Jean Pesce EDET 650, Fall 2013 Internship Reflection 1 – SMS Orientation Guide September 8, 2013 With a thirty

percent turn-over of staff within the past three years it became increasingly apparent to me that the general orientation and a district-assigned mentor for new employees was not enough for teachers new to Schofield Middle School (SMS). Most new hires are professional in getting under-way immediately but that can be difficult as a stranger in a sprawling school building. I experienced the situation firsthand and thought to myself, “There’s got to be a better way to start out here.” One example is that I did not know there are Computer Labs, a professional library, and a laminating machine available to all. In addition to knowledge of the physical resources, it would be helpful to have an organized list of all current documents and forms especially when these are added, deleted or tweaked periodically depending on current regulations. Now that I have completed the groundwork for my internship project, one of the nagging questions I had was finally resolved in my mind. Originally, my project was called the Schofield Middle School New Staff Orientation Program. This was too cumbersome and not very inspirational. I contemplated alternatively calling it an Orientation/Kit; /Pack; /Toolbox; /Folder; /Guiding Site; Guiding Light; and (finally) just simply Orientation Guide. This last title gives me the double meaning for which I had in mind. As this will be used by my middle school staff, and possibly the community at large, I would like to use our Rams mascot as an animated guiding figure to embody the information (guide) somehow. Middle school, as the transition from elementary to high school, tends to carry that sense of adolescent fun-loving pursuit of academic achievement which the guiding Ram could portray. Also, I feel animations may help prevent two detracting effects: first, to keep the program from becoming dated with the image of a person; secondly, to remove any racial and/or gender prejudice (even though a ram is technically male). This is a subject I will research for supporting evidence. There was a bit of confusion in securing a mentor for my project. Looking over my proposal I have noticed the misconception I had regarding those in my job who are responsible for technology. I am referring to “Terri Booth, Lead Web Administrator for the district” who I believed to be the person I had studied under in the past and intended for my mentor. In actuality, that person is Terry Hallman, Lead Curriculum Technology Specialist (for Aiken County Public School District) as specified on my contract. That took a bit of diplomacy to rectify. Creating my survey, as part of my Analysis process, was definitely timeconsuming even though I had a fairly good idea of what I wanted to include in it. I began with my outlined ideas in order of priority in my mind. I transposed this first for two sizes of paper (to allow more space for writing if legal paper is available) and for the online version available at: I was almost taken aback when the option of printing the online version was offered with the notification that a print version required a fee which I did not want to pay. So I was glad that I had copied my print version to the online and had not planned the reverse.

The next step of my Analysis process turned out to be more involved than I had anticipated. After constructing my survey in three forms (electronic, hard copy, and online) I planned to distribute it and have the results back by the end of the first two week period. My principal’s surprising response that permission to distribute needed to go through the district set me back one week. By the time I took that action, received the response to return it to the principal (as the decision rested there), took that action and waited for the final OK it was five days later. Luckily, according to my task schedule, I will still have another week after the new survey deadline to compile my list of informational items to include in my Guide. One positive note from the experience - I now have documentation for another item to add to my Guide Permissions, on who to consult under different circumstances before proceeding with plans. Knowing that we have better photography equipment than mine on campus, I borrowed that (Kodak Dx7590 Zoom Digital Camera) for my school tour images as a step in my Development of the tour to be created for the Guide. Although we were told in the Internship in Educational Technology course syllabus, “… that prior to starting the internship, you must obtain the signature(s) of your on-site supervisor(s) and your instructor on this negotiated contract…” I began taking the images I wanted even though I was waiting for the returned copy from my mentor. As I already had permission to conduct my project on SMS from my principal, I felt that was a good use of the time, building occupancy, weather, and equipment available even if other changes were suggested by my mentor. The next day I tried to get a shot of the front entrance with a flag flying (as I thought it had been taken down for the evening) but apparently this procedure has not been set up for this year yet although I don’t know how legal that is to do. The Media Specialist for the Media Center was available to provide access to that area at this time, also, since that was not possible the previous day. I made a note to self after quickly down-loading the pictures so I could find them later that the location is: C:\Users\Pesce\Dropbox\USCA\EDET 650 Internship\Development\2013-09-10 September SMS people and places This brings me to another thought when working on a project between work and home – the value of cloud storage. I have been using this for lesson plans and other work for school because we cannot use personal computers online at work. About 3 years ago before I knew of Dropbox I would email my plans to school and then open and save them on my work computer. Using the service for this project is invaluable as we are not allowed to bring school equipment (cameras) off campus and I can work on it from any online connection. Another earlier-than-planned addition to my Development phase came about with an unexpected request from administration to remove old files from the school Shared drive. As I viewed and/or removed my unnecessary files from that location I came across other items that will be useful for my project. I found the most recent (among others) SMS Faculty Handbook and a PowerPoint commemorating the history of the school. This was a bit eerie as the woman pictured at the end who was instrumental in organizing the event had within the last week passed away. This is in keeping with the folklore that the spirit of the original founder still persists on the campus. I probably will

not include that in the Guide, though, even if it would be interesting to add those anecdotes.

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