Pittsfield Public Schools, Pittsfield, MA
Pittsfield Public Schools are a Title-1 school district that serves high-need communities. Their mission is to improve their ELA and social studies curriculum so that they may focus more on cultural diversity and social justice. The district believes that their current education system should discontinue its use of an outdated method of focusing on teaching reading strategies rather than putting a bigger emphasis on content knowledge. Content knowledge means that students must be provided with background knowledge about the readings they are exposed to as it aids with their overall comprehension abilities. My main responsibility this summer was to create text sets—a collection of resources, such as podcasts, articles and books—for teachers to use as a collection of material about culturally diverse topics with the goal to broaden their understanding of the lessons they will be teaching. Additionally, by having text sets pre-made, teachers will have a structure to base their teaching upon. I worked with co-intern Ryan Buggy ’19 to create these text sets.
This internship built upon my previous experience working in local elementary schools in Williamstown. During the fall semester, I worked as a Science Fellow at Williamstown Elementary School where I went to different classrooms once a week to help with second-grade science lessons. Furthermore, during a past Winter Study, I worked as a research assistant with Professor Susan Engel who was conducting a study on children’s curiosity. Each day I would interview various students from Pine Cobble, Muddy Brook, and Williamstown Elementary School and then code the data collected for the research study. This internship with Pittsfield Public Schools paired perfectly with my past experience and interest in education at the primary school level.
I am highly interested in continuing to explore the field of education in both academic and professional terms. After Williams, my goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in either comparative literature or psychology. I am interested in furthering my own education after graduation while at the same time continuing in the education realm after I have achieved my doctorate. Whether this means teaching as a professor at a university or teaching K-12, I have yet to decide. An alternate route would be to achieve a doctorate in psychology, which I could then utilize to become a psychologist focusing on children, a speech pathologist or a school counselor. All of these fields are related to children, most addressing education. This is why the internship with Pittsfield Public Schools was essential to further my experience within the educational route. I gained knowledge about the curriculum that is structured for primary school children and how it is composed and consumed by both teachers and students. By understanding all of the different facets surrounding education, I have a broader understanding of the various fields related to schooling. By creating the text sets, I have a clearer perspective of the work of teachers while keeping in mind that the materials that I gather must engage the audience—the student.
Thank you for investing in my future. I am very grateful.