My internship went pretty well; it became more and more successful as the semester goes on. It has provided me with a good refreshment of certain environmental topics that we taught, and although the material we actually teach in class is pretty basic, my research takes me deeper into the subjects. It has also provided me with valuable experience as far as teaching, something I have had no previous experience in. Obviously, some of the kids take more out of our lessons than others, but I believe that overall it has been worthwhile, and as we continued to get to know the students, they responded more and more to our lessons. After the first class I was somewhat concerned with how effective our teaching would be as the kids seemed very uninterested, but as our teaching methods improved and we got to know the kids, they became more and more interested and took more and more out of each lesson. I was always pretty comfortable teaching as this sort of exposure rarely flusters me. The students have had their eyes opened to issues they never knew existed, and some are genuinely interested in the material and how they might make a difference, so I would definitely say that we are providing an important service to the community.
Basically, we chose a time when all three of us could go to the Juvenile Justice Center for an hour each week to teach a lesson on various topics within the realm of environmental education. The internship required that we meet to prepare our lesson plan. In doing so we would decide what our topic for the week would be, develop a basic lesson plan, and divide the research and teaching responsibilities into roughly three equal parts. We then would teach the lesson to the class each week.
We did not encounter any major problems or difficulties other than having difficulty in keeping some of the students engaged during our lessons, but we worked on this and attempted to develop more interactive lesson plans to involve the kids which worked very well. This was the most difficult part of the internship. We spend time meeting and preparing the lesson together once or twice before each lesson, time doing research on our own for the lesson, and then obviously the actual in class time, so there have been no problems there as of yet. The experience of team teaching was a good one; this was due in large part to my group’s compatibility I feel, but we had no trouble deciding what or how to teach and worked well as a team. I achieved, at least to an extent, pretty much all of the goals and objectives I set for myself at the beginning of the semester. My favorite part of the internship was the opportunity to develop relationships with the kids and see their eyes opened to these important issues. The key contact for us is Lisa Franklin whose information is below. Overall, I have been very satisfied with how my internship ended up, and I enjoyed the experience.
The lesson plans which we presented were (in order):
2. Species loss and extinction
4. Waste and wastewater
5. Agriculture and food
6. Global Warming
8. Environmental Justice and population