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  • Writer's pictureStudent Ambassadors

Internship Spotlight: Allie Oniki

One of the great opportunities available to McKay School students are internships! An internship is a full year, paid position as a teacher that takes the place of student teaching. We recently caught up with Allie Oniki, an intern in 3rd grade in the Nebo School District.

How did you decide to do an internship?

"I wanted to do an internship because I wanted to experience creating my own classroom culture, expectations, and routines. I felt like I got a lot of really good insight from doing practicum, and so the way to get better at teaching would be trying it out on my own."

What is the best part of interning?

"The best part of interning is the relationships I have with my students. They will always have such a special place in my heart because we are figuring everything out together. I love playing sports with them at recess, having inside jokes as a class, and watching them figure out new things. They are so amazing and the most important people in my life right now."

What is the hardest part of interning?

"The hardest part of interning has been that I am not perfect at teaching, even though I really want to be. I sometimes have bad lessons or handle situations poorly. Planning takes more time, I don’t have all the answers, and sometimes I have imposter syndrome for sure."

Do you have any suggestions for students hoping to intern?

"There is a quote by James Clear that I put behind my computer that has helped me a lot. 'In the beginning, your skills are raw, your knowledge is sparse, and you lack experience. At best you will be able to produce work that is "just okay." And even then, you’ll only manage to reach "just okay’ by giving your best effort… Your great work is on the other side of your early work. The only way to be exceptional later on is to have the courage to be ‘just okay" right now. That is how it is for everyone.' I think a lot of teachers are perfectionists, and we want to be really good right now. It’s uncomfortable, but we have to have the courage to push through the part where we are just okay. I am not a perfect teacher, but I am doing my very best with what I know. I often have to remind myself that I am a successful teacher if my students feel loved and safe in the classroom, and I can focus on that. The other skills will come as I continue to practice."

Any additional thoughts?

"Something else that helps me with imposter syndrome is knowing that my students don’t care that I’m an intern— they think I am totally legit (and interns are totally legit!). I will always be their third grade teacher and the core memories that we make in this classroom will stay with them always."

To learn more about internships or majors in the McKay School, click the link here to meet with a student ambassador!

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