"The support system at Breakthrough is beautiful and is helping me grow as a teacher, person, mentor, and student. It is the best thing that I have noticed thus far, and would even go as far as saying that it is the secret ingredient in making this program a successful one. I know that I will not conclude the summer being the perfect teacher, but I do know that I'll finish off being a way better teacher than I was when I first started teaching. "
My name is Nana Condua and I'm from Atlanta, Georgia. I currently attend Morehouse College located in Atlanta, Georgia where I am going into my junior year and majoring in English. I teach eighth grade literature at the Drexel Middle School site. I first heard about Breakthrough during my freshman year. One of my RA's completed two summers with Breakthrough and always spoke very highly of the program, but I never got any detailed information from him so I didn't really understand what a great program it was and still is. After doing my own research during my sophomore year and hearing the great things some of my peers had to say about the program, I decided this would be a great opportunity for me, especially because I would like to become a teacher. When I realized there were so many sites, I thought about cities I had never been to, and places I would be excited to visit. I had friends in college that were from Philadelphia and heard a lot about the city, but had never actually visited. In an attempt to broaden my horizon and experience life in a new city, I applied to Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia.
Being a teacher with Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia has been filled with so many learning experiences, but I could go on for days if I tried to list them all. The most shocking aspect of being a teacher at Breakthrough has definitely been the amount of time and dedication that goes into the job. I've never had the perception that a teacher's job ends when school dismisses, but I was definitely under the notion that teachers did not spend more than two hours at school after dismissal. Breakthrough has truly challenged me. With each lesson I create and child I interact with, I realize how challenging being a teacher truly is. It is always my hope to form genuine connections with the students and not come off as just a person that wants to feed them knowledge. Forming those genuine connections can be harder with some than others, but when they happen they are truly magical. One of my students started off the summer very insecure about reading out loud, but the other day I witnessed him reading in class and I could not help but extremely excited. With only a few more weeks left of the summer, I am worried that I will be an emotional wreck during the last few days for the summer. I have grown attached to the students, because I have seen very clearly how much believing in a student and challenging him or her, can change a student's life.
While it is a very fulfilling position, I do sometimes feel like I am not the best teacher possible, and my co-workers are a wonderful support system for that. I vent to them about my struggles learning how to teach and they listen and offer strategies that have helped them. They have also served as a reminder of the things I do well, and although they challenge me to do better, they never allow me to ignore the great things I have accomplished with the students. The support system at Breakthrough is beautiful and is helping me grow as a teacher, person, mentor, and student. It is the best thing that I have noticed thus far, and would even go as far as saying that it is the secret ingredient in making this program a successful one. I know that I will not conclude the summer being the perfect teacher, but I do know that I'll finish off being a way better teacher than I was when I first started teaching. Being at Breakthrough has really allowed me to grow as a person by enriching my knowledge of the educational system in the country and my teaching abilities. I love Breakthrough and I think it's an excellent internship to have, even if one does not plan on being a teacher. Breakthrough meets every individual where they are and helps them grow from that point.