Yvonne Xie is a high school student who is passionate about helping children to build a great future. As an aspiring educator, Yvonne chose a remote internship, to gain insight and experience into teaching and education. Read on to learn more about how the remote Education Support internship equipped Yvonne with the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in this field.
What did your remote Education Support internship role specifically entail?
My specific internship role involved teaching geography and history to a group of students in Tanzania, aged around 15 years old. My tasks included preparing the lessons, setting out homework, answering all the questions that the students might have, and also delivering the lessons.
What was it like getting started and settled into this remote internship?
Before I started this teaching internship, I expected it to be challenging! However, these worries were all overcome after I talked to my supervisor - I think future interns should be aware of this!
Through chatting with my supervisor, she explained to me how the lessons will work (one of the teachers was to be my translator) and she reassured me of all the schedules. I felt so much more comfortable and confident after this initial communication.
The communication did not just end there. We continued to have several small meetings during the first week, to discuss the lesson and the students’ engagement. We discussed ways to get the students engaged, what I could expect to see from the students, as well as what I can improve as a teacher. For example, I added many related (other subjects) to the additional information I’d prepared for lessons, in order to assist the local teacher.
Even though I was initially worried about the language barrier, as the students do not speak a lot of English, and I was concerned about the teacher translating the lesson, my fears were unfounded! The lesson went on very well! The teacher translated very efficiently, communicated closely with me, and she encouraged the students to speak and use more English which was amazing!
The most memorable moment of this first session was when we had a debate topic and I encouraged the students to discuss amongst themselves as this would help improve their critical thinking skills and speaking ability. The students had many great ideas and it was a very successful session!
How do you feel this internship role contributes toward the achievement of your long-term goals?
I believe this is such a wonderful experience as I want to pursue an education degree in the future (and likely for my career as well)! The role definitely enhanced my enthusiasm for teaching and pursuing education, especially where able to assist people with limited access to resources and privilege.
I thought that teaching every day, along with preparing the necessary presentations and classwork would be exhausting, but when I actually started teaching, I had such a great sense of responsibility, enthusiasm and achievement. I really feel that my students are all very smart and I want to encourage them to think more widely and critically.
When I was at school, I didn’t feel like I was someone who could educate others. However, these experiences have made me feel much more responsible. I feel that my actions can positively impact others. I hope that what I teach now can help create learning opportunities for children.
What skills did you gain from this teaching internship experience?
Aside from providing me with a greater sense of motivation within this career field, the internship helped me to develop many practical skills. For example, skills such as responsibility, time-management, communication and being patient.
Time management is one skill that I have adapted. I made clear plans on what to teach for a week and I made the slides beforehand, to make sure that I have enough context. I also developed communication skills - this was further enhanced as English is not the mother tongue of my supervisor, the children, nor me! However, we communicated successfully, being able to point out areas that we needed to work on, to improve, as well as being able to highlight the good things we’d achieved so far!
In terms of working with children, I developed question sessions to help enhance the communication between us. I also set up some quizzes to get them more engaged in the lesson and the subject. Due to the language barrier, communication can take more time and I need to be more patient with my students in order to let them understand some difficult content. When they are asking questions, I developed my patience by taking the time to listen and answer.
What was your favorite memory or takeaway from this internship?
The observations I was able to make on the learning process - I observed the learning process and noticed that the students learn differently from what I had thought. I kept adapting my slides, based on my observations of their learning process. Therefore, I was able to improve my teaching approach, making it easier for the students to learn. I discovered that the best way to learn is through making links. By linking similar but also different branches of information, the students connected them together cognitively. This is a really important skill to have as an educator - how to be adaptable, especially when working with different people. Having the chance to experience this for myself, first-hand, was really important.
In addition, my most significant learning point happened after I gave the students their first homework and they had to do a presentation for me. I found out that children were not very confident in speaking English and in expressing themselves.However, after I gave them more written work to do instead, they had more confidence and were able to better express themselves on paper. I found out that different people have different learning abilities and ways, which is an essential lesson for me, as a future educator!
How did your internship empower you to continue with your chosen career path?
Being a high school student, I didn’t feel like I was able to be an educator. However, this internship increased my confidence and gave me a great sense of responsibility and enthusiasm. Both the teacher and the students treated me with a lot of respect and they made me feel very comfortable. Even though the teacher knew that I’m a current student myself, and I am still learning, she still treated me as an actual teacher. This really touched me and made me feel trusted. Everyone was so friendly, nice and respectful. They really give me full support and care, I appreciate them so much. My supervisor and I communicated very well on a daily basis - we had a healthy and collaborative relationship. From here, I would love to continue volunteer teaching when I have spare time, while aspiring to continue as a tutor on other specific subjects when I’m in university.
How can I get started?
Our step-by-step guide on how it works provides you with more information on how to get started. The process is user friendly and there are two options you can take to get the ball rolling.
If you’re unsure of which internship program is right for you, you can simply check availability to submit an enquiry which will help us to point you in the right direction. If you want to chat over the phone, you can also find our full contact information here.
If you already have an idea of what you want to do, and when you want to do it, you can submit your application. It doesn’t cost anything and won’t take more than 5 minutes. However, your formal expression of interest provides the foundation for us to help you take the next steps.