Chris Mangogna taught science at Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia at Drexel in the summer of 2016. Chris completed his undergraduate degree (natural science) and master’s degree (education) from University of Pittsburgh. This year, he teaches both 6th and 7th grade science at Stone Hill Middle School in Ashburn, Virginia. We are so proud of Chris’ transformation from a Breakthrough teaching fellow to a professional educator. We wish him the best of luck during his first year as a public school teacher!
Here is what he took from his teaching fellow experience at Breakthrough:
The most valuable thing I learned while being a teaching fellow at Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia was how important collaboration with both teachers and students is to ensure the best classroom experience. Breakthrough gave me the opportunity to develop the skills I needed to create a collaborative classroom where students were just as involved in facilitating classroom learning as the teacher.
I felt Breakthrough prepared me for graduate school and student teaching by giving me exposure to a real-world classroom experience. Teaching, I often was able to use real-life examples from my time as a teaching fellow that many of my peers in graduate school did not have. Breakthrough also helped build my confidence going into student teaching.
Breakthrough helped me build a strong foundation of leadership by providing ample opportunities to practice and grow my skills over the course of the internship. The students teach you just as much as you teach them. The most memorable lesson I learned from my students was: the harder they are pushed the harder they desire to succeed. This mentality to succeed was something my students were able to teach me, and it’s a mindset I carry with me every day.