This past semester found Monica Marshall (OH), a biology education major with a music second teaching field, rising early and heading to Pensacola Christian Academy (PCA) for her senior internship. The days were full—from observing classes to prepping for the tenth grade biology class she would teach to grading quizzes to checking homework—but rewarding. In addition to teaching biology, Monica instructed fourth graders in music theory, assisted in elementary choir, and taught several private voice lessons.
Each year, PCC senior education majors like Monica complete their education internships at PCA, gaining practical experience while learning from veteran teachers. Eric Bryant, chair of the education department, said, “The internship allows the teaching assistants (TAs) to pick up more and more classroom responsibilities as the weeks of their internship progress, until eventually they are totally responsible for the classroom on their own.”
For Monica, the internship allowed her to test the things she had learned and practiced in her education classes. She said, “It’s only a little blip of time, but it has prepared me. Seeing students as they really are—not just the way you think of them in your head—really helped. Having someone to mentor you—my advisory teacher has been doing it for 35 years—is invaluable, also.”
Together the teaching assistants and PCA faculty recently celebrated a successful school year at the annual Teacher Breakfast. During the event, TAs performed fun skits and poems that highlighted the joys of being a teacher. Several shared personal testimonies about their calling to teach and what they have learned through teaching.
Two students were awarded for representing outstanding teacher characteristics during their internships: Olivia de la Rosa for elementary and Paige Ayscue for secondary. “The highlight of my internship was having my students come to school and tell me about their lives knowing that I care and love them,” Olivia said. “Nothing can replace the love of a child or knowing that they are sincerely trying to obey and do right.”
The breakfast concluded with a challenge from Joshua Birx, PCA administrator. He said, “The TAs definitely bless the ministry of PCA! As the faculty begin sharing what they know, and observe the teaching assistant succeed as they put it into practice, it gives them encouragement of knowing the seeds of her/his influence will soon be spread all over the world.”