Internship Spotlight: Breakthrough Collaborative

Recent Tufts graduate Andrew shared the following about being a Teaching Fellow with Breakthrough Collaborative …

What did you do as an intern at this organization?
As a teacher intern at Breakthrough you have a week and a half of teacher training prior to teaching a 6-week course to a class of middle schoolers. Interns write and deliver lesson plans, grade homework, have weekly professional development, and run activities throughout the school day. Interns also have staff meetings every day, as well as meetings with their Instructional Coaches and with their Departments.

How did you find this internship?
I learned about Breakthrough from an information session at Tufts.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?
What I enjoyed most about this internship was the community. Breakthrough puts a lot of work into building a super strong community of teachers the first two weeks. We all supported each other when the kids come, and we worked hard to create a community that supported effective communication, persistence, community membership, and creative problem-solving. Breakthrough is a tough job, and without the positivity and camaraderie it would be impossible.

What did you find challenging?
The internship was challenging first and foremost because it was so time consuming. Lesson planning and grading homework filled the time after already long days. There was really little chance of a work/life balance during the 6 weeks of the program. Fortunately, the people you are spending so much time with are so cool and fun!

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
You do not need teaching experience to succeed, only a passion for education and a will to work your butt off. The application is online, and an interview follows the initial application.

About the Organization

Breakthrough Collaborative, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Breakthrough is a program for high potential underprivileged students that puts them on a college bound trajectory. Breakthrough begins in middle school and continues through high school. During the school year Breakthrough supports students with homework tutoring and help writing college essays. During the summer, students going into 7th, 8th, and 9th grade participate in a six-week summer program that includes 5 academic classes, homework every night, clubs, recess, and community meetings.

By Sheryl Rosenberg
Sheryl Rosenberg Associate Director