Newsletter – Volume 11, Summer 2015

In this issue of Odyssey, our 2015 Fellows share their summer learning goals for year-round impact back in the classroom.

Read the latest issue of Odyssey, here.

 
 
 

Appreciating Newest Fellow Class

Appreciating Teachers With Checks, Not Tchotchkes
Fund for Teachers hands teachers checks totaling $1.8 million for self-designed summer fellowships

May 5, 2015 (HOUSTON) A wooden apple necklace, “I love my teacher” coffee mug or $10,000? Fund for Teachers appreciates educators by distributing grants of up to $10,000 for self-designed summer fellowships. Over the past two weeks, 475 teachers in 35 states and the District of Columbia received checks and the message: “You’re worth a $1.8 million investment and so are your students.”

Each fall, the national not-for-profit invites preK-12 public, private and parochial school educators to analyze learning gaps and propose unique solutions for bridging them. The 2015 Fund for Teachers Fellows designed odysseys ranging from a local dyslexia workshop to an archaeological dig in Ireland.

  •  “This kind of professional development lets teachers grapple with big ideas and inject deeper learning into their classrooms,” said Chris Dolgos (Rochester, NY) who will research across the United Kingdom public works projects from the Classical to Modern Eras.
  • “This fellowship gives me control over the type of professional development I want and need,” said Michelle Rahn (Claremore, OK) who will participate in Science in the Rockies teacher training.
  •   “The opportunity to conduct fieldwork in India is career-affirming because I’m able to incorporate international research and outside perspectives into student work while recharging my teaching,” said Paul Creager, Saint Paul, MN.
  • “We’re thrilled to not only broaden our own horizons studying Apartheid in South Africa, but, more importantly, to share these experiences with our students to enrich their educational journeys,” said Karis Parker and Princeston Grayson (Raytown, MO).

A complete list of 2015 Fellows, their schools and fellowships is available on the organization’s website.

“We believe teachers know best what they need to maintain a level of excellence,” said Karen Webb, FFT executive director. The self-initiated/self-designed nature of our fellowships contrasts with traditional professional development and our Fellows return to classrooms more energized, informed and effective.”

Fund for Teachers is one of the largest funders of teacher learning in the country, investing $24 million in more than 6,500 teachers since 2001. For information about the application process, grant recipients or student outcomes, visit fundforteachers.org.

About Fund for Teachers
Fund for Teachers supports preK-12 teachers’ pursuit of learning experiences that impact their practice, students and school communities. By awarding grants for self-designed fellowships, Fund for Teachers empowers educators as professionals, role models, explorers and scholars.

Click here for a one-minute motion graphic video depicting how educators use Fund for Teachers grants to bridge learning gaps, inspire students and change the world.

Improvements Beyond Test Scores

In the summer of 2012, Stacey Callaway and Erin Lloyd, attended the Boothbay Literacy Retreat in Boothbay Harbor, ME, to learn strategies for engaging a “generation of nervous writers” and turning classrooms into highly literate reading and writing workshops, as Fund for Teachers grant recipients.

Today’s Teacher Column in the Midland Reporter-Telegram, written by Stacey (and inspired by Erin), echoes the voices of many Fund for Teachers Fellows and the pitfalls in standardized testing.

“…students are much more than just the product of their scores.”

To read the article, visit the Midland Reporter-Telegram website.

2015 Fellows Announced

Teachers Awarded “Golden Tickets” for Summer Learning
Fund for Teachers Awards $1.8 million in Grants to 487 Teachers for Self-Designed Fellowships

(HOUSTON) April 2, 2015 – Teachers work both as technicians teaching particular skills and intellectuals developing students’ love of learning.* To remain effective in both roles, they need development and inspiration. Fund for Teachers annually awards grants to preK-12 educators seeking relevant knowledge and learning experiences through self-designed summer fellowships. Today, Fund for Teachers announces its list of 2015 Fellows.

  • This year, 487 teachers representing 318 schools received Fund for Teachers grants.
  • These teachers will embark on summer odysseys spanning six continents, with the largest percentage remaining in North America.
  • Topics range from a digital literacy workshop at the University of Rhode Island to conducting field research in the Galapagos Islands and Amazon rainforest.
  • For a complete list of grant recipients, fellowship descriptions and the schools they represent, visit fundforteachers.org.

“Fund for Teachers serves as a piggy bank of sorts, funding educators’ quests for deeper knowledge or mastery that transfers directly to students,” said Karen Webb, Fund for Teachers executive director. “We all learn by knowing, by doing. These grants offer teachers more than ‘one-size-fits-all’ professional development and it’s free for the district. Everyone wins, with the biggest winners being the students.”

Fund for Teachers is one of the largest funders of teacher learning in the country, investing $24 million in more than 6,500 teachers since 2001. Previous grant recipients share the impact of their fellowships at fundforteachers.tumblr.com. For more information about the application process, 2015 grant winners or student outcomes, visit fundforteachers.org.

Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue relevant opportunities that make the greatest impact on their practice, their students and school communities.

*Center for Public Education, Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability, 2013.

2015 Oakland Fellows Awarded

OUSD Teachers Awarded “Golden Ticket” for Summer Learning
Fund for Teachers Awards Grants to 8 Local Teachers for Self-Designed Fellowships

(HOUSTON) April 2, 2015 – Teachers work both as technicians teaching particular skills and intellectuals developing a love of learning.* To remain effective in both roles, teachers need development and inspiration. Fund for Teachers annually awards grants to preK-12 educators who address professional learning gaps through self-designed summer fellowships. Today, Fund for Teachers announces its list of 2015 Fellows.

Fund for Teachers awarded grants to 8 teachers representing 5 schools in the Oakland Unified School District.

  • These teachers will embark on summer odysseys spanning 6 countries on 3 continents.
  • Topics range from an Orff music course in San Francisco to an eight-week intensive Arabic language/cultural immersion experience in Morocco.
  • For a complete list of grant recipients and the schools they represent, visit fundforteachers.org.

“Our fellowship pushed our understanding of Thai-Burmese refugee students’ educational context,” said Ryann Pollack, who last summer, along with colleague Courtney Couvreur, researched the background of their students at Oakland International High School. “For example, we discovered that for many in the refugee camps in Thailand, the goal of education is to learn to follow rules and give back to the community, and that many students do not even take math. Our Burmese refugee students come to the US with educational baggage; after our FFT fellowship, we are better equipped to help them unpack it.”

Fund for Teachers is one of the largest funders of teacher learning in the country, investing $24 million in more than 6,500 teachers (including $667,000 in grants to 168 OUSD teachers since 2001). The national not-for-profit collaborates with the Marcus Foster Education Fund to administer the grants locally. For more information about the application process, grant winners or student outcomes, visit fundforteachers.org.

*Center for Public Education, Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability, 2013.

2015 Wyoming Fellows Awarded

Wyoming Teachers Awarded “Golden Ticket” for Summer Learning
Fund for Teachers Awards Grants to 8 Wyoming Teachers for Self-Designed Fellowships

(HOUSTON) April 2, 2015 – Teachers work both as technicians teaching particular skills and intellectuals developing a love of learning.* To remain effective in both roles, teachers need development and inspiration. Fund for Teachers annually awards grants to preK-12 educators who address professional learning gaps through self-designed summer fellowships. Today, Fund for Teachers announces its list of 2015 Fellows.

Fund for Teachers awarded grants to 8 Wyoming teachers representing 6 schools this year.

  • These teachers will embark on summer odysseys in Croatia, Spain, Mexico, Samoa and the United States.
  • Topics range from observing youth social responsibility initiatives in the Balkan region to researching evidence-based interventions for learning disorders with experts at a seminar in Cape Cod.
  • For a complete list of grant recipients and the schools they represent, visit fundforteachers.org.

“With my Fund for Teachers grant, I experienced the excitement of Wall Street by participating in the New York Stock Exchange Teachers Workshop last summer,” said Sandra Shafer, teacher at Transitions Learning Center in Casper. “Attending this workshop allowed me to update and deepen my understanding of the stock market to share this experience with my students and peers.” As a result of Sandra’s fellowship, her students competed for the first time in the national Stock Market Game last fall, placing fifth in Wyoming with a $6,400 gain in 12 weeks.

Fund for Teachers is one of the largest funders of teacher learning in the country, investing $24 million in more than 6,500 teachers (including $81,000 in grants to Wyoming teachers since 2013). The national not-for-profit collaborates with the John P. Ellbogen Foundation to administer the grants throughout Wyoming. For more information about the application process, grant winners or student outcomes, visit fundforteachers.org.

*Center for Public Education, Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability, 2013.

2015 Wisconsin DPI Fellows Awarded

Wisconsin Teachers Awarded “Golden Ticket” for Summer Learning
Fund for Teachers Awards Grants to 47 Wisconsin Teachers for Self-Designed Fellowships

(HOUSTON) April 2, 2015 – Teachers work both as technicians teaching particular skills and intellectuals developing a love of learning.* To remain effective in both roles, teachers need development and inspiration. Fund for Teachers annually awards grants to preK-12 educators who address professional learning gaps through self-designed summer fellowships. Today, Fund for Teachers announces its list of 2015 Fellows.

Fund for Teachers awarded grants to 47 Wisconsin teachers representing 15 schools this year.

  • These teachers will embark on summer odysseys in Croatia, Spain, Mexico, Samoa and the United States.
  • Topics range from observing youth social responsibility initiatives in the Balkan region to researching evidence-based interventions for learning disorders with experts at a seminar in Cape Cod.
  • For a complete list of grant recipients and the schools they represent, visit fundforteachers.org.

“Educators are so down trodden and discouraged at the climate of education.  To have this affirmation of who we are and what we do was amazing,” said Janet Key, teacher at Lowell Elementary in Milwaukee. “I cannot afford any professional development, especially nothing of the magnitude that Fund for Teachers made possible for me.  After my fellowship, I have a renewed sense of joy and am ready to embrace the evolving role of a science education teacher and leader.” With her Fund for Teachers grant last summer, Key participated in the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers in Washington D.C. to create inquiry-based units that foster thinkers and learners more fully engaged in their education.

Fund for Teachers is one of the largest funders of teacher learning in the country, investing $24 million in more than 6,500 teachers (including more than $595,000 in grants to 233 Wisconsin teachers since 2010). The national not-for-profit collaborates with the Wisconsin Department of Instruction to administer the grants throughout the state. For more information about the application process, grant winners or student outcomes, visit fundforteachers.org.

*Center for Public Education, Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability, 2013.

2015 Saint Paul Fellows Awarded

SPPS Teachers Awarded “Golden Ticket” for Summer Learning
Fund for Teachers Awards Grants to 12 Local Teachers for Self-Designed Fellowships

(HOUSTON) April 2, 2015 – Teachers work both as technicians teaching particular skills and intellectuals developing a love of learning.* To remain effective in both roles, teachers need development and inspiration. Fund for Teachers annually awards grants to preK-12 educators who address professional learning gaps through self-designed summer fellowships. Today, Fund for Teachers announces its list of 2015 Fellows.

Fund for Teachers awarded grants to 12 teachers representing 11 Saint Paul Public Schools.

  • These teachers will embark on summer odysseys spanning 10 countries in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
  • Topics range from researching treaties and land grants among the Lakota Sioux, Blackfoot and Salish Peoples of the Northwest United States to observing the history and culture of Karen people exiled to refugee camps in Thailand.
  • For a complete list of grant recipients and the schools they represent, visit fundforteachers.org.

“Walking in the footsteps of freedom fighters and peace-makers in both South Africa and the American South inspired me to create a classroom centered around equity, dignity, and social justice,” said Emily Kjesbo-Johnson, teacher at Washington Technology Secondary. “The insights I gained tinted the lens though which I understand my interactions students and our school community. There are no easy solutions in this struggle, but I approached my teaching this year with a renewed sense of purpose, dedication, and commitment.” With her FFT grant, Emily explored how South Africa’s history of Apartheid continues to affect issues of racial injustice, self- worth, motivation and academic achievement to inform discussions on social justice and build a math curriculum based on the principals of reconciliation.

Fund for Teachers is one of the largest funders of teacher learning in the country, investing $24 million in more than 6,500 teachers (including $675,000 in grants to 177 SPPS teachers since 2002). The national not-for-profit collaborates with the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation to administer the grants locally. For more information about the application process, grant winners or student outcomes, visit fundforteachers.org.

*Center for Public Education, Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability, 2013.