*NOTE: As a general guideline, blogs about internships should demonstrate reflective thinking about teaching expereinces, ideas, plans, and relationships.

Blogging Ideas for Interns

Please use these questions as a guide. In other words, don’t feel obligated to answer every aspect of every question posed; rather, use the writing situations and their questions as ideas to spark your memory and to guide your reflection of your classroom experiences. As you grown in your professional abilities, you might find yourself drawn to write about different aspects of the same topics throughout the course of your internship. Conversely, you may choose to write about completely different topics each week. Either way, look for patterns and “habits of mind” in your practice and in your written reflections.

In addition to the topics below, please feel free to generate your own topics of interest which pertain to your internship experiences—and please feel free to share those topics with us on the wiki site. Finally, remember, you may write poetry, prose, or any combination that you feel best allows you to reflect and write.

  • Myriad metaphors make up the teaching moments of a language arts teacher’s classroom experience… We teach metaphors, speak in them, use them to direct thinking, and sometimes even become them. What metaphor (or symbol) best describes you as an intern/beginning teacher at this present moment? Why?

  • Choose a lesson (or a part of a lesson) that went well—really well. To what do you attribute the lesson’s success? What happened? What steps (planning, teaching, or otherwise) led up to the successful lesson? What thinking and what actions were responsible for the lesson’s successful outcome? How did you evaluate the lesson’s success? How could you apply what you learned to another teaching situation?

  • Choose a lesson (or a part of a lesson) that was not as successful as you had hoped. To what do you attribute the lesson’s lack of or limited degree of success? What happened? When did you start to notice that things were headed in the wrong direction? What did you do? How did you change direction or modify what you were teaching? How did you evaluate the lesson’s lack of or limited degree of success? How could you apply what you learned to another teaching situation?

  • Many teachers can point to a particular moment when the foundational level of their classroom community was created. Write about a teaching moment when you clearly saw the class coming together and beginning to be a community. What happened? What contributed to the moment? What did you do, say, or write? What did your students do, say, or write? How were things in the classroom after that moment? How does community contribute to classroom learning? How did you continue to build the bonds of classroom community? What did you learn as a result of the experience?

  • Sometimes, as teachers, we just need a time machine—to go back and rewind a minute or two, an hour or two, maybe even a day or two and take a “do-over.” Write about a moment you wish you could take back. Explain why you want the moment back and what you learned as a result.

  • Classroom management… It’s an ongoing challenge for novice, and even experienced teachers. What are the essential components of an effective classroom management plan? Is there a difference in theory versus practice? If so, why and how? What do you find to be the most challenging aspects of classroom management? Why? What seems to be the least challenging for you? Why? What have you learned about classroom management since you began your internship? Is there anything you learned prior to your internship that you haven’t yet had the opportunity to implement? How do you think implementing this learning might affect your classroom? Why do you thing classroom management can be so challenging, especially for beginning teachers?

  • The role of teacher: As a student, you’ve been studying to be a teacher for several years, and now you are supposed to be the teacher. What do you find thrilling about this? What is challenging? What is frightening? Did you tread over any bumps in your taking on the role of “TEACHER”? Do you find yourself loving any of it more than you expected? Now that you are on your way to becoming a teacher, do you see your concept of “teacher” changing? What makes one an effective teacher?

  • The teachers’ cafeteria, we’ve all been warned to STAY AWAY. Why? Why do you think preservice teachers are cautioned? Are these cautions warranted? Why or why not? If you’ve found yourself eating in this forbidden terrain, what have you noticed about the teachers in your school? (Remember to use pseudonyms.) Why do your think that they are that way? What is your response? Your advice for handling such environments?

Topics to come:

  • Learning to teach versus “real world” teaching: Is there a difference?

  • Cooperating Teachers

  • Observations

  • Theory in Practice

  • “Bag of Tricks”: What happens when the bag is empty?

  • Finding Focus—seeing the individual student

  • Celebrating Success

  • Critical Moments