Thursday, June 3, 2010

REPOST: Bittersweet Relief

*I'm scheduling this to post during my media fast. I'm hopefully still going strong with this!

Recently, I found out my first blog (where I was actually serious about blogging, and not just writing lame updates once a month) and I've been reading through my posts. I wrote for no audience and sporadically. I've been reading through the days I was in my final internship and I've been struck at how awful that time truly was.

So I decided to repost a post from October 30, 2008. It was exactly one day after I was told I wouldn't pass my internship. It holds emotions ranging from bitterness to sadness to confusion. It's heart-wrenching and real. I really don't hold back with this blog posting and thought I would share it with you.

On Sunday, I promised a super-long blog about how my internship is going. And I can tell you today that it is over.

When I first met my teachers and started my internship, I was deliriously happy. I wrote blog entries on how this internship would be so much better. Well, not really. Everything seemed to go downhill after my first evaluation in late September. My teachers then began to build a tendency to wait until they saw my university supervisor to tell me everything I was doing wrong. She even said something to me a week ago where she feels she has to be there in order for my teachers to communicate anything to me!

They never once told me that they had serious concerns about me. They told my UP and she set up a meeting between us where my P.M. teacher didn’t say much of anything (Oh, except for telling me I should’ve done more at their PLC that morning – like him? Watching ESPN and looking up stats for baseball?!) and my A.M. teacher expressed her concerns. OK. I was a little distraught (fine, fine. I was a blubbering idiot!) but I resolved to take their suggestions and do better.

My P.M. teacher gave me the reins of teaching at Week 4 or 5. It was up to me to find out where he keeps his pacing guide (and he never showed me one for science or social studies). He never asked me for lesson plans. Except for 1 or 2 times, he never told me what I was doing wrong. Obviously, when you get no feedback, you think you’re doing an A-OK job! I had given and graded 2 separate math tests before he told me how he graded. His communication skills sucked. And I knew he didn’t like me. I could just tell. And he said something to the effect that people know when he doesn’t like them. Yeah, I knew.

As for my A.M. teacher, she came to me about three Mondays ago and asked to see all my lesson plans for the week. So, OK. I give her a sheet where I had written out in shorthand what I would be doing that week. “No,” she says to me. “I need the lesson plans that tell me exactly what you’re doing.” Oh, OK. I had seen her make 2 different types of lesson plans. The first was a shorthand, teaching points for the week and the second was more of a format of “Teaching Point/Modeled/Active Engagement/Link”. So I worked on that that night and showed it to her the next day. Do you think that’s what she wanted? Nooo. Her communication skills are JUST AS BAD as my P.M. teacher! So I wrote out 4 lesson plans of EXACTLY WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY, a script. She never told me, nor did she show me hers. She assumed I should know it. Um, does she also assume that all of her students know when to put an exclamation point or question mark at the end of a sentence? I didn’t think so.

Every single time I went in for my internship, I cringed as I thought what thing she could criticize me on today. She never gave positive feedback. It was always negative. I started calling her Ms. Negativity. She totally was.

When I told her I was feeling very overwhelmed with the writing, she told me that concerns her a lot. Wow. Thanks! Way to boost my confidence in teaching, Ms. Negativity! How about, “Well, then let’s do something to help you feel more confident. What can I do to help?”

It was such a bad situation that I feel a sense of relief. I felt so alone there, my teachers weren’t there to support or help me. They were there to get a few hours of peace from teaching. They didn’t help me out and expected me to do things they had been doing for the past 10 years. My teachers had a conference with my UP during the kids’ PE time where they told her they wouldn’t be able to pass me and were not “impressed” with me. Well, honeys, I wasn’t very “impressed” with either of you! (And, on a side note, my UP agreed with me on this one) I keep debating whether I should send them an e-mail. They were so sneaky about everything. Except for once (which was the week she kept wanting the long lesson plans), they never sat me down and told me what I was doing right or wrong. They never conferenced with me alone. It always had to include my UP. I felt like they were tattling on me! Every time we sat down with her, it was as if I had been hit by a Mack truck because they were telling her things they never told me. They had a meeting about me during the kids’ PE time yesterday and that was when they told her they wouldn’t be able to pass me. Again, being sneaky and underhanded. They never told me this. They never said, “We’re getting concerned that we won’t be able to pass you.” They talked to my UP and then she came with me to the classroom where I got my stuff and left. They said absolutely nothing to me. I had left some things in my P.M. teachers room and he had the kids give it to me.

Luckily, my UP was able to get me a spring internship where I am already formulating a list of everything I want to say to my new cooperating teacher. I’m really thinking I’d like to try out 2nd grade. I definitely don’t want 3rd or 4th. Maybe 5th. Because of Florida Writes and FCAT, 3rd and 4th grade will be so busy with that for the first 2 months of my internship. I don’t think it’ll be SUCH a big deal with 5th. I always said I wanted to to intermediate but I did just fine in my primary internship. Maybe that’s where I’m supposed to be. I don’t know. I don’t even know if teaching is what God wants for my life. Scratch that. I know teaching isn’t the Big Plan God has for me. I know it’s writing. I know God wants me to use my ability to write for His good. So maybe I should just take some writing classes next semester? Maybe I should change majors? I. AM. SO. CONFUSED! I honestly don’t know what to do.

I really need to pray about it and see what God wants. I always said, “God, close doors in the places you don’t want me to be and open doors where you do want me to be.” Is this a closed door? Have I been fooling myself for the past 2 years? I just don’t know.


  1. Wow. This sounds so much like what I went through when I decided to change my major. But seriously, look how far you've come from there. It's funny how God really works things out, isn't it? I know your doing your media fast, and I hope it's going well and I'll talk to you at a later point in time!

  2. Honestly, the fact that you didn't excel in your internship sounds like it's not your fault. I guess it was the luck of the draw (and apart of God's plan) that you didn't get teachers who were more supportive. Without proper instruction and feedback, there was no way for you to know that you weren't doing well enough. Who knows what you could have accomplished and how you would have grown if you had had that proper direction and feedback along the way. But at least things worked out for the best in the end since you ended up changing majors!

    Hope you enjoyed your media fast!

  3. Ugh I'm sorry but none of that sounds at all like your fault. It sounds like the ball was dropped on several occasions and you weren't given the direction you needed. How horrible!


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