I do not think it will be hard for me to connect my internship experience to my curriculum because there are so many ways that math is utilized within different departments of the hospital. However, while I was visiting the departments, I created some word problems that centered around certain departments. After we complete the word problem I can interject a discussion about why the problem was important and how students think it is related to the hospital. i was also given some resources that encourages teamwork but it also includes the use of math skills. I plan to incorporate a few STEM activities separate from my product. It will be a great year.
My internship was an awesome experience at Vidant Duplin. I had one mentor who was just amazing. She was very knowledgeable and helpful in the creation part of my product. My mentor, Ms. Krista, helped me narrow my ideas and focus on one main idea because I had many thoughts and ideas from almost every department visited. But that was good, that was my first two weeks at the hospital. She was a very dependable mentor as well. I was never left wondering what to do or where to go.
I had the chance to visit about 10 different departments within the hospital. Because I had the opportunity to visit many different departments within the hospital, I do not have any one particular moment that was most interesting. There were many interesting moments. However, one of my most challenging moments was when I visited the Women’s Center. Seeing a baby so fragile and hooked to tubes and everything. It just brought back a lot of memories of my own son when he was only a month old. Seeing the mother crying because she just wants to hold her son but she can’t, hearing her baby cry knowing nurses and doctors are doing what they need to help the baby, yet wanting to just cuddle and rock him so he can feel that everything is ok but she cannot. I knew exactly what she was feeling. It was just too much for me.
Within each department, the manager or director was very welcoming and knowledgeable about their field/area. They were all passionate about their job and able to provide me with a mountain of information, ideas, charts, etc. that I could take back and use to help my students understand how math is applied in their job everyday.
One of my biggest take aways from this experience deals with the inner person. I know how it made me feel when others welcomed me or stopped and asked how I was doing that day versus just saying hi or hello while they were still walking. If that made me feel good inside and helped me to enjoy being there, then what if I did the same for my students in my class. How would it make them feel? Will that little bit of interaction help to make them want to be in math class, make them want to participate? How do I make my students feel before they enter my class? What will happen if I stop and ask them about their well-being and day versus just saying hello to each student.
At first, my biggest challenge was figuring out what I was going to do. There was such much to pull ideas from. Afterward I decided what my product was going to be, determining what and how I could implement ideas and strategies and present the information to students in an interactive way so students will want to be engaged. Another challenge I came across (and still facing) was coming up with alternatives and/or substitutions for part of some lessons in case someone wanted to use the lesson but did not have money to purchase certain items or access to needed materials that apart of the required resources.
One of the successes I have experienced is the development of new friends and an extended circle of community networks. Another success was my development for the passion that I have about my product. I feel well equipped to go into my classroom and teach the standards effectively through my product.
The question is how do I see my internship experience benefitting my mentor’s organization?
The ways I see my internship benefitting the hospital are through the feedback I can give them about my observations from a personal standpoint and from creating a connection between community service members, school system and students.
What I have noticed about the staff is the grand amount of knowledge possessed by managers and directors of departments, enthusiasm of many employees and the caring spirit from many of the nurses. I have witnessed many new and improved changes that make the local hospital a much better establishment than what is was before. Many residents refuse or are unwilling to go to the hospital in Kenansville because of past negative experiences. Word of mouth is the best way to voice the improvements and changes and start to bring the community back to local services.
Bringing hospital staff members into the schools is one way to get the community involved with the schools. Building lasting relationships is a goal for all to reach. This is step one.
The goals I have for this internship is as follows:
1) Connect math to the lives of my students via healthcare experiences and opportunities
2) Build a connection and relationship between the school and community
3) Obtain new ideas and new approaches for teaching math to make it more interesting and meaningful for students
4) Relate math to the life experiences of students that center around healthcare
5) Help other educators understand the purpose and benefit of participating in educational growth programs such as Kenan Fellows.
As a math educator, it is disheartening to hear individuals say that they do not like math or math is their worst subject because they just “don’t get it”. I aim to make math more relevant and meaningful for students with hopes of igniting the curiosity within many and converting the minds of those who dislike math to at least being comfortable working with math because they can understand the math and its purpose.
Encouraging other teachers to be continuous learners and engage in programs that will help grow them is something else I hope to achieve. Quite a few teachers dismiss opportunities that could help them grow to become better educators. Like the students, if they do not know much about it or do not understand it, teachers tend to ignore. We have to learn how to help students at their level many times in order to be able actually help the child.
Lastly is the building of community relationships. Our school can grow and increase in parental involvement if we can build the relationship. Nothing makes a school stronger than having community support. It also helps everyone to work in unity as a team.
I have reached the completion of the first week of my internship. It has been awesome thus far. Monday was ICU day. Tuesday was Radiology day. Wednesday Respiratory day, Thursday- the Women’s Center (including nursery) and Friday I spent my time in ED (Emergency Department). I must say that I have a new respect for the many jobs endured at the hospital. Thursday was an emotional day because there were so many reminders of my own difficult labor experience. Outside of that, everything has been great.
All the nurses and doctors I have communicated with have been very helpful and informative. One of the nurses was actually the mother of one of my students. Good thing her daughter did very well! 🙂 There is so much that I can take back to incorporate into my math lessons. I am excited about getting my students involved. We will see what next week will bring.