I interned at Sesame Flyers Bildersee Beacon (SFBB) located at Isaac Bildersee Intermediate School in Brooklyn, New York. It accommodates participants ranging from grades kindergarten through eighth grade. The participants come from different schools. The building is equipped with an auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria, classrooms, nurse’s office, and bathrooms.
There are many after school programs throughout New York City. These programs were established to help working parents. Working parents who could not attend to their children when they are released from school. These after school programs ensure nutritionist meals, homework assistance and extra-curricular activities.
You cannot expect to run an after school program unless you are equipped to handle the needs of the students. The staff has to be knowledgeable in several areas. The students’ are relying on the teachers and staff to protect them. The students’ safety and health is the number one priority to SFBB.
On September 21, 2009, I started my internship at SFBB. I was excited to intern at SFBB because I work at Isaac Bildersee Intermediate School during the day. My responsibilities included ensuring nutritionist meals were eaten before the start of after school activities. Supervise and implement a structured activity with participants’ grades kindergarten through first. Assistance with homework in all academic subjects. I also implement extra-curricular activities upon completion of their homework.
Prior to my first day at work, I was surprised to find that I was feeling anxious. My anxiety was based on a fear that there might be little or no structure, searching for assignments and feeling generally uncomfortable with my new situation.
I was nervous because it was something I had never done before. Mrs. Dailey assigned me six students, three boys and three girls, Mikal 5, Kevin 6, Jamal 5, Cassandra 5, Mikaya 5, and Shatera 6. A teacher who has known me for the past five years from working in the same building knew it would be something I could handle. It was an experience that taught me to be open to trying new things.
As the intern, I made sure all of my students did art projects, read books, played games, and participated in-group activities. It made the classroom a fun place and kept them interested in learning. The classrooms had desks. I allowed the students to pick where they sat because I wanted them to feel comfortable.
“As the student, it is to your advantage to learn as much as possible about the agency and the way it serves its clientele”, (4th Ed., p 47). I feel that being organized it is easier to juggle the additional roles of being a student and a practicum intern. There is three items that I use in developing organizational skills: a day-by-day calendar, a pocket size notebook, and a daily to-do list. I use my calendar to record all appointments, deadlines, and crucial events. In my notebook, I jot down errands and tasks I need to do as they occur. On my to-do list, I jot what must be done in order for me to accomplish my goals.
A typical day started at 3:00pm, I would greet my students and escort them to the cafeteria to eat a nutritionist meal before we go to our assigned classroom. At 4:00, we are in our classroom and doing their homework begins. I assisted with their homework when needed. Each classroom has three adults, eighteen students, and is assigned an activity, which changes on a daily basis. Free time in the gymnasium, African dance in the auditorium, arts and crafts projects, board games, and book read-aloud.
My supervisor, Mrs. Donald was helpful to me during my internship. She was always eager to answer all my questions I had. I felt comfortable speaking with her. I knew I could approach her at any time, and she would stop what she was doing to show me I had her full attention. She always treated me as an equal staff member.
I learned that being a teacher and supervisor to my students is a lot harder than I thought. I had to make the class fun, interesting and comfortable. My students had no problem voicing their opinions on what they didn’t like. We decided as a group what arts and crafts projects would be done, what books would be read, and what board games would be played. I felt involving the students showed them that their opinions mattered to me.
The staff members treated me with respect and kindness. They gave me advice and included my students in projects and parties. They offered me help without me asking for it. We worked well as a team and knew we could count on each other.
The students were friendly and happy to welcome me. If I saw them outside of SFBB, they would come up to me to say hello. I looked forward to volunteering each week. It was a wonderful environment to work in because of the staff and the students.
I really enjoyed working with the children very much, and of course Mrs. Donald as well. I learned a lot about things like teaching arts and crafts projects, assisting with the homework, and doing the other extra-curricular activities. I think that this type of internship work was very beneficial.
I do not regret for one second taking part in this internship. I am very thankful to have been able to do something such as this, and I believe it helped me to narrow my mind in the decisions I will make for my future in college. It was definitely a good start to broadening my horizons.