Reflection of School Principle Internship
REFLECTION OF SCHOOL PRINCIPLE INTERNSHIP 8
Reflectionof School Principle Internship
Reflectionof school principle internship
Thepast two months of my internship as a school principal has been alearning experience for me. Based on this rationale, Internship has along history in education as it is used in the preparation of schoolleaders since 1940s (Young et al, 2010). In order to become aneffective leader and administrator in my field, i begun my internshipjourney, which I believed would give a broader perspective in schooladministration. I always had a passion of operating from a centraloffice, co-lead, supervise and make independent decisions. For thisreason, I viewed this internship and an opportunity to live mypassion, and show my eagerness to become part of a team I have alwayswanted to work with.
Iwas aware that working as a principle in St. Mary School [insert nameof the school] offered me the opportunity to watch and perform theduties of a school administrator, as well as, apply my understandingof school maintenance, supervision, and development of publicrelations. Therefore, in preparation of the internship program, Icame up with an internship plan, which I discussed with my principlementor who proved to be very supportive. This plan also helped me toprepare in my various areas related to duties, roles andresponsibilities expected of me as an administrator. In order to makemy first hand experience in school administration memorable, I alsofocused on applying the knowledge gained from my university course,read a variety of text books and resources that would increase myexpertise.
Thefirst few days of my internship were not as memorable as I hadpictured. At some point I found my duties overwhelming. Theactivities I was to carry out in school involved both direct andindirect contact roles. Some of the direct contact activitiesincluded classroom observation, assigning detention to students withexcess tardiness, administrative duties at soccer, baseball andtalent show, solicit local business for senior lunch and review andresearch for grant. On the other hand, the indirect activitiesinvolved observing parent conference, counting buses with Mr.Reynolds, observing focus team meeting, shadowing Mr. Holt forteacher observation, observing leadership team meeting, cafeteriainspection, school safety committee, and shadowing department meetingamong others. What scared me most concerning these activities was thefear to fail, and i kept wondering whether i would manage to connectwith students and support staff in this new environment.
However,this changed after the first week when I decided to blend mytheoretical knowledge with practical application. I worked diligentlyby applying my leadership skills, communication skills, andmaintaining professionalism in all the duties I carried out. Myduties and activities in the school gave me a chance to socialize,interact and work with the support staff and students. For thisreason, my relationship with the support staff continued to improvebecause as I related well with most of them and the students, aswell. With the assistance of the principle and the support staffassigned to work with mesuch as Mr. Reynolds, I performed myduties efficiently and effectively. Presumably, my duties andactivities added to the ability for me to transition smoothly intoeffective principal administration with a well guided experience. Atthis point, I felt more convinced that i had followed the rightcareer path, and I became more determined to advance my expertise.
Asan intern, I was to work closely with the principal of the school,who was my mentor. Although I never learnt how the pairing was randomor coincidental, my relationship with my mentor grew stronger andstronger each day. I learnt that mentorship begins with establishinga relationship based on trust and the eagerness to learn. Accordingto Hackmann, Oliver and Tracy (2002), a close relationship with amentor during an internship can help the intern establish networkthat includes school leaders from neighboring districts and aroundthe region. My placement with the principal provided him anadditional administrator without impacting his staffing budget. Withan additional administrator whom he could rely on, the principalfrequently left before the conclusion of the school day, and thus,more administration roles fell on my shoulders. My roles andresponsibilities place me in a situation where I was constantlycalled to put out the fires, literally, which afforded me theopportunity to increase my experience and learn the job.
Oneof the areas I was fortunate in gaining considerable knowledge was onadministration. Beyond working in the office, I gained administrationskills and knowledge in sports through my duties assigned to me inbasketball, baseball, soccer and talent shows. Administering in gamesreminded me of my life back as a teenager, as I was active insporting activities. The development of administrative skills in thisfield was a matter of being able to blend ideas and actions. In otherwords, having good ideas was certainly part of becoming an effectiveleader, and ideas without implementation were insufficient. In thiscase, I had to apply my experimental, theoretical and empiricalknowledge while dealing with students. The empirical knowledgeinvolved using the knowledge gained in a similar circumstance,especially when I was a sport enthusiast. Some commonly refer to thisform this as craft knowledge because of the ability to reflect andlearn as a result of gaining experience from a variety ofexperiences. I also applied this knowledge to enhance myrelationship, communication and in performing my duties.
Myapplication of empirical and theoretical knowledge was drawn from myuniversity study. This knowledge was based on research findings, datacollection, and theories that further explain the nature of thesituation. I learnt that the application of these theories isimportant for effective internship, as the skills have the potentialto help interns to deal with complex issues faced in schooladministration. Furthermore, application of empirical and theoreticalknowledge allowed me to build relationships on the existing knowledgeand provide appropriate solutions to real problems. Gamesadministration also offered me an important insight intoinstructional leadership skills. It is through these leadershipskills that I was able to motivate and direct students on the wayforward, influence their goals and interest, as well as, encourageparticipation.
Anotherarea of growth during my internship is the involvement in meetingsthat took place in the school. My performance of activities such asobserving leadership team meetings, observing classroom conferenceand focus team meeting which afforded me the opportunity to viewmyself self as an aspiring principal. The opportunity to participatein meetings helped me as an intern to understand the roles andresponsibilities associated with the principalship. More so, thismeetings form a close relationship between the school administration,the staff, students and the parents. I learnt that the interactionand feedback allowed the school to identify areas that needimprovement, as well as, incorporate parents feedback in theirdecision making process. As an aspiring administrator, I nowrecognize the impact of the decision making process especially whenvarious stakeholders are involved.
Asan intern, the shadowing process with Mr. Holt and the principleamong other fostered a reflection of my personal attitude, value andprevious experiences. Shadowing enabled me to examine critically anynecessary modification in my own intuitive understanding of thedecisions I made. This also allowed a concrete orientation on myabilities as a leader. Even without aiming for leadership position,this experience allowed the development of new competences thatbenefited me as an individual, the school, as well as the community.An important aspect of the shadowing process that that one can takeover leadership tasks independently without assistance. The companyand observation of a school leader helped in to bringing my knowledgeto bear taking over school leadership tasks and carrying out projectsindependently. Additionally, this procedure gave me a broader insightinto school leadership and management.
Ihad the most amazing moments during the time of my internship becauseof the exposure I got in this field. One of the crucial things Ilearnt was that the internship program can foster particular aspectsof socialization and build greater confidence in an intern whoaspires to enter into principalship. According to Donahoo and Hunter(2007), internship builds self-confidence and self-esteems, whichallow interns to acquire knowledge in problem-solving strategies,time-management techniques, interpersonal skills and reflectivethinking. By the end of the internship my confidence inadministration had leveled up, as well as, my perception onprincipalship. I found the internship program and experiencesrelevant, because they provide real time experiences that prepareaspiring principles to assume their duties of the job with knowledgeand competence. Furthermore, a lesson well learned is on importanceof role clarification, socialization, and development of technicalexpertise and professional behavior.
Thepreparation for school administration internship is centered onstructured experiences in which the reflection has portrayed acommitment that results to school transformation. The aim of theinternship at the end of the program, which is to improve thecompetence of the individual in administration skills, should beaccomplished. According to Hashway (2001), critical to the success ofthe experience is the opportunity for an intern to analyze andreflect on their values as they are manifested in action. In thisregard, the intern should be able to identify the areas of conflictand consider means of resolving the conflicts. For this reason, theintern should learn to develop their technical skills, human skills,communication competence, and the ability to cooperate and manageconflicts.
Asevident from the reflection, it is true to say that the role of theschool principal is transforming, broad and not easy as many maythink it is. This is because a principal should be accountable formaintaining a safe and orderly environment, ensure children are fed,and is accountable for running the buses. Principals who areeffective in their duties possess the ability to nurture others intosharing the leadership role, just like my principal mentors did. Aneffective administrator is known to build leadership capacity amongthe faculties based on the strengths of individuals. Ultimately, frommy experience as an intern and aspiring principal I learned that therole of the school principal as an instructional leader encouragesnurturing of the leadership abilities of other teachers and a way ofimproving instruction and heightening academic achievement in theclass.
Donahoo,S. (2007). TeachingLeaders to Lead Teachers: Educational Administration in the Era ofConstant Crisis.Amsterdam: Elsevier JAI.
Hackmann,D. G., Oliver, D. M., & Tracy, J. C. (2002). TheStandards-Based Administrative Internship: Putting the ISLLCStandards Into Practice.Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press.
Hashway,R. M. (2001). Annalsof the Joint Meeting of the Association for the Advancement ofEducational Research and the National Academy for EducationalResearch, 1998-1999.Lanham, Md.: University Press of America.
Young,M. D., Crow, G. M., Murphy, J., & Ogawa, R. T. (2010). Handbookof Research on the Education of School Leaders.New York, NY: Routledge.