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Students in a classroom

The Value of Being a Summerbridge Teacher

By Antonia Spadafora 

Antonia working in a classroom

Applying to become a Summerbridge teacher was probably the best decision that I’ve made in my pursuit to become a professional educator! At Summerbridge, I taught Writing my first summer, Math this past summer, and I’m looking forward to teaching Science the summer of 2018! Words simply cannot express how valuable my experience has been! I’ve gained experience in lesson planning, I’ve taught differentiated lessons to large groups and small groups, and I gained experience in managing the day-to-day logistics of managing a classroom and creating a positive learning community! I’ve collaborated with other aspiring teachers countless times – working on a team of a teachers, co-planning lessons, or setting up special events. I’ve received advice from first-year teachers regarding the application and interview process and hearing about what they’ve learned as new professional teachers. I’ve received constructive criticism and feedback from a variety of mentor teachers and professionals.

While all of the aforementioned things are extremely important, I can’t stress enough the pure value of meeting the students and building relationships with them. When you are given a group of about twenty middle-schoolers, you are really able to focus your efforts on getting to know them individually – as people, not just as “students” – and letting them know that you care about them and believe in their academic potential. My experience through Summerbridge really reinforced the notion that building supportive relationships – with your colleagues as well as with your students - is an essential component of being a successful educator! I hope that many of you apply to teach through Summerbridge in 2018!