Thursday, May 7, 2009
Final entry-May 7, 2009:
I hope from my blogs you have developed or gained a greater understanding for an internship and what you can get from one.
This Internship has helped me to gain insight to what I want to become and accomplish in the future. I know from here I want to move forward and get my master’s degree and/or doctorate in a field working with children such as a master’s in child life or child and family studies. Having this hands-on experience tested my passion and helped rid out the question, “Is this really what I want to do?” What makes me happy is working with children and hopefully in that process making a difference.
My most memorable aspect of my internship and rewarding was working with the children one on one when they needed extra help. It became very rewarding when after a couple of weeks or so the children were comfortable enough to come to me for help. It brings to my awareness that one person; in just that small time spent, helps make a difference.
An experience I had that was challenging was helping with a child in class that had behavioral problems. This child’s actions really disrupted the class most of the time. Even though this part of my internship was challenging I learned different ways to handle the situations that would arise. One thing I wish I could of done was help work with this child but I was not experienced nor trained to take any further action then stopping something from happening and sitting on the intervention team.
Being a good intern and benefitting from the experience is what takes an internship to what I see as an approved level. Below I have created a list to keep in mind when selecting and experiencing an internship.
1. Don’t settle for just any internship – Yes, I know, you’re probably saying duhhh! But really it’s not always that easy finding an internship that fits what you’re looking for. So take the time to search and check out a couple more places then you expect too if possible because then in the end you know you’ve seen or applied for several opportunities.
2. Ask questions – In your interview (this is your experience), and while interning. Such as, is this direction the way I want to head and if not what do I need to do now to get there? It’s never too late.
3. Get Involved – If possible sink into other opportunities that are presented your way through your internship because you never know who you are going to meet or what great connections you can create.
4. Stand Out – Introduce yourself to others around in the facility that you may not even work with if you are presented with the opportunity. It helps become comfortable and familiar with your surroundings.
5. Have Fun – Enjoy your internship, it goes by fast.
The next step I’m taking after graduation is applying at different places that work with children and/or their families because that’s where most of my interest lies. I hope in the near future to become the director of an agency or even greater. This is easier said than done. I know from now till I reach my goals I might have to settle for jobs that are not based or geared towards what I want to do. But I know I create my success; therefore I will enjoy life.
Fourth update-April 22, 2009:
This past week I spent time out of the classroom because the week before was my last week in the classroom. It was hard to say goodbye especially seeing that the kids did not understand that I would not be coming back during the week to be known as Teacher Judy. I attempted to explain that they would see me around the building seeing that I would be overseeing my supervisor with the health care center project.
When coming into my intern building I was used to putting away my lunch and then joining my classroom teachers for an outlining of the day but instead I came into the building to attend an informational meeting with some others around the community in support for this health center project. When I walked into the building for that first meeting this past Monday some of the children from the morning class recognized me and with joy and excitement said "Hi, Teacher Judy." It was with a smile I said hi back and kept walking hearing them from a distance asking why I wasn’t in the classroom today. For me to explain to them again would probably only confuse them so I had kept walking to meet up with my supervisor for the meeting.
This meeting focused around discussing the target group for this center, limitations, concerns, services, and budget. One thing that really stood out to me was the passion the committee board members spoke with to get this project up and running because, "A healthy child can help to be a learning one."
I think the path that this committee is on is eventually going to create a beneficial center for many families around the community. It was interesting to hear a committee member speak about the majority of people in the community that are "Invisible;" meaning have not been seen for a check-up within a year or longer are people that are new to the community, and or people who speak another language and don’t know about the services. I know from my experience in retail that a lot of parents that don’t know English well will have their children speak for them. In the case of this problem at the health center, they want to provide interpreters for anyone that’s in need of one so this won’t create a set back to the amount of people using the services.
I know my Internship is coming to an end, but I was glad to hear an offering to continue being a part of this health center project and more to come.
Third update-April 9, 2009:
"Kids say the darndest things." Every day is new experience at my internship site because the things the children say just make my day. One thing I learned is that the children have grown to having me around in the classroom as Teacher Judy. It’s rewarding to see the progress in each student throughout the weeks. Even if it’s a slight difference, it’s a difference that helps.
Recently I was informed that my last week is approaching because I will have put in my required amount of hours. Yes, it’s great to hear that I will have completed an incredible internship. At the same time, though, I can only imagine how hard it’s going to be to say goodbye to the relationships I have built with the teachers and the relationships I have built with the children. At first, an internship was just seen as a credited class when I first started because I didn’t know what to expect. After months of interning I would never advocate treating an internship as just a credit. You’re not only helping that employer, but I learned I’ve thus far helped myself develop valuable stills to take with me. Not only did I develop skills from interning in a classroom setting but I’m now getting more involved with helping to get funding for a health center within the internship site. This would benefit many families that can’t afford the basic immunizations needed. The Health Center would provide vision, hearing and other screenings, health records, check-ups and the best of all a medical home for families. I like being involved in this project because I have a strong belief in everyone being able to receive health care.
I’ve also had the opportunity to participate on an early intervention team. I felt honored to be able to help with confidential information. The basis of what the team does is communicate about a child that is in need of an evaluation to create success in the classroom and then from there create an action plan(intervention) in hopes that it will help the child. Even without much information I was able because of my undergraduate studies to follow along and understand some of the different interventions used.
My experience at this center has been great so far. I feel like I’m wanted and needed in every responsibility and or activity I take part in.
Second update-March 30, 2009:
Previously in my last blog, I had stated that I would like to get more involved within a project. I was recently presented with a possible project from my supervisor that I would be starting within the next week or so. It’s exciting to see that I will soon be able to apply some of my other skills to other areas within the childhood center. This project would focus on helping to get funding for health care literacy and prevention within the center.
All my time has been spent in a classroom setting for the past couple of weeks. I’ve noticed as time goes on the routine day to day seems to become easier because I know what is expected of me. The children are very familiar with having me present and I’ve even been told I’m asked about by the children when I’m gone from their classroom.
Things are going great with my internship thus far but I have found that I seemed to already be drained and tired after the first morning class. Therefore this week I’m switching up my diet to try and give myself more energy. Also I’ve learned that from my busy days here at my intern and working occasionally right after a full day, I need to make sure I’m getting at least seven hours of sleep. It’s easier said than done but this is two challenges I’m creating for myself so I can give my best with this last month or so of interning.
Last but not least I’m working towards trying to get more involved within the community meetings to learn more about what’s going on with the community and how it’s affecting the childhood center and the economy today.
Until Next time.
First update-March 25, 2009:
It’s been two months now at my internship and I’ve overcame a couple of obstacles I knew I would face. I figured it would take awhile to get in the swing of things. One obstacle was the comfort level pertaining to how I would fit in with my surroundings. I tend to shy away from things and sit back when I’m not sure how something is done. My intern supervisor encouraged me to just use my instincts and help out at a level I felt most comfortable. This helped to conquer some expectations I had for myself to make a good start.
Most of the days I intern during the week are in a classroom setting with four to five year-olds. There’s a morning and an afternoon class and they each follow a schedule that includes the main essentials to get them ready for kindergarten. I found it quite easy to figure out where I was needed in the classroom. I actually was told I have a great skill for identifying the areas that needs help. I found that this compliment really gave me a boost, and motivated me to help out more.
It’s been great getting to know the children in each of the morning and afternoon classes. I find it really rewarding when the children are excited to see me, "Teacher Judy." It’s even more exciting to find out that a child is progressing in an area he or she works every day. Something as simple for us as writing our name is still quite complicated for a four to five year-old. One thing required in some classrooms is for a child to write their name when they first walk into the room. It’s repetition to help them remember how it looks, and get in the habit of writing it. I noticed one child had all the letters right in her name but the she wrote her name from right to left instead of left to right. So I showed her a couple of times the right way and I kept at this for a couple of days and within that time I watched her write her name the right way. Within that week she would come show me on her papers that she wrote her name on her own. It was rewarding to see the progression and how much of an influence I am.
When I’m not in the classroom I’ve attended a couple of community meetings which I found of much interest and I will be attending more in the future. What’s unique about this childhood center is that they are connected with a lot of agencies and organizations. A committee meeting I recently attended opened my eyes to an issue I had no clue about nor would I every had thought would be an issue. I learned that these meetings help with connecting and raising awareness because nothing was being done quickly.
My hope within the next month is to get involved in a project within the center.
Introduction-March 18, 2009:
First and foremost: This economy today is tough, and when it comes to choosing a major, pick something you love and wouldn’t mind starting off in a lower position after graduation because I think as long as you have passion and dedication for your work, it will shine through and be noticed by others.
A little About Me!
My name is Judy and I’m a senior at Saint Cloud State University. I initially chose Saint Cloud State because I had a family member that had attended. Saint Cloud State is also not too far, but not too close to my home in the Twin Cities and I had my mind set on getting a degree in Criminal Justice. It was then I discovered, after taking an ‘Intro to Psych’ class, that my passion was working more closely with people so therefore I switched my major to Community Psychology. I saw Community Psych as an opportunity to make a difference with the individual, relationships, communities and the wider society through action. One of my other interests was working with children; therefore I took upon myself to get a minor in Child and Family Studies, leading up to the reason for picking the place at which I am currently interning.
When I first started searching for an Internship I first listed the three most important things I wanted from the experience. First, I wanted an internship that had a variety of working with children, their families, and other connections throughout the community. Second was location, and a challenge to learn something new. Lastly, to be honest, I wanted to find a paid internship; especially if I was going to be interning full-time. That didn’t work out with the place I’m currently Interning at, but it fit the criteria for the first two reasons, and I’m not full-time.
Finding an Internship was not as hard as I thought seeing that I went with one of my very first choices. What helped me a lot was to use the list of choices provided by the Community Psychology department and using that as a resource to call and contact people to set up appointments. You’ll find that some places may already have interns but the many places that don’t pay, accept as many people as they can get because the extra help is greatly appreciated.
Overall, I ended up choosing an early childhood center. This Internship provides an opportunity to gain experience with kids and the relationship with their family in a classroom setting, through programs and different community board meetings.
I do hope to leave an impression with the people I work with at my internship. I know I will come across challenges and I will learn something new every day. Most of all I have already learned that it sometimes takes time and patients to achieve the success in something you desire.