the administration at my school and learning so much from mentors found all around.
Additionally, I have had the opportunity to help run and direct the Elementary School Choir, which has been a dream of mine. As an ECE major, I love the opportunity to also work with the older kids that participate in Choir.
What was the most important thing you learned during this experience?
It was most important for me to learn that not every day has to be perfect. As a teacher, you are always "on"-- especially for the littles. Sometimes, it is more important for each child (and adult) to just be heard rather than making sure we get through every item on the list.
My courses prepared me enough to be successful in my internship, but you will never be completely ready for your first year of teaching. That is why the internship is such a great way to have so much support from BYU while completing your first year.
I learned how to have collaborative conversations, effective communication with parents/ colleagues, relying on administration to help when needed, and relying on yourself when you can problem solve