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Breakthrough Overview

Breakthrough San Francisco is a college access and teacher training program. In 2023-24, we’re serving 232 students from across San Francisco; 86% will be the first in their families to attend a four-year college, while 91% are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. They make an eight-year commitment – from the summer after fourth grade until their high school graduation. Through our program, we work to ensure they are academically successful, on the path to college, and celebrated for all pieces of their identity. We’re proud that 100% of students who’ve graduated from our program in the past six years have gone on to college, including 93% at four-year schools.

In addition, through our summer teacher residency, we train outstanding high school and college students for education careers. Each summer, our Teaching Fellows bring energy, commitment, and a willingness to learn; they’re trained and supported by a corps of Instructional Coaches, experienced professional classroom teachers who review their lesson plans, observe their teaching, and provide ongoing feedback. Because of this successful partnership, our TFs leave the summer inspired and prepared; 47% of TFs who’ve graduated from college in the past decade are currently working in the education sector, most as classroom teachers in urban public schools.

General Job Description

Instructional Coaches (ICs) are experienced and successful professional educators who provide content-specific support and mentoring for Breakthrough’s Teaching Fellows (TFs) and engage fully in the Breakthrough San Francisco community. Each IC manages four TFs, leading weekly department meetings, observing classes, reviewing lesson plans, and meeting frequently with individual TFs regarding their ongoing work. ICs also observe TFs in Advisory and help ensure that time is used productively. Overall, ICs support the personal and professional growth of Breakthrough TFs through their first teaching experience, while ensuring a high level of instruction for our students. ICs also receive professional development in order to broaden their coaching and leadership skills and set them up for future coaching opportunities in their own schools and districts.

Specific Instructional Coach Duties

Pre-Summer: May – early June 2024

Time commitment: Approximately 25 – 30 hours, including three training sessions as well as curriculum refinement and teacher training preparation, to be done independently.

  • complete three training sessions in May (typically on weeknights via Zoom, depending on the availability of the entire IC team)
  • complete pre-summer readings
  • refine existing unit plans in specific content areas
  • create assessments for content-specific units
  • familiarize yourself with our Summer 2024 Advisory Curriculum
  • meet with program staff to plan Teacher Orientation workshops

Teacher Orientation: June 10 – 14, 2024

Time commitment: Approximately 9 am – 4 pm daily, on-site at SF Day School. If your school year commitments extend beyond June 10, we’re happy to have a conversation about your situation.

  • help facilitate teacher training on topics such as classroom culture, lesson planning, and teaching practices
  • participate fully in all Orientation workshops and rapidly build professional relationships with TFs
  • guide TFs through lesson planning, practice teaching, and rigorous preparation for teaching experience

Summer Program: June 17 – July 26, 2024

Time commitment: Approximately 25 – 30 hours/week. Mon – Thu hours are 8 am – 2 pm, on-site at SF Day School, possibly finishing earlier some days; some work off-site via email or phone in the afternoons may be needed. Fridays will be largely off or used for completing work as needed except for Career Day (July 12), Community Day (July 19), and Closing Day (July 26), which will be on-site.

  • provide four TFs with support and regular feedback as they design and revise lesson plans
  • hold TFs accountable for high expectations, including meeting all deadlines
  • observe each TF in class at least twice weekly
  • observe each TF in Advisory at least once weekly
  • conduct weekly one-on-one debrief sessions with TFs, providing concrete feedback
  • plan and lead departmental meetings once per week
  • attend grade-level meetings once per week
  • lead at least one professional development session
  • check in and communicate regularly with the IC Manager and the Director of Curriculum and Instruction regarding TF progress
  • engage fully in the Breakthrough San Francisco community

Wrap-Up Week: July 29 – 31, 2024 (done remotely)

  • submit a final narrative evaluation and letter of recommendation for each assigned TF
  • work with TFs to provide revisions and suggestions on curriculum for next summer’s TFs and coaches
  • evaluate the overall summer program


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • outstanding track record as a professional classroom teacher for at least three years (preferably in grades 5-8)
  • outstanding knowledge of subject matter and broad knowledge of available resources
  • excellent communication, presentation, writing, and organizational skills
  • people-centered approach: ability to hold others to high standards while also offering support and maintaining positive relationships
  • ability to reflect proactively on and participate in discussions around identity, race, gender, and issues of social justice
  • prior experience with Breakthrough or Summerbridge highly desirable
  • familiarity with San Francisco schools highly desirable

Compensation: $9,000 stipend

Tagged as: Middle School

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