Rebekah Prince shared a little piece of her heart when she wrote about her time as a teaching intern. Check out her story here with the Wasatch County School District!
Most people understand what student teaching is. That is observing and sometimes teaching in someone else's classroom for one semester without pay. It is normal. An internship however, is both unique and opportunistic. As an intern, you are the teacher.
You have your own classroom.
You have your own students.
You plan all the lessons.
You deal with every crisis and celebrate every success.
You learn at an exponential rate.
Granted, you have a mentor, and you have a team of people assigned to help you grow, learn, and succeed. Every teacher will have a first year. Why not make it the best? Why not give yourself every opportunity to ask questions, to learn on the spot, to do what you spent four years studying to do? You were meant to teach. This just took it to the next level right away.
Admittedly, August was terrifying. September was overwhelming. In October you were thankful for Fall Break. But to your surprise, when November came around, you grew confident, alert, energized, and sure of your ability as an educator. By December, you realized you still had far to go, but you could look back at how far you had come, and recognize that the scared intern that walked in on day one was not the fearless teacher who greeted the kids this morning.
The most useful thing I learned and am learning from my internship is that it is okay to not be the perfect teacher. It is okay to have a lesson fall apart. It is okay to not know how to handle a situation. It is okay, as long as you tell yourself that you will grow from the experience. It is okay to get frustrated with a class, but only if you use it as a teaching opportunity to model an apology. It is okay to cry in your car because you are overwhelmed and just want your students to succeed. It is okay to feel inadequate. It is okay to have hard days. It is also okay to grow and learn from everything. It is okay to watch another teacher and mirror them. It is okay to redo a lesson to make sure your students master it. It is okay to tell yourself that you are amazing and that you are trying your best. It is okay to succeed and admit it. It is okay to be a lifelong learner.
Every class focused on something different, whether that was classroom management, laws regarding education, strategies to teach content areas, and more. Each course focused on a unique aspect that built itself into an education on educating.I have developed and am continuing to develop greater skills with lesson planning, helping children work through difficult emotions, teaching students how to problem solve, identifying different ways to solve a math problem, taking effective notes at meetings, etc.