Written by Ella Bendon, WHS senior and CEIP communication intern
Experience confirms WHS senior is on right career path
The Career Exploration Internship Program (CEIP) is an outlet for high school seniors to explore possible career paths. This program gives students opportunities and make connections within the fields that they wish to pursue. While many students in this program are still trying to find their calling, one has already discovered hers.
Aaliyah Lennon is currently interning at the elementary school to pursue her dream of teaching. She says that working with these students has strengthened her belief that this is the profession she was meant to be in. Aaliyah interns in Mrs. Bird’s fifth grade class every Friday. She says her responsibilities essentially entail those of a Teacher’s Assistant: observing and checking the students’ work, walking them to and from lunch and specials, and packing them up to leave. However, what she finds most rewarding from the experience is the time she gets to spend with the students.
“I’m only in there one day a week and connections are already being made. I feel bad when they miss me when I leave,” she said.
When asked why she wanted to be a teacher, Aaliyah gave an insightful response in return.
“When I met my kids for the first time, they asked me why I wanted to be a teacher. I asked how many of them had a trusted adult that they could talk to about anything. Every student raised their hand and I told them I wanted to be one of those people. That’s why I want to be a teacher.”
While she loves the time she has with the children, Aaliyah also recognizes and appreciates the skills and lessons she is learning in the process. Aaliyah said that the internship has taught her what grade levels she enjoys working with and the teaching techniques she likes and wishes to use in her own classroom one day. “I like working with each kid individually. I like seeing how each student learns and adapting to teach in a way that suits them,” she said.
Aaliyah has also said that the students specifically have been teaching her many things as well.
“When I first thought about going into this career I thought I’d be the only one teaching, but the kids actually teach you a lot, too.” She continued, “(The kids) are very hopeful. They are curious. They act like nothing is permanent, and they’ve reminded me that we’re all always learning, too.”
Aaliyah explained that while she wasn’t completely sure of her career choice before, her internship has shown her just how perfect it would be for her. She says she is finally sure of exactly what she wants to do and she’s excited to be on the right track to get there. She hopes this opportunity will allow her to gain further connections and experience with other teachers for her future.
And, for future CEIP students who plan on going into teaching as well, Aaliyah offered a little advice. “If it’s just teaching, think about all the different types of kids you’re gonna see. Think of the responsibility that comes with it,” she said. “You have the ultimate impact on these kids’ lives since you see them more than their own parents do. Consider what you can do with that.”