Teacher FAQs

Where can I find the application to become a Summer Program teacher?

You should apply through our national office.  The online application is available in mid-October. When asked which site you are interested in, list Breakthrough Houston as your top choice!

Where is the application to become a School Year Program teacher?

For more information about the Breakthrough Houston School Year Program, CLICK HERE.

Where does the program take place?

Our Summer and School Year Programs are hosted at multiple locations. Our Breakthrough SJS site takes place at St. John’s School. The Breakthrough Connect Community site rotates between multiple host schools in the Gulfton/Sharpstown area, and Breakthrough HISD site is currently taking place at Hogg Middle School in the Heights. Our College Bound and College Completion programs also use multiple host schools for their events. We are thankful for all of our host schools and partners!

What are the hours?

Summer Teaching Fellows who work in our Middle School Program begin their day around 7:30 AM. The day concludes anywhere from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM after an afternoon faculty meeting. Fridays usually end by 3 PM except on weeks with special events such as a dance or Celebration in the evening. Additionally, teachers are responsible for work at home that includes grading, preparing lesson plans, and drafting quizzes. A Breakthrough Middle School summer is a full-time, in-person experience. To meet their AmeriCorps hours and fulfill their responsibilities, Teaching Fellows must complete 450 hours or just over 50 hours a week during the summer experience. The days are full, but full of fun!

In our College Bound Summer Program, Teaching Fellows will teach either the Math or EBRW section of the PSAT to our rising 10th graders. In addition, Teaching Fellows will develop meaningful relationships with students through a morning advisory. Our work day is from 9 AM to 5 PM. On Monday through Thursday, the program is virtual and on Fridays, they take in-person field trips with students in the Houston area.

If I do not live in Houston, are there any options for living accommodations during the summer?

Yes, we welcome applicants from outside of Houston and work to provide free housing options through our homestay program. Specify in the online application that you will need living accommodations.

Who outlines the curriculum?

All Breakthrough sites work with curriculum developed by our Program Directors, Instructional Coaches, and curriculum writers.  You will work with your Instructional Coach to learn how to present the material in a manner that fits with your personality. Don’t worry; you’ll still get to put your own personal touch on things and learn how to write a good lesson plan!

How will I learn how to teach?

All Breakthrough Houston teachers participate in an orientation program called Breakthrough Instructional Training (BIT).  BIT was developed by our national office, with input from former Breakthrough teachers.  BIT will help you break down concepts into manageable pieces for your students, learn classroom management techniques, and ensure that your students are mastering the material you are teaching.

How do I select the subject I want to teach?

In your application, you will rank which subjects you would like to teach.  During your interview, we will talk about which subjects you are most comfortable teaching. We will also discuss potential elective classes you might be able to teach.

Is it possible to enroll in summer school or work at another part-time job while teaching at Breakthrough Houston during the summer?

No.  Teaching at Breakthrough Houston requires a serious time commitment which makes it impossible to take on a second job or class.

How old do I have to be to apply to be a teacher?

During the summer, most of our teachers are either in college or have just graduated from high school. To be eligible for AmeriCorps, a candidate must be at least 17. We have several Teaching Assistant positions that are usually filled by high school students who are 16 or older.

During the school year, most of our teachers are enrolled in high school and receive community service hours for participating in Breakthrough Houston.  We do have a few teachers who are college students at local schools like the University of Houston, Rice University, Texas Southern University, the University of St. Thomas, Houston Christian University, and Houston Community College.

How can I stay involved as a Teaching Fellow alumni?

Click here for the national Breakthrough alumni community, resources and opportunities. Stay up to date with Breakthrough Houston by signing up for the mailing list.