By: Andrea Hernandez

Breakthrough Houston Teaching Fellow, College Bound Summer 2021

I first heard of Breakthrough Houston in a Zoom session held by my scholarship sponsors in February of 2021. I remember the former Breakthrough Teaching Fellows sharing their stories about how much they loved being a part of the program and teaching. What stood out to me was their reassurance that Breakthrough’s faculty and staff provided strong support to new TFs. Additionally, I was happy to hear that Teaching Fellows didn’t need prior teaching experience to be a part of the program. All of this information checkmarked my boxes, and I immediately applied to the program. 

Breakthrough Houston’s College Bound summer program was incredible. I was part of one of the best teams I could have ever imagined. I felt supported by my fellow TFs and by my Instructional Coaches, and we accomplished so much this summer. With their support and guidance, I was able to bond with my students and lead a number of lessons. 

Out of the many things I learned from Breakthrough, I will continue to apply two main methods: Say, See, Do, and Plus, Delta, Action Plan. The Say, See, Do method is one we follow to deliver our lessons. We begin by telling students what to do, then we show them how to do it, and we end by having them do it. This way, they will successfully apply the presented skills. I greatly believe in this method because I believe it to be the key to successful learning. For one to learn, they have to know what to expect, how to meet those expectations, and feel capable of performing well. Say, See, Do meets all of these expectations. 

As for Plus, Delta, and Action Plan (my favorite), we list all the pluses that we can possibly think of, then list of things that could have gone better (deltas), and then create an action plan for those deltas. I absolutely love this method because it allows us, the Teaching Fellows and Instructional Coaches, to improve our instructional delivery from day today. Additionally, this method provides a positive way of correcting issues. Beginning with pluses is a great way to set the positive-mind and attitude precedent, and by listing things that “went wrong,” but keeping them in mind as things that could have “gone better”, is a great way to adopt a growth-mindset. I can happily say I will continue to see any difficult encounters as deltas, rather than negatives, and continue to brainstorm creative ways to ensure I can resolve any deltas. 

As a college student, I find it extremely important to maintain a positive mindset. Breakthrough Houston has taught me the skills I need to resolve challenges with a positive outlook. Furthermore, these are skills that I will apply to many areas of my life, beyond academics. With gratitude, I am proud to be a part of Breakthrough Houston.

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