Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer
In order to become a teacher after college, an intensive one-year internship is required at a local public school. Western Carolina University students Ashley Beck and Cydney White have been serving as interns this year at East Franklin Elementary. Upon completion of their internship in December, the pair are both due to receive their Bachelor of Arts in Education from Western at the end of the year.
The story does not end there. Aside from earning their BA in education, they will both be receiving a Prospective Teacher Award from WCU. This award is very prestigious and is not given to just any intern. The student’s cooperating teacher from WCU and their University Supervisor must recommend them for the award. This award will be an enhancement to their resumes when they are applying for teaching positions in the future.
Beck says she feels blessed to have worked in such a supportive school as East Franklin and that coming in during mid year (January 2018) was not an easy transition. She was placed in a first grade classroom which meant that her students were just getting familiar with the rules and procedures of being in school, a slightly different aspect from teaching older and more seasoned students. The staff could not have made her feel more welcome and involved her as a valued faculty member of the school. She said that it is hard work but definitely worth the effort. The school has a diverse population of students and she has learned so much about teaching through her experience there.
White also feels that her experience was a positive one and she will go on to look for a position teaching in the Macon County School System. White’s assignment was teaching third grade which would provide a slightly different experience than Ashley’s first grade class. Third graders are being groomed to become the seniors of their elementary school next year, as fourth grade is the last grade before transferring to intermediate school. They have a different perspective on school than do first graders.
Landon Holland, principal of East Franklin Elementary was extremely pleased with their performance during the past year and wholeheartedly agrees with their being nominated for the Prospective Teacher Award. Both interns have done a remarkable job and they appear to have a bright future in teaching, ahead of them.