Welcome, prospective teacher

We are excited that you are interested in joining the Breakthrough team as part of one of the nation's premier pre-professional teaching internships.

With its “all-day, every day” eight-week commitment, our summer teaching internship is both intense and rewarding. Your experience at Breakthrough will have a lasting impact, not only on the lives of your students, but on your own hopes and dreams.

Sounds awesome. But what will I teach?

Every teaching fellow selects a core class (i.e. Math, Science, English Literature or Writing) and proposes an elective to teach. We encourage our teachers to design electives they are passionate about, whether it’s Speech and Debate, Ancient History or Basketball. Most teachers lead three one-hour class sections (two core, one elective) per day.

So, What does a typical day look like?

As our past fellows have put it, “Breakthrough’s a lifestyle.” The typical day is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. When you’re not teaching, you’re preparing lessons, leading activities and events, doing crazy cheers with your kids and generally hanging out with them all day. In fact, you’ll definitely take home some work, too, continuing your planning and preparation at home.

Wow. That sounds like a lot. So… why would I do it?

Teaching at Breakthrough is a unique, life-changing experience. If you think back to your own childhood, perhaps you remember a teacher or mentor who opened your eyes to new possibilities, got you pumped about learning, or maybe even changed the trajectory of your life.

Now picture packing that into six weeks with a group of students who are eager to learn and a staff that is as passionate as you are. Sure, it’s a tremendous amount of work and responsibility, but you’ll also feel the joy of accomplishing something truly meaningful.

Plus, if you want to pursue a career in education, consider this:  You’ll join a movement of over 40,000 former students and teaching fellows in the Breakthrough network, working to transform the landscape of education in this country.

And the kids really sign up to take classes all summer?

Yes! Our students apply to us from across San Jose, completing a lengthy application and interview process to be a part of the program.

Most of our students will be the first in their families to go to college, and many face significant obstacles in getting there. At the same time, our students are bright, motivated people who love to learn and are ready to work hard.

But can I really teach?

Teaching fellows come to Breakthrough with varying levels of teaching and tutoring experience. We look for applicants who demonstrate leadership ability and are willing to tackle the steep learning curve with enthusiasm and an open mind. You’ll join us for over a week of intensive training before the summer session begins, and you will receive instructional coaching from a mentor teacher throughout the fellowship. Your greatest resource will be your colleagues, who will collaborate, support, and inspire you throughout the summer.

Top 5 Reasons to Teach at Breakthrough Silicon Valley:

  1. Make a real difference. Breakthrough is unlike any other service work you’ve experienced. Watch how your direct involvement helps your students grow and progress in just a few weeks. 
  2. Gain skills that are highly valued by colleges and industry. The Princeton Review ranks Breakthrough's teaching experience as one of the top 10 college internships in the nation.
  3. Create unforgettable bonds. You won’t just be a teacher. You’ll be a mentor and a role model to your students. Ask any former Breakthrough teacher, and they’ll tell you the same thing: by the end of the summer, you will feel so close to your kids that saying goodbye will be a challenge.
  4. Make your summer work experience matter. You will receive a stipend between $1100 and $1500. Why spend a summer filing papers when you can be using your mind and creativity to inspire others?
  5. Start your career in education and public service. This nation needs talented, motivated individuals like you to tackle our most pressing social issues. Experience what it’s like to teach and work for the public good.

Ready to Apply?

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Important dates and details:

  • Check back in Fall 2017 for Summer 2018 dates and details.
  • Summer 2017 Application Launch: October 19, 2016
  • Early Action Deadline: January 12, 2017
  • Regular Decision Deadline: February 23, 2017
  • Teaching Fellowship Dates: Monday, June 19 - Wednesday, August 9, 2017
  • Stipend: $1100 to 1500 with need-based financial supplements.

Thank you for your support! Please provide us with your complete contact information by checking the "Share my information..." box on the payment page. This allows us to send you a donor acknowledgement letter for your tax filing purposes.


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