My First Week as an Intern
The first day of my intern I was a complete bundle of nerves. I knew it was going to be a long and tiresome day, so I prepared myself in advance with as little sleep as possible due to the fact that my nerves were doing their supposed jobs. I do this before every new thing. It’s really just a case of me getting my worry out before the real thing starts. I typically don’t stress too much about things, except when I don’t know what to expect.
I pictured myself in a room with either A.) a room full of super artsy, super out there writers, or B.) the teachers I knew from high school. Lucky for me, it wasn’t at all what I expected.
When I walked in I was a bit nervous, but I looked the part and did my best to be professional. Little did I know, that wasn’t necessary, but at least my first impression was a good one. When I walked in I was greeted by a room full of teachers, all different kinds of teachers. That’s one aspect of this project that I was completely wrong about. I thought that this type of further education or continuing education or whatever it is they call those sixty hours a year that teachers are required to do was specifically for English and Writing teachers. This was a room full of all different types of teachers. A few of the teachers I got to meet and know a little bit about them.
One teacher was Cindy Green, and I actually had the opportunity to do her hair after the class one day. I learned all about her job. She is a distance teacher, and her job allows her to extend all the AP classes and the classes like Medical Terminology and odd classes like that to the classrooms in more rural areas of Arkansas. These schools that don’t have to opportunity to teach classes like this because they don’t have the numbers necessary to hire a teacher now use distance learning to do it. Ms. Green may never step into the actual classrooms of these students, but she does get to know these students and offers them a wider range opportunity because of what she is doing. Even though her students don’t really get the chance to meet her in person, she told me that every year she gets more graduation invitations than she knows what to do with.
Another teacher that I learned a little bit more about was a man named Mike Rush. Mr. Rush also teaches in a different type of classroom than what I’m accustomed to. He originally taught math, but he had the opportunity to switch to a computer lab setting. This lab gives transfer students, and even failing students, the opportunity to make up what they miss out on or fail. He said something to me that really stuck, and I hope that one day I will be able to put this into practice. Mr. Rush told me about his two daughters, both of which are extremely intelligent, the type of students who don’t really need teachers, who if they wanted to could open the book and teach themselves. When he figured this out about his daughters, he told me that his whole outlook on teaching changed. He began to lump students into two categories, the ones that really needed him, and the ones that didn’t. He didn’t give any more attention to one group or another, but he did realize what his reason for being there was. To help those who really need help.
These are just two stories out of around fifteen. I didn’t get to know every teacher on a personal level, but I learned from all of them. My first job as an intern was to create an anthology of the teachers writings. I set up an email account for the Great Bear Writing Project, took submissions and began to organize and format what would become a printed version of the accomplishments of all the teachers. An account of what they learned from the class and from each other. The best part of creating this anthology was reading the submissions of these teachers. Some were poets, others novelists, and some just plain thoughtful. I read stories of these teachers experiences, in and out of the classroom, and I learned from what they wrote. I may just be an intern, but now I’m an intern with insight into what my future hopefully holds.