INTERNSHIP JOURNAL Education 401X (Primary/Elementary) Education 403X (Music Education) Education 404X (Native and Northern Education) Education 405X (Intermediate/Secondary) Education 405X (Intermediate/Secondary) (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 Introduction 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 supervisor. 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 colleagues. 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: http://www.mun.ca/educ/undergrad/internship/inter_e_resources.php; • 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 choice 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 community. 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: http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/pub/Focusing_on_Students.pdf 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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