Silver Chips Online

The life of a student intern

An intern: the perfect mix of a teacher and a student

By Birhan Alemayehu, Staff Writer
April 22, 2014
Before diving into the big pool that is known as a 'job', students feel like it is important to take a dip into the kiddie pool known as an 'internship'. An internship is a great way to get a hands-on experience in what you want to do in life. Blair gives that opportunity to many graduate students, every year, from University of Maryland.

Student teacher Anh-Hao Dinh helps a student in AP English Language and Composition. Connor Smith
Student teacher Anh-Hao Dinh helps a student in AP English Language and Composition.
Student teachers get a chance to work alongside teachers, helping out with grading and even getting the chance to teach the class. Anh-Hao Dinh, a student intern here at Blair, says "interning is a great opportunity for those who really want to pursue a job in the teaching field for the future."

Dinh, one of the many student interns working at Blair this year, is a graduate student at the University of Maryland (UMD) College Park campus where he is majoring in English education. Dinh agrees that interning is the best way to gain experience. "Interning is the best experience for new teachers," he said.

Dinh works primarily with Honors English 10 and AP Language teacher Christopher Klein. Dinh follows the same schedule as Klein, with only one difference: Dinh goes back to school every Tuesday from 4:15 to 8:30 p.m.to take his graduate classes. According to Dinh, "Balancing an internship with grad school is stressful, but the internship is more beneficial."

A person needs to be truly dedicated in order to want to be in the teaching profession. A typical teacher's job includes: giving assignments, making tests and quizzes, grading essays and handling projects well into the night. Often, teachers spend endless afternoons coming up with lesson plans, and sacrifice their lunch time to help students improve grades on formative assignments and even helping students one-on-one. From the moment they wake up till they fall asleep, teachers are thinking about how more they can help their students whom will end up being responsible for how the future turns out. Over his time being an intern here, Dinh has been able to see what his future as a teacher is going to consist of.

Student teacher Anh-Hao  Dinh enthusiastically explains the AP Language and Composition assignment Connor Smith
Student teacher Anh-Hao Dinh enthusiastically explains the AP Language and Composition assignment
Dinh did not choose teaching as a career at first; business was his first major going into college, with teaching becoming his second choice. "I was first interested in business when I first started college," Dinh says. Smiling, he continues, "I wanted to continue with teaching instead because I wanted to make a difference in children' lives like most teachers do."

When deciding where to intern, Dinh chose schools close to where he lives. Dinh claims he was taken aback by the differences between Blair and the high school he went to. "What stands out the most about Blair is the diversity within the school," Dinh says. Dinh is enjoying his time at Blair. He says simply with a smile, "I love Blair."

Interning not only helps get a hands-on experience with what you want to do in the future, but also helps you realize whether or not you really want to continue with your career choice. Luckily for Dinh, he will not be changing his career anytime soon. "Interning has made me realize how much I love teaching," he says.

Math teacher Tung Pham found the transition from student teacher to an actual teacher to be not that different. "I believe the transition was very similar, the only thing was that I had two extra classes. There was more of a workload" Pham says of the transition while he shuffles through a bunch of student quizzes. Pham attended UMD-College Park and interned at Blair during the 2011-12 school year and started working at Blair during the 2012-13 school year.

Pham's first year at Blair had him teaching Geometry, which was somewhat harder for him. "I had to teach Geometry which is a different type of course in the teaching field. It is not a course that you are prepped for" Pham states. Behavioral problems from some students were something that Pham had to deal with when he first started working as a teacher. "'My first year I was teaching Algebra 2 and the students were more mature in their approach to math compared to those in Algebra 1. So classroom behavior was little hard for me to deal with."

The Blair community is helpful and supportive. That was one thing that made things the transition easier for Pham. "I still find the transition not hard because my fellow staff members were very supportive."

Pham, like Dinh, has the same feelings towards Blair. "I love Blair" Pham states simply with a smile on his face. Pham also agrees that Blair is different from the school he attended. "Here at Blair there is a huge sense of diversity and the student body is huge," then Pham continues, "The Magnet program here also creates a difference. Here there is a focus on STEM whereas Einstein focused more on Art."

Graduation for senior Blazers is around the corner, meaning that student interns will be graduating soon as well. Soon they will be in teaching positions. Of course for that to happen, they need to start applying for jobs. Unfortunately, whether or not they will come back to Blair is uncertain. Dinh has already started looking for places to apply and Blair is on his list. "I definitely would love to get a position here if one opens up."

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/12443