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I had become very excited about the opportunities that awaited me in the Virginia Teachers for

Tomorrow (VTfT) program, after I had heard so much about it from previous interns. I regularly
speak with her, and she has shared about her first year as an intern at Holland Elementary
School as being a phenomenal experience. One of the positives that she often highlighted is
the involvement that her cooperating teacher allowed her to have in the classroom.

As an aspiring educator, I enrolled in the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow (VTfT) course mainly
in order to gain quality experience in the classroom setting. I was under the impression that I
was going to be pulling small groups, planning lessons, and leading the class through activities.
However, that has not been the case. In fact, much of my internship experience was quite
disappointing, considering the fact that I was not offered the opportunities that I had expected.
My overall involvement felt minimal, and I often was left to find my own place and purpose in the
class with little to no direction from the cooperating teacher. If I could change one thing, I would
change the fact that I was not given opportunities to further my involvement in the class.

I am able to recall several occasions in which I initiated conversations with Ms. Ackley, asking
for the opportunity to further my involvement in the classroom. Her responses often portrayed to
me that she did not have much interest in allowing me the opportunity to become involved. I
have especially tried to talk with her about her ideas relating to specific subjects and topics to
plan my lessons on, but she continuously tells me to “do whatever I want to do.” Other times, I
have offered my help within the classroom while the students are taking a test or independently
working, and she tends to usually tell me “there is nothing for you to do right now.” The activities
that Ms. Ackley facilitates during the time that I am on internship typically involve that the
students are silently reading, working on an Achieve 3000, working on a writing assignment,
finishing late work, or meeting in a small group with her. This, therefore, often leads me to not
play much of a leadership role in the classroom. I am often left feeling unwanted and not
needed, which is frustrating when my desire and willingness to help the students is so strong.

I often wonder to myself if she did not trust me, if she thought that I was going to corrupt her
students, or if she does not think that I would correctly do the job. A wellknown statement often
tells that you will not learn anything unless you make mistakes. I was never given the chance to
make mistakes, depriving me of the chance to make to learn from them. Although my internship
experience did not go as I had wished , I am grateful for the encounters that I did have in the
classroom, which helped me to grow in my skills as a future educator and leader.