intern in the administration of an inner city school. Learning the “ropes” in terms of what administration staff does in a school environment requires the ability to research, it calls for good listening skills, and the ability to closely observe what skilled, experienced professionals are doing. It also becomes clear from the beginning that asking questions is a vital component of the learning process as an intern.
The underlying value of the internship — personal experiences and observations: It would not be possible to place a specific value on the experience I had in participating with the administration, but there were lessons and achievements that certainly added value to my resume and to my brain’s database of positive school-related experiences.
Overall I was pleased to have a chance to participate as a liaison with parents, and to learn about and participate with the parent educational program. Part of the school vision is to be inclusive of the community and of parents, and the research that is available mentions in numerous formats how vital it is for school administrators to interact with parents.
Discuss you most important learning experiences…how did they help you achieve academic and work related goals? Personally I enjoyed and learned from most of what I did, especially when I was in direct contact with the students. During lunch period, during recess and before and after school, I had duties that involved supervision. In Standard 4 of the ISLLC Standards an administrator is specifically responsible for the safety and efficiency of the school operation. A safe environment is so very important in today’s world — not just in anticipation of preventing the brutal and unconscionably cowardly school shootings that mindlessly take the lives of innocents. But safety also means putting a stop to bullying and making sure students have a safe path to and from school.
I participated in the development of plan for a “safe route” to and from school. I not only worked on this with other administrators, and learned how to interact in a business sense with vice principals and a principal, I reached out to neighbors and asked their input and participation as regards students coming to school and their safety in that regard. All the neighbors were very helpful and offered any assistance they were in a position to offer. In Standard 4 an administrator is asked to help with conflict resolution and we used restorative justice strategies when there were conflicts between students that could have involved physical aggression.
One of the most important things I learned was to carefully observe those with experience in the field of administration, and that includes learning to chose the right time to ask questions and taking notes during Q&A sessions so the principal or vice principals knew I was seriously wishing to learn and capitalize on my opportunities.
I worked with the climate culture leader in planning a student trip to a neighboring college, TCNJ, in order to show the students first-hand what a college experience looks and feels like. Part of the job of an educator is to plant the seed of a positive idea in the heads of students, and that was part of the reason for the field trip. Also, bringing law enforcement representatives in to speak to and listen to the students was a rewarding experience for me because I collaborated with the vice principal on setting up this program. It wasn’t just about staying off of drugs and staying away from gang involvement; it was more about how students can make the community a better place to live and work.
Include strategies for capitalizing on personal strengths and overcoming your weaknesses that will be instrumental to becoming a successful school leader. In Standard 5 of the ISLLC Standards interacting with families and other stakeholders is paramount in terms of interacting with the community. When we say “parent education” we’re not talking about literally teaching parents, but rather we are alerting them to what is going on at school to benefit their children; we are also establishing relationships with them so there can be consistent communication with them. My weakness in this regard would be that I haven’t had that much interaction with parents. This opportunity gave me the chance to learn from the administrators that we don’t want to just be in touch with parents when something goes wrong; we want to reach out and connect in an ongoing strategy so they feel like we…