In my externship, I worked with Mrs. Holly Morgan, a guidance counselor in the Selinsgrove Area Intermediate and Elementary Schools. In my three days with Mrs, Morgan, I got the chance to observe many classroom lessons, including kindergarten, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, Speech, ESL, Special Education/Learning Support and Guidance lessons. I also got to speak with teachers, counselors, and the school psychologist about their careers and expertise.
How did this externship help me make decisions about my future career?
This experience gave me a glimpse of the daily routine of an elementary or intermediate school, and allowed me to see the real-world application of the theories and ideas that I had previously only read about in textbooks. Also, I had the chance to ask questions and seek advice from knowledgeable, experienced teachers. I now have a better idea what kind of career I might have after I graduate.
What questions did I ask my sponsor?
I generally asked the people that I met through the externship why they had wanted to work in a school, and how they had gone about doing so. They often offered their favorite and least favorite parts of their jobs, as well as tips for when I have a classroom of my own.
I think my externship was so rewarding in part because I was very up front with my sponsor, not only about my current knowledge, but also areas of ignorance that I was interested in learning more about. My sponsor responded by connecting me with people in the school that had extensive work in fields I previously knew little about. I also took notes on almost everything, because over the course of the day I had talked to so many people and learned so much I would be forgetful otherwise. I would recommend the externship experience to anyone seeking some perspective into a potential career, as well as network connections in a particular field.
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