So I am down to the final month of my undergraduate career; yahoo! Since I am on the home stretch I figured now would be a good time to reflect (I know that’s everyone’s favourite word) on this semester and what it has been like for me so far!
Before coming into this semester I had heard many times that the semester after internship is going to be the hardest. When I say “the hardest” I am not referring to it being academically harder than past semesters, I mean harder as in: hard to get back into being a student rather than a teacher; harder due to having to sit in a class instead of teaching a class; harder because I am now back to making my own assignments rather than assessing my students’ work. Even though I had people telling me it would be hard, I didn’t realize just how hard it would be on me!
Normally I have enjoyed my time at the university. I have enjoyed the majority of my courses, I felt I have come away from each class learning something new, and I didn’t find it overly hard to jump into my assignments. Sure, I went through the “getting back into school mode” each semester, where it took me a little while to get into the swing a things after being off for a couple of months, but this semester that “getting back into school mode” doesn’t seem to want to kick in at all! This semester has been a completely different experience for me than past semesters, and I am still not totally sure as to why that is. I am constantly finding myself in a slump – a slump to get motivated, a slump in creativity, just an overall slump. It seems that procrastination has been my best friend this semester, more than in past semesters, and I find myself having difficulties staying focused. I also find it hard to stay interested in my classes. This is not because I don’t find my classes interesting, because they are, it is just a different kind of feeling I can’t really explain.
I think one reason for my slump this semester is due to the simple fact that I miss my kids in my interning class. I don’t know how I am going to do it – changing students every year – because after just 4 months I became extremely attached to those students. I thoroughly enjoyed every single day of my internship, including all the difficult times. There wasn’t a morning I didn’t wake up where I wasn’t excited to get back into that classroom.
Another reason for my slump may be because I am a hands on learner, and I think I learned more in those 4 months of internship that I have in the 4 years of my program. Now, don’t get me wrong, the education program is great and I did learn a lot while I was in it, but I learned what cannot be taught while in that classroom; real life situations that you can’t read and reflect on through a textbook. Now that I know how much I can learn out there I just want to dive back in and learn so much more.
So, here I am, just over 4 weeks left in my program, and still in my slump. Somehow I have managed to get all my assignments done, and I am doing quite well, but I would be lying if I said I am not anxious for April 11th to come! And, even though I am in a slump, I am still enjoying my last semester. I have met a lot of amazing people through this program, learned a ton of information, gathered many tools and resources, and, through all of this, I have started to grow into the teacher I want to be.
I know many of you who are finished this semester are in the same boat – the, “is it over yet?” boat. So, to you, I say good luck, you can do it, and you are certainly not alone! We all have come so far and there is so little time left, we just have to keep our heads up and keep on truckin’!
For those of you who may be reading this that are not finishing this semester: good luck to you as well! In my opinion, the best year of your program is yet to come. My advice to you would be to enjoy your internship, and take risks while you are there. Your co-operating teachers are amazing resources, and they will help you along the way. Internship really is an amazing experience, even though it will be tough at times, but in those 4 months I am hopeful you learn more about yourself as a teacher and it gets you excited to get out there in a classroom of your own.
Happy one month left everybody!