A Day In The Life Of An Intern - The Transition To The Dark Side!
Over the past four weeks, a team of former students have been working with teachers and students. Here’s an account of the experience!
I always feel like having a visitor in your class is a bit like a white-knuckle ride at Alton Towers - the more extreme rides. Part of you does enjoy the rush of adrenalin, the thrill of seeing if they will judge you positively and there’s a curiosity to see how the class will react to the intruder. The flip slide is that your voice might, like mine, go up an octave, or ten, and there is definitely a bit of a fear factor, even with the best class.
Why? Because you care what people think about you and your ability to impart information. It’s pretty personal. You care about presenting the profession in a credible manner with a clear agenda to dispel the cruel myths about the copious amounts of time we have to ourselves when our working day ends at 3.00pm. I often note the emails sent at well past most people’s bedtimes when I am reflecting on my work/ life balance. But, as you are dealing with people, you are dealing with a big bit of the unknown. As one of my Year 10 students recently discussed in his GCSE Spoken Language Presentation, the Butterfly Effect kicks in. One seemingly insignificant and miniscule factor can alter the course of our lives, or a lesson, in insurmountable ways.
Therefore, the prospect of having 10 interns in school during the final few weeks of an insanely tiring term of GCSE and A Level grading, End-of-Year examinations and Covid dodging seemed less than a little enticing. However, I couldn’t have been further wrong.
Perhaps it helped that all these undergraduates were former students, so we already knew the personalities. Perhaps the injection of youthful enthusiasm lifted us when we were waning. Perhaps the way that they all just enjoyed being back in school, seeing old faces (‘old’ as in familiar, by the way… ) was amusing. However, I have to say it was delightful to feel so very well-supported. I happened to mention to the interns that it can be a little bit stressful having a visitor and how it would be good to try to pre-empt possible ways to help and they have all followed this message to the letter. I can’t tell you how many lovely emails and comments I have had about them, how good it is to have them back and how well they have been working with our students.
So, what have they been up? What is the day in the life of an Intern like? For four weeks, the interns follow their own timetable tailored to their areas of interest and expertise, as well as requests from staff at NSB. Between them, they have covered most of the curriculum and have gone above and beyond their remit.
There are too many things to list concisely but here is just a flavour of the things they have done: 1-2-1 sessions with Year 10 students in Maths and Physics; support for students in all year groups in Maths, English, Music, MFL, Accelerated Reader and Science; in class and 1-2-1 support for Year 12 students in Maths, History, Geography, German, French, Psychology, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics ; mentoring students in Key Stages 3 & 4; delivering presentations during Citizenship and Guidance; creating and delivering a library quiz; supporting students with personal statements; creating resources for Geography; delivering presentations to students about their university courses; creating resources for UCAS applications; creating maths activities and general knowledge quizzes in registration and helping teachers create an inviting learning environment ready for the next academic year.
That’s my take on it so let’s hear what the interns thought about the experience:
Over the past four weeks I have taken on a timetable that has led me to various places in the school. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Design & Technology department where I was tasked with helping to think of a new project for year 7’s to complete, this project should help teach them about using various workshop machines and hand tools. Also, I have spent some time helping the current Year 12 D & T students with their coursework. I have provided some 1-2-1 tuition to some very dedicated Year 12 physics and maths students, where I aimed to focus on the particular areas of their respective syllabi that they found challenging. I did this to maximise the value of the sessions that we had. I’ve noticed it's much different ‘on the other side’ so to speak, there’s a lot that goes un-noticed when you’re a student, but you must pick up on as the teacher. When helping out in various classes I have noticed plenty of interesting things, like the methods different teachers use to keep control of a class of nearly 30 young teenagers or all the weird, wonderful and often unrelated questions that get asked (especially by the younger years) and seeing how the teacher satisfies the question while keeping spirits high.
Over the past 4 weeks, I have taken on a variety of responsibilities ranging from leading presentations and classroom teaching in A-level Geography classes to 1-2-1 tutoring and taking on a classroom assistant role in KS3/4 English, Maths and C & G. It was surprising how applicable lessons and methods from my first and second years at university are to A-level and how well broader themes have been explored and applied in the students' coursework. Would highly recommend on with 5 stars on TripAdvisor.
The last month has been a thrilling experience! Having only been a student at the school just over two years ago, teaching here offered a new perspective on life at NSB. As a second-year maths student, I started off teaching where I felt most comfortable, tutoring mainly Sixth Formers 1-to-1 in A-Level mathematics. However, towards the end of the internship I went on to teach a variety of year groups over a broad spectrum of subjects such as German, French and C & G. Explaining and observing students understand new concepts was highly rewarding! I had a great time teaching while also engaging in staff football, staff softball and the other aspects of life as a teacher!