ESL Certification: Intern’s View

Colleen Garrett

The Fall 2009 intern at Brattleboro Union High School, Colleen Garrett, describes the value of her education.  Like magic, the transformation that takes place during supervised teaching requires insight, practice, and close attention.  Unlike magic, transformative learning changes the changer.  Note how Colleen is different as a result of her experience.

PART TWO – The Intern’s View

The Value of the Internship

Working with such experienced and knowledgeable cooperating teachers as Ana Rawson and Jenn Course has been an amazing tool for developing my understanding of ESL teachers and learners in the US. I already have several years of EFL and museum teaching experience, so my SIT learning has mostly to do with the structures of teaching in the US, student needs, the politics of ESL, and the structures of US public education systems, from national standards to curriculum models.

The Value of MAT

The experiential learning cycle has been the most valuable dimension of SIT’s education for me.  Theory combined with real world application has been and will continue to be invaluable to my learning.

SIT has also offered a tight community of colleagueship; it has been an incredible support as I am moving from being a student back into being a teacher. This global network of friends and colleagues will be an important part of my life from here on out.

Changing My Teaching

During the internship, I am mastering the usage of my newly full teaching tool bag. I am so well armed with new material and information, and I am still not accustomed to using these tools in my teaching. I know this will come with practice, but I am excited to have these new resources available to me.

Internship Supervision

My supervisors have been an incredible resource. They have such insightful observations. Their perspectives often help me refocus or see a new or unexpected angle, both positive and negative. I can feel a lesson went badly and my supervisor helps me discover the positive outcomes in each exercise.  She helps me to modify or focus the lesson to be more successful. There are sometimes lingering issues in the classroom that can be effectively evaluated and solved through dialogue with both my supervisors.

My Plans

I am looking for a positive and rewarding teaching position somewhere in the US. Thankfully, Vermont has reciprocity for its teaching certificates with 46 states. I am looking forward to using what I’m learning and have laid a solid foundation for my career.


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