Generation Teach, Denver, CO
In reflecting on my summer at Generation Teach, even now, I struggle to accurately and sufficiently express my gratitude for this experience. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have begun to experience the full weight of adulthood, and (unfortunately) the costs that come with it. In January, when searching for internships that suited my interests, I was admittedly very nervous. I have always had a deep love for teaching and social justice, and when I stumbled upon Generation Teach and its mission I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do. However, after reviewing the details of the internship, I felt defeated once again; the low stipend that GT provided was nowhere close to covering any of my living expenses. It wasn’t until I learned of the Alumni Sponsored Internship Program through the ’68 Center for Career Exploration that I realized that my passion would not have to be compromised.
Generation Teach is a summer-intensive educational program designed to prevent ‘summer-slide’ for POC, middle- school aged, students. The organization is centered on its five core values: belonging, investment, initiative, growth, and excellence, and it shows. GT encourages prospective teaching fellows, with no previous experience, to apply as it believes that POC students deserve POC teachers and course-material that centers on the experience of individuals of color.
During my time at Generation Teach, I completed two weeks of virtual reality simulations and training in identity, community building, content, and teaching. From there I led two sections and supported two additional sections of reading class, each day, teaching the content of Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynold’s Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. I received coaching and feedback from professional teachers with the opportunity to practice and implement proven teaching methods. I additionally taught and supported synchronous classes completely online, proficiently led instruction in a virtual setting, and managed multiple learning and information systems. When teaching, I was expected to create my own lesson plans, discussion questions, and classroom guidelines. Alongside of this, I planned, led, and supported strategic and engaging virtual community building initiatives to foster strong student relationships and investment following school closures while simultaneously completing an AmeriCorps term of service.
Generation Teach, even in the virtual realm, changed my life for the better. The commitment to community- building is one that was emphasized from the first day of GT Training to the last day of classes, and even though I only met everyone through my computer screen, I truly felt a part of the GT community. This fellowship experience has been unusual in many ways—virtually, and temporally—yet was a magical, fulfilling, and exciting one nonetheless. I loved working with other students, teaching fellows, and team leaders and I recommend Generation Teach to anyone who is thinking about teaching, as this program will change your life.