Overall, internship has been an absolute amazing experience. I am so lucky to have landed in a school such as Gladys McDonald School. The students continue to surprise me, day in and day out. I am surrounded by teachers and staff who care about the students, who want to see achievement and success, and who genuinely enjoy coming to work every day. A positive environment can make or break whether someone enjoys their job. I have been waking up every morning excited for what the day will bring. Every teacher will tell you: expect the unexpected and no day is ever the same as the next.
Aside from actually just genuinely enjoying internship, I realize this is one of the most important times for pre-service teachers. The internship experience helps you develop your pedagogy, live out your educational philosophy, and recognize strengths and challenges. Each day ends with a reflection process – How did the day go? What did I do right? What did I do wrong? How can I improve? I don’t think this reflection period should end once you pass internship and move on. Teachers are never done growing, improving, and finding new ways to better the education of all students.
A few of the goals I have made for myself as I have journeyed through the discovery of my strengths and my struggles:
- Assessment and Evaluation
- This is still something I have continuously been challenged by. According to my own educational philosophy, assessment should be authentic and unbiased. I am constantly looking for ways to best assess the students’ knowledge and understanding in a way that is reflective of their learning style and the way in which they are best able to express themselves. I have begun to truly understand the value of involving learners in their own assessment process. However, this continues to be a professional goal of mine moving forward and I’m sure will continue throughout my future years as a teacher.
- Using Multiple Perspectives, Including Indigenous Ways of Knowing
- As someone who is passionate about social justice issues, I know the significance and importance of integrating different knowledge bases from around the world rather than focusing solely on Western ways of knowing. Within this, it is essential to integrate worldviews and perspectives of people who agreed to share this land with the European settler generations. First Nations, Métis, and Inuit integration into education is crucial to a genuine path towards Truth and Reconciliation. There is absolute value in recognizing, understanding, and honouring the history and culture of all types of people. However, integration of FNMI worldviews and ways of knowing is not the same at providing Treaty Education. It is important to know the significance of Treaty Education outcomes of the curriculum in comparison to integrated knowledge within other subject areas of the curriculum. Although I still find myself slightly uneasy and anxious regarding teaching these areas due to a history of ignorance, I fully recognize the significance as we move back towards the original spirit and intent of treaties – living alongside one another in peace. I have less reservations when it comes to teaching Treaty Education outcomes, but when it comes to authentic and genuine integration of FNMI ways of knowing, I need to continue to find effective resources and continue my growth in this area.
- Consultation and Referral with Other Professionals
- Teaching is sharing! I will continue to learn from other professionals and network with others. It is important to feel comfortable asking for help when you need it. I think one of the biggest mistakes a teacher can make is assuming you know it all. The teaching profession is one in which you should never stop learning (a value we try to instil in our students) and understand the significance of learning from others.