Pittsfield Public Schools, Pittsfield, MA
This summer, I had the opportunity to work as a curriculum enrichment intern with Herberg Middle School, in Pittsfield. Herberg is considered a Title I school, meaning that it serves mainly low-income students. Due to my past experience working with Pittsfield Public Schools, I was aware of its socioeconomic standing. My role required me to collaborate with the assistant vice principal to create a diverse range of independent projects across academic disciplines, such as science, arts, and college and career.
Throughout the summer, I developed an easily accessible master document consisting of an array of independent projects. While I brainstormed ideas for the projects, I reflected back on my public school experience and incorporated subjects and platforms that are not readily available to students in underserved areas. I aimed to develop unique, cost-effective and entertaining projects that would marry in-class learnings with outside material. For example, the Interactive Planet Brochure Project asks that students explore online, interactive planetariums and create a brochure that advertises celestial bodies as vacation hotspots in a Microsoft Word brochure. This project teaches students about the various online resources that they might not have previously known about. Further, students will grow familiar with programs often used by high schoolers and college students. Another project, the Beginner Photography Portfolio, instructs students to watch photography tutorials and showcase their learnings in a Google doc photography portfolio. This project incorporates students’ environments and cultivates their technical skills.
Although I worked remotely, I thoroughly enjoyed developing engaging projects that I hope sparked new interests and hobbies within budding students. Creating high-quality projects for middle schoolers in a low-income area was also gratifying because the projects exposed students to resources and ideas that are typically reserved for private schools and wealthier areas. I’ve been comparing this internship with my experiences in education policy, and I’ve found that I’m leaning toward curriculum development because I can frequently interact with educators and their students. Additionally, I learned that there is a certain way you have to format documents geared for students and educators. Children tend to lose interest easily, so it’s important to highlight or bold keywords and sentences. In the future, I am eager to take classes with Susan Engel through the Program in Teaching that considers and evaluates development and education in low-income schools.
I would like to thank my internship supervisor, who throughout the summer, was understanding of my other summer responsibilities and offered flexibility whenever I needed it, which I deeply appreciate. I am honored to have received the Liz Gray Erickson 1989 Internship, through which I could positively impact a disadvantaged community. Thank you.