Table of Contents

Congratulations on your decision to spend a year interning in the State College Area School District! The year ahead of you is going to be foundational in your development as a teacher, and as you work closely with your mentor, the PDS associates, the PDS consultants, and your fellow interns, our hope is that you will be constantly learning. At this point you may be feeling a variety of things as you look forward to the coming year, ranging from excitement to apprehension. The purpose of this guidebook, developed in collaboration over several years of PDS experience, is to help allay some of those fears by giving you an idea of what the forthcoming year may entail for you. Since one of the central tenets of the PDS philosophy is that no two interns' experiences will be identical, think of this guidebook more as informative than prescriptive. This is not a map. Rather, it is a sextant that can help you continually position yourself as you create your own map, one that will be as individual, creative, and as lively as you make it to be.

As you read through this guidebook, and indeed as you intern throughout the year, you will most likely encounter terms, phrases, and concepts that are new or somewhat unfamiliar. Part of learning to be a teacher is learning the discourse, and the PDS is based on acquiring this discourse through immersion and negotiation, rather than lecture and memorization. Feel free to ask questions, look for clarification, research your questions, and share your inquiries because the process will generate new layers of understanding for everyone. Asking questions will not make you look dumb; asking questions will allow us to increase our knowledge base. As a community of learners comprised of interns, mentors, consultants, and supervisors, an integral part of our collaboration involves asking questions: of our students, our teachers, our colleagues, our readings, and ourselves. Constructing ideas through exploration and negotiation, instead of finding the right answers, will be helpful to keep in mind as you journey throughout the coming year. Sometimes, the questions we pose only lead to more questions, never answers.