“I wanted to travel to a place I had not been before to expand on my world view, and I wanted the location to be relevant to curriculum for my fourth graders. Our first literacy unit of study centers around Greek mythology, so going to Greece seemed like a natural fit. I also noticed that my students often struggled with some of the historical context that I knew I could gain going to Greece myself.
Two weeks ago, Fund for Teachers opened the 2019 grant application. Have you been thinking about where you want to go and what you want to learn? For a little inspiration, today we share excerpts from a piece produced by the Stamford (CT) Education Association highlighting the learning of FFT Fellows from the area. Maybe you’ll see yourself in them and be inspired to start your online application, due January 31, 2019.
Do it! Apply! I would highly suggest submitting a proposal if you are interested in furthering your knowledge and learning as an educator or person in general. Choose a place and/or topic you’re passionate about. When you have passion, it makes the writing/work easy.“My main goal in applying for an FFT grant was to improve how I teach writing to English Language Learners. Thanks to Fund for Teachers, I was able to attend the I Teach K! conference in Las Vegas. I attended a variety of sessions on writing, guided reading, and helping ELL students, as well as those with behavior issues. Now, more than a year later, I still refer to the strategies and techniques I learned.
I would urge anyone who has a desire to learn and explore to take a chance and submit a proposal. You just might get some exciting news in April!“I chose this experience because, very simply, I realized that I could be far more effective in my work with families if I could speak basic conversational Spanish. I spent two weeks in Grecia, Costa Rica, attending Academia Centroamericana de Espanol’s program specifically designed for social workers. Through classes and living with a host family, I developed a small sense of how some of our families must feel when they can’t advocate for their children due to a language barrier. I am much more mindful of this now and also have found that if I make an effort to speak Spanish, parents are often willing to try a bit of English. Just making an effort opens a lot of doors.
Whatever program you design for yourself, you need to make a strong case for how your fellowship will benefit students, their families, and/or your school community. If you want to know more about my fellowship, visit my blog at https://costaricasarahblog.wordpress.com.”“I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Hawaii National Great Teachers Seminar in Hilo. This was unlike any other conference I’ve attended: Gone were the rows of desks, teachers on laptops and lectures. It was just 60 teachers from around the world meeting together in small groups to talk about education, the issues we face as educators and how to become that “great teacher” our students need. By deciding what learning would be best for your teaching, you are in control of your own growth. No one dictates what you are learning or how you should take it back to your classroom. I was able to decide what I was going to learn and what I was going to take away from it.” “I kept it simple and didn’t try to see 10 cities in 10 days, but was still able to explore 9,000 years of Irish landscape, mythology and culture through the country’s national treasure of storytelling. I experienced UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the largest Anglo Norman castle, attended evenings of music and storytelling and learned that storytelling is not only just active for the teller, but also the listener. If you are going to apply, first read about other people’s fellowships. There are some amazing ideas! Then start your dream. You do not have to leave the USA. The trip is about YOUR personal growth as an educator!”