The Hixon Interns 2022

Please take a moment to read more about the 2022 Hixon interns here at Poly. We asked them two questions, "What inspired you to apply as a Hixon Intern?" and "What are your goals as a Hixon Intern?" Here's what they had to say.

Erica Saavedra
I have never done an internship and have seen the Poly internship a few times in my time at PCC and since I'm only two classes away from finishing I thought I would end my year with a new experience.

As far as goals go, I think my main goal was to gain experience from a different point of view. I was a teacher assistant previously and had hands-on experience but never with middle school age students. Also being able to have a mentor and ask questions about their own experiences to learn from is so beneficial and had been a goal of mine from the beginning. The main goal I had coming into Poly was to gain more experience with different age groups and really get a feel for a different educational environment.
Daniel Preciado
I was inspired to become an Hixon intern because I figured it would be an incredible opportunity to get a feel for the classroom. Having gone to the orientation session, I knew that I was going to be able to teach some lessons, talk about classroom management techniques with teachers, and bond with some of my fellow interns. It is thanks to the Hixon Cohort Program at PCC that I found out about the internship, and I'm very glad I took the opportunity! 

Having about a month or so left of being an intern, I can happily say that I have met most (if not all) of my goals as a Hixon intern. I learned about classroom management and what that looks like first hand. I learned about the difference between working at a private school vs. a public school. I learned how to set boundaries with students while also creating a great relationship with them in the classroom. I am incredibly lucky to have Amy Jaffe as my mentor teacher as she has been so kind and has taught me so much about what it means to be a great educator! 
Cynthia Do
I applied to be a Hixon intern because I wanted the opportunity to observe how administration, faculty, curriculum, and diverse pedagogy promotes academic excellence, self-discovery, and leadership skills for students.

My goal as a Hixon intern is to provide intellectual and emotional support for Poly’s students as they navigate new concepts and life challenges.
Mauricio Jimenez
What inspired me to apply for the Hixon internship was the opportunity to teach in a new culture. I recognize that being a teacher is the most important job in our society.

As a Hixon intern and Hispanic, I would like to make connections and comparisons between my culture and U.S society so that I can be not only a good teacher but also a better person. I have been teaching for most of my life.
Faith Rosales
My inspiration for becoming a Hixon Intern was the idea that this internship could make me so much better for the children in my future classrooms. As an aspiring educator, I take the responsibility I hold in these childrens' lives extremely seriously, so I felt that learning to teach with the help of a mentor was vital to building strong teaching habits. My new experiences have helped me learn so much and I am so grateful to be here!

As a Hixon Intern, I aim to be helpful in all ways possible. I want to be able to apply my knowledge and use it to help students learn in a way that not only betters their memories of what they are learning, but creates positive moments for them to remember when they think about their education as a whole. All in all, I want to be an educator that makes the good days great and the bad days better for these amazing children!
Samantha Khalil 
What inspired me most to come work at Poly was the fact that before having any experience I was so set on my career path of becoming a teacher that I knew I’d fall in love with teaching once I got a chance to experience it. Poly and the Hixon internship gave me that chance to find out that I was truly passionate about teaching. 

As a Hixon intern, my goals are to observe and learn as much as possible about teaching because it is not something that can be learned from textbooks. I came to Poly to form impacting relationships with students, and the more I do so, the better a teacher I will become.
Valerie Morales
The chance of collaborating in person with both a teacher and students inspired me. Since the start of COVID, we were all at home for two and a half years with no interaction. I'd see my siblings, particularly my youngest sibling, who is a Kindergarten have a difficult time staying focused on his iPad. The teacher would be reminding the other kids to stay focused as well. So it got me thinking about teaching and various other topics in relation to this career. When school resumed, I switched majors and began exploring tools to help me achieve my career and educational goals. I discovered the Hixon Teacher Program and was introduced to a wealth of resources, ranging from volunteer work to clubs to join, assisting me.  I received an email regarding the internship and was both terrified and apprehensive about it because I had no prior experience other than online tutoring. So it was fantastic throughout the entire process, from applying to the interviews. This internship has given me a chance to see what a day in the life of a teacher is like as well as the work that goes into it. I come from a public school in the LAUSD school district so coming to Poly and being able to see firsthand what the students are taught and how they are being taught was eye-opening and shocking because it’s something completely different from what I was taught so this internship has also opened my eyes.  I'm glad I applied because I would never have met all those incredibly bright students and Ms. Madnikoff, one of the best teachers I've met. 

Meeting other interns and learning as much as I could from both the students and the teacher were among my objectives. I also had a lot of questions about the teaching process, and thankfully, Ms. Madnikoff and Ms. Breen were both so open about their own experiences that they answered all of my questions and even let me participate with the students in the activities that I felt most comfortable doing, like reading with them or helping them with their essays.All of the interns I've met have been incredible. We usually meet for lunch to talk about how our days are going and what we've learned, and I love it when we do this because it gives me a different perspective on the internship that I might not have had before. The guidance I've received from both the interns and the teachers has changed my perspective on teaching. That is to say, many people believe that teaching is a basic job that everyone can perform, so they can consider it as a backup plan. However, this is incorrect because teaching is not easy. It necessitates a great deal of effort and personal development since it pushes you to your boundaries. A teacher is a crucial figure in a child's life since the words they use with them can either make or break them. When a pupil does not understand, a good teacher will sit with them and tell them it is normal to not know before attempting to break things down for them. A student grows in the classroom when they understand that their teacher and those around them genuinely care about their mental and physical well-being. When a student understands that their instructor and people around them actually care about their mental and physical well-being, they grow in the classroom. As an intern, my goal is to learn how to be a great teacher. I know I'm not perfect and don't know everything, but I'm hoping that by the time I have my own classroom, the students will understand that I care about them all and that they can achieve whatever goals they set for themselves. The internship has gone well thus far, and all of the students are amazing, smart, and amusing, and they have brightened my days with their unique perspectives and personalities. All of them will be missed. Ms. Madnikoff will be much missed, as will everything she has shared with me over the years. I wish she had been my teacher when I was younger because she is incredible.