Anticipation and excitement filled each of us in the room as we welcomed 24 pre-service teachers to St. Petersburg College‘s College of Education Final Internship Orientation. Ms. Sherri Kent-Roberts, Liaison for the Office of School Partnerships, led the orientation. Leadership, relationship building and conflict resolution were emphasized throughout the day-long orientation.
Like all of COE’s final internship orientation events, the goal was to prepare pre-service teachers for semester-long, full time classroom teaching experiences. Unlike any other internship orientation—or internship experience, for that matter—the Fall 2020 event had to be quickly converted to an online venue, due to COVID-19. This was a monumental effort, which provided a rewarding professional development opportunity for our students. This platform gave them the opportunity to interact with the technology and instructional platforms that are being used in the classroom. They also discovered the need for flexibility, patience and the importance of having a “Plan A, B, and C” when using unfamiliar technologies and unknown circumstances: something teachers face every day in the classroom.
Representatives from surrounding school districts were in attendance at the event, and they took the opportunity to highlight important educational information as well as provide uplifting words to propel interns through the challenging times ahead. Break-out sessions brought our final interns together for a meet-and-greet with their field and reading supervisors. Faculty enhanced the meeting with their expertise on various topics and offered support and encouragement.
Yes, it is true that exciting (and challenging) times are upon us; however, we must take the opportunity to relish the opportunities that now surround us. Each and every obstacle brings an opportunity for us to succeed and grow. This is what SPC COE students do best! Congratulations to all for your hard work, success, and we wish you the best of luck in your upcoming experience!