Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY … Hofstra University’s School of Education has launched a new paid internship program that allows students to continue working in the same schools where they completed their student teaching, building their classroom experience and skills before they graduate.
The competitive program allowed 16 undergraduate and graduate Hofstra students to student teach in the fall and then continue at the same school as a paid intern in the spring in two Long Island school districts, Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District and the North Shore School District. The program will continue with 15 students in the coming 2013-2014 academic year.
Transitioning from student teaching into an internship program allowed the Hofstra students to immerse themselves in the school community where they were assigned. They were able to work with a number of different teachers, assisting with lesson plans and providing academic intervention services and/or tutorial services to K-12 students. They helped with planning school related events, substituting and grading state exams. They continued to develop their pedagogical skills under the direction of district teachers and administrators. The internship gave the Hofstra students solid experience on which to continue building a resume as they worked to secure a first teaching position. Hofstra University School of Education faculty provided oversight to the interns throughout their experience.
Interns were paid a stipend ranging from $6,500 – $8,500 for their service to the districts. Acceptance into the internship program was by interview and highly competitive. Current or prospective students interested in more information may contact John R. Lewis, associate dean for external relations, field placement and recruitment, at 516-463-5389 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Chlebicki, assistant superintendent for instruction for the North Shore School District, praised the inaugural year of the internship program. “The Hofstra internship program should be a national model for teacher training,” he said. “It enhances and deepens what aspiring teachers learn in the short duration of time spent in student teaching. Not only do the interns learn more about curriculum, instruction, and assessment than they could possibly acquire during student teaching, but they also learn about the dynamics of a school community and all aspects that contribute to ensuring that a school community is successful. In other words, the students don’t only learn about the classroom, but they learn about the “big picture” of schools.
“On the receiving end, the host district benefits from the internship program immensely. The hosting district secures quality aspiring teachers whose services can be used in multiple ways. The program also engages veteran faculty in sharing their skills with interns and learning from the interns as well. Faculty have mentioned that their work with the interns has made them more reflective about their own practice.”
Recent Hofstra graduate Richard Genna said of his internship experience with the Bellmore-Merrick School District, “The opportunity to teach various classes and receive advice/guidance from a number of teachers and administrators was instrumental in helping me develop my teaching skills. I’ve learned a great deal about how schools are run by observing the day to day activity. This fall I will enter into my new career as a teacher with a great deal more confidence and more skills thanks to the internship program.” Genna has secured a position teaching 7th grade ancient civilizations and 9th grade U.S. history at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in Manhattan this fall.
“Taking part in the North Shore internship gave me more classroom experience than I normally would have gotten out of student teaching. Spending the entire school year at the same school gave me the opportunity to learn from the entire faculty and staff and really get to know the students and the school climate. Although I learned an immense amount in my graduate classes, I am not sure that anything can compare with the hands on classroom experience that I gained in my internship,” said Emily Conboy, a spring 2013 Hofstra graduate.
In addition to the academic benefits to the program, the internships also give the Hofstra students in a better position to find employment after graduation. Mr. Chlebicki said, “The internship program allows a district time to observe the intern in action so that, if a position were to become vacant in the district, the administration would have the opportunity to hire someone whose performance caliber is well-known before even stepping into the position. The internship is a win-win program for schools and future educators!”