Real teaching experience. Exceptional training.

Summer Teaching Fellowship

Are you a college junior or senior 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 2024 during the fall or spring semester of your junior year in college.

Step 2


Begin (and complete) your STF program in Summer 2024. Meet your cohort members, learn from teacher leads, and more.

Step 3

Full-Time Offer

At the end of the program, 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!

Begin 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 2-week 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 and seniors 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 and transcript online.

Apply Here

Personal Response Essays

Selected candidates will be contacted to submit short answer essays.

Immersion Day

Candidates will have the opportunity to meet with program members and participate in a demo lesson.


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 and seniors for a teaching career at Uncommon Schools.

  • Develop the skills to lead high-achieving classrooms.
  • Receive one-on-one support and coaching from an experienced Uncommon mentor teacher.
  • Join an amazing cohort of mission-driven college juniors and seniors as you explore the teaching profession and experience the Uncommon Schools difference.
  • After successfully completing the program, interview to begin working full-time upon college graduation.

What Can You Expect as a Fellow?

The Fellowship is a paid multi-week teaching program.

During the first two weeks, 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 join a Summer Academy site in one of our regions as a Fellow Teacher. They will lead classroom instruction while working with a Mentor Coach (a current or former 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 will implement their feedback in person through practice clinics and classroom instruction.

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 Dec’23, Spring ’24, or Spring ’25.
  • have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75.
  • be eligible to work in the United States in August 2024.
  • be fully available from June 3, 2024 to July 19th, 2024 (Official program dates have not been announced)

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 Summer Academy sites in Newark (NJ), and Brooklyn (NY). Candidates can indicate their choice of preferred location and, if selected, will be notified of specific STF placement sites during orientation. 

Yes! All Fellows who successfully complete the program and reach designated benchmarks will have the opportunity to be considered for roles in any of our regions. You will be able to submit your program feedback and artifacts directly to leaders for review.

Fellows teach at our Summer Academies, which are located at one central school where all participating students in the region will report. The locations will be announced in late May/early June. STF will provide assistance with costs associated with traveling to and from your assigned Summer Academy site.

  • Stipend of $4000 for Middle School and High School Fellows (to be taxed)
  • Transportation stipend (amount varies by region)
  • Free dormitory-style housing

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.

Our Summer Academy program supports student learning needs identified at the end of the school. Therefore, subject-specific needs will be available at the end of the school year.  You will be able to indicate your subject interest on the application. However, Fellows should be open to teaching grade level-specific English and Math concepts, as this is where our largest number of students need to exist each year.

Application Questions

You can expect to hear from a member of our team within 1 week after the round 1 deadline. A detailed timeline will be provided to all applicants who move past the first round.

Last year 18% of all applicants joined as Fellows however, selection rates vary by site and grade level. 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.

When completing the first round 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.

Yes. If you are a December 2023, Spring 2024, December 2024 or Spring 2025 graduate from an undergraduate or joint degree program you can apply to STF!

If you are in a five-year program, please apply to STF for the summer in your fourth and fifth year. For example, if you complete your degree program in Spring 2025, you should apply for Summer 2024.

STF is only open to college undergraduates who are rising or current seniors. For admittance in the Summer 2024 cycle, you must be graduating in December 2023 through Spring 2025. 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.

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 2024 cycle.