Internship Student Expectations
- Complete 120 hours of service over the course of two full consecutive semesters; these hours may include time spent in preparation for, implementation of, and reflection upon internship responsibilities. Interns normally spend roughly 3 hours at the internship site every week.
- Meet regularly with on-site supervisors; ideally, interns and supervisors meet weekly.
- Attend a weekly internship seminar and complete all related assignments.
- Meet expectations, duties, and responsibilities explicitly agreed upon by the intern and on-site supervisor during a face-to-face meeting in the first two weeks of the internship.
- Maintain professionalism. Because an internship is like a job, you should dress and behave accordingly. That means wearing clothes that make you look more like a professional than a college student. In the school you are an “adult” more than you are a “college student” and, since you represent Bates, you should be careful not to use inappropriate language or do anything that would reflect badly on you or the College. Please be aware that in local schools neither teachers nor students are allowed to wear hats or chew gum and you should observe this rule as well. Please refrain from making telephone calls or text messaging during your placement hours. Try to be a friendly adult role model for the children rather than their friend.
- Be reliable. Our program’s credibility rests upon students’ commitment to, and maintenance of, a regular schedule. Please become familiar with the school or organizational calendar and the Bates calendar. When there are discrepancies, let your supervisor know as far ahead as possible. Since the field experience is more like a job than a class, you shouldn’t “cut” it to study for a test the way you might do for a class at Bates. If you absolutely cannot teach at your scheduled time, you should, at the very least, email or phone your teacher in advance and offer to make up the time. In addition, it is a good idea to show up a few minutes early for each session. Transportation is available through the service-learning shuttle.
- Maintain confidentiality. Everything you observe in schools and community organizations is confidential. Do not use names in casual conversation in the community. (In your journal entries you should use pseudonyms). By all means, express your concerns about children to your supervisor, but make sure that you do so in privacy.
- Abide mandated Reporter law. Maine state law requires that any adult aware of a potential child abuse concern report it to an authority. If a child says anything to you that makes you feel he/she may be in physical or emotional danger, pass that information on to your host teacher and professor the same day.
- Maintain boundaries. It can sometimes be tricky to know where and how to set boundaries with children. Remember that your role is to be a “helping adult role model” rather than a best buddy. If you are overly familiar with the children with whom you are working, you will have a tougher time getting them to focus and take you seriously. With older students, who may be close to you in age, it is even more important that you distinguish yourself as a mentor /role model. Occasionally, you may encounter situations where students flirt or ask inappropriately personal questions. When you are in a difficult situation, use your best judgment. You can frequently get feedback after the fact by opening the conversation with a comment such as “I wasn’t sure if I did the best thing in the situation with ___. Would you have preferred I handle it differently?” Finally, there is no single way to handle any situation.
- Consider the context, various perspectives, and do your best.