Summer Centered: Hunter Logan ’22 Learns What it Means to Teach
Hunter Logan ’22 is learning the many ways that educators support their students during his CPGC-sponsored internship with the nonprofit organization Philadelphia Futures, which helps first-generation and low-income high school students find and pursue higher education.
Hunter Logan ’22 is kickstarting his dream career as an educator by spending his summer as a CPGC-sponsored intern with Philadelphia Futures, a nonprofit organization that helps local low-income and first-generation high school students apply to college and succeed in higher education. Logan’s role with the organization is giving him a holistic taste of all the responsibilities a teacher has in their day-to-day life—from administrative tasks to pedagogical planning and time in the classroom.
“I began the summer by streamlining the office’s administrative systems, revising the curricula for the organization’s summer courses, and preparing for and participating in the weeklong College Admissions Marathon hosted on Haverford’s campus,” said Logan. “Now, I start each day as a teacher’s assistant for the rising high school sophomore class ‘History of Human Behavior’ hosted at Drexel University, which is aimed at exposing the students to a college level class for the first time and improving their research and writing skills.”
This position as a teacher's assistant is where Logan feels the most responsibility, and perhaps where his impact is largest. The course is essentially taught collaboratively, with Logan helping to plan lessons and offer multivalent forms of support in the classroom.
“The teacher of the class I help with has never taught before and often relies on my input,” said Logan. “Thanks to my last semester course ‘Critical Issues in Education,’ which included weekly student teaching at a local school and a deep analysis of best teaching practices, I feel qualified to orient him and to contribute positively to the classroom atmosphere.”
Logan’s experiences in “Critical Issues in Education” shaped how he conceives of pedagogy at large: the classroom placement opportunities the class gave him helped him gain confidence as an educator, and the professor’s open-ended approach to class discussions made Logan think deeply about the roles teachers play as mentors and support systems.
“The professor of ‘Critical Issues in Education,’ Ted Domers, is also the principal of the George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, where many of Philadelphia Futures’ students are enrolled,” he continued. “He often opened class by discussing the ongoing woes he encountered at the school—either from students, teachers, or the district—and asked us how we would solve them.”
By helping Logan realize the importance of bringing his own perspective into the classroom, Domers taught Logan to believe that sharing his own experiences is an essential part of being an educator. Between the lessons he learned from Domers in “Critical Issues in Education” and Logan’s own experience of the college-admissions process, he came to deeply value the type of work that Philadelphia Futures does—and now, he’s getting a chance to contribute.
“As a low-income, first-generation college student who received very little guidance through the college admissions process, I was inspired by Futures’ work and by the prospect of easing similar students’ burdens,” he said. “Even though I knew I could not combat the systemic inequities that restrict this demographic from educational access, I was eager to translate my studies into tangibly helping as many students as I could, which was made even more enticing by my passion for working with kids.”
For Logan, this experience is one of the first steps towards a career as an educator, helping students gain the confidence and support necessary to pursue their goals. Philadelphia Futures has exposed Logan to the Philadelphia school system and made him want to continue supporting the district in a series of different ways.
“I intend to teach English in Philadelphia public schools,” Logan said. “I had wanted to become an educator before this internship, but I did not know where or in what type of school. This summer has solidified my plans and has encouraged me to continue to be involved in educational nonprofits throughout my career, possibly even by founding one of my own.”
“Summer Centered” is a series exploring our students’ Center-funded summer work.