I can honestly say this has been the busiest semester of my life. On one hand I am pleased with the work I have accomplished. On the other hand, I have definitely learned a valuable lesson about the law of diminishing marginal returns. I put a lot of time into my internship, spending one hour of lecture plus preparation per week, and approximately eight hours of private lesson time per week. I would like to come back to my documentation as I begin work on my cumulative portfolio for additional reflection. I have a great deal of material to work with and I feel I was just able to scratch the surface of all the lessons inherent in this experience.
My biggest lessons with this internship were about meeting students where they are and continuing to find tools for engagement in learning. I feel a lot of responsibility to give students everything I can and I felt there were times I fell short of that goal. If I lose interest in a student, or get frustrated with what I perceive to be a lack of effort, I lose the opportunity to reengage them. I also have begun to recognize that the student-teacher relationship and subsequent student progress is a process. Patience with this process is something I have to keep working to develop. Fortunately I will be teaching the same class next semester! I’m excited about this and very eager to apply what I’ve learned.
In the end I was very pleased with the student performances in their final exam, which consisted of a quasi-promotional in front of the official instructor and the two Teaching Assistants (including myself). I sent an email to all of the students in the class congratulating them and expressing that I hoped they were proud of their accomplishments.
My internship portfolio can be viewed at the link below. This link leads to all of my current portfolios; click on “Guided Internship” to preview the right one. Thanks for following my blog!