I completed my Internship in a grade five classroom at Assiniboia Elementary School. Up until this point, I had never taught above grade two. Because of this, I was very nervous to teach grade five. It was different from anything I had ever done, and that is why I wanted to do it. I wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone, and teaching a grade that was higher than what I was used to was a great way to do that. I think that in order to be a great teacher, you need to open to new experiences. You have to be open to challenges, and open to taking opportunities when they come. Sometimes you must face your fears in order to overcome them, and I am so thankful that I made the choice to complete my internship in a grade five classroom. I had very little experience in this age group, but after spending just one day with them, I saw how wonderful grade five can truly be. I had an amazing cooperating teacher who taught me so much, and was a part of a great school that made for a spectacular internship. Since I grew up in Assiniboia, I was able to be part of AES as a teacher rather than a student. The welcoming and positive atmosphere of the school made my transition into internship great, and it made for an awesome four months.
I was amazed at the deep questions and comments that my students were able to offer. They are so capable, and their willingness to participate and offer such deep and meaningful comments made my days wonderful. I loved the conversations I was able to have with my class, and I was so happy with the great relationships I was able to build with my students. My goal as a teacher is to create meaningful learning opportunities for each and every person in my classroom. My internship taught me that in order to do that, you need to know your students. By knowing their interests, skills, and abilities, you can develop and create learning experiences for all.
One thing I struggled with during my internship was to make all topics within the curriculum as meaningful and interesting as possible. My goal when planning every lesson is to ensure it is hands-on, and that it meets the learning needs of auditory, visual, and tactical learners. I tried to include some form of activity that involved all three so that there was a little bit of something for everyone. One example that I am particularly proud of is my lesson that involved the idea of Raw Materials and Manufactured Products. I struggled with how I could create a lesson that would be interesting, engaging, and fun. I came up with the idea of building a snowman (link to lesson plan). After an introductory lesson that explained the difference between raw materials and manufactured products, I created a lesson that gave students an opportunity to create a snowman. At the beginning of class, I had a variety of materials at the front of the room. Some of these materials included twigs, marshmallows, leaves, candy, glue, raisons, toothpicks, etc. Everyone was put into groups, and was asked to decide what materials they wanted to choose to build their snowman. They loaded up a tray with all the things they wanted to use, and then sorted them into categories. One category was raw materials, and the other was manufactured products. Then, we went to the Science Lab, and students were able to build their snowman in whichever way they chose. Everyone had so much fun, and I was very proud of the learning opportunity we all created together.
I cannot believe how quickly my internship went by. My three-week block was absolutely amazing, and I am so happy and thankful for the experiences I had. Saying goodbye to my students on my last day was harder than I possibly could have imagined. It is amazing how much of an impact twenty-four people can have on a person’s life. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl, and my internship just reinforced the great choice I made! I am so excited to have my very own classroom, and to be able to teach everyday. I am truly blessed. I know that I have taught my students, but I have not taught them nearly as much as they have taught me. In closing, I will leave you with the quote that continues to inspire my teaching journey each time I read it: “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” -Phil Collins