Summer Teaching Fellow
- Camden, NJ, USA
Uncommon Schools is a non-profit network of 53 outstanding public charter schools in grades K-12 across New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Our mission is to start and manage outstanding urban public charter schools that close the achievement gap and prepare students from low-income backgrounds for success in college and beyond. We are accomplishing that mission every day, with a college graduation rate that is well above the national average and thousands of stories of our students and alumni achieving their dreams.
The Summer Teaching Fellowship is offered to college students entering their senior year who are committed to beginning a career in teaching. After spending time observing, learning, and leading instruction in our classrooms, the majority of our Fellows receive and accept full-time offers to teach at Uncommon upon graduation.
Summer Teaching Fellows come from college campuses across the United States. STF is currently offered in Boston (MA), Newark (NJ), Camden (NJ), Brooklyn (NY), and Troy (NY) and serves students in grades K-12. The format and experience of the fellowship varies by region and the grade level in which a Fellow has been placed.
Candidates can indicate their choice of region and grade level (elementary, middle, or high) on the application. Please note that positions in preferred geographic locations and grade levels may not always be available due to varied capacity and size of each region. Candidates should list their top choices of location and grade level on the application, but know that placement in your top choice may not always be available.
During the end of the regular school year, Fellows will observe classrooms, support their Mentor Teacher, who is a current veteran teacher at Uncommon, and potentially lead individual or small group instruction. When the regular school year ends and Summer Academy begins, Fellows progress to leading instruction for a full class of students, allowing for direct teaching experience still with the support and guidance of a Mentor. Fellows participate in weekly professional development sessions around teaching taxonomies and receive regular cycles of feedback and coaching. Over the course of the program, Fellows will have many opportunities to gain the experience and support necessary to develop, grow, and enhance their instructional skills.
SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES (may vary depending on region and grade level a Fellow is placed in)
The first few weeks of STF may look different than the ones to follow. During that time, Fellows will have a week of Orientation where they will receive professional development on various topics and the opportunity to build cohort culture and connect with colleagues. Professional development topics include STF and Uncommon 101, Teach Like a Champion techniques, panel discussions on education reform, and much more.
Following Orientation Week, Fellows will be at their assigned host school and in classrooms during the last few weeks of the school year where they develop skills and knowledge to aid in their success during Summer Academy. Examples of tasks and activities that a Fellow may engage in are:
- Reporting to your host school—Fellows typically get to school at around 7:00am and leave by around 4:30pm.
- Mentor Teacher check-ins— meeting your Mentor Teacher and getting to know him/her.
- Observations— observing your Mentor Teacher or other master teachers in their classrooms.
- Prepping for Summer Academy— gathering materials, information, and building content knowledge necessary before you begin teaching or co-teaching in your Summer Academy classroom.
- Daily routines and structures of our schools— learning about how our Uncommon Schools operate on a daily basis and the standard that is set for our scholars.
- Lesson plan internalization— beginning to internalize lesson plans and practice executing.
- Professional development sessions— attending sessions led by your Summer Academy Director or other staff members on instructional skills.
- Culture building activities— participating in activities hosted by or Summer Academy Leaders.
After the first few weeks, Summer Academy will commence at which point Fellows will report to their Summer Academy site on a daily basis. Please see below for examples of tasks and actives Fellows may engage in during this time:
- Reporting to your Summer Academy site—Fellows typically report to their Summer Academy site at 7:00am and leave by around 4:30pm. Lengths of days vary, as Fellows may have mandatory cohort meetings or professional development sessions after the end of the summer school day.
- Teaching or co-teaching— executing your lesson plans with scholars either independently or with the help of your Mentor Teacher or another Fellow.
- Task time at home—practice lessons for the week or preparing for the next day of teaching.
- Professional development sessions— hosted within each region by Summer Academy Directors.
- Culture building activities— participating in activities hosted by Summer Academy Leaders.
In order to be eligible for STF, you must meet the following minimum program requirements:
- Current standing as an undergraduate college junior expected to graduate in December 2019 or Spring 2020
- Candidates graduating in December 2020 or in year three of a five-year undergraduate/Master’s program are NOT eligible to apply for STF 2019 and are encouraged to apply for our 2020 cohort.
- Candidates who are studying abroad in the spring may be ineligible to apply. For more info, please see our FAQs.
- U.S. citizen or legally eligible to work in the U.S.
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in concentration/major
- Full availability from May 26th to August 2nd, 2019
The strongest STF candidates exhibit the following traits:
- Expressed commitment to teaching in urban environments and strong interest in pursuing a full-time role with Uncommon upon graduation
- Demonstrated commitment to social justice and urban education reform
- Evidence of openness to feedback, grit, and strong work ethic
- High degree of self-reflectiveness, professionalism, and flexibility
- Desire to learn from others and work in collaborative environments
- Belief in and alignment with Uncommon’s core beliefs and educational philosophy
- Prior experience working in schools and/or urban communities is preferred but not required
- Background or major in education is not required, though candidates should show a demonstrated passion for working with K-12 students
The Summer Teaching Fellowship is between 7 to 10 weeks long.
For Fellows who are placed at the Elementary or Middle School levels, the program is 7 weeks long and runs from May 27th to July 12th for summer 2019.
For Fellows who are placed at the High School level, the program is 9-10 weeks long and runs roughly from May 27th to August 2nd for summer 2019.
During the program, Fellows receive:
- Stipend of 500 USD per week (note that stipends are subject to all applicable payroll taxes and fees)
- Transportation stipend (amount varies by region)
- Provided dormitory-style housing (or an additional 800 USD stipend for Fellows who opt out of housing and find their own accommodation for summer; note that housing stipends are subject to all applicable payroll taxes and fees)
- Meals (breakfast and/or lunch) at select mandatory professional development sessions. Note that Fellows are responsible for the cost of their own meals through the majority of the program and should plan accordingly.
Uncommon believes in the importance of being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that enables our students and staff to thrive. We are committed to building a talented team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students. At the same time, we work to ensure an inclusive community through creating a space for important dialogue about issues of race and identity for our staff and students. As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.