By expanding its partnership with Durham College, Immanuel Christian School in Oshawa is increasing its visibility in the community and bringing new resources to teachers and students.
Principal Jasper Hoogendam says internships by students in the early childhood education (ECE) and social service worker (SSW) programs have been “hit and miss over the last couple of years.”
He has made a connection with Durham College’s placement co-ordinator for those programs, and they have identified a number of areas interns can help out with at the school, while gaining valuable experience in the field.
Hoogendam says the interns provide a helping hand in the classroom, while bringing fresh ideas to students and teachers.
He says last fall one ECE intern worked exclusively in the kindergarten class. The teacher told Hoogendam that she learned things from the intern because of the lessons the intern led.
“There’s an exchange of ideas,” he says.
Because the SSW interns are expected to work in small groups, the college and Immanuel Christian School are working on how those students can get the most benefit out of their placements.
They have been encouraged to observe the dynamics in the classroom and on the yard, and to see how the dynamics change when the environment is less structured.
The SSW students have also been helping the school’s social development mentor by running some noon-hour sessions that focus on peer pressure, image issues and “various things that teens are dealing with and don’t always know who to discuss with,” says Hoogendam.
Last term the sessions were held for students in Grades 5 and 6, and Grades 7 and 8, with sessions for boys and girls held separately.
There was more buy-in from the students in Grades 5 and 6, says Hoogendam, so the sessions will continue this term only for students in those grades.
All interns also help out with Club MED, which is Immanuel Christian School’s before- and after-school care program.
Hoogendam says interns are expected to design activities, carry them out and develop a resource binder so other people working at Club MED can tie into those activities.
While supervising and mentoring the interns does create more work, Hoogendam says, “in the grand scheme of things, it definitely benefits the school and the teacher.”