Educational Forays

Name: Jan Andrea
Date: 16 October 1997
Job Title: Intern
Interviewer's Name:

1. Describe in detail the primary or most important duties that you perform daily. If important duties are performed at less frequent intervals, describe them and give the frequency of performance.

I interact with the students quite frequenly, giving individual aid as necessary (based on: knowledge of the students' learning styles, confused looks, raised hands, and other such verbal or non-verbal cries for help); lately I have undertaken more responsible roles, such as chaperoning a group of 12 girls at Merrowvista, and subbing for two days with little supervision. I consider my interactions with the students to be of primary importance, since it is from these interactions that I am able to gauge their understanding and even anticipate the areas in which they will need more help. This has also allowed me to get to know the adolescent persona in better detail as well, which I feel is crucial to my success as a teacher.

2. Describe the secondary duties that you perform at periodic intervals (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) and state the frequency of performance. Also describe any duties you could perform in the near future.

I will be taking on more responsibility for grading (some based on a check-plus or - minus system, as well as actual letter grades and more formalized styles, such as rubrics); I still do a lot of photocopying and miscellaneous classroom upkeep tasks as well.

3. Describe the equipment and/or lab supplies that you use regularly.

White board, photocopier, measuring equipment for labs (graduated cylinders, metersticks, beakers, etc.), rizograph, 35-mm camera, videotape recorder, videotape player with television, computers (Apple and PC), my brain.

4. Describe the working conditions.

Crowded there are too many desks and children and not quite enough room for everyone to maneuver comfortably, but there is essentially nothing that can be done about this within the context of the school year. Sometimes the heat turns on and won't shut off (apparently a computer glitch for which no one will take responsibility), and the room becomes rather stiflingly hot.

5. Describe the proximity, extent, and closeness of any supervision you receive. To what degree does your immediate supervisor outline the methods to be followed, results to be accomplished, check work progress, handle exceptional cases, and check job performance?

Xxx Xxxxxxx and I have set up regular meeting times during which we will discuss my progress. She is nearly always in the room, whether I am giving a lesson by myself or not, and thus far she has been modelling her plans and methods for me, though next week I will be taking on my own class. For this purpose she will begin a more formal observational stage of myself and my work. We work together to check the students' progress and to handle the exceptional learners in the classroom, and she is always willing to step in to help me out of an awkward situation if need be. We have begun to work more closely on my progress and performance, and will continue to modify our relationship as the semester progresses.

6. Describe the kind of supervision you give to your students. What is the degree of accountability for results in terms of methods, work accomplished, and communication?

I always have a watchful eye out, and tend to pay closer attention to those whom I know (through experience, IEPs, and the like) will need more help or guidance, which is given in the form of rephrasing questions and aiding those students in finding the resourses they need to answer their own questions. They are expected to do their best on their work, and are graded individually on their performance (based on expectations, progress, and comparison to past performances). These assessments are recorded in the grade books, and exceptional work is added to the students' individual portfolios, which are kept in the classroom.

7. How many students do you supervise directly? 26-27 per class Indirectly? 104 total, with 18 total coded students.

8. What is the seriousness of error on this job? Who would discover it? How do errors affect your work, the work of others in the department, or persons outside the school?

We learn from our mistakes here, and I think the entire staff with whom I interact is aware that I am still learning how to teach. Xxx and the rest of the Polaris team have been extremely supportive of my learning, and are quick to offer aid and advice when they see that it is necessary. Therefore, the tolerance for mistakes is fairly high, although I do discuss my errors with all those involved, including the students, under Xxx's direction.

9. Are you responsible for any confidential data? State the type of confidential data handled.

I have copies of all the students' IEPs, and am present at the teacher/parent meetings we have had so far as a team.

10. Are you responsible for money or things of monetary value? State the type of responsibility and the approximate amount you must safeguard.

No; none.

11. Describe the kind of personal contacts you make (contacts with others in the department, administrators, other individuals elsewhere in the school, parents, community).

I am in regular contact with the Polaris team teachers at our team meetings, where I do have some input; I have occasional contct with the other teachers in the science department, on the basis of curricular development; I have not yet had extensive contact with the administration beyond the staff development sessions I have attended; I am familiar with the janitorial staff on my wing; and I come into contact at least weekly with parents when they meet with Polaris about their childrens' progress.

12. Describe the complexity of your job. What is the degree of independent action you are allowed to take? What decisions are you permitted to make?

Xxx encourages me to be independent where lesson plans are concerned, although I have not yet planned an entirely independent lesson, relying instead on her plans, which have been excellent models. I have pretty much equal authority where classroom management is concerned, especially in issues such as discipline, hall "passes," and the like. Assessment has not been a major issue thus far, as we are only now beginning a major curricular unit (having reviewed the basics for the first month-and-a-half), but will continue to grow in importance as the semester progresses.

13. Describe the type and amount of dexterity or motor skill required. Indicate which job duties require dexterity.

Dexterity is required most generally within the context of lab exercises, as well as in some of the activities that we have performed with the students (such as the first day's demos). The nature of the room layout demands a certain amount of dexterity in moving about the room (getting between tables and such), and field trips, such as our recent outing to Odiorne Point, have taxed my personal abilities in terms of climbing around rocks and ensuring that all the students are safe and accounted for. Simply jumping from one student's questions to another's takes a great deal of mental dexterity, in my opinion.

14. Describe the degree of repetitive detail the job involves. What boring tasks are required?

There is a certain amount of photocopying to be done which is fairly repetative; since we have classes of two different grade levels, each grade's lesson must be repeated once (two lessons of eighth grade and two of seventh each day), but since the students are so different from class to class, there is actually very little repetition. Occasionally lab cleanup can be repetative ordinary functions such as putting out equipment, washing it, and replacing it can be repetative, but I would in the future like to recruit student volunteers for some of these tasks (when it is not potentially dangerous, of course).

15. List any unusual physical requirements of the job (vision, strength, hearing, etc.).

A great deal of stamina is required; eyes like a hawk are helpful, along with the ears of an owl students don't take long to get themselves into trouble. Non-verbal communications are key, as are skills in voice projection and modality.

16. What life experiences or previous coursework especially help you to perform this job satisfactorily?

The UNH methods courses have provided me with some ideas, more theoretical than practical; I had an Ed. 500 at Dover Middle School, which has proven to be an excellent contrast for some of the things I am seeing here at ORMS. I have had extensive coursework in the general sciences, from which I can draw many examples, as well as laboratory reseach experience to which I refer almost daily when discussing issues in science. My family as a whole provides many examples which I can use to provide my students with a more complete idea of what science is all about, as well as specific examples from their fields, which I can present with a personal touch. I look upon my entire life history as something of a scientific endevour; and so I must consider everything in my life a helpful experience.

17. Can you specify the training time needed to arrive at a level of competency on the job?

Anywhere from a couple of months to a year to acheive true competency; I expect it to take less time for me to become truly comfortable thinking and acting on the fly, but more time to learn how to plan effectively. Building a relationship with the students has taken far less time, as I am naturally a rather outgoing person, and am able to see the good in all of my students; eventually I would like to be able to incorparate their strengths completely into the day-to-day functioning of the classroom.

18. How do you define job satisfaction? How much job experience is needed to reach this standard? Where can you obtain help reaching these goals?

Satisfaction to me would be a level of comfort with my required duties planning, execution, and evaluation of lessons; and interactions with students, administration and parents. I hope to have the potential for job satisfaction by the end of this internship year, and I am depending a lot on Xxx and the other team teachers, as well as the other interns, for aid in this so far.

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