July 25, 2017

Musings of a New Delphian School Teacher Intern

In the Summer of 2011, I sought adventure. Little did I know how intense and exhilarating my summer adventure would turn out to be.

One philosophy that has always remained the same in my life:

“If you want to learn something new, seek out who has an excellent record of achieving the very thing you want to learn.”

As a relatively new private school teacher of elementary-age children in Texas, I researched to find the most qualified school for my teaching internship, where I felt I could get the best hands-on apprenticeship.

After seeing the test results and college acceptance letters from a number of graduates of the prestigious Delphian School in Sheridan, Oregon, I felt this must be the right place. I applied and was accepted for a 7-week summer teaching internship.

With Application of Knowledge being the Mission and Motto of The Delphian School (thank goodness!), an internship can last as long as is necessary for a teacher to attain unshakeable certainty of his or her ability to deliver on that mission.

Upon my arrival, just watching the Delphian teachers was akin to observing a finely tuned ballet unfolding. I had never seen such calm, content and “in-control” teachers in action!

I could detect no anxiety or uncertainty in their actions, even when faced with such challenges as a child falling asleep in class or staring at you blankly, or a child who broke into tears due to a disagreement with another. Even children who did not speak one word of English and wanted to run wild in the classroom were being handled with calm control.

Wow! How is this possible? I was frazzled just watching some of this unfold.

The teachers over my intern classroom had been teaching for over 20 years. The Dean of Middle School and Lower school had over 35 years of experience. Even the administrative staff supporting the teachers had been in place for years.

From Day1, I received nothing from my superiors and co-workers but a strong belief in my own abilities and compliments for my creative ideas and approaches to imparting learning. I felt stronger, more sure of myself and my ability to teach. I wanted to be and do even better.

They wanted my new, fresh ideas. They wanted me to be creative and invent new projects to get the lesson plans across to foreign students arriving to learn English. They had a dynamic curriculum and lesson plans that worked, but they were willing to listen to and see in action any more creative ways I had for imparting the knowledge.

The certified Delphian Educators are akin to finely-tuned musical instruments. When you put yourself against a snowy white background of clean competence such as The Delphian School exudes, you clearly see your imperfections. Yet my harshest critic was only myself.

My boss observed my ESL (English Second Language) class from a distance. If my students were happy, learning, willingly participating, she let me get on with it, continually encouraging me. And if ever I felt at a loss, I was given suggestions of how it had been taught successfully in the past and allowed to implement those suggestions or change them slightly if I felt the need.

I had never experienced a group so accepting of fun and creative projects that resulted in teaching!

 

From a school that had been around for 35 years and held such prestige, I was expecting rigid curriculum patterns that I had to follow at all times. The wonderful, rich curriculum was there, but not the rigidness I had expected.

Each child was treated and programmed differently for the very good reason that each one was different! It was like walking into a well-stocked and finely displayed buffet: I had my choice of how to stack my plate, so long as my students and I walked away happy, healthier and satisfied.

 

I was in love with teaching and with my students! This is why I had changed careers and moved into teaching: the possibility of seeing the light of understanding dawn in each and every child I worked with.

When each student is so very different and yet there is one common goal for all to attain – Application of Knowledge – only then do you start to really appreciate how much a teacher must know to ensure that his or her students soundly reach that goal.

I have done and seen many things in my life, but have never experienced a more challenging and rewarding teaching experience as The Delphian School has provided.

 

I’m thrilled to report that my summer internship has turned into a full-time teaching position at The Delphian School.

It has become a new goal of mine to continue my own education and achieve the full status of Delphian Educator. I can think of no other working environment for myself – or my son, who is now a happy and winning Delphi student – that would or could be as rewarding.

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Comments

  1. Heidi Kemp says:

    Dana! What a treat to read this. I am going to share it with other staff here at Delphian. It’s a pleasure to have you on our team. Passionate educators are gold, and boy do you gleam! 🙂

  2. I really like it when men and women arrive collectively and share opinions, excellent weblog, hold it up.

  3. Loved this!!! Great writing and I loved how you described the school and faculty!

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