Where does the program take place?

Through its close partnership with the San Jose Unified and Franklin-McKinley School Districts, Breakthrough Silicon Valley’s school-year programs are hosted at various sites throughout the districts. Our summer programs take place at campuses in and around San Jose.


Yes! Teaching Fellow base stipends start at $1,750 if you are a high school student and $2,000 if you are a college student, with additional funds available for returnees or on a need-based basis.

I am interested in teaching, but do not have a car. Are there options for transportation?

Yes, we help teaching fellows arrange carpools. 

I’m thinking about having another job or taking classes in the summer while teaching at Breakthrough. Is this possible?

Unfortunately, this is not possible because of the intense commitment you will be making with us this summer. In order to ensure the quality of instruction for our students and for you to grow as a teacher, we ask you to dedicate your full energy to your work at Breakthrough. You will be free on the weekends, but keep in mind that to be a successful teacher, you must put in more hours than those spent on site for grading, planning, etc.

Who designs the courses that I will be teaching?

You do! Breakthrough Silicon Valley has a unique approach to curriculum design where the professional staff decides which academic skills need to be covered in the curriculum and then gives teaching fellows the freedom to design their own lesson plans. For example, all English classes will work on paragraph writing. However, that skill can be taught through a variety of contexts such as Harry Potter novels, Harlem Renaissance poetry, or Shakespeare. For academic electives, you can design and teach your own course from scratch. The course you design should be based on your academic background and passion. While each teacher is given the freedom to design course material, a mentor teacher will supervise him/her by reviewing lesson plans.

How is it decided which subject I teach?

In the application, we ask you to list which core subjects you are “excited,” “able to,” and “not willing” to teach. Our staff looks at these preferences, in combination with the needs of the program and offers positions accordingly.

Check out the teaching residency viewbook to get all of your questions answered. If you would like more information, please contact Ariel Morris Spector, Director of Curriculum and Programming, at amorris@breakthroughsv.org.