How to become a part of the Harvard Teaching Fellows.
By CAROLINE CRONIN
- How did you decide to do HTF and at what point at the end of senior year/near graduation did you decide to do it?
- How is it complimentary to your undergrad career and in what ways is it totally different?
- What cool faculty have you been influenced by and has such influence changed your future plans?
- What would you want someone considering entering the program to know?
- I took USW35 my Junior spring, which is when I heard about HTF and started thinking seriously about teaching as a first career. The application to HTF is pretty early (this year it’s November for Seniors) and I was pretty sure I wanted to teach by the time I applied to HTF. When I found out I got in, I decided that’s what I wanted to do! You have to accept HTF before second semester senior year, because that’s when the program starts. While I was considering HTF, I looked into a lot of other teaching programs, attended a lot of OCS events around education and nonprofits, and met with recruiters for Teach for America. Learning about other pathways into teaching helped me decide that a) I wanted to be a teacher and b) HTF would be the best route for me.
- What’s so cool about HTF is that all of us come to the program with vastly different exposure to education. Most of us concentrated in something totally unrelated (I was HEB, we have some engineers and a lot of econ concentrators who teach math now). We get to draw on all of the content we learned as undergrads, while learning totally new things about what it means to be a teacher. The first class I took with HTF during senior spring really was a crash course into all sorts of thinkers, frameworks, vocabulary, and skills that I use every day without thinking about it as a teacher. So you get to take the content you learned and loved as an undergrad and then learn a totally new way of thinking about it. What’s also amazing is that everyone in the program went to Harvard, but most of us didn’t know each other till we started. In my last semester at Harvard, I met some of the people who are now my closest friends, colleagues, and roommates.
- As a science teacher, my faculty mentor in HTF is Victor Pereira. He is just the coolest and I think everyone in HTF agrees even if they aren’t in the science cohort. Victor was a biology teacher in Boston for 14 years and in 2012 he was the MA recipient of the Amgen award for science teaching excellence (so he’s fairly good at what he does 😉 ). I talked to Victor a lot while I was considering HTF, and learning from him about what it meant to be a science teacher really influenced my decision. The HTF faculty are so different from a lot of the faculty you’ll have as an undergrad because they aren’t just professors; they’re coaches and mentors as well. And they take those roles really seriously. You can tell they care enormously about our success, and they are dedicated to helping us grow as much as we can.
- If you are considering it even a little bit, you should attend an info session (the next one is on September 22nd in the Barker center) or email firstname.lastname@example.org get more information! You may decide that HTF isn’t for you, but I really truly believe that teaching is an incredible career that more Harvard seniors should consider.