More Internship First Impressions

From around the world, interns in SIT’s MA in Teaching are noting their first impressions.  Sometimes, significant change is easy to notice:  food, climate, language.

Other times change is less easy to notice, although no less significant: learning to listen to students’ needs, observing student learning, understanding a personal reaction to something new.  This is one reason that learning in groups is practical and pragmatic.  For instance, what I don’t yet see you can help me notice, and the other way around.

For interns with the Internationalist concentration — while most are not new to teaching, many are living in cultures new to them — this experience of learning in a group becomes even more valuable.  In addition, interns’ online learning supplements the building of a learning community, a network of fellow learners.

Creating awareness, the act of noticing is integral to learning.  Below, interns are in the act of noticing as they comment on personal change, observe their teaching, their circumstances, and where they are in the world.  They are noticing change of all sorts and doing so with each other, although they are not together physically.

An extension of their first term of learning, the being together and the learning together is a model for how their own teaching can be conducted.  Like a chain that adds links each year, this legacy of MAT has been brought to millions of language learners around the world in the 40 years of SIT’s teacher training.

Here are some comments from some of this year’s interns in Saudi Arabia, New York, Mexico, and Morocco.

The capital city of Riyadh is mind blowing. There is an endless stream of stores. There are beautifully sculpted buildings at every angle your eyes can see. They have the traditional mystic Middle Eastern architecture, and more contemporary designs. Each one is larger and more glamorous than the next. Riyadh also has first class food. The bread is baked in fire ovens before your eyes, most meat is barbeque, and all juice is freshly made. It is the land of beautiful, tasty juice. The style is first class.

I love INTERLINK also. The company has a wonderful philosophy. They are very student centered, and easy to work with. They have taken great care of me. I feel very spoiled.

It’s very cool to experience New York City from a resident’s point-of-view. I walk to work bundled up to the eyeballs, shop for groceries at a huge market the locals go out of their way for, worship in a cathedral, and rent from a family whose kids sled in the parks and take a subway to school. I’m getting a great taste for New York as a community.

My first few days at the internship have been very rich in learning. We each have our own mentor who will be with us all day, every day throughout the 6 weeks, but we also have lunch and meetings with all the teachers so that we benefit from the whole team’s experiences. Our mentors embody the approaches we’ve been studying, so our days are full of “now I get it” moments.

Buenas dias from warm Pachuca.  My arrival on Sunday was met with a very kind Magdalena who is taking good care of me in her home.  It has taken me a few days to become acclimated having just arrived back in the United States for only two days from India where I spent the winter break.

The teachers and students at Colegio Real de Minas have been more than wonderful.  They are very excited about having another English teacher from SIT Graduate Institute.  I am really grateful for those who have come before to lay the foundation for good experiences with these very loving people.  I feel right at home as though I am in the right place for my internship.

I look forward to the successful accomplishment of my internship here and something wonderful to come.

I am exploring the Riverside Language Program, New York City. We started our class this Tuesday and it was very interesting. One thing that I discovered from teaching my class is that repetition is similar to stealing. The idea is that the teacher doesn’t want his students to copy. He wants the student to search until they find the answer. I think this is real learning and something I want to call physical learning, because students are learning mostly from playing games and taking actions. Students will learn when they engage and use their intelligence.

Outside of the classroom what I found was skyscrapers and I felt claustrophobic. I wish I could fly to my hometown to take a fresh breath.

I’m writing from an internet cafe near my house here in Kenitra.  Teaching here has been interesting after my first semester at SIT.  I have much more awareness of language and teaching than I had before.  I’ve added that knowledge to my bag of tricks for the classroom.   The director here has been very nice.
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