Teaching Fellows

Breakthrough’s success rests on our unique “students-teaching-students” model. Ambitious and service-minded undergraduate students from all over the country serve as teachers and mentors to our middle and early high school students during our year-round programs.

Who do we look for?

To provide the high-quality relationship-building and learning that our children deserve, Breakthrough Birmingham’s Teaching Fellow positions are highly selective and competitive. We are constantly seeking talented college students who think creatively, demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow, believe every child can learn at a high level, and persevere in challenges. Applicants should feel comfortable working in a collaborative, fast-paced environment. The fellowship is for undergraduates of any major, whether they intend to pursue a career in education. We seek applicants with a deep interest in social justice and love working with students. Applicants from varied backgrounds and experiences are important essential for the success of our program.

What do Teaching Fellows do?

Teaching Fellows have the primary contact with Breakthrough scholars during programs and are therefore pivotal in our students’ Breakthrough experience. We recruit the most talented and dedicated college students in the US to come to Birmingham and serve our community. Furthermore, to create a meaningful teaching experience, our Teaching Fellows are coached by veteran educators, trained and oriented in culture building, instructional techniques, and behavior management before teaching. Then, they are given continuous reflection opportunities and ongoing feedback to improve leadership and teaching skills.

What do Teaching Fellows gain?

Our undergraduate Teaching Fellows complete the fellowship as better-prepared leaders to make a difference. They develop skills as pre-service teachers, role models, and educational leaders and advocates. Fellows become part of an effective team working to address the most pressing issues in education. Not only do they have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on middle school children, but they also gain hands-on leadership and educational training. Breakthrough fellows explore and work to address social issues and teach what it means to be a community of diverse individuals working toward common goals. 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.

Breakthrough has really shown me that it is possible to see growth in scholars in just a few weeks if the education system is intentional in its work. The amount of growth I witnessed from my scholars was refreshing, and it inspired me to think of more solution-based actions that we as a community, and we as a country can incorporate into our education systems. Being at Breakthrough helped me understand the importance of representation in the classroom, because being able to see someone who looks like you and may have come from the same background as you in a position of success can be a powerful thing to young minds. It can really help shape their mindset, and as a result, can even help motivate some students to work on setting goals for themselves.

Summer 2022 Teaching Fellow


Breakthrough gives you a chance to develop yourself but, most importantly, develop tomorrow’s leaders.

Summer 2022 Fellow

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