By Ashley Cathey
My name is Ashley Cathey. I am fourteen and attend Big Picture High School as a freshman. I intern at Nashville Community Education on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At Big Picture, all grades 9-12 are required to have at least five hours each Tuesday and Thursday at the internship of choice. I decided on Nashville Community Education because after researching it I could see myself here. Nashville Community Education fits who I am and actually makes sense to me. I’m going to love learning about new things that go on here.
In truth, the opportunity to teach beginning French with the Nashville Community Education Commission fell in my lap. My French professor at Belmont informed me of the opening; I contacted Philip and haven’t looked back! It has been an initially terrifying, sometimes humbling, incredible learning experience for which I am immensely grateful. Not only am I able to share my knowledge of the French language with others, but I also have the opportunity to form relationships with students whom I never would have met otherwise.
My first class at NCEC was the first time I taught adults, and I was nervous. I envisioned stepping into the classroom at the top of the hour and immediately forgetting all but how to say, “Bonjour!” Fortunately, that did not occur, and I had the most wonderful group of students a first-timer could ever ask for! My students were excited to learn, which gave me the confidence I needed to really challenge them.
Over the course of our six weeks together, classes French I and II work on conversational skills through building vocabulary, understanding grammar skills, and practicing fearlessly! I love introducing new concepts with music and games. We often begin class with a song, then practice what was learned the week prior. Repetition is key in truly internalizing new concepts; this is especially true when learning a foreign language. I try to create and maintain an open and “safe” environment. No matter how many times we mess up, it’s important to keep practicing together to increase comfort level.
One of my favorite moments is the last class of the six-week course. In celebration of all the progress everyone has made, we have a grand Francophone party! Everyone who is able brings a French-themed food item, we decorate the room, and we socialize en français using the skills we have learned and enjoying each other’s company! I hope whatever class you are taking at NCEC you dive into wholeheartedly! That is the best way to pick up new skills – and make new friends!
By Jasmine Bratton
My name is Jasmine Bratton, and for the month of June, I am the Nashville Career Advancement Center (NCAC) intern for Nashville Community Education. This past January, with the support of my Leadership II teacher, I submitted an application for the Metro Summer Internship Program, which is offered to juniors in Nashville and Davidson County. After going through a short interview process and many long days of training, I started working for Nashville Community Education. I work Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 1:30pm or 3:30pm, twenty hours a week. So far, the experience has been a great one!
I had never had a job before, so working as a receptionist in the office was interesting the first few days. Taking calls from strangers became less intimidating the more calls I got, and the binder at my desk with all the instructions on what to say and what to answer when someone calls helped a lot. By the second week here, I was a Pro with the phone. Every day I work with our online registration software to register people for classes, which made it easier to have all of the classes organized. I also help gather information on entertainment for our Open Houses in August, and I’m looking forward to being a volunteer for at least one of them. During my time working here at Nashville Community Education, I have gained valuable experience and learned important lessons to prepare myself for my incoming adult life.
When the Internship is over, I plan to spend more time at home and work on my summer AP Chemistry, AP English, and AP Economics, and Government homework. I am very excited for my senior year at Antioch High School, and I can’t wait to pick a college to attend for four long years. I’m glad my teacher encouraged me to apply for this Internship because working at Nashville Community Education has been a great experience and an even greater first job.
Jasmine Bratton is a rising senior at Antioch High School who is enjoying her first internship as NCE’s NCAC summer intern. She is excited to learn more about city leadership and education services in the Nashville community.