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Summer Teaching Fellowship


Begin your career in education reform as a Summer Teaching Fellow.

STF was the first time I had been around this many people who were as passionate as I was about urban education reform. It was stimulating, invigorating, and reassuring to know that there were other people in the world who cared so much about student success. After every conversation or workshop with my cohort members, I felt inspired and motivated to strive for the best and keep doing the work that I am doing.”

-STF Alumnus

During my Fellowship, I was challenged by the people in my cohort and by the thoughtful and strategically planned experiences that make up this powerful program. Everything from professional development sessions, to student interactions, to mentor teacher guidance, to cohort meetings added a new layer of knowledge, joy, and consciousness. That summer shaped so much of my thinking. Five years later, the STF experience is one that I will cherish as I continue to grow in this profession.”

-STF Alumnus

My fellow superseded my expectations! Beyond looking for ways to improve and becoming a better teacher, I expected for the fellow to be passionate and open-minded, and she was all of these things and more.”

-STF Mentor Teacher


STF Clip from Uncommon Schools on Vimeo.


The Summer Teaching Fellowship (STF) is designed to introduce college juniors to teaching and urban education reform through experience in Uncommon’s classrooms and tailored professional development opportunities. Fellows develop the skills necessary for leading high-achieving urban classrooms through the mentorship, collaboration, and hands-on experience Uncommon Schools provides.

The Impact and Importance of Diversity in the Classroom

Uncommon Schools recognizes the importance of building a talented staff of teachers who reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our scholars.  While excellent teachers of all identities and backgrounds serve our scholars, teachers and leaders of color enable students to see themselves within the strong educators who lead their classrooms each and every day. STF is part of Uncommon's commitment to attracting, hiring, and retaining teachers from underrepresented backgrounds in order to enrich our scholars' learning experiences. To learn more about our commitment to diversity, please click here.

Program Description

STF is currently offered in Boston (MA), Newark (NJ), Brooklyn (NY), Rochester (NY), and Troy (NY). Fellows come from college campuses across the United States to observe, learn from, and co-teach with Mentor Teachers who are currently full-time, high-performing teachers within our Uncommon schools. The format and experience of the fellowship varies by region and the grade level in which a Fellow has been placed.

Most Fellows will support their Mentor Teacher by tutoring, grading, and leading individual or small group student instruction during the end of the regular school year. When the regular school year ends and Summer Academy commences, Fellows progress to leading instruction for a full class of students, allowing for direct teaching experience still with the support and guidance of a Mentor. Fellows receive regular feedback and coaching from STF Staff, their Summer Academy Director, and other school leaders. Depending on the grade level, Fellows may also lesson plan and build curriculum for their class with the support of their Mentor Teacher and Summer Academy Director.

In addition to teaching experience, Fellows will assist with a variety of work inside and outside of the classroom, including organizing student events, conferencing with families, developing mentoring relationships with students, and assisting with the set-up of classrooms for summer school.

Fellows will also participate in summer professional development, as well as regular meetings with their Mentor and/or Summer Academy Director. Fellows will have many opportunities to gain the experience and support necessary to develop their teaching skills. By the end of the summer, Summer Teaching Fellows will be strong candidates for full-time teaching positions to begin after completion of their senior year.

Program Structure

Our program runs from late May/early June to late July/early August in all 5 of our regions. The program itself is between 7-10 weeks long, varying by region and grade level. During the program, Fellows receive:

  • $3,500 – $4,000 stipend (varies by region)
  • Travel stipend ($150 – $400, varies by region)
  • Provided dormitory-style housing (or an additional stipend for Fellows who opt out of housing and find their own accommodation for summer)
  • Meals are only provided at mandatory professional development sessions and include lunch. Fellows are responsible for the cost of their own meals most days of the week. Fellows may have the opportunity to visit schools in other regions and transportation and meals will be provided during these trips. 

The first few weeks of the program may look different than the ones to follow. During that time, Fellows will have an STF program orientation where they will receive professional development and the opportunity to build cohort culture. Following that, Fellows will be in classrooms during the last few weeks of the school year where they develop skills and knowledge to aid in their success during Summer Academy. Examples of tasks and activities that a Fellow may engage in are:  

  • Reporting to your host school—Fellows typically get to school at around 7:00am and leave by around 4:30pm.
  • Mentor teacher check-ins— meeting your Mentor Teacher and getting to know him/her.
  • Observations— observing your Mentor Teacher or other teachers in their classrooms.
  • Prepping for Summer Academy— gathering materials, information, and building content knowledge necessary before you begin teaching or co-teaching in your Summer Academy classroom.
  • Daily routines and structures of our schools— learning about how our Uncommon Schools operate on a daily basis and the standard that is set for our scholars.
  • Lesson planning— beginning to write lesson plans and practice executing.
  • Professional development sessions— attending sessions led by leaders and master teachers within Uncommon and the larger education reform landscape. PD Topics include Lesson Planning, Classroom Management, Teach Like a Champion techniques, and panel discussions on education reform and the charter school movement.
  • Culture building activities— participating in activities hosted by the STF team or Summer Academy Directors.

After the first few weeks, Summer Academy will commence at which point Fellows will report to their Summer Academy site on a daily basis. Please see below for examples of tasks and actives Fellows may engage in during this time:

  • Reporting to your Summer Academy site—Fellows typically report to their Summer Academy site at 7:00am and leave by around 4:30pm. Length of days vary, as Fellows may have mandatory cohort meetings or professional development sessions after the end of the summer school day.
  • Observations— observing your Mentor teacher or other teachers in their classrooms.
  • Teaching or co-teaching— executing your lesson plans with scholars either independently or with the help of your Mentor Teacher.
  • Task time at home— lesson planning for the week or preparing for the next day of teaching.
  • Professional development sessions— hosted within their region by either Summer Academy Directors or the STF team.
  • Culture building activities— participating in activities hosted by the STF team or Summer Academy Directors.


More than a summer teaching opportunity, STF prepares Fellows for full-time teaching positions with Uncommon after graduation: over 90 STF alumni currently teach full time with Uncommon Schools. Program alumni have gone on to become lead teachers, STF Mentors, and Summer Academy Directors within Uncommon. Alumni have also established strong bonds with one another and continued to build relationships and community long after the program ends.  Alumni describe STF as challenging, rewarding, and ultimately life-changing. Mentor Teachers and Summer Academy Directors cite working with Fellows as one of their most rewarding professional experiences.

Alumni Services

The STF experience extends beyond your summer fellowship. Uncommon Schools provides continued support and mentorship to program alumni through graduate school and competitive program application support; opportunities to receive coaching from current teachers and leaders; and alumni social events. Uncommon also offers a Campus Ambassadors program, where STF alumni receive stipends to share the impact of Uncommon Schools and STF on their campuses.

Candidate Qualities & Program Requirements

As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability. The strongest STF candidates exhibit the following traits:

  • Strong interest in pursuing teaching in urban environments after college.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and urban education reform.
  • Evidence of professionalism, openness to feedback and strong work ethic.
  • Desire to learn from others and work in collaborative environments.
  • High degree of self-reflection, punctuality, willingness to learn and sense of urgency.

The minimum program requirements are as follows:

  • College junior (undergraduate level) expected to graduate in Spring 2017
  • Eligible to work in the United States
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Full availability from the last week of May to the first week of August 2016

Important Dates & Deadlines*

STF applications are considered on a rolling basis, and we strongly encourage candidates to apply early in order to reserve your spot in the Fellowship.

*Specific program start and end dates will be available in February 2016 and may differ based on region.

October 1, 2015               
STF application opens. Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply early.

October 15 – March 15, 2016     
First round video responses. Selected candidates from this round will be invited to an STF host school region for in-person interviews.

November 2 – March 25, 2016
In-person interviews. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis once the application opens. Selected candidates will be contacted with interview date options.

November 9 – March 31, 2016     
Candidates notified of a spot in the 2016 STF cohort (rolling basis: candidates will be notified 1 – 2 weeks after their in-person interview).

March 4, 2016  
STF application closes.

Late May to early June, 2016        
STF 2016 begins.

Late July to early August, 2016    
STF 2016 completes.

How to Apply for the Summer Teaching Fellowship

  1. Go to
  2. Click Apply. You will be taken to a list of all Uncommon job openings.
  3. Scroll to “Summer Teaching Fellowship” and click on the title. You will be taken to the STF job description.
  4. After reading the STF job description, click the link at the bottom of the page: “Apply for the Summer Teaching Fellowship”.
  5. Follow the steps to create a log in, upload your resume, and answer all required questions on the application.
  6. Proof read all answers to the questions and submit your application.


In what cities are Fellows placed?
STF is currently offered in Boston (MA), Newark (NJ), Brooklyn (NY), Rochester (NY), and Troy (NY). Candidates can indicate their choice of location on the application and will be notified of specific STF placement sites in the spring. Please note that positions in your preferred location may not always be available.

Is this a paid internship?
Yes. Fellows receive an overall Fellowship stipend of $3,500- $4,000 and an additional travel stipend of $150-$400. The amount of the stipend will vary by the region in which a Fellow is placed.

Will housing be provided?
Yes. We provide dormitory-style housing. For Fellows who opt out of the housing we provide and find their own accommodation for the summer, we will provide an additional housing stipend.

Do I need to be an education major?
No. A major in education or prior teaching experience is not required for admittance into the program; however, the strongest candidates exhibit a demonstrated passion for working with students and an interest in pursuing teaching as a profession. 

What grade level will I be teaching?
Fellows may be placed in any classroom from K-12. You will be able to indicate your grade level interest on the application. As with region, please note that your preferred grade level interest may not always be available.

I graduate in December of 2016. Can I apply to the program for Summer 2016?
Yes. If you are a December 2016 graduate, you are eligible to apply to STF for the Summer 2016 cycle.

I am in a five-year program. Can I apply to the program for Summer 2016?
If you are in a five-year program, please apply to STF for the summer between your fourth and fifth year. For example, if you will complete your degree program in Spring 2017, you should apply for Summer 2016.

Can graduate students apply for STF?
STF is only open to college undergraduates who are rising seniors. For admittance in the Summer 2016 cycle, you must be graduating in Spring 2017.Uncommon has a range of other positions that would be suitable for recent graduates and graduate students. Please visit our Job Board to view current openings.

For more information about the Summer Teaching Fellowship, please contact