Category Archives: Internships

A Day in the Life of a Spring Semester TEP Student

Hi everyone! Spring semester of the Teacher Education Program (TEP) looks very different than a lot of other Ed.M. programs at HGSE. That’s because we are completing full-time teaching practicums for our Massachusetts teaching certification. Here’s what a typical Monday is like for me:

5:20 a.m. – Alarm goes off. Yikes. I hit snooze a bunch of times before eventually rolling out of bed to start my day.

6:15-7:00 a.m. – Commute to my school site. I live kind of far and take the train (MBTA), but I actually don’t mind the long commute at all. I consider my mornings as an important built in time for self-care. I listen to music, drink my coffee, and get mentally ready for the day.  Plus, I get to see this stellar view every day:


Sunrise view of the Boston skyline from Charlestown, MA

7:15 a.m. – School starts! I work in a middle school that has an advisory period every morning. This spring, I am running a book club two days a week during this time for students who need an additional challenge. Every TEP student is required to take on an “additional responsibility” outside of teaching during practicum, so this is mine.

8:15 a.m. – 2:25 p.m. – The rest of school. My mentor teacher and I co-teach four sections of 6th grade ELA. This spring, two of the classes have become my primary responsibility. Between teaching, IEP and team meetings, and a planning period, the day always goes by super fast!


My 6th Grade Classroom!

3:15 p.m. – Arrive at HGSE. Grab a quick snack in Gutman Café. (Gutman chocolate chip cookies are the best afternoon snack on busy days! Seriously – get one. You won’t regret it.) Chat with some friends, catch up on emails, and prepare for my 4:00 class.


Outside Gutman Library

4:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Time for class. Since TEP students start earlier than the rest of the Master’s programs, we technically aren’t required to take courses at HGSE during our spring practicum. But many of us still do since there are so many good classes to choose from. This semester, I’m taking Educating to Transform Society: Preparing Students to Disrupt and Dismantle Racism with Dr. Aaliyah El-Amin. It’s been one of the most powerful classes I’ve taken this year.

7:30 – Finally home! I make dinner, do some last minute review of the next day’s lessons, and occasionally watch some mindless reality TV with my roommates (looking at you The Bachelor…sorry/not sorry).

10:00 – Lights out. Time to sleep and do it all again tomorrow.

Sarah Mintz is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Teacher Education Program, pursuing licensure as a middle school English teacher. She comes to HGSE from Washington, D.C., where she worked at an independent school and a non-profit serving incarcerated youth. Outside of education, she loves to spend her time cooking and exploring the city with friends


Field Experience of Dreams

Is it too early to say that I love my Spring internship? Because it’s been all of one week since I’ve started my field experience position as an intern at WGBH and I am pretty much enamored.

As someone who aspires to create enjoyable educational media for children, the prospect of interning at WGBH was on my “List of Hopeful Grad School Experiences” before I even set foot on HGSE’s campus. WGBH is where so much of the educational programming I loved as a kid—like Arthur, ZOOM, and Between the Lions—was produced, so when I saw an opening for an intern in WGBH’s Digital Kids Production team, I immediately jumped at the chance.

In my first week, I’ve already had the opportunity to meet amazing people (including a few HGSE alums) who share my passion for media-based learning and I’ve been able to start some of the projects I’ll be working on over the length of my time at WGBH. I’m looking forward to a semester of learning about the overall digital production process and contributing to that process to make fun, high-quality media.

It’s been said that first impressions are lasting impressions and if my first week at WGBH is at all representative of the next 3.5 months, I think this internship will be a very meaningful part of my year at Harvard.

Monique Hall is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Technology, Innovation, and Education program. She is passionate about children’s media, ice cream, and educational equity.


Looking Back Over the Semester

I can’t believe the semester is over…. Here are a few of my highlights!



First day at my internship! This internship has been an amazing experience. I was welcomed with open arms and I have had a chance to learn, practice, and improve my school leadership skills!


Arts in Education (AIE) students chose to do a project on changing the negative narrative of menstruation. They hosted a period party where we created art work and discussed our own narratives around periods. Both males and females attended and we all engaged in rich discussion! more information can be found on their website, People Have Periods, including my own period story.


Gallery opening night for R.E.A.L. Talk Exhibit


Tabling for the Alumni of Color Conference with one of my fellow Tri-Chairs.


Me with Dr. Higgins on the last day of class.


Some members of my cohort after our consultancy group with The Principal Center’s Advisory Board. I was also fortunate to complete the Mannequin Challenge with my SLP cohort and The Principal’s Center Advisory Board. It was an epic moment to incorporate work and play with principals from around the country!


Resting Pitch Face-My cohort softball team!


Good times tailgating for the Harvard vs. Yale football game!

I’ve been blessed to have so many good times and memories that I will cherish forever.

Rashaida Melvin is a Master’s of Education candidate in the School Leadership Program. She has taught for three years and is excited about moving from the classroom into leadership. Rashaida is looking forward to serving both teachers and students in the future.

Moving Forward: Teaching After the Election

On election night, anxious but hopeful, I gathered in a small apartment with some Ed School friends to watch the election results stream in. Like much of the country, I was shocked at Donald Trump’s unexpected but decisive victory in the electoral college.

Late in the night, as the election results were becoming increasingly clear and friends were heading home one by one, I received a text from a good friend. He encouraged me to get some rest, adding: “The world needs good teachers.”

Those words were still stuck in my head when, on less than four hours of sleep, I woke at 5:15 AM the next morning to head to my practicum at a local middle school (as part of the Teacher Education Program, I am student-teaching in a sixth grade classroom this year). The day after the election, my 11 and 12-year-old students were unusually quiet and subdued. The students I teach are primarily immigrants and students of color. Many expressed distress over the election results and very real fears of racial violence or family members being deported. It was a rough, sobering day to be a teacher, one that made me realize just how hard – and important – teaching can be. That day at school, my mentor teacher and I did our best to give students the room to process their emotions and concerns and to reassure students that no matter what, they will always find a safe and supportive space in our classroom.

But the work doesn’t stop there. I’ve spent a lot of the last couple of weeks processing what Donald Trump’s presidency and the current political climate might mean for my students – for their rights, for the protection of their families, and for their future opportunities. I have many, many questions and not a whole lot of answers, but I do know this much: in a climate of great uncertainty and heightened bigotry, I have never felt stronger about my decision to teach.

At HGSE, the Teacher Education Program focuses on preparing teachers to work in urban public school classrooms. While I remain committed to urban education, I am reminded that the world needs good teachers everywhere. We need good teachers in rural areas to teach students about difference and empathy. We need good teachers in elite private schools to teach students about privilege. And we need good teachers everywhere to help students develop the compassion, resilience, and critical thinking skills they will need to engage with the world.

I know I still have a lot to learn here at HGSE and in my own practice as an educator, but I have never felt more committed to this work.

Sarah Mintz is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Teacher Education Program, pursuing licensure as a middle school English teacher. She comes to HGSE from Washington, D.C., where she worked at an independent school and a non-profit serving incarcerated youth. Outside of education, she loves to spend her time cooking and exploring the city with friends

Job Search, Already?!


All of these thoughts have circulated in my mind. It is November and the end of the semester is right around the corner. I HAVE to have someplace to work and live when I leave here. Where will I be at this time next year? 

The Career Services Office at HGSE is really good about supporting students during our time here. Currently, fall PERC (Period of Employers Recruiting on Campus) is taking place. During this time employers come to HGSE, host information sessions, and conduct interviews for their open positions. It is a great time to learn about different companies  and learn about positions within the different sectors of education.


Me! After a long day of networking, attending employer info sessions, and going to the Charter School Career Fair.


Attending office hours with the Career Services Office is very valuable as well. I have received great advice from the Associate Director of Career Services, Mary Frazier-Davis, to help me prepare for my transition to working again. The advice that I have received is so helpful and I feel like it is worth sharing!

  1. Find someone to be your professional mentor. This person can give you a wealth of knowledge within the field. You want to find someone that you trust and who has your best interest in mind. This is an invaluable resource that can further put you in touch with other professionals in your field. Imagine how great it would be to easily contact someone and receive any advice that you need for your career.
  2. Find people who are doing your ideal job. Reach out to them and conduct informal interviews. This is a great way to learn about a position and to see if it is a good fit for you. But don’t just find one person, find 10 people. This will give you a broader range of perspectives and will help you create a better picture of what it actually looks and feels like to have the job.
  3. If there is a company that you are interested in working with, reach out! You never know when they may be hiring. Even if your desired position is not available, another similar position may be presented simply because you reached out. By staying silent, you prevent yourself from unexpected and unforeseeable opportunities.
  4. Jobs aren’t always going to come to you. Sometimes you have to go to them. This doesn’t mean be aggressive, but it does mean that you have to actually put in the work to job search, network, and make yourself professionally available.
  5. Explore the network that you already have. Don’t forget about the people that you already know. Normally I like to keep things to myself but since I have been here, I recognize how valuable it is to collaborate with my peers. Because people come from various locations, we all know different people and have different networks. All it takes is a conversation to connect our networks and help each other land a job in our desired location with a company that is already approved by our peers.
  6. Don’t forget, many people get their current jobs because they knew someone at the company. This speaks for itself! Network. It is one of the best ways to find a job. It’s not what you know, but who you know. Cliche, yes. But rather accurate. Usually.
  7. Use LinkedIn wisely and to your advantage to connect with people. I used to shy away from LinkedIn. I have never been the best with social media. But now, I run towards LinkedIn! I think it is such a great resource for establishing and maintaining a professional network. It is also an easy way to see who in your network may know someone else that works with a company that you are interested in and may help you with your next job. I love how you can see who else from your alma mater works with a company. That is a great way to get your foot in the door.
  8. Be open. You may like a position at a company that you have never thought of before. As long as you are able to combine your passions into your job, it is ok! Many people have the false belief that working in education means you work at a school. There are other ways to be an educator. You can work at a nonprofit, a community center, within policy or the government, etc. You never know where you may end up. Just keep an open mind and make sure you are doing something that you are passionate about and enjoy.

In my A333Y School Instructional Leadership:Seminar and Practicum for School Developers class, taught by Dr. Irvin Scott (a professor who would be a phenomenal mentor), students from BINcA, a fully bilingual school in Boston Public Schools, spoke to my class about their school and how they are preparing to think about what they want to do with their future. These young students were completely open and stated that they are not sure what they want to do when they grow up. I made sure to inform them that discovering what you want to do is an ongoing process that I am always clarifying, changing, and refining even as an adult. Having great mentors make navigating your career more bearable. So lean in to receive help and assistance. You weren’t meant to figure life out all on your own!  

Rashaida Melvin is a Master’s of Education candidate in the School Leadership Program. She has taught for three years and is excited about moving from the classroom into leadership. Rashaida is looking forward to serving both teachers and students in the future.

Dimensions of Diversity

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Our ELL class with three students and a teacher from Boston International High School/Newcomers Academy

The teachers and reading specialists at HGSE all have to complete state requirements to earn licensure. One of these requirements is completion of a 2-credit course about ELLs, or English Language Learners. T-210Z1B Dimensions of Diversity: English Language Learners incorporates a mixture of theory and practice.

Everyone in the class is embedded in a practicum, either in a full-time student teaching role or as a reading specialist at a local school. In addition to reading the research about ELLs, we completed assignments to formally observe an ELL class and to interview an ELL about their experience coming to the US, joining a new school system, and learning English.

In our final class session, our instructor, Shireen Al-Adeimi, invited a panel of students and one teacher from Boston International High School and Newcomers Academy. (They have a post on their homepage about their visit to a previous T-210Z1B class!) They shared their experiences and answered our questions before participating in small group mini-lessons. It was really valuable to get feedback from a student; she pointed out strengths and weaknesses in my lesson from the ELL perspective.


Mary Reid Munford is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Teacher Education Program, pursuing licensure as a high school English teacher. She has worked in schools in New Orleans, Mississippi, Colorado, and southern Africa and is interested in how experiential education can make academics come alive for a wide range of students.

An Unforgettable View

To most people, this photo might possibly be the least memorable image of all time.


This is it: The most unforgettable view

But to me it represents a view all too familiar and all too important in shaping my experience this year at HGSE.


This is the view from my student job at the Harvard College Admissions and Financial Aid office.

Because of this job I can enjoy a few extra ($) beers over the weekend. More significantly though–it is this job that connected me with other students to enjoy those beers with.


Pam Liu is a beer-loving yogi who works as a high school math teacher and travels the world on the side. She’s currently a Master’s candidate in the Special Studies program.


Getting Practical with a Practicum

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As a TEP student, we are required to complete a semester of full-time student teaching. Other HGSE programs have practicum requirements such as L&L, PSP, and SLP. In TEP, this spring, I am only taking one half-credit course at HGSE as I spend most of each day at Brighton High School. I have been shadowing, assisting, and teaching in a 10th grade ELA classroom at Brighton since September. In the fall, I helped out two days a week in addition to taking four classes at HGSE. This semester, I am working there full-time for my practicum. While this is a requirement to get licensed to teach in Massachusetts public schools, it is also a key reason that I want to attend graduate school: I wanted to learn more educational theory and add depth to my “teacher toolbox,” but I also wanted to practice incorporating these tools and theories into practice. I wouldn’t be happy in a totally theoretical program.

I am working with a Brighton teacher as my mentor, and she is gradually releasing the reins as I take more and more responsibility in the classroom. I also have an advisor from HGSE, a former teacher and current Ph.D. student, who visits for structured observations and debriefs to help me reflect on my teaching.

After being a grad student in summer school and for a fall semester at Harvard, I now feel like much more of a teacher.

Mary Reid Munford is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Teacher Education Program, pursuing licensure as a high school English teacher. She has worked in schools in New Orleans, Mississippi, Colorado, and southern Africa and is interested in how experiential education can make academics come alive for a wide range of students.

I got HIRED!

Twice a week, I intern at Cambridge School Volunteers (CSV), a non-profit organization that supports the academic and personal success of Cambridge Public School students. I work closely with the College Readiness Mentoring Program which assists high school seniors, some who are the first in their families to apply to college, with college applications and financial aid. As a first-generation college student myself, I know all too well the adversities students may face during the college application process. One of my goals was to make an impact in the lives of underrepresented students and my Program Assistant position at CSV allows me to do just that.

Ivan Valdovinos (Left) and Diane Sherlock (Right) HGSE alum.

Ivan Valdovinos (Left) and Diane Sherlock (Right) HGSE alum.

During the summer, I began my search for an internship that would complement my course load. I browsed through the Hired system—a Harvard Graduate School of Education resource where internship and job postings are available—in order to secure a paid internship. The Career Services Office also hosts an Internship Expo during Orientation Week where you can speak face-to-face with potential employers. I met my boss at the Internship Expo which helped me land an interview and eventually helped secure my internship! Here are some tips to help you during the internship process:

Tip #1: Meet with a career counselor

Work diligently and face-to-face with a career counselor in order to explore the internship process.

Tip #2: Browse the Hired system

Compose a list of potential employers and do your research!

Tip #3: Attend the Internship Expo

Bring copies of your polished resume and dress professionally! You may encounter your future employer.

Tip #4: Secure a for-credit, work-study, or unpaid Internship

Good luck, have fun, and get HIRED!

Ivan Valdovinos is a Master’s in Education candidate in the Education Policy and Management Program. He is a first-generation college student who seeks to develop culturally sensitive intervention programs for underrepresented students.

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Want to make the most out of HGSE? Consider an Internship.

When I decided to come to HGSE I chose it for the academic program, a peer group I knew I would learn a ton from, and the opportunity to get the perspective of a different part of the country.  I’ve gotten exactly what I was hoping for in that respect, but I’ve also gotten something else that I hadn’t realized I would: a fantastic internship experience.

I intern at MIT’s LBGT center, called the Rainbow Lounge, and I help create and put on programming for MIT’s LBGT and ally community.

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