Become A Teaching Fellow
Photo: Breakthrough Pittsburgh
The 2020 application has closed. If you are interested in learning about opportunities for the summer of 2021 please complete this interest form:
To learn more about Breakthrough and the teaching fellow experience:
- Review the Summer 2020 Site Directory which details our 24 programs across the country.
- Read more about the Teaching Fellow experience and application in our Summer 2020 Viewbook!
- Our Campus Ambassadors are former teaching fellows. Check out the roster to see if there’s an Ambassador at your school and to get in touch with them!
- You can also learn more about becoming a Campus Ambassador HERE!
APPLY TO TEACH
The Breakthrough Teaching Fellow experience is designed for undergraduates of all majors and for those who intend to pursue careers in education, as well as those who haven’t yet considered it. The opportunity is unlike any other available to undergraduates and our alumni are transformed by the experience. Education coursework is not a prerequisite. We seek applicants with a deep interest in social justice and a passion for working with students. Our Teaching Fellows must be committed to personal growth and comfortable working in a fast-paced, collaborative environment. Because we celebrate the diversity of our community, we seek undergraduate applicants from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. During the nine-week residency, Breakthrough Teaching Fellows receive over 100 hours of teaching and leadership training, and 75 hours of lead classroom experience. Teaching Fellows have the opportunity to practice skills that prepare them for the classroom or other professional settings, including:
- Learn lesson planning, classroom management, instructional strategies, feedback techniques, and other essential learning tools
- Receive regular coaching from professional educators
- Lead family conferences and participate in team meetings
- Teach core academic classes (math, science, writing, literature) and elective classes (e.g., foreign language, dance, art)
- Collaborate with colleagues in a challenging, fun, and supportive environment
- Work with a diverse group of highly motivated students, staff, and teachers
- Learn how to receive and deliver actionable feedback
- Practice presentation skills
- Hone time management and project planning
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Photo: Breakthrough Twin Cities
CURIOUS TO KNOW WHAT A DAY AS A BREAKTHROUGH TEACHING FELLOW IS LIKE? WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW!
Photo: Breakthrough Twin Cities
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT APPLYING TO BREAKTHROUGH AS A TEACHING FELLOW?
Answers to some of our most frequently asked questions are below.
TEACHING AT BREAKTHROUGH
Do I have to be an education major, have experience teaching, or know that I want to be a teacher?
No. The Breakthrough Teaching Fellowship is intentionally designed to accommodate teaching fellows from all majors and with all professional interests. Interest in pursuing a career in education is not required, nor is any education coursework. You do have to be passionate about working with our students, and excited to work collaboratively with your colleagues, and grow in an intense, fast-paced, supportive environment.
How do I select sites, and how will I be considered for each?
On the application, you will have the opportunity to rank up to three sites in order of your preference. While all Breakthrough sites share a mission and model, differences in program dates, housing availability, stipend amount, admissions rates, and other areas might influence your decision about which sites to select. Please explore the Site Directory to familiarize yourself with the specifics of each site before you make your selections. Please ensure that the sites you choose have program dates that align with your availability.
What differentiates Breakthrough sites from one another?
At each Breakthrough site you will find similar student and Teaching Fellow profiles, high expectations, and a commitment to providing the support our students and teaching fellows need to meet those expectations. Some details, such as program dates, stipend amounts, program size, exact grade levels served, and selectivity for teaching fellow applicants, differ between sites. To learn more about what makes each site unique, please visit our site directory.
Applicants must select at least one site on your application, and we encourage you to select three in order to maximize your chances of admission. We recommend you select locations where you are able to provide your own housing and whose schedule aligns with yours. You will be considered by sites in the order that you indicate on the application, and you cannot change your selections after you submit your application, so please choose carefully. Also, note that only one site will offer you a position. If you choose not to accept that offer, you will not be able to teach at any Breakthrough site this summer.
Are Teaching Fellows paid?
Teaching Fellows receive a living stipend. Some sites are able to offer additional financial aid. The site directory includes each site’s living expense stipend range, as well as the potential availability of financial aid.
What are the dates of the summer program?
Summer 2021 program dates coming soon!
Is housing provided at all sites?
Some sites are able to offer housing for a limited number of candidates. If at all possible, we recommend applying to programs where you are able to provide your own housing. Please explore the site directory for specific housing information for each site.
Who is eligible to apply to teach with Breakthrough?
I’m not a U.S. citizen. Can I still apply?
Yes. You will need to have authorization to be an intern in the U.S. by the time the summer program begins. We encourage you to contact the office at your college or university that supports international students. Please alert placement directors about your authorization while you are going through the selection process as they are ultimately responsible and will need to operate within the terms of the law.
I’m studying abroad this spring. Can I still apply?
What is early action?
Early action does not guarantee early placement, though many of our teaching placements are filled during early action.
What are the deadlines for applying to teach at Breakthrough?
Summer 2021 deadlines coming soon!
What does “willing to teach anywhere” mean, and how will it affect my application?
Selecting this option does not make you less likely to be matched with one of your preferred sites. It affects your application only if all of the sites you selected are unable to place you. At that point, your application would join the waiting list where directors across the country look for applicants to fill their remaining positions.
In short, if you have some flexibility, select this option. You aren’t committing yourself to all sites, just maximizing your opportunities.
Whom should I select to be my Recommender?
When approaching a potential recommender, be professional. Set up a time to meet or send a formal request via email. Share the link to our website to let him or her know exactly what you’re applying for. Be sure to update him or her about your accomplishments or skills which are relevant for this position, and share an updated resume if you have one. Once he or she agrees to complete your recommendation, let him or her know when you plan to submit your application and that he or she will have approximately two weeks from that date to complete the online recommendation form. It is a good idea to send an update email to your recommender as soon as you submit your application to ensure that our email got through and that he or she knows the due date. You will be notified when the recommendation is complete via email and on the status checker in the application portal.
We will contact the recommender directly via email, so be sure to ask him or her to add firstname.lastname@example.org to his or her safe-senders list. We do not ask for a formal letter of reference or any other documents. Recommenders simply complete an online form. We ask recommenders to complete the recommendation form within two calendar weeks and you will receive an email notification when the recommendation is complete.
Please make sure the recommender has agreed before you submit your application, and be sure to confirm the appropriate email address. In extenuating circumstances, we can change your recommender, but it may slow down your review process.
What is the recommendation form?
The online recommendation form asks recommenders to complete a brief evaluation for each applicant on a number of core competencies that we have learned make excellent Breakthrough Teaching Fellows. Recommenders rank the applicant among his or her peers and give a brief explanation for each ranking.
What should I include on my resume?
As you list experiences on your resume, please be sure to include your role or title (e.g. Sales Associate); the organization, company, or school and its general location (e.g. Old Navy – Bethesda, MD); the duration of your position (e.g. September 2014–May 2015); the hours you worked per week (e.g. 25 hours/week); and a bulleted list of your responsibilities in that position. Include this information for work, volunteer, leadership, and extracurricular experiences.
Your resume should be comprehensive but not overly detailed. A general guideline is one to two pages for college students and young professionals. Most college career centers offer help with resume development.
How competitive is this opportunity, and which are the most competitive sites?
Selection rates vary greatly by site. To maximize your chance of being selected, we encourage you to be thorough and thoughtful in your application. Take time to review and proofread your application before submission. Decisions are made on a rolling basis and while our review criteria is consistent throughout the process, as the cycle progresses, there are fewer Teaching Fellow positions available each week.
What is the selection process like?
How quickly will I receive a decision?
Early action applicants: Your application will be reviewed by one site at a time in the order of preference as indicated on your application. You will be notified of your decision at your first-choice site in early-February at which time you will be offered a position or passed to your second-choice site. Your second-choice site will make a decision in mid-March. If your second-choice site is unable to offer you a position, you will be passed to your third-choice site. You will receive final notification in late March. Some applicants who are not offered a position by one of their ranked preferences AND indicated that they were willing to teach anywhere will be placed on the national waitlist. You will be notified if you are placed on the national waitlist. Offers can be extended to national waitlist applicants at any time and final notification will occur in early June.
Regular decision applications: Your application will be reviewed by one site at a time in the order of preference as indicated on your application. You will be notified of your decision by your first-choice site in mid-March at which time you will be offered a position or passed to your second-choice site. Your second-choice site will make a decision in late March. If your second-choice site is unable to offer you a position, you will be passed to your third-choice site. You will receive final notification in early April. Some applicants who are not offered a position by one of their ranked preferences AND indicated that they were willing to teach anywhere will be placed on the national waitlist. You will be notified if you are placed on the national waitlist. Offers can be extended to national waitlist applicants at any time and final notification will occur in early June.