Breakthrough adds, on average, an additional 300 hours of academic instruction to each student’s school year with tuition-free summer and afterschool programs.
Name: Emily Kane
Breakthrough Program:Breakthrough Miami
Subject Teaching: 7th grade English
School Attending/Year:Brandeis University/Upcoming Junior
The past week and a half has been one of the most draining experiences of my life. Last week we trained for hours and hours on how to teach and then, with the help of our mentor teachers, started putting our lesson plans together. This week the kids came and I began my first few days as a teacher. Here are a few things I learned.
50 min is a very long time. When I first started planning, I thought one exercise would take all class. The required “do now” and “closure” assignments seemed unnecessary. Students will talk and the conversation will just flow, right? Wrong.
Despite all the work, the student’s attitude and work ethic is moving. They do their homework and want to learn. While reviewing parts of speech, I apologized for not immediately jumping into more glamorous topic. My students just laughed and remained patient as we went over sentence structures. As students were leaving, one of 7th grade boys (a “cool” student that is highly respected by his classmates), came up to me and said, “Hey, when are doing stuff like “The guys as fast as a cheetah?”
“Similes?” I asked. “Soon”.
“Good. That’s stuff is fun,” the boy responded.
The appreciation students have to be here has been pleasant surprise, and I now realize how important Breakthrough is for our students. By coming to Breakthrough- even though many of my students have to travel over an hour just to get here- provides students with a positive environment to spend their summers. Breakthrough provides students with a refuge that rewards a curiosity and hard work. As the weeks go on, I look forward to hearing more about their unique backgrounds and to continue teaching them a few things.