There’s Always More to Learn About Teaching

By Erin Galvin — For the past 10 days, I have been participating in Teacher Training at Breakthrough Fort Worth.

Training has been a great opportunity to learn about instructional strategies, classroom management skills, and collaborate with fellow teachers about our lesson plans.  While this is my second summer teaching with the program, I am amazed by how much I learned from training.

Training has made me realize that I can always learn more about how to be a better teacher! In order to give you an idea about some important elements of training, here are my three favorite activities.

1)    Middle School Adventures  – This took place during the first week of training.  I went with my team of teachers to visit the middle schools that Breakthrough students attend.  (Note: Teachers and students are grouped into teams at Breakthrough.  For the most part, students are taught by the teachers on their team and have classes with other students on their team. I am on the University of Texas Longhorn Team).  Our school visits consisted of taking a team picture in front of each school, and then driving to the next middle school.

Also, it was a great opportunity to see where my students go to school and get to know my team of teachers! After Middle School Adventures, we reflected on our experiences as a staff.  We also heard from 5 current students about their experiences at school and Breakthrough.  I found this to be a powerful encounter, and it reaffirmed my decision to come back to Fort Worth this summer.  Our students have a passion for learning and strive for excellence in all aspects of their lives, which inspires me to strive for excellence as both a teacher and student.

2)    Family Night – This was by far my favorite event during Teacher Training.  Family Night took place during the second week of training. It was an opportunity for students and parents to meet their teachers as well as review Breakthrough expectations.  I enjoyed meeting some of my students and their families as well as seeing some of my students from last year!

3)    TLCs – TLCs stand for Teaching Learning Collaborative.  As a teacher, this was the most beneficial part of training.  Throughout the second week, we taught mock lessons in teams of 2-3 teachers and individual lessons on Friday to our fellow teachers, mentor teachers, and administrators.  At the end of each lesson, teachers and administrators gave  “appreciations and tweaks.”  As a teacher, I found this to be extremely helpful, especially hearing the tweaks.  It made me aware of the portions of my lessons that I can improve for next week, such as more variety in my active participation prompts or writing in larger print on the board.  I am looking forward to implementing these changes in my lessons that I will teach to my students next week!


Erin Galvin is a rising senior majoring in Elementary Education and Mathematics.  This summer she is teaching at Breakthrough Fort Worth, an affiliate of Breakthrough Collaborative.  The program provides highly motivated students from underserved populations with a six-year academically intense enrichment program with the ultimate goal that the students will graduate from a four-year university.  The primary goal of the middle school portion of the program is to prepare students to enter college-preparatory schools. This is Erin’s second year with the program, and she will be teaching 8th grade Geometry and Algebra. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Erin will be serving as the Math Department Chair where she will work closely with a Mentor Teacher and her fellow math teachers to provide their students with quality math instruction.


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