If several interns are assigned to the school, encourage the administrative team to conduct a joint orientation. If there is no joint orientation, then it is up to you to provide:
Provide a personal space for the intern within the classroom.
Alert your intern to any student medical concerns, medical-alerts, and use of food within the classroom setting.
Encourage your intern to introduce himself/herself to parents through appropriate communication (group email; letter; classroom newsletter).
Involve your intern with students as soon as possible. Set the stage for your students preparing them for the arrival of a “new” teacher in the classroom prior to the intern’s first day. Students can write letters introducing themselves to the student teacher, display a poster or banner welcoming the intern into the classroom or instructional setting, or spend a few minutes introducing themselves to the intern during the first class period.
Get to know your intern through informal conversations and reading the information provided you by the college.
Be realistic as to the intern’s daily time expectations. A good rule of thumb to follow is for the intern to arrive at school when you are expected to arrive and depart by 5:00 pm (Monday-Thursday). However, there will be occasional extenuating circumstances—e.g. parent/teacher conferences, special events—where interns will stay later. Remember interns have one or more weekly classes to attend on campus. In addition, since interns are novices, they need additional planning time after the school day is over.
Review your classroom management plan with the intern. Also, explain classroom movement throughout the building, fire exit plans, and inclement weather procedures.
Work with your intern on reporting student progress, analysis of student data, and how assessment informs future instruction.
Communicate expectations with your intern often and clearly, remembering that your intern is not yet a teacher and needs your guidance. Most problems during the internship arise from a break-down in communication.
Check email often and familiarize yourself with the internship handbook.
Recognize your intern’s level of experience. He/she is not a full-fledged teacher yet. Your intern needs appropriate guidance and scaffolding of experiences. Interns may appear very confident; however, constant feedback on performance is expected and necessary for your intern to grow fully into the profession.
There are no intern absences. If an absence occurs, the intern must contact you and the university supervisor. All absences will be made up at the end of the internship.
Above all, if you are concerned about an intern’s performance, please contact the college supervisor immediately. Early intervention is the key to a successful experience for both you and the intern.
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