See what Jordan Hughes, another fabulous 2018 Summer Session Teaching Fellow, has to say about his experience at Breakthrough Twin Cities in his interview below!
1. Please tell me a little bit about your background! Where did you grow up, where did you attend high school, are you currently in college and if so where, what have been some subjects or potential careers you have been interested in, and how did you become interested in teaching?
I was born in Maryland but spent most of my childhood in rural southern Virginia and moved to the Twin Cities in middle school. I attended St. Paul Academy, where my dad was a teacher. After that, I went to Washington University in St. Louis, where I’ll be heading into my final year in August. I haven’t wanted to teach as a career, but I love working with students and young people and I think having teaching skills is essential to future advocacy. I’m hoping to go to law school after I graduate college and would love to be a public defender.
2. How did you become aware of Breakthrough, and why did you decide to get involved as a Teaching Fellow?
Breakthrough Twin Cities is an organization I’ve known about for a while and always held a lot of respect for – my dad always talked about teachers coming from it and a lot of my friends who study education apply to be Teaching Fellows. When I saw the opportunity for this summer, I decided to take a leap and try it out for myself – and I’m extremely grateful I did.
3. In what ways has your teaching experience at Breakthrough helped you develop and grow as an individual?
I’ve learned so much about leadership, management of groups and people, mentorship, and how to advocate on behalf of people I care about without cutting them slack or sacrificing their best interests for my attachments. I’ve learned to adapt the ways I explain and articulate myself, how to find energy from the little things in a day, and how to give and receive feedback in more productive ways.
4. Can you tell us about an experience working at Breakthrough that impacted you or sticks out in your mind?
After a few weeks, I showed up to class one day tired and flustered and clearly distracted by things going on outside of the classroom. My students picked up on it within the first few minutes of class, and one stopped me to ask if I was okay and if I needed anything. They then read my emotions and took it upon themselves to make sure the class went smoothly, and it became a successful and creative lesson despite my slow start. This really emphasized for me how strongly the relationships built at Breakthrough define the educational experience, and how willing the students are to make that two-way relationship strong.
5. What advice or suggestions would you give for someone else who wants to get involved with Breakthrough or apply to be a Teaching Fellow?
Learn as quickly as possible that if you want to be here, you will have to prioritize the students and the program in your mind, often above yourself. And it will be worth it, but it only works when everyone is committed to giving 200%.