MeshEd, Brooklyn, NY
This summer I worked for an edtech company called MeshEd, located in Brooklyn. MeshEd creates enrichment courses using the Project-Based Learning model, focusing on the creation of a “digital artifact” or digital portfolio by each student. Students can then use these digital artifacts or portfolios in applications or submit them to contests in order to boost their résumés. MeshEd aims to make the field of educational enrichment a more equitable one by offering its courses at an affordable rate and by partnering with schools to “push in” and teach the courses to students for free. This is made possible by grants that schools and MeshEd receive.
My time at MeshEd was not the greatest internship experience, but I did learn a lot about education and teaching, as well as what I can/can’t see myself doing in the future. The structure of my program was one week remote for training, four weeks hybrid with a mix of training and curriculum development, then five weeks of teaching. During the first five weeks, I learned about MeshEd’s existing three courses: Art of the Podcast, Coding and Game Design, and Sustainable Fashion Lab. As preparation for teaching the courses later in the summer, each intern also made their own podcast episode and MakeCode video game, both of which I enjoyed. Finally, I was also assigned to help develop one of MeshEd’s new courses. I enjoyed this part of the internship and I learned a lot about pedagogy, curriculum development and the edtech industry.
The next part of my internship was on-site teaching. MeshEd was extremely unorganized and unprepared. Most of the curriculum is designed for grades six through eight, however, I was surprised to learn that I would be teaching third grade. I was also caught off guard to learn that, rather than apprentice teaching with an experienced teacher, I would be teaching a class of 15 third graders on my own. It was a very stressful experience, but the other interns were very helpful and supportive. Another major challenge was that we were not well-equipped to manage our students’ behavioral needs. MeshEd was not proactive or supportive in mitigating these incidents or providing us with additional training. This made my teaching experience frustrating, though it also opened my eyes to some of the major obstacles that teachers face.
Overall I am happy with how I chose to spend my summer. I loved my students, and I am grateful to have been their teacher. If I do teach again in the future, I would love to work in grades kindergarten through third, and I am definitely interested in pursuing working in curriculum development.
I would like to thank the ’68 Center and the Class of 1966 for making this summer possible. It was an eye-opening and necessary experience that has helped me to better understand where I see myself working in the field of education post-graduation.