Student Intern Interview: Maggie Lindrooth

This internship was about so much more than just teaching English to high school students. I made friends, learned about myself, and got to see a side of Japan that is otherwise unreachable to many foreigners.

Student Intern Profile

Name:
Maggie Lindrooth
Country:
U.S.A.
Major:
Russian
Internship at:
Kanagawa Sohgoh High School
Duration:
Summer 2014
Note:
Semester Abroad

Q1Why did you choose to intern at Kanagawa Sohgoh High School?

Maggie I wanted to intern at KanaSoh because I want to teach English abroad after I graduate, and could think of no better way to “test the waters” in this field than to get hands-on experience teaching at a Japanese high school.

Q2 What are some of your projects/responsibilities at the internship?

Maggie My responsibilities as an ESL intern range from correcting papers to classroom assistance to running after-school activities. On an average day I go to four different teachers' classes for 30-45 minutes each. I read texts aloud for the students to repeat, explain vocabulary words, initiate discussions, and help with pronunciation. After school I help run Debate Team on Tuesdays and Chit-Chat Club on Thursdays.

Q3What have you learned from the internship?

Maggie I learned more than I thought possible from this internship. Not only did this experience help me realize that I enjoy teaching and want to continue after this summer, but working at KanaSoh helped make me a more outgoing person. I now find it easier to connect with people I don't know and overcome my shyness in large group settings. I am comfortable leading discussions and have learned that even the most reserved students sometimes just need a smile and some encouragement.

Q4 What was the biggest challenge you faced during your internship and what did you do to overcome it?

Maggie My biggest challenge is rather two-fold. First, I struggled in the beginning to find ways to interact with the students in class and I felt mildly uncomfortable and unsure of myself when trying to initiate discussions or go around the room listening to pronunciation. Second, I talk very quickly, and I had to actively try to slow down my speech rate in class so that the students could understand me. My interactions with the students improved over time and it did not take me long to get comfortable and make friends. This helped me open up in the classroom because I realized that the students wanted to learn and interact.

Q5 Please tell us your future goals or your plans after graduation.

Maggie After I graduate, my short-term plan involves moving abroad to teach English. I hope to start this adventure in Russia and then continue on to Korea and Japan. I want to do this as a way to travel, make connections, and earn money to help pay off my student loans while doing something I enjoy. At some point, I can see myself going to graduate school, but only after a break from academics.

Q6 How do you envision your internship experience helping you in the future?

Maggie My internship experience directly relates to what I want to do after graduation, and having experience in this field before I even graduate is useful and will help me stand out in the crowd. This experience helped me improve my classroom teaching skills and my ability to connect with people, and I learned a lot about how to teach English that I can take with me to my future career.

Q7 Would you recommend this internship to other TUJ students?

Maggie Interning at Kanagawa Sohgoh High School was the highlight of my study abroad experience. The work atmosphere of the school is relaxed and fun, the classes are interesting and enjoyable to teach, and I made countless connections with the students and faculty. This internship was about so much more than just teaching English to high school students. I made friends, learned about myself, and got to see a side of Japan that is otherwise unreachable to many foreigners. The faculty is supportive and the students are enthusiastic and welcoming. You do not have to be an English or education major to enjoy this internship and learn something. Whether or not you want to teach English in the future, I can't think of a better way to spend the semester than this unique way to experience Japan.

Maggie's Daily Schedule

Time Activity
8:50 Arrive at work, communicate with teachers about classroom arrival times
9:00 Go to first class. Assist in reading, pronunciation, and explanations.
10:45 Go to second class
11:30 Go to third class
12:15 Lunch
13:05 Go to fourth class
13:35 Go to fifth class
14:05 Go to sixth class
14:35 Fourth period begins. Free time to grade/correct papers if needed
15:30 Go to Debate Team on Tuesdays, Chit Chat Club on Thursdays
17:30-18:30 School day ends. Students, interns and teachers leave

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