Industry: Education
Type of Internship: Education: Teaching/Training/Lesson Planning
Student Name: Anonymous
Graduation Year: 2020
Major: African Studies
Minor: None
Position Title: Teaching Fellow
Hours: 70 hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Other funding/salary source, full-time

What do you do as an intern at this organization?

Teaching Fellows are responsible for the day to day maintenance of the program, working with students both in the classroom and beyond. As a social studies teacher I took on a bit more by lesson planning six weeks of material from scratch, but working with my department and Instructional Coach made this a bit easier. Teaching Fellows teach two sections of a course, attend department meetings, faculty meetings, and also facilitate after program clubs. Fellows also work on project teams for special Friday events.

How did you find this internship?

One of the pro-staff members actually came to campus, both to one of my classes and to a Tufts Career Fair.

What do you enjoy most about your internship?

It would definitely have to be the relationships I got to build with the kids. The more of yourself you bring to Breakthrough, the more genuine of an experience you build, at least that was true for me. I grew so close with kids I didn't even teach and felt that I learned more from them than I could've taught.

What do you find challenging?

The Social Studies department is a bit different than the others in that it requires you to pitch a class idea from scratch and provide the class materials, whereas other departments either get pre-existing lesson plans or materials. The challenge is making your content relevant and impactful, which really can vary from class to class. This oftentimes requires overtime that your peers won't necessarily have to put in, but for me the feeling when the class really clicks for your students made it all worth it.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?

Truthfully, doing this job well requires knowing that it's really not about you. Over training and throughout the summer we were reminded that we're supposed to be doing "what's best for kids," and sometimes that can be really hard. You can't really take much personally working alongside 14-year-olds (haha). But I got the most out of this internship when I was in the classroom, thinking with the kids. The students recognize when you've gone above and beyond, and they appreciate that. So if you're going to take on an internship like this, be sure you're committed -- and ask for assistance when you need it. People want to see you succeed; you just have to advocate for yourself.

About the Organization

Breakthrough Greater Boston
Boston, Massachusetts

Breakthrough operates summer and school-year programming to partner with students from under-resourced communities on their paths to college, and offers a challenging teaching residency for college undergraduates under the guidance of professional teachers. Together, we are helping to reverse educational inequities.