BY: GEORGE KANAKIS
This summer I worked at a math-learning center called Mathnasium. I was hired as an instructor to help aid students through their work. My responsibilities included helping students through their work, assigning students daily assignments and activities, and communicating student progress with parents or guardians.
A typical day for me starts with updating binders and assigning material for students that are scheduled for that day. Once students come in my job is to check them in and help them through everything they are assigned for that day. As the students are leaving it is my job to tell parents how their session went and what kind of progress they made.
My favorite thing about my internship is working with students of higher level math. It’s really fun when a calculus student comes in and they have no idea what is going on but by the time they finish our session they’re doing their homework on their own. Also, it is really rewarding when a student calls in and tells us that they got a good grade on their final after working with us.
I think one of the best skills that I’ve acquired is patience. It is extremely difficult to deal with young kids who not only have behavioral issues but also really hate doing math. I think patience is such an ideal trait to have in a professional environment because not everyone gets along with people they work with. Many times people who are completely incompatible are paired together for a project and I think that well developed patience is key for that type of circumstance.
Something unexpected that happened during my internship was my supervisor asking me to also do student updating in our computer system. It was something that only happened a few times during my internship but it was something that I had to learn on the spot and it is extremely important that we update the students’ progress in our system.
Anyone that is pursuing a teaching or instructing internship I would definitely suggest to take it slow and if you don’t know all the students really well at first then be patient. You definitely will get to know all of them, their personalities and their individual strengths and weaknesses. Working in an environment with so many different students and so many different things going on has really taught me the value of multitasking.
This experience has helped me learn how to multitask, be very patient and communicate with people. The skills I have acquired have helped me develop as a professional and has made me ready for the real world.