Teachers Innovate with Self-Designed Grants

Fund for Teachers awards 546 teachers $2.1 million to design relevant learning

April 6 (HOUSTON) – Fund for Teachers, one of the nation’s largest investors in teacher learning and leadership, has awarded $2.1 million to 546 preK-12 teachers from across the country for self-designed fellowships to support student success, enrich their practice and strengthen their schools and communities.

Unique to this grant opportunity, teachers submit projects and destinations they believe best address specific achievement gaps – theirs and/or their students. Since 2001, more than 7,400 preK-12 teachers have leveraged
$27.5 million in Fund for Teachers grants into relevant learning for students and best practices for peers.

This year, grant recipients designed summer learning experiences spanning six continents and ranging from STEAM to language/cultural immersion to socio-emotional learning. Grant recipients’ most common fellowship destination is North America; themes include immigration, storytelling and social justice. A complete list of Fellows is available at fundforteachers.org.

“This fellowship changed the way I think about being a scientist; which in turn, changed the way I think about educating my students to become scientists,” said Kristin Knight Burrus, teacher at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. “Collaborating with professionals in various STEM fields during our fellowship provided a perspective that cannot be learned in books.” Last summer with colleague Janie Fossett, Kristin explored the geology, engineering and architecture associated with San Francisco’s “safe buildings” to develop a cross-curricular, multi-grade student exhibit involving students in middle school science, high school geometry and a peer mentor program.

“Teachers who model a passion for life-long learning inspire the same in their students,” said Karen Webb, Fund for Teachers’ executive director. “The experiences, skills and knowledge gained by Fund for Teachers Fellows influence students’ education and achievements. The ripple effect of one fellowship can impact students and school communities for decades.”

Teachers may begin applying for 2018 Fund for Teachers grant on the organization’s website beginning October 1, 2017. For more information, visit fundforteachers.org or fundforteachers.tumblr.com.

The Ford Family Foundation and FFT

Original release appears on tfff.org, accessible here.

February 12, 2016: The Ford Family Foundation is bringing the national Fund for Teachers grant program to Douglas County, Oregon, to support teacher-designed educational experiences that impact their practice, students and school communities.

This is the first year that the Foundation, in partnership with Fund for Teachers, is providing this opportunity to Douglas County public school teachers. Up to $50,000 total will be awarded to teachers in Douglas County.

Continue reading, 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.

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.

Fellows Bring Learning, Experiences and Energy Back to School

519 Teachers Use $2 Million in Fund for Teachers Grants to Pursue New Knowledge & Skills This Summer

“A defibrillator for the educator”; “A reminder that there is still a student within me;” and, “By far, the best learning experience of my life” describe three of more than 500 self-designed fellowships teachers experienced this summer with Fund for Teachers grants. PreK-12 public and private school educators applied for the grants to pursue topics and/or destinations they identified as relevant to their practice and student success. Those awarded leveraged $5,000 individual grants and $10,000 team grants to learn in 151 countries and bring their learning back to school this fall.

Teachers (or Fellows) awarded grants represent 353 schools from all 50 states. The largest percentage of Fellows chose STEM-related learning and fellowships most often took place in the United States. A complete list of Fellows and their fellowship descriptions is available at www.fundforteachers.org.

“The most essential component in any classroom is the teacher; students’ grasp of knowledge and perception of issues lie largely in their hands,” said Karen Webb, Fund for Teachers’ executive director. “Fund for Teachers invests in these professionals, empowering them as learners who explore and experience to advance student achievement.”

Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has invested more than $22 million in 6,000+ teachers who, in turn, transform their classrooms into laboratories where students process and put into practice their teachers’ learning.
Fund for Teachers’ 2015 grant application opens on October 1. For eligibility and more information, visit www.fundforteachers.org/apply.php, or the nonprofit organization’s blog and Facebook page.

Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of preK-12 educators by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the world that have the greatest impact on their practice, students and school communities.

$2 Million Awarded to Teachers

FFT Awards Millions to Educators for Innovative Learning Experiences
Trusts teachers to redefine professional development, one fellowship at a time

April 30, 2014 (HOUSTON) – Fund for Teachers, a national nonprofit that invests in teacher learning to advance student achievement, has awarded $2 million to teachers across America for self-designed learning experiences. This summer, 525 preK-12 teachers will pursue knowledge and skills they identified as essential to student success. Fellowship destinations include conferences, self-guided expeditions, fieldwork and service learning projects in 85 countries on 6 continents. A complete list of Fellows and their projects is available at fundforteachers.org.

This form of personalized teacher learning contrasts with the more traditional, but less effective, professional development offered by most districts. More than 90% of teachers participate in workshop-style training sessions; yet studies show that short, one-shot workshops don’t change teacher practice and have no effect on student achievement. Alternatively, Fund for Teachers invites educators to choose the subject area and outlet for their professional development and provides $5,000 for individual grants or $10,000 for team grants.

“Fund for Teachers bridges the gap between what teachers have and what students need to advance academically,” said Karen Webb, Fund for Teachers’ executive director. “Fellows turn our initial investment into broadened perspectives and engaged learning – for themselves and their students. The result is a transformed career and classroom.”

Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has invested $22 million in the personal/professional growth of 6,000+ educators. This new class of Fellows will post updates throughout the summer on the organization’s blog, Facebook and Twitter feed. Teachers may begin applying for 2015 Fund for Teachers grants online beginning October 1.

Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the world that impact their practice, the academic lives of their students and school communities. For more information, visit fundforteachers.org.

Teacher Visits WWII Sites on Fund for Teachers Fellowship; Discovers Grandfather’s Photo in RAF Museum

While researching D-Day sites across England and France on his Fund for Teachers fellowship, a Chicago teacher discovers a photo of his grandfather hanging in a wartime museum. He now uses his grandfather’s service to guide students’ exploration of World War II and the overarching question, “What makes people brave?”

Last July, with a Fund for Teachers grant, Dan Lundak set out to retrace his grandfather’s D-Day experience. The American History teacher planned to use his research to help eighth graders at Chicago’s Sauganash Elementary School personally connect with World War II. The pilgrimage grew more personal than expected, however, upon discovering his grandfather’s photograph hanging in a wartime museum.

Continue reading, here.

Teacher Prepares Students to Become Future Chemistry Nobel Laureates

Fund For Teachers Grant Turns Oklahoma Science Teacher into Scientist at UC Berkeley Chemistry Department Lab; Researches Under International Expert in Protein Synthesis to Model Fundamentals of Biochemistry for Students and Encourage Careers in Science

The newly announced Nobel Laureates in chemistry relied on research conducted in the 1970s to develop their award-winning work. Jan Post wanted his students at the Oklahoma School for Science and Math to comprehend this relationship between years of research and results – so he became part of the process this summer using a Fund for Teachers grant.

Continue reading the release, here.