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Political Science Major Prepares for Teaching Career Through Internship With Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia

Citing the critical thinking skills she gained in the classrooms of Dickinson, Alette Kligman '20's internship with Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia is applying them to real-world settings.

Alette Kligman '20, Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia


Political science.

Internship title:

Teaching fellow.

How I got this internship:

I got this internship by networking with Dickinson alumni, faculty, staff and/or parents.

What I do, day to day:

I am responsible for planning lessons, teaching and mentoring middle-school students in the Breakthrough summer school program. Breakthrough's mission is twofold: Provide students in under-resourced communities with academic support, and train aspiring teachers to make a difference in their future classrooms. Each day, I teach sections of eighth grade literature and debate. Engaging with students in these classes is always the highlight of my day.

Other internships:

Last spring, I interned at the Carlisle branch of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region. It was fun to learn about nonprofits, participate in outreach efforts and interact with the Carlisle community. During the fall semester, I will be interning with Cumberland County's Court Appointed Special Advocates program, which trains volunteers to advocate on behalf of dependent children in the county.

Most valuable part of this experience:

Being a teaching fellow at Breakthrough has given me the unique opportunity to run my own classroom before I enter the workforce and have to determine whether that's what I want to do permanently. I love participating in a program that gives me non-stop classroom experience! Every day, I meet with my instructional coach, a professional teacher, who observes my classes and provides feedback. He has been an amazing resource! With his help, I have developed not only my teaching skills but also a plan for how I want to move forward with a career in education. Receiving personalized mentorship from someone established in the field has been incredibly helpful.

Advice for students considering internships:

Go for it! I enjoy my classes and clubs, but I feel that I have gained the most knowledge from actually experiencing the fields I want to one day enter. My classes have taught me the critical thinking skills needed for success; my internships have taught me how to apply that in a real-world setting.

How this internship has helped me:

As I enter the second half of my Dickinson education, I look forward to focusing my studies. Interning has helped me realize what I didn't know and then identify where I want to channel my energy for the next two years.

Post-Dickinson plans:

Still working on that! I hope to do something that involves children, and my internships have helped me refine what those opportunities could be.

Learn more about internships at Dickinson.


Published August 28, 2018