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Summer Teaching Fellowship

This Summer, Begin Your Career in Education Reform

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 Alum

My fellow superseded my expectations!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 a teacher recruitment and preparation program. STF is designed to introduce college juniors of color who are passionate about student success and social justice to teaching within Uncommon's classrooms. Fellows develop the skills necessary for leading high-achieving urban classrooms across Uncommon’s networks through the mentorship, collaboration, and hands-on experience STF 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, Newark, New York City, Rochester, and Troy. Fellows come from college campuses across the United States. As a Fellow, you will work and teach in one of Uncommon’s schools with the support of a Mentor Teacher, Summer Academy Director, and STF Staff. You will also engage in a range of professional development sessions. To build cohort community, Fellows also take part in fun social and cultural events together.

The program runs from early June to late July for Boston, Newark elementary and middle schools, New York City, Rochester, and Troy,  and mid-June to early August for Newark high school. For the seven - eight week cycle, Fellows receive the following:

  • $3,500 - $4,000 stipend
  • Travel stipend
  • Dormitory-style housing or a housing stipend

A Day in the Life of the Program

On a typical day during STF, Fellows will engage in the following activities:

  • Report to host schools 7:00am – 4pm. Fellows observe classrooms, teach, and tutor small groups of students with the support and guidance of a Mentor Teacher or Summer Academy Director.
  • Attend professional development sessions in the evenings after work (no more than 2-3 times per week). These sessions are led by leaders and master teachers within both Uncommon’s network 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.
  • Have fun! Past cycles have included musicals and plays, visits to city landmarks, and a range of team-building activities.  


More than a summer teaching opportunity, STF prepares Fellows for full-time teaching positions with Uncommon after graduation: over 50 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 site working with Fellows as one of their most rewarding professional expeiences.

Alum 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.

How to Apply

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 2016
  • Eligible to work in the United States
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Full availability from the first week of June to the last week of July 2015 for Boston, Newark elementary and middle schools, New York City, Rochester, and Troy, and mid-June to early August for Newark high school Fellows.

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.

September 1, 2014

STF application opens. Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply early.

September 9 - March 15, 2014

First round video responses. Selected candidates from this round will be invited to an STF host school region for in-person interviews.

November 1 – March 20, 2015

In-person interviews. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis once the application opens. Selected candidates will be contacted with date options.

November 8 – March 28, 2015

Candidates notified of a spot in the 2014 STF cohort (rolling basis: candidates will be notified 1 – 2 weeks after their in-person interview).

March 2, 2015

STF application closes.

Early to mid-June, 2015*

STF 2015 begins.

Late July to early August, 2015

STF 2015 completes.

*Specific program start and end dates will be available in February 2015 and differ based on region (early June to late July for Boston, Troy, Rochester, New York City and Newark elementary, and middle, and mid-June to early August for Newark high school).
The application to the Summer Teaching Fellowship is available through Uncommon’s job board. Please click here to register for Uncommon’s job board and access the STF application.

Application and Interview Prep Webinars

Join Associate Director of Recruitment, Larnell Vickers and an STF alumnus for one of the following webinars:
“An Uncommon Summer: Application and Interview Prep for the Summer Teaching Fellowship”
This webinar will provide details on submitting a strong application for STF, best practices in the in-person interview,  and will allow participants to hear from an alumnus of the program currently teaching with Uncommon. Please click on a date to register for the webinar.
Wednesday, October 29th: 4:00-5:00 PM

Wednesday, November 19th: 4:00-5:00 PM

Wednesday, January 28th: 4:00-5:00 PM

Wednesday, February 11th: 4:00-5:00 PM


In what cities are Fellows placed?
We offer placements in Boston, Newark, New York City, Rochester, and Troy. Candidates can indicate their choice of location on the application and will be notified of specific STF placement sites in the spring.

How many Fellows are accepted into the program?
Uncommon will accept up to 100 Fellows for the 2015 cycle.

Is this a paid internship?
Yes. Boston, Newark elementary and middle, New York City, Rochester, and Troy Fellows receive a stipend of $3,500 for the seven-week cycle; Newark high school Fellows receive a stipend of $4,000 for the eight-week cycle.

Will housing be provided?
Yes. We provide dormitory-style housing in each region. Fellows have the option to opt out of STF housing and receive a 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, though 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 at the k-6 level in Boston, Troy and Rochester; and k-12 in New York City and Newark. You will be able to indicate your grade level interest on the application.

I graduate in December of 2016: can I apply to the program for Summer 2015?

If you are a December 2016 graduate, please apply to STF for the Summer 2016 cycle. For admittance in Summer 2015, you must be graduating in Spring of 2016.


I am in a five-year program: can I apply to the program for Summer 2015?

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. For admittance in the summer 2014 cycle you must be graduating in spring 2016.
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.

Please also view the Uncommon Schools general FAQs.

For more information on The Summer Teaching Fellowship, contact or use our "Contact Us" form and select "Recruitment."

Summer Teaching Fellowship Uncommon Application – Instructions

  1. Go to
  2. Click Apply. You will be taken to Uncommon’s career opportunities page.
  3. Click “register”, and follow the full instructions on creating a profile. Click continue/next.
  4. You will be prompted to submit your resume. Please ensure that you have tailored your resume to the STF application. Click “continue”.
  5. You will be informed that you have successfully registered. Click “login”, and enter the username (the email address used) and password you just created.
  6. You will be taken to a list of all Uncommon job openings. Scroll to “Summer Teaching Fellowship”. Click on the title.
  7. You will be taken to the STF job description.
  8. After reading the STF job description, click the link at the bottom of the page: “Apply for the Summer Teaching Fellowship”.
  9. Answer all required questions. 
  10. Submit your application.