A Twist on Student Teaching

By Cori Agnoni, Secondary Education and English Major / ACH Clear Pathways and Community Writing Center Intern

Due to the on-going pandemic, I decided to request for an online field placement as a measure to try to limit potential exposure of the virus. I will admit that when I submitted this request, I wasn’t entirely sure what an online placement would entail. Many of my friends in the School of Education also opted for this virtual experience. Because of the large response, a program was purchased for a field simulation. A first semester senior is expected to teach 3 lessons and complete 45 hours of observations. This is unrealistic due to the November 1st start date and December 1st deadline, so the requirement was decreased to a certain number of completed simulations with avatar students.

After some thought, I decided to ask my professor if I could use my internship opportunity as a replacement. I am actively writing with and observing students. It seemed like a fitting twist. Eventually, I was granted approval for this and now I am using this internship as a foundation for my field. There are a few assignments required for me to pass the field. I will use my current students at ACH as my guide to develop 3 lesson plans and will write a 5-7 page reflection on my experience this semester. I’m considering including my reflection in my internship final portfolio as a testament to my feelings toward the work I have been doing this semester. Like I mentioned in a previous blog, I created a week’s worth of curriculum. I envision myself using this curriculum and expanding upon it to fit PA Standards, learning goals/objectives, and formative and summative assessments. As of May 2021, I will be certified to teach 7th-12th grade English Language Arts. This internship is geared towards children in Kindergarten-3rd grade. It requires me to think differently and consider other options that might not be as powerful in a higher-level classroom.

I’m looking forward to completing the assignments for my field experience. I think it will force me to sit down and reflect; this semester is untraditional and continues to be busy. I feel as if I’ve had very little time to truly appreciate the fact that we are still capable of learning and teaching amidst a global crisis. It certainly isn’t easy, but it’s possible.

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