Frequently Asked Questions for Teachers
- Where does the program take place?
- I do not live in Silicon Valley but want to teach at Breakthrough Silicon Valley. Are there home stays available?
- I am interested in teaching, but do not have a car. Are there options for transportation?
- I’m thinking about having another job or taking classes in the summer while teaching at Breakthrough. Is this possible?
- Who designs the courses that I will be teaching?
- How is it decided which subject I teach?
Where does the program take place?
Through its close partnership with the San Jose Unified School District, Breakthrough Silicon Valley’s school-year programs are hosted at various sites throughout the district. Our summer program is at The Hillbrook School, an independent K-8 school located in the neighboring city of Los Gatos.
I do not live in Silicon Valley but want to teach at Breakthrough Silicon Valley. Are there home stays available?
We have a small number of home stays available each summer. If you apply, be sure to state your need for a home stay.
I am interested in teaching, but do not have a car. Are there options for transportation?
We help faculty members arrange carpools. In the past, all of our teachers have been able to arrange necessary transportation without any problems.
I’m thinking about having another job or taking classes in the summer while teaching at Breakthrough. Is this possible?
Unfortunately, this is not acceptable because of the intense commitment you will be making with us this summer. In order to ensure the quality of instruction for our students and for you to grow as a teacher, we ask you to dedicate all your energy to your work here. Having said that,you are free on the weekends. But keep in mind that to be a successful teacher, you must put in more hours than those spent on site for grading, planning, etc.
Who designs the courses that I will be teaching?
You do!! Breakthrough Silicon Valley has a unique approach to curriculum design where the professional staff decides which academic skills need to be covered in the curriculum and then gives the individual teacher the freedom to design their own lesson plans. For example, all English teachers will work on paragraph writing. However, that skill can be taught through a variety of contents such as Harry Potter novels, Harlem Renaissance poetry, or Shakespeare. For academic electives, you can design and teach your own course from scratch. The course you design should be based on your academic background and passion. Lastly, while a teacher is given the freedom to design his/her own courses, a mentor teacher will supervise him/her by reviewing lesson plans.
How is it decided which subject I teach?
In the application, we ask you to list which core subjects you are “excited,” “able to,” and “not willing” to teach. Our staff looks at these preferences, in combination with the needs of the program and offers positions accordingly. Be sure to read the Teaching at Breakthrough Handbook to get more of your questions answered.
If you would like more information, please contact:
- Jia Liu, Middle School Program Coordinator—email@example.com
- Or Tina Briceno, Program Director—firstname.lastname@example.org