My Summer with Breakthrough

Katherine Cusick, COL ’23, Philadelphia, PA

This summer I was a teaching fellow for Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia. It was without a doubt the greatest work experience of my life, and I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys working with kids. I learned skills that are certainly transferable to other fields, but throughout the summer, my experience connecting with the kids, creating engaging and excited lesson plans, and encouraging young minds to believe in themselves and their aspirations has solidified my interest in going into the field of education.

Working with 8th grade was something I had not anticipated, but definitely something I enjoyed and benefitted from. In fact, I’d likely work with middle schoolers in the future because of my experience with them. They were mature enough to work hard and stay focused in class most times, but immature enough to bring a youthful, curious, creative, and overall positive energy to the class. Everyday they encouraged me to work harder as a teacher by engaging with my lesson plans and always finding unexpected ways to make class fun. Lesson planning and organizing my committee were two other responsibilities I had this summer. One valuable lesson I learned is that being creative with these things can make the job so much easier and more enjoyable! I loved being creative with lesson plans and trying to imagine things I had enjoyed as a middle schooler. I used the same thought process when planning school events and decorations with my Arts and Celebrations Committee. Expressing my creativity in ways that my students could enjoy made the job so rewarding!

Finally, my summer would not have been complete without knowing I was working to educate and inspire young minds. This has been the most rewarding aspect of my job and the thing that inspired me most to pursue teaching. Knowing that I was doing something that would help my students to envision and attain bright futures for themselves encouraged me to get up even on the hardest of days. In conclusion, my Breakthrough experience was invaluable and helped me learn about the joys and struggles of being a teacher as well as the imagine my future as one.

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2022 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

By Career Services
Career Services