Allison, one of the very first bloggers for the McKay School, has had the opportunity this past year to do the Elementary Education internship. She taught fourth grade in the Nebo School District. I know that many people majoring in Elementary Education will soon be making the decision between an internship or student teaching. I interviewed ‘Miss Mills’ and got to hear about her amazing adventure as a first-year teacher and intern.
Allison said after everything she learned at BYU, she just needed to put the things she learned to use in a classroom. That is where her internship experience comes in. An important lesson that Allison learned was that mistakes are normal. She said, “During the nine months I worked at the school, I made countless mistakes, but the experience taught me lessons that I will carry with me into future teaching jobs.” It’s important to keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes and that lessons won’t always turn out how you planned.
Some days as a teacher are harder than others. But, Allison said that “the days that I chose to write compliments to students, taught with my personality, knew the material, and anticipated how the material would be received by the class were the days that I remember best.” Those days, she says, make the hard days so worth it. Allison talked about the days that she could just see the students’ potential through the light in their eyes, and it brought tears to her own eyes. She loved seeing the light and love that came from the students.
It’s so fun to hear about the happy moments in Allison’s classroom. She said, “…I will always remember the fun times we had as a class. I remember moments when one student would say something so funny, I would burst out laughing and the whole class would enjoy the happy atmosphere. Other moments when we would play review games and the class was just so happy to participate and show what they knew. The best moments were when I was able to see these students become young men and women—when they would apologize and help each other, when they saw a need of a lone friend and take them under their wing.” Allison said, “Those moments will be etched forever in my memory.”
One time, Allison took her class outside and they practiced making angles on the field. How fun! She said that the students were creative with it and really enjoyed it. Another time, Allison came back to her classroom after a substitute took over and she found a beautiful green poster that said, “Sign here if Miss Mills is the best” and the whole class had signed it. Allison said that it totally made her day. Allison had the chance to read what a little girl in her class had to say about the fourth grade. This student said that she liked math and science because Miss Mills made it fun. She said that she just loved her teacher. Throughout the year, Allison hadn’t felt like she had totally reached this little girl or related to her, so this note brought tears to Allison’s eyes. Allison said, “That is the amazing thing about being a teacher–you never know who you are touching and how.”
“Incredible” was the word Allison used to describe her internship experience. She said it was both challenging and rewarding. Allison says that the lessons she learned will not be wasted. She loved how forgiving and loving her fourth graders were. Lastly, Allison says, “… For those of you who are thinking about interning, I would say, DO IT! You’ll never regret it.” Whether it be a student teaching position or an internship, it sure sounds like an excellent experience! If you are trying to choose between an internship or student teaching, which are you leaning toward and why?
A blog post on “A Student Teaching Experience”… COMING SOON!