Having just finished the second week of the program, I can’t stop thinking about how much the students and teachers blow me away every single day. First of all, the teachers are so supportive. I know that if I’m ever looking for a creative way to explain a math concept or I just need to vent, I can always count of this fun, creative, and intelligent group of people. Also, you would think that as a returning teacher I would already know how amazing the students are, but I am still constantly impressed by the mature and thoughtful comments they make and by how excited they get when they learn how tsunamis work or become pros at long division. When kids who don’t really like math do extra credit math problems for homework, you know that there is something unbelievable about these children.
The best piece of advice I can give other Breakthrough teachers right now is to just cherish the moments you spend with the wonderful people everyday at Breakthrough. I know that sounds corny, but it’s really incredible how fast the summer is going by, and I hope that I can take advantage of each moment that I have to teach these children, learn from them, and learn from the other teachers. I think it’s very easy to get caught up in the stressful day to day tasks, but it’s important to remember how meaningful this program is. My parents came to our site’s Visitor’s Day this week and they listened to some students talk about how Breakthrough has helped them. They were in awe of how articulate these 6th graders were and how many great things they were saying about their Breakthrough teachers. I often forget the bigger picture, so it’s great to hear that even though the students complain about homework and may not always pay attention in class, we really are important to them.