Before they step in front a classroom for the first time, some of Penn GSE’s teacher apprentices are receiving an unconventional lesson — from high school students at Kensington Health Science Academy.
This summer, students from the high school are participating in a “reverse internship” at Penn GSE, as The Notebook detailed in a recent story. The interns are giving their perspective about school and life to new students in Penn GSE’s Urban Teaching Apprentice Program.
Meeting with the interns from KHSA is one of the ways UTAP introduces new teaching apprentices to Philadelphia. As they do their summer coursework, apprentices also work in youth-serving summer programs located in the neighborhood where they will teach in the fall. Apprentices get to know the families living in the school catchment area while taking courses that examine the deep historical and sociological structures that shape these communities and schools.
During the school year, these apprentices will log more than 800 hours of student teaching, double the national average for teacher education programs. When they graduate Penn GSE, these apprentices will be prepared to bring a research-based practice to a classroom in an urban district like Philadelphia.
“Here [at Penn] they are not learning how to be the best teacher or how to be the perfect teacher. They are learning how to help students in the best way,” KHSA rising senior Savio Marku told the Notebook.
Kensington Health Science Academy also partners with Penn GSE on the Penn Futures Project, a unique collaboration with Penn’s schools of Nursing and Social Policy and Practice that is training the next generation of teachers, social workers, and nurses how to collaborate in the field.
The interns from KHSA told the Notebook that this experience has also benefited them. Over the course of the summer, they interacted with professors, critiqued reading assignments, and participated in graduate-level classes.
“They learn from us and I’m also learning from them,” KHSA intern Emanuel Guzman told the Notebook.