Aspiring Teacher Takes Valuable Lessons from Internship
Penn State DuBois sophomore Chris Albert, of Clearfield, has just completed an internship that provided lessons he'll carry with him throughout his career. The returning adult student and Secondary Education major interned with New Story, a specialized school that provides support for children with autism and other developmental or emotional challenges. New Story has locations throughout Pennsylvania, including one in DuBois where Albert completed his internship.
Albert spent his internship helping students with their in-class reading, math, social studies or computer work, as well as actively assisting the teacher with supervising the students. Though he aspires to teach Social Studies at a middle school or high school, he said some of the skills he honed at New Story are universal to any educational setting. Albert said, "I gained useful hands-on experience in conducting the day-to-day operations of a classroom as well as how to supervise, engage and motivate students who may have challenges. The most important thing I learned was to have patience."
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of New Story's West Region Dana Monroe agreed that interns like Albert benefit from their experience in a variety of ways, while providing helping hands to teachers and staff members at the school.
"Incorporating interns and pre-service learners into our school environments is an opportunity for New Story to offer students practical experiences to their coursework at Penn State DuBois. Our environments offer unique experiences to college students that are studying for a myriad of future prospects whether it is in education, speech and language, occupational therapy, counseling, psychology, nursing and others," Monroe said. She continued, "New Story benefits from having these students in our facilities because it offers us fresh perspectives, additional mentoring and learning opportunities for our staff, and continued collaboration with a local university. We value and appreciate the partnership with Penn State DuBois and look forward to having many additional students in our buildings."
"Not only do the interns provide a fresh new face within our school setting to help our students continually adjust and practice their social skills with new people, but they also enrich our environment by bringing new ideas, resources and practices to our classrooms," added Lacey Rosman, Education Director at New Story's DuBois School.
"Although I was only there for a short time, I gained a great deal of experience that I hope to use in furthering my career as an educator," Albert said. "It’s nice to know that the students have a dedicated and caring staff that is able to give each student individual attention. I’m glad that I got to work with students and help them with their school work or in resolving problems."
That dedicated staff Albert mentions, could just make it possible for him to teach some of the same students again, in his own Social Studies classroom. The Goal of New Story, after all, is to provide their students with the skills they need to return to a conventional classroom.
"At our schools, our goal is for our students to return to their home school district," said Heather Dehnel, a marketing specialist with New Story. "We are committed to working individually with each child until their educational and behavioral goals are met, and the child has the skills and motivation needed to return to their home school."
Albert returned to college at Penn State DuBois to retrain for a new career in teaching, after being laid off from his job as a sales manager with AT&T in Clearfield and DuBois.
"I was vacationing in Florida when I got the call that I was laid off. Within a day or two I decided that Penn State DuBois was where I wanted to go," Albert said. "To anyone thinking about going back to school I would say, 'Go for it,' you'll never regret it."