Ann Lambert is a Second Year Teaching Fellow at the Irving Middle School in Roslindale, MA When beginning to think about their future, it is not uncommon for job-seekers to be asking questions like:
- “What’s in it for me?”
- “How will this position help me progress in the long run?”
- “What are the perks to working for this organization over another?”
Part of the answer to these questions lies in the opportunities for career and professional development that an organization provides. Knowing the pathways taken by those that have gone before you can be a valuable insight into what the future holds for you as well.
At Citizen Schools, second year Teaching Fellows are provided with job search support such as personal career advisors, resume and cover letter workshops, and a career fair with over 25 participating organizations that want to recruit Citizen Schools talent.
As a result, graduating Teaching Fellows pursue a number of paths in diverse fields. The four main career pathways are these:
Classroom Teaching: After discovering he wanted to be closer to “the front line of education”, Chris Conroy joined the TF Class of 2008. The opportunity to instruct, work within the Boston Public School system, and communicate with families and community members gave him the opportunity to see his students’ lives and development from a very broad perspective and in turn allowed the kids to “shine a little light into my life.” Chris has since become a special education teacher at Codman Academy where he strives to create a positive and supportive classroom culture for his students. Chris teaches ten students from grades 9 through 12 in a classroom called the Higher Learning Institute, for students having difficulty accessing mainstream curriculum. Chris says his experience at Citizen Schools prepared him for the “complexity of working in a school system.” It was during his time as a Teaching Fellow that he learned to “respect the young people I worked with and where they come from.” What started at Citizen Schools has become a dedication to “meeting students where they are.”
Nonprofit Leadership: Emily Msall came to Citizen Schools right after she graduated from Columbia University. In her second year as a Teaching Fellow, Emily had a morning partnership at Citizen Schools Headquarters in Staff Alumni Engagement. While at Headquarters, Emily met with a few Education Pioneers Fellows. As she learned more about the organization, she decided to apply for a position with them. Emily has been with Education Pioneers since her Fellowship ended, working first as a Program Associate and now as the Manager of National Admissions. She is still involved with Citizen Schools, serving as the 2009 Class Marshall and volunteering to be a resource for current fellows. Emily knows that her time at Citizen Schools prepared her for her work, teaching her how to balance many responsibilities at once and how to communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders. During her time with Citizen Schools, Emily also learned that her passion lies not in the classroom, but rather in the behind-the-scenes work of supporting other people to do their job well.
Public Policy and Advocacy: “Citizen Schools was an amazing collection of smart and passionate people,” says Ben Duda. “We could achieve as much as we wanted to. There were leaders, inspiring teachers, and higher-order thinkers that I had not had exposure to in the non-profit sector. After Citizen Schools, I knew more about how to articulate and pursue outcomes and strategies.” After the fellowship, in 2006, Ben earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy with a focus on Urban Policy and Non-profit Management from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. In Baltimore, he also served in a mayoral fellowship and as the graduate assistant at Innovation High School. Currently, Ben is the Executive Director of AmeriCorps Alums, which is an organization that, among other things, works to highlight the pathways that AmeriCorps Alumni take.
For Profit Sector: Valerie worked with Citizen Schools from 2001 to 2003 as a Teaching Fellow at the McCormack Middle School in Massachusetts. The Fellowship taught Valerie how to be a dynamic communicator. “I had to learn the facets of creative communicating and instruction,” she says. Along with communication, Valerie learned team management, a skill that she has brought with her to Goulston and Storrs, the law firm where she currently works. The thirteen-year-old energy that was so hard to harness as a Teaching Fellow taught her a lot about group management and motivation. So how did she end up in a law firm? After the Fellowship, Valerie went to law school and spent her summers interning at fair-housing practices. “In every place I’ve lived, I have been curious about neighborhoods and communities – the history, the housing choices, the availability.” She now works for the Goulston and Storrs where she deals with for-profit and non-profit developers to create affordable housing in Boston.
These snapshots provide an idea for the kind of growth and development that Citizen Schools fosters for its Teaching Fellows in an effort to ensure their continued success after they depart from the organization.
Need more convincing? Below, you can find a list of organizations where Teaching Fellow Alumni have worked.
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