Yale Student–Teacher Frequently Asked Questions
- How much are U.S. Grant teachers compensated?
U.S. Grant Teachers receive a stipend of $3400 over the course of a summer, in addition to several meals covered by the foundation. The cost of housing is not included in the stipend, but typically ranges from $600–$1000 over the course of the summer.
- What distinguishes U.S. Grant from other summer teaching programs?
Teachers design their own classes from scratch! Rather than having a set curriculum about math or reading, they are given creative license to teach any subject so long as it is middle school appropriate, interesting, and has the capacity for activity based learning. In addition, because U.S. Grant takes place in Dwight Hall in downtown New Haven, teachers are able to take advantage of the myriad of opportunities the city has to offer: access to residential colleges, art museums, interesting student groups and guest speakers, etc.
- What kinds of classes do U.S. Grant teachers teach?
Everyday, all teachers teach one “Core” class, based in either “Investigations” or “Humanities.” Investigations courses are based in problem solving and/or STEM, and have ranged in subject from climate change and social movements, to abnormal psychology, to modern architecture. Humanities courses are based in subjects such as art, ethnic studies, and literature. On alternating days, teachers teach solo and partner-taught elective courses subjects from Improv, to Zine making, to sports, to board game strategy!
- What does activity-based education look like?
Activity based education means getting students involved in their education, beyond just sitting while listening to teachers talk. Getting their blood flowing. This could be anything: having classroom discussions, staging debates, writing in journals, going on field trips, acting out plays, playing music, building models, brainstorming activism, playing Jeopardy. The list goes on and on.
- Is U.S. Grant Teachers living together in a house mandatory, and if so, why?
Living in the U.S. Grant house is mandatory. By living together, teachers can get to know each other more informally, develop lasting friendships, and lean on each other while embarking on an education adventure.
- Do U.S. Grant teachers give students grades or administer tests?
U.S. Grant teachers do not grade student work over the summer. However, classes are designed to showcase student learning at the end of the summer through a final project, which could be a play, a journal, or a work of art. Along the way, teachers can administer formative assessments (that is, tests and quizzes without grades) to check for student understanding of concepts.
- How do teachers develop their own courses?
Teachers receive professional development during the spring, a week before the summer program, and during the summer program. Two co-directors of the program, as well as members of the U.S. Grant board, who are New Haven educators, non-profit directors, and policymakers, guide this process.
- Who are U.S. Grant students?
There is no stereotypical U.S. Grant student, because U.S. Grant students come from all different walks of life! That being said, because all students are required to be enrolled in New Haven Public Schools, our student are largely representative of New Haven demographically. For admission into the program, students are also required to demonstrate academic excellence and a curiosity for learning.
9. What dates will I need to be in New Haven for the summer?
The 2020 program for students runs from June 29th–Aug. 7th. Teachers are expected to be in New Haven by Saturday, June 20th for summer training, and stay until Saturday, Aug. 8th to clean up classrooms.