Sunday, June 21, 2009

Week 9 - Teaching Internship

The last week of my internship, at least for the Canadian portion, was also the last week of school. Monday was used as a "regular" school day in which my host teacher, Mrs. G., did most of the teaching. I still did the morning message and the last of the poetry lessons (limericks). The rest of the week was filled with activities for the kids.

On Tuesday, the grades one to three went to a local park for about three hours. The teachers went (of course), and some of the parents showed up part way through to help keep an eye on the kids. The kids were great, and while there were no great emergencies, three kids in our class all banged their heads on playground equipment. One boy ended up with a large bump on his head as a result; the rest were fine. Another little boy jumped over a little ditch that had some water in it. There was also mud around it. I didn't see it, but apparently his foot lost hold and he sprawled out in the mud and his pants were soaked and muddy (not sure about his t-shirt though). Mrs. G. called his mom and she and the boy's step-father came with a change of clothes for him. This little fellow, even though his step-father had told him he'd bring the clothes, worried the entire time he had to wait.

"What if his work calls him in and he doesn't bring my clothes?" he asked.

"I'm sure your step-father will tell his boss that he has to drop your clothes off and he'll be in after." I assured him.

"Well, what if his boss tells him he has to come in right now or else he's fired?" The little fellow frowned.

"I'm sure his boss will let him bring you your clothes first. I don't think they'll fire him for that."

The poor little guy worried and worried until his family showed up about fifteen or twenty minutes later. He was so glad. He even got his mom to buy him a bottle of Coke from a pop machine that was by the park, and he wanted me to take a picture of him holding the bottle up. I did, and he was thrilled when I told him that would probably end up on the slide show the teacher was going to have for the kids.

Wednesday morning there was a field day for the kindergarten to grade four classes. They really enjoyed this. We were unsure if it was even going to take place until that morning, because there were no messages or emails about it until then. The first portion took place in the gym because it had been rainy out. By recess, the sun had come out and it had gotten incredibly warm - hot by the end of the afternoon.

That afternoon, we set our butterflies free. We invited the grades one and threes to come and watch as we did this. I had the class recite a few things they had learned for the others, and then we opened the top of the tank. One flew out immediately, and the rest we had to get on a stick and bring out of the tank and find a way to get them to fly off (most went on their own). We didn't touch the butterflies in any way so as not to hurt or damage their wings. It was a great afternoon and we all enjoyed setting the butterflies free! We were lucky that they were all out of their cocoons, because we weren't sure if they would be out by the end of the week when school was over. The last one emerged that morning!

Thursday Mrs. G. had showed the slide show she had her husband prepare. This was pictures from throughout the year of the grades one to three classes, and it was set to music. The kids really enjoyed it - as did the teachers and parents who had been allowed to come and watch as well. That afternoon, we let the kids play outside since there wasn't any work for them to do.

Friday was only half a day, and the kids were all gone by noon. I was really touched when Mrs. G. presented me with a gift on behalf of the class. She had a class picture taken when we were out at the park on Wednesday, and had me and the TA in one of them (she took that picture). She had purchased one of those frames you can write on, and had the kids all sign it. I was almost in tears when she gave it to me, but I held them back. I also got a gift from a couple of the students, a potted Gerber Daisy plant from another, and one little boy had planted seeds in a can, wound yarn around the can and the seeds grew into little yellow flowers. My mom calls them "Johnny Jump Ups" but I don't know if that is the correct name for them or not. I also got a couple of thank you cards, one from Mrs. G. as well. I wasn't expecting any gifts since I was only the intern.

The staff went to lunch together, and then when we got back, Mrs. G. gave me my evaluation and went over it with me. She said I did an awesome job, and that any class that has me as a teacher will be very lucky. She said that she can tell that I have a passion for teaching and will make a wonderful teacher.

I enjoyed the first part of my internship a great deal. I was lucky to have a wonderful class with wonderful students, and an awesome host teacher. I certainly "lucked out"! I will miss them all a great deal, and hopefully when I get on the supply teacher list I will get to teach/see them again! I'll definitely be popping in to see Mrs. G. in the fall because she said she'd write me a reference letter for my portfolio.

Now, there are only 15 more days until I head off to Australia for the second half of my internship. I'm getting more and more excited and hope to get to see many sights while I am there! We had a BBQ last night at our prof's home; it was for the interns bound for Australia. While there he talked a little more about the trip and gave us our tickets, visas (I had mine already since I went in to do that part myself), and insurance. It now seems that much more real that I am heading off to Australia for two months! How exciting!