Real teaching experience. Exceptional training.

Summer Teaching Fellowship

Are you a college junior interested in a career in teaching? Every summer, Uncommon Schools welcomes a select group of Summer Teaching Fellows (STF) to its nationally-renowned pipeline program for teachers and leaders of color.

Submit Your Application

The Best Start to Your Teaching Career

Being a Fellow is one of the best pathways to becoming a certified, full-time teacher. Here’s how:

Step 1

Apply to STF

Submit an application for STF 2023 during the fall or spring semester of your junior year in college.

Step 2


Begin (and complete) your STF program in Summer 2023. Meet your cohort members, learn from teacher leads, and more.

Step 3

Full-Time Offer

At the end of the program, receive—and interview for—a full-time offer to join Uncommon after you graduate from college.

Step 4

Get Certified

Learn how to become certified to teach, including information about the Relay Graduate School of Education.

Step 5

Teach Full Time!

Being your first year of teaching at an Uncommon school and build your career!


At the beginning of the STF experience, all Fellows gather for a week of Orientation where they receive professional development from Uncommon leaders, build cohort culture, and connect with colleagues.

Host School Immersion

After Orientation, Fellows begin learning the key skills they need to lead high-achieving classrooms. Each week, fellows attend coaching and feedback meetings with their mentor teacher, observe live classroom instruction and continue participating in professional development training led by Summer Teaching Fellowship Directors.

Becoming an Effective Teacher

Fellows will receive feedback through frequent coaching sessions with their Mentor and continue to receive professional development. Fellows can expect to engage with students through leading small group tutoring, in-classroom instructional support, exam prep sessions, and leading full or partial lessons to scholars.

Hear from STF Alumni

Get a glimpse into the program and hear from STF Alumni and current Uncommon leaders about this life-changing experience.

Submit Your STF Application

Application Process

Applying for STF is easy! College juniors interested can easily apply online, and we’ll guide you along the process to ensure you have everything you need.

Online Application

Visit our careers page and submit your application online.

Apply Here

Email Screening

Selected candidates will be contacted and interviewed.

Transcript Submission

Candidates chosen to proceed will be asked to submit their transcripts.

Immersion Day

Candidates will have the opportunity to meet with program members for a final interview.


Fellows will be contacted with a formal offer to join STF.

Why Join STF?

If you want to join the fight for educational equity, the Summer Teaching Fellowship is the perfect program for you. We proudly offer one of the best summer teaching programs in the country, preparing college juniors for a teaching career at Uncommon Schools.

  • Develop the skills to lead high-achieving classrooms.
  • Receive one-on-one support and coaching by an experienced Uncommon mentor teacher.
  • Join an amazing cohort of mission-driven college juniors, where you learn together and experience the Uncommon Schools difference.
  • After successfully completing the program, receive a job offer to begin working full-time upon college graduation.

What Can You Expect as a Fellow?

The Fellowship is a paid multi-week program that begins at the end of May and until the first week of August.

During the first week, all Fellows will gather for orientation, receive professional development from Uncommon leaders, and build a cohort culture. Professional development sessions will cover topics ranging from culturally responsive teaching, social and emotional learning, student engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion and more.

Following Orientation, Fellows will meet and check in with their Mentor teacher (a current veteran teacher at Uncommon Schools). They will also observe Master teachers in action, review lesson plans and receive coaching.

Fellows participate in weekly professional development sessions around teaching taxonomies and receive regular coaching and feedback from their Mentors. Fellows can implement their feedback in person through one-to-one touch points with students and in-classroom support.

Application Criteria

Successful Summer Teaching Fellow applicants will meet the following criteria:

  • Strong interest in pursuing a teaching career at Uncommon Schools following graduation.
  • Passion for Uncommon’s mission to close the opportunity gap, and a belief that all children deserve a high-quality education.
  • Desire to learn and grow through feedback.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be an undergraduate college junior expecting to graduate in December 2023 or Spring 2024.
  • have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • be eligible to work in the United States in August 2024.
  • be fully available from May 22, 2023 to August 4, 2023 (Official program dates have not been announced)

Application Timeline


Dates: Application Phase:
Sept. 1, 2022 STF 2022 Application opens
Sept. 23, 2022 Early Application Deadline 1
Nov. 11, 2022 Early Application Deadline 2
Jan. 13, 2023 Application Deadline 3
April 7, 2023 Final Application Deadline
June 5th – July 21stMiddle/High:
June 5th – July 28th
STF Program


How to Prepare for Immersion Day

Please read this section carefully and thoroughly to help you prepare for your virtual interview. We understand this is a different process than what you are likely used to, but we are excited about your candidacy and are committed to ensuring we are bringing high-quality talent to our schools and students. We look forward to meeting you virtually and learning more about you! Please email for any additional questions.

Preparing for Immersion Day

  1. Welcome & Introductions: Members of the Summer Teaching Fellowship Team will be leading. They will share context around expectations for your time together, work through guidance when using the video platform, and provide an opportunity for introductions.
  2. Demo Lesson: You will teach the first 5-8 minutes of your lesson to the STF Team and other STF candidates as if they were your class of students. While we want you to internalize the content, you will be getting feedback around how you’re directing students and leading them through the lesson rather than how well you know the content.
  3. 1:1 Interview: An STF Teammate will ask you questions to get to know you better, and you will have a chance to share information about yourself and discuss why you are interested in a career in teaching.
  4. Closing and Next Steps: We will share more information about the program, discuss next steps, and answer any outstanding questions you may have.

The video interviewing platform we’ll be using is called Zoom. You do not need an account with Zoom to use the platform, but you do need either a computer with a camera (where after you receive and click the a link to your interview that we’ll share, there is a short, 1-2 minute download) or smartphone (on iPhone and Android there is an app called Zoom Cloud Meetings that you’d need to download) to use the platform. Please review these tips for engaging in a video interview via zoom.

Show Your Passion and Be Yourself: Be prepared to share your “why”. We want to hear why you are interested in urban education, working in public charter schools and how STF will help you in your teaching career path.

Response to Feedback: We do not expect you to have a perfect demo lesson. We are interested in understanding how you reflect and respond to feedback. Please be prepared to recap and share your reflections on the feedback you received during the demo lesson.

Do Your Research: We encourage you to spend time exploring our website to learn more about the Uncommon Schools network, our mission and our schools.

Prepare Questions: Think through questions you may have for interviewers (current Uncommon teachers), Interviews are just as much about you choosing us as us choosing you. Our interviewers are able to answer questions about the Uncommon teaching experience.

Demo Lessons

You will be executing a pre-scripted lesson plan. A bank of sample lessons will be emailed to you if you have been invited to interview.

  • Teach the lesson from the top. If you have a Do Now as the first part of your lesson, skip over it and begin at the “Launch.”
  • Please keep in mind, this is intended to be a whole group instruction lesson. While it may feel awkward with only 6-10 people actually in front of you via video, please do your best to teach as if you were in front of a class of students.
  • The STF Team may share feedback either after the lesson or in real time, in which we may pause you at different times throughout to provide feedback and ask you to adjust. As part of our approach to coaching and development, our teachers receive feedback during lessons that increase the level of learning and achievement for students. You should plan to incorporate this feedback immediately during the video interview.

When picking a sample lesson:

  • You must pick one of the lessons provided that aligns with the grade level that you are being considered for (i.e. Elementary, Middle, or High). Pick a topic you’re comfortable with and passionate about.
  • If you are assigned to Middle School or High School, please pick a sample lesson that matches most closely with your undergraduate major. Remember, we are not evaluating your content expertise. For example, if you are a Math major, please pick a Math lesson. If you are a Political Science major, please pick a History lesson.
  • If you are assigned to Elementary School, all of the sample lessons are “read aloud lessons”. Feel free to pick whichever one you would like to present.
    • If you have a Read Aloud sample lesson, there is no need to find a copy of the book given our current circumstances. You simply need to prepare the “hook” and “introduction to new material.”

In all cases, the scripted lessons are full lessons, but you will have only roughly 5-8 minutes to present. You will also be receiving real-time feedback from a member of our team, which may prevent you from getting through the entire lesson. However, you should plan to execute the entire lesson and will be interrupted by a leader who is observing you when they would like for you to wrap up.

  • Once you select your lesson plan, please read the entire lesson, internalize it, and present it as-is. You should not be making significant modifications to the scripted lesson plan. The sample lessons are not examples—the one you receive is the actual lesson you will be teaching.
  • Prepare any visual materials (i.e. posters, powerpoint, chart paper) that the lesson calls for.
  • Practice your lesson as if you were teaching it! If possible, practice at least once in front of another individual who can give you feedback.
  • Internalize your lesson. When presenting, it should flow naturally, without the appearance of reading from a screen. Perhaps use:
    • Notecards
    • Sticky notes on a clipboard
    • Notes in the margin/highlighting of key questions and pieces of the lesson
  • Have Leadership Presence: As you demo your lesson, the STF Team and other STF candidates are your “students” while you are the “teacher.” You should exude a very strong leadership presence during your lesson.
  • Teacher Voice: You should have a strong teacher voice that commands the attention of all.
  • Sense of Urgency: At Uncommon, our mission is to close the achievement gap between our students and more privileged students through our instruction. You should not waste any time during your lesson. Every minute of learning is valuable and should be utilized during your lesson.

Additional Resources

We encourage you to review the clips linked below to provide you with some context on what rigor, joy, and instruction looks like in an Uncommon classroom. We hope the video clips will help you to feel prepared as you plan for a sample lesson with us. The password for all of the videos is included:

Please take a few minutes to view our videos on our YouTube account to get a better sense of how we conduct our classes.

If you haven’t done so already, please also spend time exploring our website to learn more about the Uncommon Schools network. There you can find information on the history of our organization, our academic results, what we value as an organization and the professional development that we offer to our teachers.


Our Commitment to Diversity

The Summer Teaching Fellowship is part of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion commitment to attract, hire, and retain aspiring teachers with a unique and specialized understanding and connection to historically excluded and underrepresented communities in education. 93% of Uncommon’s scholars and families identify as coming from communities of color. Today, over 50% of our teachers identify as a person of color—more than double the national average. We believe students learn best when they can see themselves and their families reflected in the backgrounds and life experiences of their teachers and leaders. Our aim is to continuously improve in our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

We believe students learn best when they can see themselves reflected in the backgrounds and life experiences of their teachers and leaders. The Summer Teaching Fellowship is part of our commitment to attracting, hiring, and retaining teachers from underrepresented backgrounds to enrich our students’ learning experience. Today, over 50% of our teachers identify as people of color, more than double the national average.

Learn more about our Commitment to Diversity.

Join Our Summer Teaching Fellowship

Apply Today

Not a current college junior but interested in careers at Uncommon Schools? Explore our Careers page for open roles and submit your application today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Questions

Fellows will still be assigned to host schools in Boston (MA), Camden (NJ), Newark (NJ), and Brooklyn (NY). Candidates can indicate their choice of preferred location and, if selected, will be notified of specific STF placement sites in the spring. Please note that positions in your preferred location may not always be available. To increase the likelihood that you are selected in your preferred location, please apply by our early deadline.

Yes. Fellows receive a stipend of $3,500 for Elementary School Fellows and $4,000 for Middle School and High Schools Fellows. Please note that all stipends are subject to applicable taxes and fees and will be paid across 2-3 pay cycles during the program.

Fellows may be placed in any classroom from K-12. You will be able to indicate your grade level interest on the application. As with region, please note that a position in your preferred grade level interest may not always be available.

Application Questions

You can expect to hear from a member of our team within 3 weeks of submitting an application. Please allow 4 weeks to hear from us if you plan to submit an application during the winter holiday season (December 18-January 2).

Selection rates vary by site. To maximize your chance of being selected, we encourage you to apply early and be thorough and thoughtful in your application. Take time to review and proofread your resume and short essay answers before submission. Decisions are made on a rolling basis and while our review criteria are consistent throughout the process, as the selection season progresses, there are fewer positions available each week.

When completing the application, candidates will have an option to select their geographic preferences. Because the STF Team uses these questions to source candidates to specific regions, please be as candid as possible when answering. Please note that selectivity varies significantly by region as some regions, such as Brooklyn and Newark, are much larger than others, such as Boston.

No. A major in education or prior teaching experience is not required for admittance into the program; however, the strongest candidates exhibit a demonstrated passion for working with students and an interest in pursuing teaching as a profession long-term.

Yes. If you are a December 2023 graduate, you are eligible to apply to STF for the Summer 2023 cycle. If you are graduating in December 2024, you are not eligible for STF 2023, but we encourage you to apply for our 2024 cohort.

If you are in a five-year program, please apply to STF for the summer between your fourth and fifth year. For example, if you complete your degree program in Spring 2024, you should apply for Summer 2023.

STF is only open to college undergraduates who are rising seniors. For admittance in the Summer 2023 cycle, you must be graduating in December 2023 or Spring 2024. Uncommon has a range of other positions that would be suitable for recent graduates and graduate students. Please visit our Job Board to view current openings.