As an education major, I always knew that the hardest part of my four years in college would be my internship. The word internship has struck uncontrollable fear in my heart ever since I knew what it was. How was I supposed to teach high school students for fifty minutes all by myself?
It is amazing, though: the one thing that I feared most was actually the best experience I have ever had in college! Last semester I spent 7 weeks over at Pensacola Christian Academy teaching 7th grade world history and senior high speech for my internship. It was a busy, intense, and demanding 7 weeks, but it was also the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
One of the best parts about internship was the interaction with the students. Each one of them is so different, and they each have special and diverse needs. As their teacher for a short time, I had to learn to find out which students needed extra encouragement, which required some tough love, and which ones just needed to be motivated a little bit more. It is incredible to see students grow as you meet their needs and teach them. One of my favorite memories during my internship occurred during my speech class. There was a young man in my class who hated performing in front of the class. I knew he needed a lot of extra encouragement. After one of his performances, I had him repeat small parts of his piece. Each time he repeated it I made him say the lines a little louder. Gradually, he got louder and louder until finally BOOM! This beautiful, strong voice came out and reverberated throughout the entire classroom. His classmates began to clap for him and tell him how wonderful his voice sounded. That young man performed with confidence the rest of the semester. All he needed was a little encouragement, and it did wonders!
The other thing I loved about internship was the fact that I was teaching in a Christian school with Christian curriculum and with Christian faculty. The Bible, and therefore truth, was upheld in the school and in the school’s standards. Many times I would challenge my students with certain truths from the Bible that fit together seamlessly with my lesson. I even shared the salvation plan in my history class when we talked about Martin Luther! I would never be able to have that opportunity in a public school, and yet at PCA it is just a normal part of the day to work Biblical principles into the lesson.
If you are a high-school student considering coming to Pensacola Christian College and majoring in education, don’t be scared when you hear about “internship.” Or maybe you are a student already, and you feel like I did about internship. Don’t be scared! Realize that the faculty here will prepare you for that point of your life and that by God’s grace you will come away from your internship changed. It may be a challenge, but nothing worth having is ever easy.