Teacher Resources

Breakthrough annually publishes a teacher training guidebook, Breaking It Down. Here is the update version for 2010.  It’s a handful to download or print off all at one time, so we’ve attached both the complete version and each chapter and toolkit for easier accessibility. All directions concerning the text are located in the Introduction.

Breaking It Down Complete Version

And in chapters….


I. The Breakthrough Movement

II.  Multicultural Education

III.  Learning and Teaching

Learning and Teaching Toolkit

IV.  Lesson Development and Preparation

Lesson Development and Preparation Toolkit

V. Classroom Management

Classroom Management Toolkit

VI. Teachers as Learners

VII. Glossary & Appendix


26 Responses to Teacher Resources

  1. Ahmed Memon says:

    Hello, I was invited to interview for a position as a teacher, but I don’t know if I have to turn in a teacher recommendation and a transcript before or after the interview.

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Ahmed-

      I encourage you to do two things:

      1. Send the form to your recommender and ask him/her to complete the form and be ready to forward it to the Site Director upon your go ahead.

      2. Respond to the Site Director who invited you for an interview and ask if s/he would like to receive the eRecommendation from your recommender.


  2. Josh Bargiband says:


    I see from an earlier comment that our teacher can email his or her recommendation directly to the person who asked for it. But, I cannot find the recommendation form. Where can I tell my teacher to find the form?


  3. Heather Gillund says:

    How formal should I dress for the interview?

  4. Kevin Vang says:

    Just need some clarifications on the letter of recommendation. When the recommender is done filling out the letter, do they email it back to me and I’ll print it out or email to the site director? Also is the letter due at the same time of the application?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Kevin-

      Great questions: Recommenders send eRec forms directly to the Site Director who has requested it. The eRec forms are due when they are requested not by the application deadline.

      Good luck!

  5. Jenny says:

    Does the application have to be done by tommorow or does the appliciation and the letter of recomendation and essay have to be done by tommorow. I was given the idea that we didn’t need the letter of recomendation until someone e-mailed me back so I don’t know what to do since I can’t get a letter of recomendation in a day..

  6. Taryn says:

    I am willing to work at any location for summer 2010, but my school year isn’t ending until June 9th. Is it possible for me to check the box indicating that I would work at any site, but only if the start date is after June 9th?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Taryn-

      Unfortunately, our application doesn’t have that functionality this year but it’s a great suggestion for the future. I’ll definitely make a note of it. Good thinking!

  7. Patrice Greene says:

    where can I download the recomendation form?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Patrice-

      When you began your application and then again when you submitted it (or when you will submit it), you received an automate email from our database with a link to the eRecommendation form and directions for its use.

      Good luck!

  8. Erica Allseitz says:

    Hello Dave!

    I haven’t been able to find much information on the different locations. What criteria should I use in choosing my top four locations, other than where I already have housing?


    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Erica-

      I would encourage you to look at the Site Roster inside the application next to the logout button. In this link you’ll be able to get a lot of information about the individual sites including homestay details, aged and number of students and percentage of teachers selected last year among others.


  9. Eddie Lederman says:


    Do we need letters of recommendation?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Eddie-

      This is a great question and one that needs some clarification. Please send recommendation forms only to Site Directors who ask for them specifically. If you are asked for an in person interview you will most likely be asked to have your recommender send your recommendation to the Site Director. Since we are using an eForm which allows a recommender to pick from a drop menu certain responses recommendations that come directly from applicants are inauthentic. You must ask your recommender to email the form directly to the Site Director who solicits the recommendation.

      Please do not ask you recommender to send forms to Dave Bryson.

  10. Katie Quackenbush says:

    This program sounds amazing and I am interested in applying to work at the Cambridge site! But unfortunately, I already have a trip planned this summer for about a week in early July. Does this mean that I can’t participate in the program?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Katie-

      Full participation is a key component to gaining selection as a teacher candidate. Think about it this way, if you were one of our students, would you want your teacher to take off for 1/6 of your summer? We want to make sure that we are maximizing the instructional time for our students. Every moment counts! Missing an entire week of program will make your application much less attractive to our directors.

  11. Alison says:

    I’m an F-1 international student. Would I be able to apply for a teacher position?


    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Alison-

      Yes, you are allowed to apply as long as you have INS clearance. I encourage you to check in with your Office of International Students to determine what forms you need to gain INS support.

  12. Jordan says:

    i was wondering if essays are allowed to be more than 500 words if it is still inside the 3,000 character limit?

  13. Yin Guan says:

    Thanks so much for your reply!

  14. Yin Guan says:

    Regarding the lesson plan, I am just wondering what you mean by a “skills-based approach to teaching”?

    • Dave Bryson says:

      Hi Yin-

      Great question! Many times-specifically in humanities classes-young teachers tend to focus so much on what content they will teach (i.e. the Civil Rights Movement, the short stories of Junot Diaz or a rocket launching project) that the academic skills (e.g. SQ3R reading method, active annotating, dividing fractions or graphing functions) get at least put to the side and at worst ignored. While content is specific, skills are transferable beyond the 6 week summer program.) At Breakthrough we want to ensure that our students academic skills are as sharp as they can be to set them up to succeed in the most challenging academic environments in their area. The way we do that is to identify first the academic skills that our students need to practice and employ a body of content that will allow us to teach those skills.

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