It’s the Most Wonderful (and Stressful) Time of the Year

By Bri Tambellini, Secondary English Education Major/ ACH Clear Pathways After-School Arts Program Intern

As I noted in my last blog, the students have been working hard for their final showcase that is quickly approaching in two weeks. Today, the students have been asked to take their scripts home to practice their lines because starting next week, they will be rehearsing without them. One of the students hung her head low and said, “I’m never going to remember my lines.” We all assured her that she was absolutely going to, it was just going to take some practice. I felt myself in the same position as this student. Just as the showcase is quickly approaching the students at ACH, finals are quickly approaching me. I recently compiled a list of all my assignments and their deadlines. Today I was looking at the sheet of paper and thought to myself, “I’m never going to get all of this done,” something that I say every year during finals. It is easy to become overwhelmed looking at multiple assignments or multiple pages of a script at once, but breaking down the material piece by piece, makes the task more manageable.

Currently, I am working on my final project for this internship. I am creating a 5-day lesson plan on Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. One of my goals starting this internship was to incorporate student creativity more in my lesson plans, so I am excited to use what I have learned at ACH to design the lessons. I was actually able to teach the first lesson- an introduction to the text- at my field placement this semester. The introductory material discussed how Swift’s main character, Lemuel Gulliver, travels to various fictional islands. The class activity asked students to draw their own islands and provide a brief description of their work. The students had so much fun with this assignment and some were even disappointed when the class ended because they wanted to add more detail to their islands. I am glad that I was able to see how this lesson would work in a real classroom setting and I am using that experience to create the next few lessons for my project.

The end of this semester is bittersweet. While finals are stressful and I will be happy when I complete all of my assignments, my time at ACH is coming to an end. I am very grateful that I had this opportunity to further develop my skills and I will miss working with the students, but I am so excited to see their work come together at the showcase!  


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