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Reflecting on my Internship

Wow, it’s hard to believe that there is only two weeks left to this internship. I don’t know where the time has gone. Like the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. I know I have had so much fun teaching during my internship and I am sad to see it end. I can honestly say that I love teaching and I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship in Kindergarten at Virginia Park Elementary. The administration and staff are phenomenal, and I have really enjoyed working with them. When reflecting upon my internship, I feel it was an extremely valuable experience and it has confirmed that teaching is the right profession for me. It has shaped my development as a teacher in many ways which I will elaborate on below.

My internship has had a huge impact on shaping my development as a teacher through my experience gained by teaching various subject areas in the classroom. I feel that having this experience is essential as it is the job of a teacher to teach students the various subjects as prescribed by the curriculum. I have learned many things about creating lessons that are appropriate for the subject areas and grade level as well as creating lessons that are cross-curricular and appropriate for a diverse group of learners. While I did learn how to create these lessons prior to my internship in university, I feel that my experience with actually applying these lessons has helped me learn how to create lessons that are more effective and practical for the students in my class. I feel very comfortable teaching my lessons in the classroom and I feel that this has had a tremendous impact on my professional growth.

I feel that my internship has also helped shape my development as a teacher through how I have learned to manage the class. I have acquired some good great classroom management techniques, through a lot of hard work and practice, that as we all know, is a really important aspect of teaching. I feel that learning these classroom management techniques is an essential part of becoming an effective teacher.

Learning about and experiencing the life of a teacher, both in and out of the school, has also been a large part of my development as a teacher. I have certainly learned a tremendous amount about the life of a teacher in the classroom, as well as the various duties teachers are responsible for outside the classroom. These duties include staff and other meetings, being a part of committees, planning, and much more. I have enjoyed all of these aspects of the teaching career and I feel that experiencing all of these things has made me aware of all of the responsibilities that come along with being a teacher. I have also experienced how a teacher’s job certainly does not end at the end of the school day. Teachers almost always have to take work home with them along with their planning for the next day. While sometimes it can be overwhelming and tiring to have all of this work to do, I have enjoyed the work that I have had to do to prepare lessons, correct, etc. Having experienced the life of a teacher first hand during my internship, I feel I am more prepared and ready to handle a classroom of my own.

Finally, learning how to think on my feet is another skill that I have learned to do better during my internship. I feel that this has helped shape my development as a teacher, since, quite often, plans change or something is not working and you have to think of another way to do it or teach it rather quickly. This is an important skill for a teacher to have.

I feel that everything I have done and learned about during my internship has contributed to shaping my development as a teacher. An internship is an exceptional learning experience. Every aspect of it influences and aids our development. The experiences mentioned above are only a fraction of the things that have contributed to my professional and personal growth during my internship. I feel that I have learned many valuable things in such a short time and am proud to have successfully completed my internship. I hope that I have also aided in the educational development of the students in my class through the lessons and activities that I have done with them.

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Achieving Goals

Goal setting is very important on a professional as well as personal level. It gives you something to work towards which helps us grow professionally as well as personally. The three goals I set for myself during this internship are to become a good classroom manager, to become more confident teaching in the classroom, and also to become more familiar with the curriculum. I think these are all important goals that need to be achieved in order to become an effective teacher. Below I will describe how I have worked and am still working to achieve these goals.

To achieve my first goal of becoming a good classroom manager, I have observed the management techniques that my co-operating teacher uses and have implemented them myself. This has been successful as the students are familiar with these techniques. My co-operating teacher and I have found that keeping consistency with what we both use to manage the class is important because consistency helps not to cause any confusion for our students. I have also been trying new techniques that I have learned myself to better manage the class. Some things worked while others did not. The things that did work have been working really well and as a result, my co-operating teacher and I have continued to use those techniques. I like to be able to bring something new into the classroom that my co-operating teacher can use when I leave. I have also tried to talk with other teachers in my school at different grade levels to get an idea of how they manage their classroom because I am aware that things work differently with different age children. This has given me some ideas of things I could do at different grade levels. I know that classroom management is one of the most important aspects of teaching because if the class is not in order and students are not listening, learning cannot occur. Through the things I have done and am continuing to do, I feel that I have achieved this goal during my internship. This makes me very happy as well as confident that I will be a good classroom manager in my own classroom someday.

My second goal was to become more confident teaching in the classroom. I have achieved this goal rather quickly. As I got to know the students and my co-operating teacher, I soon became really comfortable teaching the classroom. Also as time went on I became more confident that my lessons were effective as the children grasped the concepts and enjoyed the various activities and lessons I prepared for them. My co-operating teacher has also helped me become more confident through her positive comments. I love teaching my students. I enjoy every minute of it. I love acting silly in the classroom and seeing my students smile and enjoy themselves while learning at the same time. As I said in my first journal entry I thought this goal would be achieved with time and practice which is what happened for me. I am so comfortable and confident with my students and my co-operating teacher at this point that it will be very hard to leave them in a few weeks as I am sure is the case for most people during their internship.

My third goal was to become more familiar with the curriculum. To achieve this goal I have been reviewing the curriculum guides quite frequently. This is not only beneficial to my teaching in the classroom but also for future job interviews. I have also talked with my co-operating teacher about the curriculum and observed how she plans out the whole year with certain outcomes to cover for each month. As a beginning teacher this is something that I was nervous about, but I think the key is to plan out the whole year in advance to ensure you have every outcome planned in to cover at some point during the year. As well, I have learned that creating lessons that are cross-curricular are a good way to cover multiple outcomes. I feel that I have effectively achieved this goal and I am happy to be more familiar with the curriculum guides as they are what all teachers have to follow.

I feel that I have effectively achieved these three goals as well as many more that I have personally set for myself during this internship. While there is still more for me to learn, I feel I have gained so much knowledge to help me be an effective teacher. I am having a terrific experience at my school; it’s hard to believe that it is almost over. I feel sad that I have to leave all the students that I have became so attached to but on the other hand happy that I have almost completed my degree and will soon be out there teaching myself.

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Effective Assessment Techniques

There are many effective assessment techniques that teachers use on a regular basis. During my internship thus far, I have observed and implemented many assessment techniques that I have considered to be effective. Being in a kindergarten classroom there is a lot of informal assessment as opposed to formal assessment as the students are not involved in writing tests, quizzes, or papers. Three assessment techniques that I have observed and/or implemented in my classroom include simply observing the students, questioning, and authentic assessment through students reading baggy books and responding to them with writing and illustrations. I will elaborate on each of these below.

Observation is an assessment technique that my co-operating teacher and I do on a daily basis as I am sure many other teachers do. To ensure each student is assessed and assessed properly, we use checklists which list all of our expectations for the particular activity. I find having a checklist with all of the student’s names and the expectations give structure and purpose to the observation as you know what things you are specifically looking for. Being in a kindergarten classroom, I find observation to be one of the most effective assessment techniques. As I mentioned above, these young students are not involved in writing tests, etc. so a huge amount of the assessment is in fact done through observation. My co-operating teacher uses this assessment technique frequently and finds it to be very effective with her students. I have used observations in the classroom and have found it to be an effective technique also.

Questioning is another assessment technique that I consider to be effective. It is important to ask questions to check for students understanding. Sometimes it is not clear just through observation if students understand the concepts that you want them to. After the completion of an activity, I often get students together for a discussion where I ask them various questions to check for understanding. I find this technique to be very effective as it is quite obvious which students understand and which do not. When using this assessment technique it is important to remember to use open-ended questions as they require students to think and explain themselves as opposed to simply answering a question with a yes or no response. It is also important to have a classroom with mutual respect to create an atmosphere in which students feel comfortable to speak and answer questions with their teachers and peers present.

Lastly, using authentic assessment through students reading baggy books and responding to them using writing and illustrations is also an assessment technique that I consider to be effective. During my internship I have observed and implemented this assessment technique on a daily basis. The students are assessed individually on their reading skills as well as their understanding of the book through their verbal and written responses. The written responses are very brief as the students are in kindergarten. The students often draw pictures to illustrate what their book was about or what it meant to them. This assessment technique has been a very effective way for my co-operating teacher and I to assess our students as it would be hard to assess reading skills and understanding of a text in a larger group setting. The individual and small group assessment seems to work best for us and our students.

It is extremely important to have many effective assessment techniques to use daily in the classroom. I feel that in order for an assessment technique to be proven effective or not you need to try it out and see which techniques work best for you. Since beginning my internship, I have observed and implemented many techniques that I have found to be effective as well as some that have not been as effective. I consider the techniques that did not work as well to be a learning experience because you will never know if you don’t try. I am sure there are many other effective techniques that I will learn during the remaining weeks of my internship as well as in my future teaching career.

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