Friday, May 16, 2008

'Rithmetic

Two months and a half, 10 weeks, 70 days - I finally finished my internship. This post is a week late, I finished last week on the 8th. No more waking up at 5.40 am to get to school on time. No more correcting endless exercise books and no more teaching. At least for a while. Truth is, I was counting the days till the very end. I couldn't wait to finish my internship. I didn't expect to miss the school and my students, perhaps because I didn't really bond w/ them all that much. But in reality, I do miss them. I miss my students peeking in the teacher's lounge to see how my hair looked under my sheila. I miss the students that would suddenly just hug me in the middle of the hall. And I definitely miss those students that were always so eager to have yet another math class.
I never told my students that I was an intern, mainly because I thought their teacher had already told them that. It seems tho, that they thought that I was a regular teacher employed at their school all along. Maybe it was wrong, but I didn't tell them I was leaving them either - when I gave them their presents however, they realized that "Ms, are you leaving us?" "why are you leaving us?" "But I thought you were going to teach us next year!". The last week I was there was a revision week and the teacher usually combines all three classes in one room. I swear to God, as soon as I told them I was leaving for uni, 74 students just suddenly jumped on me. I could barely breath, let alone move, and it happened that I had the class to myself that day. So there was no help. Somehow I managed to give them their presents, give a short speech about how good they were and what I expected of them, and then get them to their classes. Just as I was sitting down in the teacher's lounge, I found a troop of escaped fifth graders around my desk. Apparently, they wanted my autograph. They also wanted a promise from me to come teach them "as soon as you finish uni".
Did I do a great job at teaching? I don't really know. I know I tried my best, but there were so many things I wanted to try, that were on my to-do list. And they just remained there, on my list, and that's partly because my mentor wouldn't let me try them out. I don't really blame her now, after all, she had 3 classes to herself before I came along. And she did have a full math curriculum that she had to complete by the end of May. Her teaching philosophy is different from mine, and perhaps that's why she couldn't accept some of my strategies. I have no doubt that my students would forget their intern teacher in no time, but as a teacher, I know I will always remember my first full time teaching experience, my internship.

Finishing the internship draws me a stop closer to my graduation, something I'm in denial of. Yes, I, of course, want to graduate, but things are happening too fast for me. I want to gulp in all the details and truthfully make the most of this final semester. Am I getting too nostalgic and senile? I most certainly am.

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