I have already began putting a spin on the usual 3rd grade math word problems. Normally students are adding hundreds of cantaloupes or cookies. Well not this year. We are learning about health care occupations and job duties within a health care center. I have given the professionals in the word problems the same names as my students. I attached pictures of young adults with facial features similar to my kids so that they can visualize themselves in those job roles. Their reactions are priceless. They asked me “Why did you use my name? Could that really be me one day?” I say “I used your name because I see that job in you. You are going to be an awesome _______________ when you finish college!” It’s never too early for them to start thinking about the future.
One thing that stands out to me is that Vidant has a blanket standard where customer service is concerned; however, they strive to meet the individual needs of their patients. I realize that customer service also happens where our students are concerned. I have a blanket set of high expectations for my 3rd graders. I also realize that I need to strive to reach my students academically and socially.
During my fellowship, I was able to meet educators from around the state who share the same ideas as me. There are also those who have opened my eyes to various strategies and resources that I have already began implementing in my class. During patio PD, I enjoyed our discussions on reasons my fellow teachers chose this profession. I feel refreshed and renewed.
Since my internship, I have had job offers from neighboring counties and former employers, but I am committed to take my experiences from this summer to inspire my students to think independently and bring about positive change that will take Greene County to the next level in economic competitiveness and growth.
Vidant has a volunteer program for teens ages 15-17. They must commit to volunteering one 4hr shift per week. One day I met the program coordinator. He explained to me how he often has to spend a great deal of time training teens on how to use appropriate social skills. I plan to do the same with my students. I will be observing one-on-one and group interactions and praise students when they are using appropriate social skills. I know that 3rd grade seems early but having positive social skills will play huge role in helping my students build solid relationships with their peers.
My internship experience has been quite rewarding. I have been treated like a member of the Vidant family. My 2 mentors were Lisa Lassiter and Nancy Turner. I visited over 38 different sites within the hospital and at Vidant offices that were off the hospital’s campus. I met doctors, nurses, pharmacists, engineers etc who gave me better insight into how mathematics is being used in their job on a daily basis.
The most interesting moment was with DaVinci Robotics in the East Carolina University Heart Center. 2 other teachers, my mentors and I watched a video that showed a surgeon using the robot to perform a heart surgery.
Doctors go through extensive training to learn how to maneuver the tiny robot clips. Surgeries are performed with more preciseness because the robot clamps are able to fit in places where human hands and fingers can not. After we watched the surgery, we were encouraged to practice with the robot ourselves. It was AMAZING!
One day I drove to Vidant Beaufort in Washington NC. I was not sure what to expect. The hospital is much smaller compared to Greenville. The staff there quickly put my mind at ease. They treated me like they knew me and I was able to work with a nurse who specialized in nuclear medicine. Needless to say it was interesting.
In working with my mentors, I was reminded the importance of professionalism at all times. We often discussed the importance of instructing, practicing, and reinforcing social skills to my students so that they can develop positive relationships with their peers. I also learned that Vidant Medical Group plays a major role in providing superior health care to its eastern North Carolina patients.
The biggest challenge will be taking all of the information that I have absorbed and delivering it to my 3rd grade students on a level in which they will comprehend. I want them to be able to gain insight into other health career options just in case they feel that becoming a doctor, nurse, or X-ray technician is not exactly what they want to do. I envision them seeing how the math I am teaching in the classroom today will help them in their career choices when they become adults.
I see Vidant Health Careers benefitting from this internship because my presence gives insight into the daily workings of a classroom and a 3rd teacher. When I get to each of my meetings, I have many questions to ask. Everyone is so nice and eager to answer them. But every time, before the meeting is over, I am always asked what subjects I teach, what’s it like to be a teacher, how do you do it, how do you teach them the math they need to know at such a young age?? And the list goes on.
As soon as I answer the first question, here comes another one. I answer them all in the most honest and most professional of manners. I learn information about various health careers and how Vidant plays a major role in delivering quality health care to Eastern North Carolinians. Health Careers and many of the Vidant personnel get to know a little more about teaching 3rd grade. It’s really a win-win partnership.
My goal as an educator is to leave my internship with a better understanding of the role mathematics play in health careers. I want to do as much as I can to lay a solid foundation on which my students can build upon and grow into successful mathematicians who know how to think critically .
The highlight of my week was definitely Edcamp and all of the opportunities that encouraged and allowed me to self reflect. It’s like an empowerment that makes me want to be an even better educator.
STEM and STEAM Demystified was INCREDIBLE!!!! I love the fun and excitement this session encourages in the classroom. Also, the integration of music and movement will get students motivated. That’s a huge plus.
I plan to use the Save the Penguin experiment or something similar in my classroom. I also enjoyed the Edcamp format. I think it will be a great way to kick of the year. It will allow colleagues to identify topics they want to know more about and to share strategies and resources that they otherwise might not get the opportunity to share.
Why Culture Matters was not what I thought it would be. However, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was my least favorite. I just imagined it would be geared towards encouraging teachers to see the whole child and not just a race, culture, or gender.
This week at NCCAT, was in my opinion, was VERY different than other PD’s. The one thing that sticks out to me is the way my fellow educators accepted and interacted with each other. I watched, listened and participated in conversations where we exchanged little and big ideas and lessons learned. The family feel was definitely in the air. I have laughed and cried; but most of all, made lasting friendships. I am so appreciative of this opportunity.
Despite not fully participating in the Rafting experience, I enjoyed playing the role of photographer. My photos captured an abundance of smiles, conquering of fears, and just the overall building of strong bonds that will last a long time. All of those are contagious and have definitely spread on to me.
I hope that Kenan Fellows allows me to tap into my leadership abilities. I hope to be provided with useful and relevant information that I can share with my community, school district and use in my classroom. I hope to network with teachers who are willing to share experiences and lessons learned.