Abby H.

January 7th – January 14th (3 hours) – One meaningful experience within these last two weeks was when I offered to cut out laminate for my mentor. She had a huge sheet of full size 8×11 bingo cards that I assumed needed to be cut out so I offered to cut them for her and she was so grateful. I felt honored to be helping her out and I felt good about the fact that I was doing a simple task that needed to be done. My mentor is a very independent person and a lot of times will have everything done that needs to be done before I could even offer to do it for her. She also has an assistant teacher aide that comes in during her second science class (I’m only in that class for 15 minutes) that does a lot of the smaller tasks. I just saw an opportunity and jumped on it because I knew it needed to be done and I wasn’t doing anything else besides watching over the class so I offered to complete the task of cutting out bingo cards from laminate. I hope that my mentor noticed that I was willing and enjoyed doing tasks like that and will save more for me to do in the future.

Within my internship, I have been able to develop and work on some of my soft skills. Being with students, it is crucial to communicate and build a relationship with all students. I have learned when the appropriate time to communicate with students is. I have gained the ability to speak to my students on a personal level and on an educational level. Some students love saying hello to me and talking to me personally about my life and high school and some students aren’t afraid to ask me questions based on curricula that they’re learning. At first I had a hard time jumping in but with the encouragement of my mentor, I was able to break my wall down. From the beginning my students idolized me and looked at me as a higher but as we have gotten to know each other, it has become apparent that I’m not far from them and some treat me that way so I have had to do a lot of self study to learn that appropriate things to talk about considering my students and I are close in age and live within the same generation. I guess what I’m trying to get across is I am working on students seeing me as a mentor to them rather than just a high school student that comes to visit their class. I hope that my developing soft skill will aid me in this process and I have to be very aware of this skill and my goals for it.

With the soft skill of communication can go a long way in many aspects of my life not only college or career. Communication is the first step to building a relationship and relationships are very important to me no matter who it is or what type of relationship is it. With the skill of communication comes the aspects that go into communicating that I must be aware of like the appropriate vocabulary and timing depending on who I’m talking to. Skills take time to master and perfect but no matter how hard you work to improve, there will always be more room to improve. When going through college and a career, I will learn more and adapt to improve my skills to meet modern standards and what is appropriate. Within my career of being apart of the education system, communicating is crucial in more ways than one. It takes a lot of people to get the gears turning at every single school and all those schools create a district and those districts make up the state. Everything said and done as an effect on somewhere or something so it is super important to develop and have communication skills.

A vocabulary word that is used often at my internship site is classroom routine. My mentor will talk about how she needs to let her students in so they can start the routine. My mentor’s classroom routine consists of students coming in and going to their assigned seat, taking out their discovery log (bell work), and waiting for instructions following going over bell work as a class.

January 15th – January 28th (9.95 hours) –  One meaningful experience that occurred at my internship site was when a fellow teacher, Mrs. Carson, gave me an opportunity to shadow among all grade levels within the school from K-8 and even SPED kids too. I will definitely take her up on the opportunity sooner rather than later but I was honored when she brought it up into conversation. I also found it very flattering that she would give me that opportunity to narrow down what grade level I wanted to teach because she said that was one of the hardest things that every teacher struggles with when they first become a teacher. Mrs.Carson also gave me very meaningful advice about school and possible opportunities that I should look into when I go to school in the future. I was so honored that she was cheering me on in my future career. We talked about my plans for the future and my path about going to school to get my degree and teaching certificates. She was very supportive and understanding about me taking a year off before going to school and actually encouraged it. Mrs. Carson is someone that I have a lot of communication with because she collaborates with Mrs. Greene often, is the school’s SAT (Student Achievement Teacher), and is also the mother of one of Mrs. Greene’s students, Brady Carson who is in Mrs. Greene’s second science class.

I recently learned what an IEP is for a special education student. IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan/Program. Basically it is a layout of what will work best for the student in order to give them challenges and aide them in being successful. Within Mrs. Greene’s first science class she has a student who is SPED and after class, the student’s para and Mrs.Greene always touch base on how he is doing in her class and talk about if he is being successful within his IEP.

January 29th – February 11th (9.25 hours) – One meaningful experience that recently occurred at my internship was when I was offered the opportunity to be a guest judge for 2019 science fair at Esmond Station. My mentor was giving me a run down on how the next week would go and told me that she would have a substitute teacher for 3-4 days and not to bother to come unless I wanted to and she was talking about the busy events that she had on her plate and was mostly talking about science fair and I asked if she needed any help or if could do anything to relieve stress. She jumped right onto the idea of me being a guest judge and I accepted the offer. I was a guest judge on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 and stayed in the school library grading science fair boards all day with a group of parents and PTSA members. It was fun talking to the other judges and spending quality time with my mentor. We got all the judging done on the first day which gave me and Mrs. Greene the second day to set up all the boards in the MPR and get organized on Thursday, February 7, 2019. On Thursday Mrs. Greene and I broke down the judging forms and organized the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Overall it was a super fun behind the scenes experience and was a great time to bond and have quality time with my mentor, parents, PTSA, and other staff members.

My first SMART goal consisted of me leading a science lab in Mrs. Greene’s science classes by the first semester. My mentor and I agreed on this goal because she wanted to see my classroom management skills. From the beginning it was a goal I set for myself mentally because I wanted to know that I had the ability to engage with the students and lead them in their education whether it be a lab or keynote. I wanted to be the teacher for the day. Once my mentor and I agreed on a goal and had written it down with Mrs. Polivchak at my site visit, we had to begin planning. My mentor and I first picked a few dates that worked best, we gave the unknown lab two days to be safe. December 7th and December 10th, 2018. Once we had dates picked, my mentor told me to look at the standards for the next two months and pick a lab based upon what the students were learning and I picked chemistry, more specifically chemical reactions dealing with the periodic table of elements. I was still doing research and decided to speak to my high school chemistry teacher, Ms. Stacy, to get her import and possible labs that would be age appropriate for 8th graders and I shared some lab ideas that I had found online. Ms. Stacy and I chatted for a while and broke it down to either elephant toothpaste or making casein plastic with spoiled milk. I figured that making plastic would be fun and that they could shape them into ornaments considering Christmas break was right around the corner. Now that I picked a lab, I talked to Mrs. Greene about it and made of list of supplies that we needed. A middle school science lab has limited supplies so I asked Ms. Stacy is we could borrow some glass beakers so we could have enough for all students and she happily agreed. If it wasn’t for Ms. Stacy I don’t think i could successfully complete this goal. She helped me out in so many ways and I could never thank her enough. She gave me so much advice and support than I could ever imagine. After speaking with Ms. Stacy and accepting the supplies that she would help out with, I knew what I had to go buy on my own. I told Mrs. Greene that it was my lab and I wanted to take on the responsibility of purchasing all the lab supplies which I successfully did two days before the lab. I had all my supplies organized and come the day of the lab, I went to Dunkin’ Donuts that morning to get me and my mentor our usual Friday coffee and saw one of my students and they told me how excited they were for the lab today and it meant so much to me that my students were just excited as I was to conduct the lab. Once I got to the school I had students help we to bring in all the supplies from my car and they help me set up in the science lab. All the students in Mrs. Greene’s enrich class were the same students in her science classes and they were all getting so excited when they saw gallons of milk and glitter and food coloring! I was so excited to do the lab that I hadn’t really rehearsed moments before the students entered and that was one hurdle that I had to overcome. Mrs. Greene has two science classes so the first science class was good overall but there were some flaws in my lab sheet that the students caught of course and also there were some minor details that I hadn’t thought out which I had to be quick on my feet about. My mentor noticed that when there was a problem i worked it out as best as I could and made it work. Come the second class, I had patched all my holes and everything ran much smother. I had jumped over all the hurdles in the second class since I ran into all of them in the first class. Something that stood out to me was that my mentor didn’t even notice some of them so that goes to show that I’m good at solving problems quickly before they become noticeable by others. She gave me great feedback after both labs were done. Something that went well was how engaged and excited these students were. They were in some unfortunate circumstances due to the weather but they stayed positive about it and treated me with the utmost respect. Mrs. Greene did not engage with the students in any means. I led the class and was their teacher for the day. Mrs. Greene was a fly on the wall throughout both classes. With that, it made me confident in my teaching abilities and being that higher level for students to look up to. This goal boosting my confidence and will help me in my future career of being a teacher. Mrs. Greene said I had great classroom management and the students really respected me. All and all it was super fun and i would love to do something like this again and plan on something similar with my second SMART goal!

A vocabulary word that I hear often and recently asked for clarification for is PSTA members. PTSA stands for Parent-Teacher-Student-Association. “The PTSA (Parent-Teacher-Student- Association) is a private, non-profit organization of parents, teachers, students, and community members who strive to better the lives of children. We are part of an association that is organized at the local, state, and national levels” (Chewelah School District). At my internship, the PTSA was present at the judging of Science fair boards and they set up a breakfast/snack station for everyone who was judging and they were also present on Thursday which was also parent teacher conferences and a half day for students and teachers so they were serving nachos and Valentine’s Day themed treats to staff members and myself.

February 12th – February 25th (6.28 hours) – One meaningful experience that occurred last Wednesday was being apart of an awards assembly. Mrs Greene’s team member Mrs. McComish was sick and had a substitute therefore Mrs.Greene needed someone to help her hand out awards to students and shake their hands. I was so honored when she asked for my assistance. There was assemblies all day for different grade levels and it was finally our turn. There was an assembly in with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders that was being help to hand out rewards to benchmark success and the iron horse reward per grade level. Parents and teachers were invited as well. When it came to 8th graders, Mrs. Greene and I walked up to the podium where the Principal and vice principal were standing and Mrs.Greene gave a small speech about how proud she is of her students and began calling names. As student stood up from the crowd there walked towards me first, shook my hand while I congratulated them, and they moved along the line shaking the principal and vice principals hand. Overall it was an honor to be apart of the recognition of the students’ success that I have watched learn and grow all year long.

One vocabulary term that I learned that is specific to my internship site is the word “HUB”. Esmond Station has a library/computer lab on campus and I had just been calling it the library but I overheard my mentor call it the “HUB” and i realized that that is a much better name for it because of all the purposes it old. The hub has a section for all materials for arts and crafts that s teacher could dream of in which they can talk their class there and hold it there if they pleased. They also have a reading corner for primary school students and their teachers to hold read aloud there. The hub is also a library and computer lab. They also have a section in which students can come and work on old computers engineer wise. Overall I am more knowledgeable as to why the HUB is called the HUB besides just being in the middle of the school.

February 26th – March 11th (14.14 hours) –  In addition to meeting my second goal within these last two weeks at my internship, I feel that I have built stronger and better relationships with students and Mrs. Greene. With it being benchmark week and half of the students on a Pali field trip, there have been a smaller classroom environment that results in everyone becoming closer and more one on one. I have been able to interact more personally with students and build those friendships with them along with Mrs. Greene. There has been quite a bit of free time during reteach/enrich and during science class near the end of the week when students aren’t testing to chit chat about things going on in our lives and it have ultimately brought us closer. One example of this is Mrs. Greene and I found out that we actually have quite a few mutual friends but that also comes along with Vail being a small town in which everyone knows everyone but it turns out that One of my close family friends was actually one of her close family friends when she was pregnant with her daughter and the friend was pregnant with her son. They bonded over their husbands being involved in the same activities and their pregnancy. It was super interesting to talk about and bond over. An interaction with a student that occurred was with one of my students by the name of Arami. I always bring my mentor coffee on Fridays and I buy myself an iced tea. When I walked into the classroom I had my hands full and when i was emptying my hands at my desk i dropped my iced tea and spilled in all over the floor and desk. Arami was quick to jump up and help me out to clean it up while Mrs. Greene was passing out papers and other students were busy working on a project. I gave Arami praise and a hug. She not only picked up the ice and cup but kept running back and forth to get me handfuls of paper towels to clean up the liquid. By the end of it, I told Mrs. Greene what had happened and I asked her if I could give Arami a red Esmond praise ticket with her name on it and Mrs. Greene delightfully agreed.

So originally my second SMART goal was to run through a Discovery Log with students during the month of February which is essentially going through bellwork with them, just didn’t happen. With mine and my mentor’s busy schedule and from benchmark testing and assemblies and a field trip in which half the class was gone, the timing never matched up because of so many circumstances that affected our schedules. My mentor and I had a date planned out for me to go through bellwork but things came up on her end with benchmark testing in which testing was extended that my goal had odds stacked against me. With that had me go back to the drawing boards for what my goal was going to be and what I could write about come this narrative. From the beginning I was interested in the SPED department, so interested that I was thinking about following the path to become a SPED teacher. I remember a conversation that I had with Mrs Carson and my mentor that involved me putting myself in a middle/elementary school SPED classroom to see if I actually enjoyed it. This was an opportunity that I held my mentor to because I really wanted to be placed in other classrooms besides hers to expand my curiosity surrounding child education. Come time for third quarter benchmarks, I volunteered to be a help to SPED students while they took their benchmarks. I was a volunteer in Mrs. Ordaz’s SPED classroom. I had grade levels from 6th-8th graders that I was assisting during their benchmark. I spent 9.33 hours learning the process of what it is like to test SPED students based on their IEP’s and the protocols that surround Benchmark testing and its environment. I worked with students with severe learning disabilities to guide them in the right direction when taking their benchmark. I was able to read questions to students and answer their questions without revealing too much information to them about what the answer was or how to get the answer. I was sparking their light bulb while watching it flicker to the point of it eventually turning on with their own willpower. Once students completed their test, Mrs. Ordaz or Mrs. McKeever would grade their test and then I would sit down with the student one on one and walk them through how to solve the problems that they were marked off for. This was only for the first day in which students took the math test that I was able to walk students through and read the question to them. For the reading benchmark there were stricter rules that disabled me from being as helpful a I was the day before. I was not allowed to read through questions with students due to pronunciation and understanding the text. It was a lot harder for me to be a volunteer because I had to tell the students who needed help no when they needed me most. There were a small select group of students that i was able to take in the back pod and red through the test with them after they had already done their best and taken it on their own because of this specific student’s IEP and severe learning disability that he needed someone besides himself to help him through the ELA test. I loved having this experience to work one on one with students with learning disabilities because I typically work with students with physical and mental disabilities within my Peer Mentor program so it was a super different environment compared to what I am used to at Empire and all and all I think it was a really great opportunity to satisfy my curiosity of what it is really like in a learning disability SPED classroom. Another opportunity was presented to me while in Mrs. Ordaz’s Classroom. The second day while students took their reading test was pretty boring because i wasn’t really allowed to help students until they were done with there test so Mrs. McKeever offered to take me to the life skills classroom. As soon as I walked in I was instantly comfortable because that is the environment that I am used to within my Peer mentor program. Recently I have realized that Special Education Is a path that i want to go down and I an so honored to have been given the wonderful opportunity that I did because I have that experience behind me to help push me further down the path that I’m heading down. I am so excited to see where the experiences that I have gained through this internship take me and what doors these experiences open for me. I am so happy to say that I have been able to narrow down where I want to go in education when compared to when I first started I just wanted to do education and wasn’t really sure in what field and specifics of education but now I can walk away at the end of the year with so many more experiences and a borrowed mindset about my future career in education.

SPED is a word that I use often and is often used at my internship site. SPED is an abbreviation for Special Education. As I have used this word in my own personal life people have stopped and asked me what it means. I learned the word SPED at not only my internship site but within my peer mentor program that I am apart of at Empire High School. Many times it’ll be used in context as “The SPED classroom” or “He/She is a SPED student”.

March 12th – March 25th (10.25 hours) –  One meaningful experience that occurred last Wednesday was being apart of an awards assembly. Mrs Greene’s team member Mrs. McComish was sick and had a substitute therefore Mrs.Greene needed someone to help her hand out awards to students and shake their hands. I was so honored when she asked for my assistance. There was assemblies all day for different grade levels and it was finally our turn. There was an assembly in with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders that was being help to hand out rewards to benchmark success and the iron horse reward per grade level. Parents and teachers were invited as well. When it came to 8th graders, Mrs. Greene and I walked up to the podium where the Principal and vice principal were standing and Mrs.Greene gave a small speech about how proud she is of her students and began calling names. As student stood up from the crowd there walked towards me first, shook my hand while I congratulated them, and they moved along the line shaking the principal and vice principals hand. Overall it was an honor to be apart of the recognition of the students’ success that I have watched learn and grow all year long.

One vocabulary term that I learned that is specific to my internship site is the word “HUB”. Esmond Station has a library/computer lab on campus and I had just been calling it the library but I overheard my mentor call it the “HUB” and i realized that that is a much better name for it because of all the purposes it old. The hub has a section for all materials for arts and crafts that s teacher could dream of in which they can talk their class there and hold it there if they pleased. They also have a reading corner for primary school students and their teachers to hold read aloud there. The hub is also a library and computer lab. They also have a section in which students can come and work on old computers engineer wise. Overall I am more knowledgeable as to why the HUB is called the HUB besides just being in the middle of the school.

March 26th – April 8th (3.25 hours) – On Friday, April 4th, I was given the opportunity by my mentor the night before to run her class while she stayed home with her sick child. My mentor typed up substitute plans and sent them to me the night before and let me look over them and run her classes the next day. Although there was a substitute present, he sat in the corner and didn’t say a word the entire time besides when I left and he said I did an amazing job and that I am going to make a wonderful future educator. I was so grateful that I finally got to run Mrs. Greene’s class on my own and I think it made it easier with my mentor not being there because they looked at me as the authoritative figure because they knew that I know how their classroom is run. The students treated me with the utmost of respect that they treat Mrs. Greene with. All and all this experience furthered my experience and I will always have it to look back on and reflect on how I felt in the moment as the fire to my desire.
Something that I have seen myself grow upon is not being afraid to jump into a conversation at any point. Although I am not interrupting but when I am walking around the classroom and I hear a conversation between students, i am no longer afraid to jump in and correct them, relate to them, or guide them in their curiosity. When I first started I was always afraid to step on toes and just sat in the back of the classroom and observed rather than interacting and conversing like I do now. I feel as if that goes hand and hand with getting comfortable and getting to know my students but I am impressed with myself and the standard I hold myself to and my students. I have also learned and gained many organization skills about myself that I never knew that I could maintain. I have seen how my mentor, peers, Mrs. Wahl, and Mrs. Polivchak have organized themselves based on being apart of the internship, being the authoritative figure of the internship, and being the mentor that accepted taking a student of the internship. I have seen how my peers keep themselves organized based on tasks of the internship, school work/classes outside of the internship, and how they organize their white binder and calendar. I have absorbed other ways of organization. In addition to my peers, I have taken each and every recommendation for Mrs. Wahl and Mrs. Polivchak into consideration and I truly believe that keeping that advice on the back burner and writing things down has ultimately allowed me to be successful. I also examined how my mentor kept her work organized based on all the things she is apart of and tried to meet her organization skills so it was easy for both of us to find internship related material. I am one to be bound to lose something and be unorganized although throughout my entire internship experience, I have maintained a rhythm of organization that has lead to my success.

One recommendation is to set aside time to attend your internship, weekly. I always look at the month as a whole and have everything written down in my calendar of what is going on that month and will strategically plan out which days week by week that I set aside to attend my internship. Giving myself time for travel, homework, school events, late work nights, my mentors schedule etc. It is important to PLAN AHEAD! Another tip that I have is to create an online template that looks very similar to the paper version of your semester time sheet. I live by my online version because it is quick and easy to pull up anywhere that i am to record where I went, what i did and what time i was there and left rather than having a paper copy and needing to carry it everywhere and having a pencil/pen handy. I have really found that an electronic time sheet has saved the day on multiple occasions. Even though it was tedious to create, it was all worth it. In addition, I think that it is very important to set boundaries and expectations with your mentor from the beginning and get comfortable with them so you know where each other stand throughout the entire process. I have heard horror stories about my peers mentors and I am so grateful that y mentor and I not only get along but ave any ways of communication that we prefer and have ways that are fast to get a hold of each other. Learning the appropriate times to communicate before deadlines and time of day (respectful of sleep schedule). Basically just getting to know your mentor, how they communicate, and how they expect to be treated by you and the expectations they are withholding you to so you can ensure you are meeting those expectations.

Sub Plans is a word that I recently became familiar with because of my recent opportunity that I wrote about in my two week recap. Sub plans is a phrase that means Substitute plans. Sub plans are a written itinerary for substitutes to know exactly what to do, when to do it, how long, and how to do it. Sub plans are just a written description of expectation of a class and their tasks for the day while the teacher is out. The substitute is to follow the plan accordingly and take notes on the class and particular student behavior.

April 9th – April 22nd (7.28 hours) –  One meaningful experience that recently happened at my internship is when i brought my graduation cap to my site. After a long while of thinking of how I should decorate my graduation cap I finally went on Pinterest and got inspired from a picture I saw. I brought in a piece of card stock paper that looked like lined paper and I had pre-cut it to fit my cap so that students could sign my cap before I glued it on my cap for good. I also brought in a variety of different colored pens and called students up table by table to sign my cap. Students choose their favorite color and signed their name. This experience was meaningful to me because it allowed me to connect with my students on a deeper level and show them how much they mean to me. In addition, I was able to utilize some classroom management skills with the organization of how I called the students up by their table during individual work. Students thought i was such a cute idea and were honored to sign my cap. Further down the road I will look at my graduation cap and remember all the students that furthered my decision in following my future career in Education. In addition to my students at Esmond Station, I had my Special Education students at Empire High School sign it as well. The experience as a whole will be something that I will forever cherish. (I will email a picture of the finished product of my graduation cap).

My mentor has been out sick these past few weeks a couple of times for multiple reasons and I attended my internship site while the sub was there to ensure students were on their best behavior and there were some issues with one of the substitutes that took the job last week and i learned what the word Sub List was through that process of ensuring that substitute never subs in my mentors classroom again. When a teacher doesn’t like a substitute the teacher aka my mentor can add that particular substitute to their Sub List. The Sub list consists of subs that they LOVE and subs that they hate. Hate is strong word but the sub list consists of substitutes that the teacher does NOT want to have in their classroom again.

July 20th – August 13th (31.09 hours) – One meaningful experience that occurred recently happened last Friday. I walked the students through a step by step mitosis vs meiosis lab with oreos. The students were in partners of two and in a group of four. One of the pair of partners was arguing and having issues. It was a boy and a girl and the girl was being very loud and dramatic about the situation so my mentor sent the boy to the back pod and let the girl calm down and work by herself for a little. My mentor went in the back and talked to the boy and found out what the source of the issue was while I talked to the girl and got her side. Bottom line was that the boy didn’t want to work with the group and was being very negative towards himself and his peers. The girl was going off about how she was paired with a boy and how stupid he is and how she hates working with him. Little did she know, this particular student has Asperger’s disease. That is confidential information that stays between teachers and staff so it was clear that she had no idea and I’m sure she would understand why he was acting the way he was if she knew that his actions were out of his control. My point here is that I learned that sometimes not all groups will get along and some people would prefer to work alone or not at all. As a teacher that is something you have to think about when pairing students to work together. You have to pair those who work well together in order for students to ultimately be successful. Students need to be able to understand each other and cater towards each others strengths and weaknesses. This situation is something that will from now on, stick with me throughout my entire future career.

Referring to the Vail-based Internship Program that is purposed to give students professional work-life experience, it is so much more than that. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes to make a good candidate for any job they strive for. I admire Mrs. Wahl and Mrs. Polivchak’s determination to build and create a professionally experienced student. I hope to advance my communication skills in many aspects. I would like to learn how to communicate with others face to face based on the pointers that I have been given by Mrs. Wahl and Mrs. Polivchak. I tend to get anxious when I am communicating with someone I don’t really know so I would like to work on that. In addition to my communication skills, I would also like to continue working on my time management skills. I feel like I have been doing a really good job but I’m not where I would like to be. There is always room for improvements and that is one of the main things I have been focusing on doing. Within the Vail-Based Internship Programs comes a variety of many learning experiences.

Being a student within the program has taught me how to communicate with my teachers, peers, mentors, and previous students in the program. The teachers behind the program have not only taught me how to communicate but taught me the proper forms of communication and how to communicate professionally based on your audience. Communication skills are big in any aspect of life and career. I am grateful for the skills I have aquired and am excited to improve and learn more about them. Something that I learned about myself professionally is that I am really good at creating relationships in my place of work. Relationships are a very important aspect to me for more reasons than one. Not only have I created close kit relationships at my job, Panera Bread, I have started and created some new relationships at my internship site. I love all of my co-workers at both places and look forward to seeing them. I feel like it is important to add that even if i don’t particularly like someone for whatever reason, I keep that to myself and create a relationship anyways, all opinions aside. A lot of the time, my thoughts on that person change after I get to know them and build that relationship. I think that is an important ability to have in the professional field.

August 14th – August 27th (3.28 hours) – One meaningful experience I had this reflection log period was between me and my mentor. My mentor and I are literally the same person. We have gone through similar experiences and she is in the position I want to be in and has been to the places I want to go. She has gone down the path in life I plan on going down. Our growing bond has made this internship so much more enjoyable and meaningful to me. Every time I go to my internship, I gain more and more respect and love for her. My mentor is everything I want to be and strive for. She is an amazing teacher and role model to not only me but all of her students. We share the same roots, values, and goals. The meaningful experience is the bond that my mentor and I have created that I cherish and that will last even after my internship is over.

August 28th – September 10th (7.7 hours) – One meaningful experience that I experienced within these last two weeks occured Friday, September 7th, my birthday. When I walked into Mrs. Greene’s classroom she wasn’t in there, she was in the back pod. All of the reteach/enrich students were present and immediately started singing happy birthday. Them singing to me immediately made my day because Mrs. Greene not remind them it was my birthday, they remembered me talking about two weeks prior. Some students even brought me gifts and came running up to me to tell me happy birthday. What I learned from this experience is that students actually pay attention to personal things you talk about and don’t just view you as a teacher. Although I think something that I need to learn from this experience is that not every group of students that I have will be as considerate and caring of not only me as a future educator but their peers. I have a really good group of students this year and I couldn’t be happier. They all treat me with the utmost of respect and some of them even look up to me as if I were their idol! I am so ecstatic that I’m creating such a close bond with students so quick intp the school year!

One of the main things about my expected behavior at my site that has not been explicitly stated but I have picked up on it and made it an expectation for myself is the way I interact with students. I am expected to differentiate what conversations are appropriate and inappropriate to be having with students. I don’t struggle with this aspect but I have caught myself about to say something that I shouldn’t. I feel like it is harder for me to differentiate what kinds of conversations I should have and what I should keep to myself because of how close I am in age to the students I am around. How we grew up is very similar and the culture we are around plus the fact that we are students within the same district. It is a lot harder of Mrs. Greene to relate directly to students based upon social media, popular music, etc. For example, I was talking about fortnite with a group of student during bellwork when I should have been distracting them from their learning environment. I should note that the students had completed their bellwork and were waiting to go over it with the class but it was still an interaction that could be viewed as inappropriate. I feel that this is hard to explain but basically I feel that I can relate to the students personal lives and pop culture more than my mentor can and with that I need to be careful when speaking with students to ensure that they view me as someone within a professional prospective and not just a friend of as their “homie” as one student once referred to me as.

I do not think that I have to necessarily work for this expectation of behaving maturely and professionally towards students but I do feel like it is something that I have to constantly be mindful of. I feel as if I have a natural ability to teach others and be a role model for them so in that behavioral aspect is is natural for me. I have a very nurturing and caring aspect of my personality that only comes out when I am around a younger population. I am self aware that I am around the same age as the students I work with but I actively try to maintain that respect and professional view from them because I want to be treated as if I were their teacher. I feel as if my work and realization is paying me off because not only do other staff but students and parents who don’t know that I’m a student intern often mistake me for a new teacher/staff member.

One word that I came across at my site isn’t necessarily a word but a language I must understand. My mentor and her direct coworkers call it “code”. Within my first day, I heard this word being tossed around during our lunch and I witnessed the language being used and I totally picked up on it and instantly understood it. The language of teacher code is used when there are students, parents, other staff around who could possibly be eavesdropping. It is basically a language that is over generalized to prevent naming names. The speaker of the code has to ensure that the listener understands who they are talking about without explicitly stating names our detailed facts that could result in an identity of a student.

September 11th – September 24th (6.93 hours) – One meaningful experience that I recently had at my site involved the whole school. On September 21, 2018, Esmond Station had a spirit assembly. Now keep in mind that throughout the week, students and teachers dressed up based on the themed spirit days throughout the week. During this assembly students played games while competing against the other grades, fought over the spirit stick with a yell off, were recognized for their hard work through first quarter, and were praised for being the school to donate the most amount of diapers in the district. This assembly was just a really cool thing to see and be a part of! I took pictures and videos to cherish and look back on as good times. I will forever hold this experience close to my heart and carry it on with me in my future career in being a teacher in hopes that i can create the same experience at the school I teach at in the future! All and all, it was meaningful to see the whole school coming together and being connected with one another.

While chatting about possible site visit days, my mentor said that she had an IEP meeting on one of the mornings and was going to be unavailable. IEP is an acronym that I’ve heard multiple times from my mentor and it stands for an individualized education plan. An IEP is only for special education students because they are the ones who need more assistance and adaptations when it comes to learning. An IEP meeting is a meeting with a students parapros and inclusion specialists and their teacher. These meetings include talking about what a student is and is not capable of doing and/or learning. If they are capable, what ways are best for them to be successful and if they are not, how can that be improved on and make it possible. These meeting also entails how the student is doing and what may or may not be concerning.

September 25th – October 8th (0 hours) – Due to my internship being on the same break schedule as me, I could not attend my site over the break because they were also on break. Although I must point out that I ran into a handful of students over break and I surprised that they came and said hi to me. When I saw some of my students I was expected them to dodge me but they ran up to me and told me about their break!! I was surprised because I know that I would never do that if I saw a staff member from my school in public. It meant a lot to me to hear about some of my students breaks and even meet the parent they were with. I reflected upon those situations and come to the conclusion that not only am I an approachable person in class but outside of class too.

At my internship site, I have used all forms of communication. It depends on the situation to determine what form of communication is appropriate. When in emergency or something comes up last minute, my mentor and I call each other because that is the quickest form of communication for us. When it comes to professional manner and things related to multiple parties, we email each other to have that documented conversation. We email about the program, due dates, meetings, and assignments related to the internship program and students in her class. We have personal in-person conversations when we catch up or talk about something that is extensive and easier to talk about in person rather than going back and forth over email or text. I must say that our biggest and most used form of communication would be via text message. I text her the day prior or at the beginning of the week letting her know the days I’m coming and when. I text her and she texts me when we need to inform each other of quick information or ask a quick question. Ex. I ask what she wants from Dunkin’ Donuts if I’m stopping there before going to my site.

I am very comfortable with choosing which form of appropriate communication should be used with my mentor and at my site. I don’t think too hard when communicating because it becomes unnatural at that point. I reread my form of communication before i send it and make sure I am clear and all possible questions are answered. Depending on the situation, as explained in the question prior, I determine what form of communication I should use. But as stated before I don’t over think when I communicate because as I said, it becomes repetitive and unnatural. Communication should be easily understood and smooth on all sides and I try my best to make it that way. I gladly answer any questions my mentor has when it comes to me and the internship program as a whole because she is new to the understanding of the program.

A vocabulary word that I have heard not only at my site but through my entire school life is PO which is an acronym for Performance Objectives. PO’s in the Vail School District are created to satisfy the need and want for students to highly perform on the created objectives in order to answer the essential questions at the end of a standard. The learning of a PO is determined by how difficult a standard is and the time needed for a students full understanding.

October 9th – October 22nd (1.63 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have had at my internship site included having a conversation with my Mentor about standards. This topic of conversation is meaningful to me because it is what my Senior Exit Project is about. I enjoy having these conversations with my mentor because it not only allows me to gather information from a teacher but it exposes me to how Common Core standards interfere with the teaching and the appropriate times to teach. The conversation we had surrounded the idea that some aspects of subjects should be taught during the same time as another learning aspect of another subject because they coincide. For math and science this is a big thing because without science there wouldn’t be math and vise versa. While students are learning the periodic table in Science, they should also be learning scientific notation in Math but that is not the case thanks to Common Core standards.

A vocabulary term that i have heard in a school setting in general not just at my site is the word “SPED”. SPED is a shortened, more polite way to label a student with Special needs. SPED stands for Special Education. My mentor will say “SPED kid” when speaking about a student and not naming names while doing so but I know exactly who she is talk. Even outside of my internship site, I hear SPED within my peer mentor program at Empire High School.

October 23rd – November 5th (2.84 hours) – One meaningful experience that I have had this reflection log duration would have to be the fact that my mentor wants me to lead multiple labs in December. I am very excited for this opportunity for more reasons than one. Not only did my mentor and I come to this idea together but she is adamantly pushing for it and is talking to parents to even donate supplies for the lab. All parties involved are very excited for these upcoming labs. I even had my mentor reach out to a fellow science teacher within the district to see if my mentor could borrow certain chemicals that my mentor doesn’t have access too. With that communication came a connection and a new friendship between the two teachers that I am very excited about. I learned that stepping out of your comfort zone ultimately results in a positive outlook on something new. I have grown from this experience because it will forever be my first experience teaching a class something that I put together and coordinated. Throughout my future teaching career, I will always look back on this experience.

A time I interacted with co-worker for professional reasons would be when I talked to another science teacher within the district face to face. I met with her outside of class in my own time to discuss chemicals we could borrow and age appropriate labs/experiments. The teacher I talked to was Hillary Stacy at Empire High School. I wouldn’t say that Ms. Stacy is a direct co-worker to Mrs. Greene but she is a fellow co-worker within the Vail School District. I hope that counts as a professional encounter with another co-worker. I brought up the idea to my mentor about borrowing supplies from another teacher and she liked that idea so my mentor emailed her and I also initiated a face to face conversation with Ms. Stacy about the email and the matter. It then moved to me directly being the communication between Mrs. Greene and Ms. Stacy. Ms. Stacy and I would have passing conversations and I would then tell Mrs. Greene via email or in person about those conversations and then Mrs. Greene would add in her ideas and I would relay that information back to Ms. Stacy. It was all and all just a triangle of communication and tossing ideas around.

An instance were I have interacted with a coworker solely for social reasons, would include seeing them out in public and saying hello. In addition, passing a fellow coworker in the halls of Esmond Station and greeting them with a simple smile, wave, hello, etc. I regularly interact on a social level with coworkers but it’s not often when I do but its every time when I do see them outside of school. It’s rather odd but every time I have gone to our local Walmart, I see at least one of my many direct coworkers. Mr. Beaver is definitely one that I see most often. I am 100% comfortable with taking the initiative to make that social interaction.

An industry specific vocabulary word that I quickly learned at the beginning of my internship and that is used everyday and my site, would be ‘Discovery Log’. A Discovery Log is another term for bell work. Students complete their Discovery Log’s everyday in class. As soon as students enter the classroom they get out their Discovery Logs and get to work until Mrs.Greene starts the class.

November 6th – November 19th (9.12 hours) – One thing that has always stuck out to me and not just within that last two weeks is the relationship between my mentor and her students. The experience I had was being a witness to pure happiness among a student that radiated through the whole class. This particular student and my mentor were joking around like they always do but they had me and the whole class laughing. This experience that involved a teacher, class clown, students, and a fig bar just really made an impact on my values. Not only my personal values but my personal standards and values I have developed for myself as a future teacher. I believe that it is crucial to develop relationships with everyone especially when in a classroom setting. It is important to know all students situations in order to build that relationship and know their level of tolerance to jokes and pulling their leg. Coming from a very comical person, it is important to stay in your boundaries and to not overstep those boundaries in any given relationship.

From the get go, my mentor has always told me that she has an open door policy which I really appreciated because we are both really busy people and never set a solid schedule because of that. It is clear within my reflection logs that there is no pattern with attending my internship. I held myself to my attendance and knowing when I could and couldn’t go and calculating how many hours I had left in order to reach my 62 hour mark. I was fully aware of school breaks, absences, and doctor’s appointments. Some of my personal standards for myself when attending my internship included going every Friday and bringing her coffee and being there for her science classes in which was my whole purpose for going. I am very appreciative for her open door policy because she is always understanding when things come up or when I worked late the night before. I have always let her know when I’m coming and when I’m not and if something comes up. Just a simple text message either the night before or before school starts and she has done the same for me via text message. For example, If one of her kids was sick and she stayed home with them, she would let me know and offered that I was welcome to come even if there was a substitute teacher. In order to succeed, I held myself to my own standards and always communicated with my mentor.

When it comes to juggling aspects of my life like school, homework/extra curricular, family, work, and my internship, I would say that I have had to sacrifice a lot in order to fit everything in my schedule. I have missed out on opportunities at school and outside of school because all those aspects of my life are like checks and balances. Ex. I can’t be involved in extracurricular after school because I have to work. Due to one aspect, I miss out on something from another aspect. There are some weeks/days that I juggle everything better than others. Overall, I juggle everything pretty well but there is always room for improvement. I think something I should improve on next semester is trying to set aside time to sit down and do my homework all at once rather than doing it throughout the day/week little by little until the due date. Homework/schoolwork is an area that I suffer in most because there is just not enough hours in a day to get everything done that I need to get done.

A vocab word that I have learned to know, use and understand is “on file”. On file in the education world means that a certain situation or trait of a student has been recorded in their school record and it is something to be aware of. Ex. “The student stole something from my classroom and I put that on file.”