Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of BYU Practicum students in the Jordan School District. They had a lot of great questions. I thought I would share some of their questions and a few of my responses…
Q: How did you decide to intern?
A: I absolutely loved my practicum experiences where I got to teach in another teacher’s classroom and implement someone else’s management plan. By the time my practicum experiences were over, I felt ready to implement my own management plan and create my own classroom environment.
Q: What surprised you the most this year?
A: I didn’t realize quite how many decisions would be mine to make. It was exciting, but also overwhelming at first! For example, making a seating chart, deciding what accommodations to make for students, etc. I was also very pleasantly surprised at how willing my grade level team was to help and share resources with me.
Q: What were internship interviews like?
A: Interviews were during my second practicum experience. I showed up at the Jordan District Office, along with a few other intern candidates. We sat at a table with our CFAs and they gave us a list of some of the questions we might be asked. They gave us advice on how to answer each question. Then, we all sat in the front of a room filled with the Principals and Facilitators of each of the BYU partnership schools in the district. Since I had completed both of my practicum experiences and my TELL student teaching experience in Jordan District, I knew more than half of the people in the room. The Human Resources director asked us a few questions and we each answered them. The questions helped them get to know us. After that, we each got to go in that same room one by one. He asked us different questions, these ones were more about specific experiences from our practicum experiences. The people in the room took notes. Each of us went back to our practicum schools for the rest of the day. Later that afternoon, our BYU liaison called and offered us positions at each school.
Q: How much time did you spend planning at the beginning? How much time do you spend planning now?
A: I spent a lot of time planning at the beginning of my internship. I remember a lot of us interns were very concerned at the beginning about how much time it took to plan. Over time, I have come up with a good system for planning that makes it much quicker. Thankfully, that’s how it has been with grading, contacting parents, sending out newsletters, etc. It has all gotten faster over time.
Q: How did you decide which district to intern in?
A: I did a lot of research about each district before I even had to choose my practicum districts. All of the BYU Partnership districts are awesome. There are certain things that set each one apart from the others though. I chose Jordan District for many reasons. First, they are very professional, have high expectations (which I think is only fair to students), are making positive changes in education, are a good size district (others are much bigger or much smaller) and I love the community in that area. I completed both of my practicum experiences in Jordan District. I would highly recommend completing both of your practicums in the same district if you’re set on one from the beginning. If you’re not set on one district, it can be good to do your practicum experiences in two different experiences and then choose your favorite one to intern in.
Q: Do you regret your decision to intern?
A: Definitely not! I have learned so much this year and have had so much support, especially from my facilitator.
Q: Did you get rehired at your same school?
A: Yes! I will be teaching 1st grade and I can’t wait!
If you have any other questions about the Elementary Education Internship experience, feel free to comment below!