BETA Experience

TO SUCCEED IN COLLEGE, STUDENTS NEED INTENSIVE ACADEMIC SUPPORT BEFORE THEY ARRIVE ON CAMPUS IN THE FIRST PLACE. THAT’S WHERE YOU COME IN.

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Inside the Classroom

As a Blue Engine Teaching Assistant (BETA), you will join a team of 3-4 BETAs in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for a cohort of students during one year of shared service. With a lead teacher, your team will support roughly 100 students enrolled in a single subject at a single school. Following the New York City Department of Education academic calendar, you will spend one year–1700+ hours–supporting students at an urban public high school.

Your year will be anchored by small group instruction in either Math or Literacy classrooms. Every day, you will instruct small groups of students (ranging from three to eight) during regular class periods, typically about three to five a day depending on school scheduling.

Throughout the year, you will work with several different groups of students. This makes Blue Engine tutorials unique: our resources (in terms of time and energy) are matched to the evolving needs of students. By allowing the size and scope of tutorials to remain flexible, BETAs take a team-minded approach to helping entire classes—and entire schools—progress together.

Focusing on a small number of students at a time, you will collect student data daily to monitor learning, track progress, and inform your instruction. You will be trained on how to use data to drive decision making and provided with a laptop to ensure you have access to necessary data tracking tools.

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Outside the Classroom

Outside of your academic class periods, you will have the opportunity to implement Blue Engine’s Social Cognitive Curriculum. Along with a teacher, you will co-teach weekly 50-minute lessons throughout the entire school year, focusing on on helping students build the noncognitive skills–how to have a growth mindset, set effective goals, and use learning strategies–they need to be academically successful and fundamentally change their attitudes about learning.

You’ll also have the chance to lead after-school programming, ranging from SAT and academic tutoring, coaching baseball and basketball teams, managing student Government and yearbook club, and directing musical and drama productions. Spending time with students outside of the classroom helps to strengthen your relationships and increase instructional effectiveness inside the classroom.

Like other teachers and staff, you will be expected take on additional roles within the school building, enhancing your experience and exposing you to the mechanics of everyday school life. Examples include being an advisor and participating on grade level leadership teams. These experiences will allow you to get to know faculty members in different capacities, develop more effective leadership practices, and explore possible careers in a diverse range of school settings.