Richards students get taste of teaching career
August 8, 2013 2:18PM
These seniors from Richards High School served as teacher interns during the 2012-13 school year. | Supplied photo
Updated: September 12, 2013 6:02AM
A dozen Richards High School students recently traded the usual for elementary and middle school classrooms to test whether their interests in teaching might translate into careers.
Whatever the decision, the teacher intern program helped them figure out one of life’s bigger questions ahead of schedule.
“Working as a teacher intern helped me decide whether to pursue a career in education. I learned that you have to create lessons that fit everyone’s needs because not every student learns the same way or at the same pace,” Marisa Snyder said.
“It was a great experience. I learned how to control certain situations and help special-needs children. It helped me understand that teaching isn’t easy,” Karen Lara said.
All of the Richards interns mentioned the quantity of work.
“There is a lot of work. I had no idea that teachers had to do so much paperwork. It can be a really stressful job, too,” Natalie Barajas said.
Sahar Barakat noticed something fundamental while observing her cooperating teacher at Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School helping students before they asked.
“I learned the importance of walking around the class. You are able to see what students are struggling but too afraid to ask for help,” Barakat said.
The Richards students worked four days per week with cooperating teachers. They observed at first, but then assisted with grading, tutoring, lesson planning and even a little instructional delivery.
In most cases, the intern program crystallized the Richards students’ career plans.
“Working as a teacher intern has made me want to pursue a career in education. I really enjoyed working with the students,” Stephanie Waller said.
Every teacher intern recommended the course to peers considering careers as teachers.
“It will make or break your decision to teach,” Frankie Mulhall said.
The Richards students interned at Sward School, Hannum School, Kolmar School and Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School.