FUND FOR TEACHERS

Believing the teacher knows best how they can make a better impact in their classroom, Fund for Teachers awards fellowships for self-designed professional growth to PreK-12 teachers who recognize the value of inquiry, the power of knowledge, and their ability to make a difference.
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Fund for Teachers believes that the best teachers are passionate learners. So, since 2001, we’ve invested $22 million in 6,000+ preK-12 teachers’ self-designed fellowships in the United States and around the world.

Get inspired by 2014 FFT Fellows on our blog, then start your own 2015 grant application to pursue new knowledge that advances student achievement. 

Our fall newsletter highlights the learning of Fellows in United Kingdom yoga training, Japanese math classes, Kalahari desserts, South African townships, Cuban neighborhoods and urban debate leagues. Gain inspiration in advance of submitting a 2015 grant application, available on October 1 and due no later than January 30, 2015.

Like all great journeys, this experience opened my world view to the many things I have yet to learn and explore. So, I come back to the states a person refreshed, excited, and motivated to continue my own learning and growth. I am excited to share my growth with students and colleagues. I can’t wait to try new strategies with students. Finally, I am inspired to be my best self and the best educator I can be. Thank you for the inspiration, growth, and renewal. I am honored to be an FFT Fellow.   

In humble gratitude,  
Karen Henry, Saint Paul Public Schools

Karen Henry (Benjamin E. Mays IB World School) designed her FFT fellowship to attend the International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP) in Paris, where she learned strategies for integrating technology into the classroom and inspiring excitement for learning through educational engagement.

"Everyone has a purpose in life that drives them professionally and/or personally. My purpose as a teacher and an artist is to inspire my students and further build their knowledge, confidence, and passions towards the visual arts. Artists have a special gift that enables them to see things that the average person doesn’t see. By continuing my education through studying and viewing some of the most incredible paintings and scuptures in the world would be beneficial to my students. During the summer of 2013, I traveled to 12 cities in 11 days seeking out the inspirations of the Renaissance artists and those that came afterwards. My journey began in Rome where I visited the Vatican, Colesseum, and Borghese Gallery. I deepened my knowledge on a civilization that was way beyond its time. The amount of art in the Vatican spanned centuries and was quite overwhelming. I traveled the meandering roads along the Amalfi Coast before exploring the ruins of Pompeii. Florence, Siena, and Pisa was explored in 4 days where I walked the streets as many artists had before. Studying the paintings and sculptures in the Uffizi and Accademia allowed me to search for the inspiration behind the creations. The highlight of my journey was participating in a fresco workshop where I learned the step by step processes used to complete an actual fresco. My final stop was exploring the floating city of Venice and studied art at the Accademia. I took back with me not only the memories and hundreds of photographs, but books and artifacts that can be shared with my colleagues and students."

Darryl Alello, art teacher at Copper Mill Elementary (Zachary, LA) shared his fellowship by facilitating students’ creation of frescoes with techniques he learned in Florence and hosting a Family Night where the school community learned about Renaissance artists and created their own masterpieces. This Friday, Darryl debuts a series of personal pieces inspired by his fellowship at the Elizabethan Gallery in Baton Rouge.

"Any great teacher brings passion into the classroom," said Darryl. "Italy was my classroom and the great Renaissance masters were my teachers and inspirations."

"We are loving sharing our fellowship with students. I already had one student travel to Philadelphia because of how much I talked about my experience there and I have another student going to Williamsburg over fall break because of my lessons, photos, and stories from there! I love seeing my students so excited about Social Studies and wanting to turn their typical beach trip into a Early Colonial American History trip! Some have even started a Travelpod like we used on our trip, to track their own personal trips now. This experience has forever changed my heart.”

Jamie Tipton (Normal Park Magnet School - Chattanooga, TN) and Lori Tipton (Walker Valley High School - Cleveland, TN) designed their Fund for Teachers fellowhship to retrace Colonial American sites along the east coast to examine, from varying perspectives, the ramifications of events and decisions on people past and present. You can read more about their experiences here.