Summer Internships: Experiences from the First YearWorkshop 3.14 Arlene Russell, co-PI Rachel Halper, Noyce Scholar UCLA Noyce Phase 1 (2010)
Agenda • Highlights of UCLA program • Results from first year • Other programs • Similarities • Differences • Lessons learned for best practices • Impact on entering STEM teaching careers
UCLA – Phase 1 funded Aug 2010 • PLAN: Place students who wanted to explore STEM teaching as a career • in high-need school • one-week internship during September (prior to beginning of UCLA fall quarter on Sept 22) • provide $450 stipend to student • provide $250 stipend to mentor teacher
UCLA – Phase 1 funded Aug 2010 • TARGET POPULATION: Rising juniors who had taken two California Teach courses and ALL entering STEM community college students • MENTORS: Former UCLA TEP students • EXPECTATION: if 5 students participated we would consider the program a successful model and a pilot for a larger effort in Summer 2011
Reality! • Over 80 applications for program received in the two-week application window which occurred three weeks before the planned internship. • Scrambled to locate teachers for 40 students! • 36 accepted the offer
Diversity Asian – 10 Filipino – 2 Hispanic or Latino – 8 White – 6 Other (Pakistani) – 1 Multi-ethnic - 6
Demographics Male - 12 Female – 22 Average age – 20.4 ( 18 – 24) Majors Math-related fields – 15 Life sciences – 14 Physical sciences - 5
Student comments This first day was such an eye opener! In my high school, the majority of students passed the CAHSEE without blinking an eye, and it was hard for me to see the students at Locke High School struggling with the basics. Simply seeing how much help the students needed, and badly they were in need of good teachers, my first day really reaffirmed my ambitions of teaching. Teaching is such a rewarding experience and the second that a student understands a new concept, it really makes my day. This internship is really an amazing opportunity for me and I'm very lucky to be participating.
Student Comments I think Mr. xxx is a good teacher because he doesn't only see the students as students, but as children he cares for and wants to see excel. Mr. XX told me on the first day that you have to love teaching in order to be an effective teacher and I can see that he really does love teaching and I hope to be an effective teacher like him if I do pursue this as a career.
Student Comments I definitely enjoyed teaching and observing classes. This experience (I thought) would either make me never want to consider teaching or make me love it so much that I would have a life changing experience. Neither really happened, but I think it was largely due to the fact that this internship only lasted four days. It was a very nice taste of teaching however, and I still definitely want to get involved at least one more time on a more significant time scale just to see if teaching is really my calling.
Student Comments I learned a lot from this experience, and some things even helped me to understand why some of my favorite teachers were so successful. One thing I always hated but now fully understand is when teachers would allow students to call on each other. This would definitely always stress me out as a student, but I can appreciate this method of learning now, especially as I can see it forces all students to participate in the classroom.
Student Comments I talked extensively with Mr. XX about class culture. I think it's interesting that class culture is not only established in the classroom but is also established by what a teacher does outside of a classroom. For instance, going to sporting events and being a coach or advisor of a club.
Student Comments He was a great mentor, he taught me a lot of things. He was very kind and patient, and he also let me know that I could call or email him if I ever needed anything in the future. I feel like a created a good relationship with XXX as well as the students, and I'm more excited about teaching and ready to do something like this again soon!
Student Comments There was a huge difference from Thursday to Friday, it was really unbelievable. The students in AP Calculus seemed to be absorbing more and moving at a much quicker pace. There seemed to be a lot more students raising their hands in AP Calculus than in the geometry classes. Students seemed to exude more confidence and were very willing to learn. It was definitely more difficult for me to help the students in Calculus because the concepts were some that I hadn't reviewed in quite a while, and it took some extra thought to make sure that I knew the correct answers and how to teach. The students seemed very grateful for my help and definitely picked things up very quickly. After working with low performing students, as well as very advanced students, it's very difficult to decide which level I'd like to teach.
Student comments One of the main things that I was nervous about going into the internship was how I would interact with inner-city students. Growing up in a good neighborhood, basically consisting of retirees and small typical suburban families, I had no idea what to expect out of the students whether good or bad. After working with them for a day I can honestly say the proportions of good students with goofballs was about the same as the school I attended. The only major difference is that these students know less to begin with, but many of them caught on quite quick. As for actually working with the students, I found myself (and them as well) a little hesitant to engage with them at the start, but after 15 or so minutes I felt totally at ease and after that it was like tutoring anyone. Finding out that many of the students had a substitute teacher for Algebra 1 who was trained in English was quite eye-opening. I'm a math major at UCLA, but I don't think I'd be anywhere if it weren't for the help of many good teachers on the way. I truly believe that the higher proportion of failure is a result of the actual school system rather than the students themselves.
Other programs • Do your internships involve actual classes in high-need schools? • Do the students in your internships move into teaching programs? • What works? What doesn’t?
Other programs What data are you collecting on your summer interns for • NSF program evaluation • your project evaluation?