It is now time for the last blog post for this internship period! I still have some more work hours at the school, but it is getting towards the end. Last week, we had some presentations where we tried to reflect over what we have learned this semester, and I will in this blog post try to communicate some of the thoughts we discussed, and what I think about this semester as an “teacher”.
Before I started this internship, my main goal was to improve my teaching skills, learn how to work in a team, and utilise my biological and other transferrable skills. I thought in the beginning that I would maybe follow a biology class at high school, since this would be most relevant for me, but as it turned out, they did not have any biology class at the school (!). I therefore ended up in classes at lower level (7th, 8th and 9th grade) natural science and mathematics, and I am so happy with the outcome. In addition to this, I have as you know followed two biology students taking their exam privately, and I have through this semester also been their teacher.
I have of course had advantages with my previous background as a biologist, not only from University level, but I have used my knowledge from when I myself was in high school and took biology classes. I think I had an advantage knowing that it is not so long since I had this curriculum myself, and that I could relate as a student and utilise this when I teach. I also think that other transferrable skills, such as having the experience working with children as a gymnastic teacher, has been of great use. I have of course learned and practised a lot on being a teacher in the classroom, but I think the thing I have learned the most is maybe not the academically part, but more the social aspect of being a teacher. How to handle conflicts, and be a supportive person that the student can trust. This is skills that you cannot learn from books, but only by experience.
Working in team
Working with a welcoming and competent staff at Longyearbyen school has been amazing. The students are lucky to have teachers that work hard to make their every day as varied and educational as possible. I have learned that I like working in teams, and that being able to have enough teachers to have more than one for each class, is golden. You can see the individual student better and also tailor the education more individually.
Biologist in society
I have also in this internship learned more of what a biologist can contribute to in a society. It’s not only research and other typically biology associated jobs you can perform, but so much more. I have definitely gotten a taste of the life as a teacher, I can see myself in a job like this in the future. I must say I have really enjoyed this semester, and that I am very grateful for the opportunity UNIS has given us with this AB208 course.
Thanks for this time, Dagny