Through Four Weeks for America, a PSC program since 2008, MIT students have the opportunity to work under the guidance of a Teach For America host teacher to develop projects that will have a long-term effect on the participating schools. Such projects often include curriculum development, data analysis, and classroom management strategies. The success of the program at MIT has led Teach For America to create similar models at other universities, including Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. Here, recent MIT participants share their experiences:
YQ Lu ’16:
I've been heavily involved in mentoring and tutoring programs both in high school and now entering into college. I'm thrilled about the opportunity to be exposed to an educational environment radically different from my own experience and, more importantly, the chance to make a sustainable contribution that future classrooms can enjoy long after IAP has ended.
Marissa Stephens ’16:
I have been fortunate to have many people care about my education. From teachers to peers to parents, numerous people have pushed me to put forth my best effort in my education. I know from my time in high school that many students do not have that privilege. I wanted to participate in Four Weeks for America for the chance to pass on the support to students who may not have had the education opportunities that I have had. I want the chance to inspire students to reach their potential, to apply themselves, and to use education as an escape from some of the problems they may face at home.
Nicole Ozminkowski ’15:
The outcomes of the project were much greater than I expected. Not only did I provide my host teacher with resources to help her create a really cool AP Biology class, but I also learned a lot about the school I was working in, the Teach For America lifestyle, and the lives of the students.
Maria Cassidy ’14:
I benefited so much, I think even more than the school or my teacher did. I got an actual picture of what the profession of teaching is like and came to the conclusion I will seriously consider applying for Teach for America. I learned exactly what my problems are when it comes to my own academic life: excuses, whining, disrespect. I found myself motivating students by saying how amazing it is to work hard, but if you’re not passionate about something, act like you are because it’s going to help you in SOME area of your life later...and then realizing I never took my own advice.