… and I’m still not in a classroom, BUT I may have found an acceptable alternative. In addition to teaching a couple of sections of composition in two different colleges, I’ve been hired by Local U. to supervise a group of teaching interns.
I’m excited about this job for a number of reasons. First, I remember how important my own intern supervisor was to my internship experience (If you haven’t been with me long enough to recall what a wild ride that was, let’s just suffice to say that the first half of the year was a shit show that would have likely pitched me out of teaching altogether were it not for the calm competence of Sam and his encouragement that I find another placement for the January semester). I’m looking forward to being that kind of support for my own students, though I dearly hope that none of them has to experience anything even close to what I did.
I’m also eager to work with classroom teachers. A large part of my responsibility to my interns is to observe them in their classrooms and to work closely with their cooperating teachers to offer them encouragement and guidance. I’m expecting that just being in the classrooms (the high school’s more than than the middle school’s, but still) will be a balm to my still-singed teacher soul. School only began this week, though, so I want to give the interns and their teachers some time to get to know each other and settle in to something of a routine before I invade their spaces.
Finally, I’m excited to work with the interns themselves. We had our first meeting yesterday, and I can already tell that we’re going to have a great class; the students are eager, but not starry-eyed, which tells me that they’re likely going to be able to navigate the first few tumultuous weeks with some aplomb. I’ve got 5 students spanning 3 disciplines (English/language arts, Social Studies, and Art) – 2 in the high school, three in the middle school – which is going to make for a range of experiences and practices that will keep us in discussion fodder for the whole year.
I’ve encouraged the interns to keep journals of their experiences (much like I did during my own internship and, later, while I was teaching in a classroom). I’ve been neglecting this space of late; I’m planning to change that as I do the homework I assign my students. Look for more entries here in the coming weeks and months.