INTERNSHIP JOURNAL
                                      Education 401X

                                      Education 403X
                                     (Music Education)

                                       Education 404X
                              (Native and Northern Education)

                                       Education 405X

                                       Education 405X
                          (Intermediate/Secondary Conjoint with the
                              Diploma in Technology Education)

                           FACULTY OF EDUCATION
                             Fall 2009/Winter 2010

(Revised July 22, 2009)
Online Journal

Journal entry 1   Goals for the internship and description of internship placement

Journal entry 2   Personal reflection on issues, concepts, or events of intern’s choice

Journal entry 3   Effective teaching

Journal entry 4   Leadership and professional learning communities

Journal entry 5   Inclusive education

Journal entry 6   Reflection on goals and teaching as a career choice

Reflection and analysis of personal experiences are important in the transition of an
intern from a preservice mode to that of a practicing teacher. Much can be learned by
reflecting (i.e., thinking and writing) about the experiences, activities and tasks interns
engage in as part of their school placement experience. Participation in the Internship
Journal is a compulsory activity which is intended to provide you with an opportunity to
reflect on these events, analyze them, and record your reflections.

The internship journal is a component of an online collaborative and supportive learning
community where interns demonstrate their professional knowledge and recognize its
relationship to classroom practice. Interns will reflect on pedagogically significant issues
and share their thoughts with their co-operating teacher, other interns and their university

At the commencement of their school placement, interns are expected to peruse this
document and the handbook to become cognizant of the responsibilities associated with
the internship. After the initial journal entry, interns are expected to prepare themselves
for the four major journal entries by engaging in discussions with school personnel,
attending different school-based meetings, attending professional development sessions,
observing classroom and specialist teachers in action, collaborating with colleagues,
dialoguing with other interns, and generally learning about the challenges and rewards of
being a teacher. This type of exposure to the school environment will allow interns to
explore the concepts presented in the journal and be able to discuss them with their

The Faculty of Education strives to offer the same internship model for all candidates in
the program, whether those students are interning within the province of Newfoundland
and Labrador or at other locations where the internship is offered. Sometimes, however,
geography may cause some minor differences to occur. In an effort to standardize the
internship practice and delivery, and to establish a common framework, the Journal as
presented here will be used by all interns.

Journal entry guidelines

When writing your Journal, consider the following points:

       •       write in a manner that is scholarly and be aware that colleagues, university
               supervisors, and co-operating teachers will be reading your Journal;
       •       narratives should demonstrate coherent development of argument, ideas,
               and concepts;
       •       technical quality: organization and coherence, clarity of prose, spelling,
               grammar, punctuation, and attention to detail;
       •       evidence of critical reflection should be apparent, i.e., you should use
               your experiences as a student at MUN and the experiences of your
               internship to respond to the questions posed;
       •       review all journal topics at the beginning of the internship to be aware of
               the issues to be discussed and the expectations set forth;
       •       read relevant articles posted in the eresources library at:
       •       entries should be sufficient in length to adequately relate your ideas, the
               four main journals should be a minimum of 500 words in length; and,
       •       submit your journals on the assigned due date.

Journal entry 1        Goal setting and school placement

Your entry should be completed by Sunday, September 20.

Set goals for yourself that you wish to accomplish during your internship. It is important
to establish a reasonable number of goals that are attainable. List three or four goals and
describe how you hope to achieve them. At least one of your goals should be a personal
goal. You will re-consider these later in your internship. Your goals should meet the
criteria for SMART goals:

       S = Specific,
       M = Measurable
       A = Attainable
       R = Realistic
       T = Timely

All schools are similar in many ways; however, there are often significant differences.
Your internship placement is a unique setting, possibly because of the following items:
       - school type (e.g. primary, secondary, enrolment, teaching staff, single stream,
       multi-graded, communities served, etc.);
       - community (e.g. rural, urban, population)
       - grade/subject placement (grade level(s), teaching areas); and,
       - co-operating teacher’s experience and educational background.

Reflect on your expectations for this internship and write three or four goals you hope to
accomplish. Also, discuss your school and placement, in term of the points listed above.

Journal entry 2        Personal reflection on issues, concepts, or events of intern’s

Your entry should be completed by at intern’s discretion; however, all six entries should
be submitted before last week of internship.

Teachers assume many roles within the school and encounter many situations and events
as they carry out their duties. The “Internship Journal” topics attempt to capture your
reflections on a number of current issues in education that you may face as an intern
working in the classroom. However, the set of Journal topics included for your
consideration is not exhaustive and is not intended to address all of the day-to-day
situations that you may experience. To that end, we would like you to select six issues,
concepts, or occurrences that you would like to discuss. This may include, but is not
limited to, attendance, student behaviour, parental involvement, school policies,
extracurricular programs, breakfast and lunch programs, professional development,
curricular issues, etc.

Reflect on your day to day observations and identify an issue, concept, or occurrence of
your choice and discuss how it impacts on you as a classroom teacher, your beliefs and
practices re instruction, assessment, student learning, the learning environment, etc.

Topic 1

Topic 2

Topic 3

Topic 4

Topic 5

Topic 6

Journal entry 3       Effective teaching

Your entry should be completed by Sunday, October 26.

Effective teaching is a difficult concept to define but researchers do acknowledge that the
characteristics, behaviors and personal traits of effective teachers play a pivotal role in
helping to determine what effective teaching is. The following is a partial list of
commonly cited behaviors of what effective teachers do:
    • use a variety of well-informed skills and methods at their disposal to meet the
        needs of their students and the demands of the curriculum;
    • believe in their ability to work with students and to help them learn;
    • understand that the act of teaching is complex and are constantly reflecting on
        ways to improve their practice even though they realize that there are no simple
        answers to the problems they may encounter;
   •   maintain a professional image in the classroom;
   •   use reinforcement, praise and criticism wisely; and, lastly
   •   challenge their students to reach their potential.

Recent research in our own Faculty of Education by Delaney (2007) examined
Newfoundland and Labrador high school students’ perceptions of the characteristics of
effective teachers. Students involved in that study determined that the top 5
characteristics of effective teachers were: humorous, knowledgeable, organized,
respectful and patient.

Reflect on your time as an intern and also as a student in the K-12 school system and
discuss your perceptions of what constitutes an effective teacher. What were their
characteristics, behaviors and/or personal traits that, in your opinion, made them
effective teachers?

Journal entry 4       Leadership and professional learning communities

Your entry should be completed by Sunday, November 08.

The current empirical literature related to effective schools suggests that they are
professional learning communities. In professional learning communities teachers know
that under the right conditions each student can succeed. In genuine professional
learning communities most teachers are leaders who know they can make a difference to
each student and do just that! While teacher leaders recognize that there are many factors
that influence student learning, they know that through collaboration with colleagues,
school administrators, parents, students and others, they can influence and improve
school and classroom conditions and offset many of the external challenges to student
learning that otherwise appear to be beyond their control.

Discuss this concept with your cooperating teacher and one other teacher with a specified
formal leadership role (e.g. department head, grade-representative, vice principal, and
principal). Avail of opportunities in order to observe teacher leaders in action by
attending sessions where teachers and other are engaged in discussions, dialogue and/or
collaboration (e.g. ISSP meetings, staff meetings, department or grade-level meetings).

Reflect upon your discussions and observations while giving consideration to the
challenges and rewards of being a teacher leader and how individual teachers can
contribute to the ongoing development of their school as a genuine professional learning

Journal entry 5       Inclusive education

Your entry should be completed by Sunday, November 22.
The recent report "Focusing on Students" (Philpott, 2007) established that contemporary
classrooms are inclusive environments where all students work together and the
classroom teacher is responsible for their program delivery. The complete report can be
found at:

In your class identify one student with unique learning needs and observe how his/her
needs are being met. Observe the reaction of classmates to this student and his/her
interaction with them. Meet with the teacher to discuss the program plan and share your
observations with them. Avail of opportunities to attend program planning meetings for
this (or another student) and reflect on your observations. Explore how you would access
information to understand this student’s functioning and where you could access planning
ideas for him/her.

Reflect on your observations, discussing the inherent challenges and rewards that
inclusive practice brings to the classroom teacher.

Journal entry 6       Goal review and final comments

Your entry should be completed by Sunday, December 13.

Review the goals you set for your internship in your first journal entry. Discuss your
success in the achievement of these goals. Also, write a statement about the internship
experience and how it has shaped your development as a teacher and whether or not it
has reaffirmed your career choice of becoming a teacher.

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