Student Lucas Kovacevich: Internship Notes

For his internship, Lucas Kovacevich taught in Pachuca, Mexico, for two months. He taught three classes at a private school that chose him to teach English to students of every level and age. These journal entries from his Conversation Class demonstrate his reflective practice, his growing confidence, and his students’ success.

16 Jan 08
I had more time to prepare for tonight’s class, so in some ways I felt more confident going into the classroom. I wanted to choose overarching themes so the classes could be connected and interesting, so I came up with the themes of identity, language, and culture.

21 Jan 08
This class is so far my favorite, despite the fact that I have yet to teach my new class tomorrow. I like it because I am creating my own curriculum and creating curriculum that is interesting to my students. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, I decided to talk about influential people in class today. First I asked students to write for fifteen minutes on someone they know, a family member or friend, who as influenced them and their life. We each discussed our people after writing. After that, I had them write about someone who has been influential to their city, state or country – alive or dead. They wrote for about ten minutes and then we shared our answers.

28 Jan 08
I feel like there are always surprises with this class. Four new students walked in a little after seven, a father and son (the father does not speak any English and the son said his father was there to listen) and a couple in their early twenties. We finally began the class at 19:15 with nine students. I felt a bit overwhelmed at first, but later calmed down. One student walked in around 19:25, making a total of ten students and one student missing (11 students total enrolled in the class).

I was really pleased with the way class went tonight because not only were we able to talk about peace, but students were engaged when talking about it, it wasn’t something completely boring or unrelated for them. I was also very pleased to hear how different everyone’s ideas of peace are and hear their perspectives on it, what it looks like to them and their other thoughts on it. I was worried that they’d be completely bored with this theme and it turned out to be quite the opposite.

13 Feb 08
Mar picked the topic of globalization to discuss and specifically the connection with learning English and globalization. She spoke for about ten minutes about globalization and then said she was done. I suggested that she engage the class in a discussion and some students asked her several questions. It was a slow start to the discussion, however after about five minutes, someone asked something and students really became engaged in the discussion. Students were arguing, disagreeing and giving their opinions – they were truly engaged. I have never seen the class this way, so heated and so eager to talk. Mar made a mind-map on the board (modeled after the one’s I’ve done in class) on people’s definitions of globalization and this added to the discussion.

I feel like tonight’s class went really well. The students were incredibly engaged in the discussion, more so than I have ever seen them. They were speaking even though they do have difficulty because they wanted so badly to express their opinions.

Some of my students at work.

18 Feb 08
I completely misjudged tonight’s lesson. I thought it was a mistake which I can learn from and make adjustments to in the future. But my students definitely enjoyed the lesson. We did feedback at the end and one student commented that the class was “beautiful.” I enjoy being with my students and helping them with their language learning. I will be sad to be leaving this class.


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