Breakthrough students enroll in college-prep high school programs at more than twice the rate of their low-income and minority peers.
Name: Holly Harrison
Breakthrough Program: Manchester
Subject Teaching: English- Writing
School Attending/Year: Eastern University, Junior
Let’s just start with this: I’m a dreamer. I get these crazy, inspiring, idealistic ideas in my head that seem revolutionary and unstoppable… and then when it comes to the practice, things go a bit differently. The case was just the same when it came to thinking about teaching. I’ve never done it before (unless you count teaching something like Sunday school, and let’s be honest about how many times it came down to, “Okay, act out what you read and explain it to everyone!”). So I came to Breakthrough with a bit of a divided mind; on the one side, I had all those idealistic visions of me, an intern teacher, doing excellent things in the world of writing… and on the other side stood the testament of similar plans passed that, with lack of guidance or planning ended in something far less than excellent. That all added up to seemingly hurdling into something that was absolutely terrifying.
Now enter Breakthrough’s Teacher Training Week. Only halfway through, and the sides are beginning to even out. The idealistic side has turned in its demands for “revolutionary” and that image of me lecturing, however engagingly, in typical teacher fashion. In exchange, I have gratefully received a curriculum to provide structure and direction, and teaching strategies that don’t depend on my personality to get the point across (thank goodness for that one!!). The opposing side has exchanged its crash-and-burn anxiety for confidence in these tried-and-true methods and is quieting down in the company of so many supportive directors, mentor-teachers, and friends.
So in the moments of reflection between seminars and TLCs, I can happily say that I’m surprised in how much security there is in the structure we’re being taught, and I’m getting excited for my own turn to put it to the test.