The application portal for Summer 2020 Teaching Fellows is OPEN! Click here to apply.

apply to be a summer teaching fellow

We are excited you are interested in joining Breakthrough Silicon Valley over the summer as part of one of the nation's premier pre-professional teaching internships.


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 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. 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.

Still got your attention? Read on below.


WHO can do the teaching fellowship?

As part of our dual mission, we offer rising high school juniors and seniors, any current college undergraduate or recent college graduate interested in pursuing an education career the opportunity to lead their own classrooms of highly-motivated rising 7th, 8th or 9th graders, nearly all of whom will be the first in their family to go to, and graduate from, college.

With its “all day, every day” commitment, our teaching internship is both intense and rewarding. Your experience at BTSV will have a lasting impact not only on the lives of your students, but on your own career path.


How long does the teaching fellowship last?

Please see the bottom of this page for exact dates for 2020. Applicants can choose from two different lengths: our pre-7th/8th grade summer program is an eight-week commitment, while our pre-9th grade summer program is a six-week commitment.


do i need any previous experience?

No! Teaching Fellows come 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. Your greatest resource will be your colleagues, who will collaborate, support, and inspire you throughout the summer.


What does a typical summer look like?


Your summer starts with an orientation week where you will meet other Teaching Fellows, get trained on classroom and student management techniques and learn about current issues in the educational equity field. This leads into the heart of the internship: weeks of classroom instruction where you will lead your very own classroom of approximately 8-10 students. Each Teaching Fellow will teach at least two classes per day. Outside of the classroom, you will serve as role models and crew leaders and help to cultivate and sustain a positive, welcoming community amongst your peers and the students.

Throughout the summer, you will work under the guidance of an Instructional Coach, education professionals who have years of classroom experience. ICs review your lesson plans, provide daily feedback, and train you in teaching techniques, classroom management, and student assessment.

The typical day is 7:30am to 5:00pm. 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 take some work home, too, continuing your planning and preparation at home. It’s a lot, but it’s all worth it in the end!


what will I teach?


Every Teaching Fellow is assigned to a core class - either Math, Biology, Chemistry, Literature, Writing, English or High School Prep - and teaches the class twice per day. In addition to the core class, teachers may teach a third elective about a topic they are passionate about, whether academic or non-academic. Electives offered in 2019 included Speech and Debate, 20th Century History Through Film, Dance Dance Revolution, Technical Theater, Hip Hop and Lock, Hoops and HIIT, and Latino, Latina, Latinx.

If you do not teach an elective, you will instead help lead one of the summer committees which organize your site’s various out-of-class components, such as the daily All School Meeting or Spirit Week.


why should I do it?


Many studies have shown student achievement, particularly for minority students, is positively impacted by having teachers of the same race and/or ethnicity at their school. As one recent BTSV Teaching Fellow said, "it means a lot when you hear about college from someone whose background is similar to yours." Our "students-teaching-students" philosophy and model leverages the power of near-peer relationships to create a highly engaging, personalized, and exciting learning environment driven by you, the Teaching Fellows.

Being a Teaching Fellow 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 just a matter of weeks with a group of students who are eager to learn and supported by staff just 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 thousands of former Teaching Fellows in the national Breakthrough network, working to transform the landscape of education in this country.


Ready to Apply?

  • The Summer 2020 application is now open; click here for information on what is needed to submit a complete application and click here to apply.

  • Learn more about the Teaching Fellowship in this viewbook.

  • DON’T FORGET! When applying to teach at Breakthrough Silicon Valley, you must specify our site as one of your top three preferences on the application.


Important summer 2020 dates

7th/8th Grade Program Dates

  • Classroom Instruction: June 23 to July 31, 2020

  • Wrap-Up: August 3-7, 2020 (subject to change)

9th Grade Program Dates

  • Classroom Instruction: June 23 to July 17, 2020

  • Wrap-Up: July 20-24, 2020 (subject to change)

All Teaching Fellow Dates

  • Application Portal Opens: October 15, 2019

  • Early Action Deadline: January 16, 2020

  • Regular Decision Deadline: February 27, 2020

  • Notification Date: TBD (Spring 2020)

  • Orientation: June 15-19 and 22, 2020

  • End of Summer Celebration: August 4, 2020


Still have more questions?

Check out our FAQ or contact Winnie Yip Fong at