J. What might my intern and I be doing in April/May/June?
At this point, the intern assumes the responsibility for classroom planning and teaching. However, the professional development school model encourages mentors to remain in the classroom working with individuals or small groups of students. Additionally, the intern begins to envision ways to use the mentor to provide additional support for students. Thus, the intern begins to identify opportunities the mentor can assume to enhance student growth.
The trip sheets continue to be a valuable way to document feedback and intern growth. Please share the documentation with the PDA since this will help the PDA's understanding of the intern's progress.
Each month you will want to reflect on the experiences your intern has had so far in your room. Continue adding to the list of experiences as you continue designing your intern's I.I.P. as well as provide the intern with some documentation for the e-Portfolio.
Just as the interns left the classroom for professional growth in the beginning of the year, now the mentors may take the opportunity to meet with each other during the school day. During this time, the mentors might explore new curriculum initiatives, participate in a conversation as inquiry group, or conduct observations of colleagues. By having an intern in the classroom, the mentor now has the opportunity to engage in professional growth opportunities of personal interest.
April can be a stressful month for the intern as full-time teaching, the inquiry conference presentation and paper, the e-Portfolio, and the need to send out applications for jobs for the following year all converge. Help your intern stay on top of things by asking how things are going and sharing non-teaching responsibilities. If you and the intern are doing an inquiry project together, be aware of the intern's deadlines for the various components of the paper. If you are doing separate projects, collect data for your intern if you can, and offer to proofread the paper. Please plan to attend the Inquiry Conference - usually the first Saturday in May. It is a great time for interns and mentors to celebrate their accomplishments.
During the first week of May, you, the intern, and PDA will have the final evaluation conference. As was the case with the mid-term evaluation, you and the PDA will complete the assessment form together while the intern is teaching. You will also come to agreement on a final grade for the student teaching course- CI 495D. At the final evaluation conference, you will discuss the intern's general performance, strengths, needs, and growth areas for the initial year of teaching. Within a week or two after this conference, you will need to complete a detailed letter of reference that can be placed in the intern's placement file and can be used as a reference for seeking jobs. Your intern will also be completing the final version of the electronic portfolio. Continue to help with this effort.
During the last month of school, we encourage interns to continue teaching a lot in your classroom but also to seek opportunities to visit other classrooms so that they have an opportunity to see many different grade levels. This will come in handy as they are interviewing for jobs.
The final event of the year is the Pinning Ceremony at which you will "pin" your intern with the "Circle of Children" pin as a symbol of entry into the profession.
Some other ideas include:
- Provide feedback using reflective supervision techniques
- Finish inquiry project
- Continuing helping to collect evidence for the e-Portfolio and discussing it with the intern
- Help the intern develop a plan for observing at different grade levels.