EL ED Internship Spotlight: Kenna Franklin
As part of the Elementary Education program, students are given the opportunity to choose between completing a semester of student teaching or a full year internship in their final year of schooling.
If you choose to do student teaching, you will be assigned to a mentor teacher in a Utah Public Elementary School. Throughout the semester the student observes the teacher, creates lesson plans, and teaches aspects of the school day. This is a semester long, unpaid position.
If you choose to do an internship, you become the head teacher in your very own classroom in a Utah public elementary school. You will be required to teach August through May and will be paid half salary (but full benefits). Interns are tasked with creating and carrying out their own curriculum that aligns with state standards.
At first glance an internship may seem like a daunting task, but here with us to talk all about her experience is Kenna Franklin! Kenna teaches 1st grade in the Alpine School District. We asked her a couple questions about what being an intern is like.
How did you know an internship was right for you?
"I knew that the internship was right for me because I just felt like I was itching to get started in my own classroom. I loved practicum and the experiences I had from that, but I had so many ideas of my own and my own philosophy that I wanted to teach on my own. I felt confident in what I wanted for my students and in my class and was ready to be on my own and implement that versus going by another teacher's expectations."
What is the best part about being an intern teacher?
"The best part of being an intern is creating rapport with my students. I was so excited to meet them and get to know them, and I feel like I have been able to build relationships with each of them. By getting to know them, I have been able to create lessons specific for my students, and I feel like it has benefited their learning and has taught me so much about what kind of teacher I want to continue being."
What is the hardest thing about being an intern teacher?
"The hardest thing about being an intern is all the things you have to do outside of the classroom. For me, I feel like it has been hard trying to balance observations, intern meetings, PPAT assignments, and any other Utah State requirements that have been given. I feel like I have been having to work outside of my 7:30am-4:00pm contract time."
What does a day in your life look like?
"I arrive at school at 7:30am, and that gives me time to print anything I need and prepare for the day for when the students come in at 7:55am. We do a morning meeting and then they have specialties for 40 minutes in the morning. The rest of the day it is just me and my aide when they are in my classroom and I have to make sure I am teaching them all the required things for the week, and completing assessments (there are constantly so many to give!). The students end school at 2:15pm and typically I will have meetings after school with my team or anyone else I need to talk to. I also use that time after school to plan ahead until I leave at 4pm."
What type of students would you recommend an Internship for?
"I would recommend the internship for anyone who is just itching to start teaching. If you are still feeling like you don't know how you would run things or don't feel quite confident yet to have your own class, do the student teaching to get extra guidance, but if you feel ready and excited to have control, definitely go for the internship!"
Do you have any other thoughts?
"If you do an internship, be confident in yourself! You are a good teacher and you will naturally fall into the routine of what you are supposed to do. There are so many resources at your school to help you! But YOU need to reach out! If you want the help, they are more than willing to help, but you need to initiate it."
If you want to learn more about internships or about the Elementary Education program, meet with a student ambassador at this link.