Excited, Involved, Persistent

Interns share their experiences working in classrooms.

Jennavieve Carmony

It’s a typical Monday for senior Maggie Quinn. The bell which ends second hour rings: instead of treading through the halls, Quinn enters Mrs. Green’s first grade classroom at Ridgeview Elementary School. She’s flooded with the smell of Play-Doh, bright acrylic paint, pencil shavings on tables and smiling faces. She feels at home.

The Educational Internship Program (EIP) has offered an in-depth teaching experience to seniors throughout LPS for over 20 years.

“In the program, you shadow a teacher and get to work with their students. The teacher has you do some things and you get a lot of experience when it comes to teaching,” Quinn said.

One major goal of EIP is to aid seniors in their decision to someday become a teacher.

Many interns have dreamed of becoming teachers. Senior Sarah Roebbeke has her college and career plans mapped out. Roebbeke intends to pursue an English Education degree.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, so it’s very interesting to get in the classroom to really see what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life,” Roebbeke said.

While in the classroom, teachers will either have interns help with lesson plans, or lead activities on their own.

Wednesdays are the time for interns to build leadership skills through observing how students work and react to different situations.

Senior Kyle Munden doesn’t plan to chase a career in education, but he is learning to apply many skills both in and outside of his EIP classroom.

“I don’t think I want to go into the teaching field but I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to be in the classroom,” Munden said. “I did EIP so I can work on my communication skills and figure out how to work in different scenarios.”

With the way EIP is organized, interns have the option to request a teacher they’d like to work with. This gives interns a chance to revisit their old teachers and relive parts of their childhood.

“It’s really cool because I get to go back into the classroom where I was and I’m helping with all the activities I used to do, but this time I’m on the other side of it,” Munden said.

The nostalgia is special to so many interns and has led to the success the program has had to date.

EIP has a much longer history than some might think. Melissa Taylor, the EIP coordinator, knows why students flock to the program every year.

“The young children and the high school seniors both benefit so much from the program,” Taylor said. “EIP students can really individualize education for some of their students in a way that a single classroom teacher can’t.”

The program has helped many interns find their calling, and has shown their students what a role model looks like. Senior Payton Christensen spends his summers working with special needs children at his church, and he’s found his ministry and EIP to offer similar experiences.

“I’ve done a special needs champion ministry through my church for the past six years,” Christensen said. “I’ve always thought that since I was good with the special needs ministry, and because I’m good with younger kids as well, I figured teaching might be for me.”

EIP brings interns right back to their elementary school days, finger-paintings and alphabet songs included. This return to childhood interests many throughout the district every year, including junior Ashlie Anderson.

“I’ve always really enjoyed spending time with kids,” Anderson said. “I think that while finalizing the career field I want to go in to, it would be a really good experience to get to go into a classroom and be with kids.”