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Happy November to our Ramsden Mentors and their 2019 FFT Fellows. You receive this newsletter because you are the member of a national community of teachers awarded Fund for Teachers grants. As you've now discovered, your fellowship is only the beginning. The Ramsden Project marks the next step in your ongoing growth as a professional; this newsletter is one way we are connecting you with 8,500+ peers who share your accomplishments and aspirations for life-long learning.

As we build this community, we are busy listening to what you want it to be. Repeatedly, a Twitter chat surfaced as an opportunity for Fellows to interact. Two-time Fellow Jaime Kerns (Chattanooga, TN) volunteered to host this for us, but we need your input:

What are the best times for a live Twitter chat?

What topics are you interested in discussing?

(Here's Jaime on her 2019 fellowship exploring the intersection of culture, history, cuisine and agricultural science represented in Peruvian products and practices. She's now applying her research toward increasing middle school students' awareness of the complexity and cultural variants within Latin America.)

In the email distributed last month, our Mentors asked:

"Why did you apply for a Fund for Teachers grant? Why should other teachers?

"I became aware of Fund for Teachers through a colleague who had previously traveled to Reggio Emilia to learn more about the approach on an FFT grant. She always had great things to say about the program and the impact that her fellowship made on her teaching. After years of consideration, I finally made the decision to submit an application myself, and will be forever grateful that I did!" - Ian Schiefelbein, Albuquerque NM

Ian's mentor, Susan Tenon, replied to their cohort's group email...

"We were looking for a challenge and, after 20 years of teaching, something to reinvigorate our careers. I had never heard of FFT until something crossed my desk one day and my colleague received the same information. We had worked on different projects together in the past, so it was an easy jump to apply for a fellowship together." - Susan Tenon, Fairport OH

The common thread in most responses was the role previous Fellows played in encouraging peers to apply. To help you do that, we created the Application Learning Center (pictured above) with links to every resource necessary to craft a solid proposal, including helpful timelines and the scoring rubric. You can also share with colleagues:

  1. This link to our latest blog post, with insider tips for writing a proposal and a 30 minute video hosted by our program officers;
  2. This Prezi - perfect for sharing with your PLC, department or district; and
  3. This link to Wednesday Webinar registrations. Our first webinar is November 13 at 4:30 CST.

Check theramsdenproject.org landing page for this month's question. We'll share out some answers next month.

A few more resources from our Fellows:

The first film solely dedicated to Harriet Tubman's story premiered this month. Some of our Fellows' most compelling work involved Following the North Star to Freedom themselves, following in Harriet's footsteps rescuing 300 people from slavery.

The multi-school team Tawanna Cheri, Brooke Wilson, Destiny Parker and Kelly Caldwell (Houston) followed the North Star from Detroit to Canada, chronicling slaves' freedom journey to facilitate authentic, interactive Social Studies and Language Arts experiences.

Detroit's First Congregational Church, where more than 5,000 fugitive slaves stopped on their way to Canada; North American Black Historical Museum- Amherstburg, Ontario; the "Terminal" of the Underground Railroad in Ontario.

These teachers then created their own Underground Railroad at school, so students could learn what "Conductors" and "Passengers" experienced. Read here how the teachers worked with the local Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority to make these annual nights meaningful for the entire community.

Melissa Minkin (Los Angeles) followed the northern trail of the Underground Railroad from Ohio to Canada, mirroring the journey of characters in the novel North by Night to better understand the role that northern urban centers played along the “Railroad" and deepen students’ learning in English and US History classes. Read about her stops along the way here.

Interviewing John S. Mattox, founder and curator of the Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing, OH; interviewing Jackie Wallace & Carl Westmoreland at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati; arriving in Buxton, OH, and ringing the Liberty Bell.

Brett Murphy (New York, NY) created an excellent web site after her fellowship researching the Transatlantic Slave Trade, resistance to slavery, and the African DIaspora in Brazil. Take advantage of her work with her link on how your students can create a similar website.

Lastly, listen to FFT Fellow Liz Kleinrock's recent NPR interview referencing discussions about topics such as slavery titled: "How Can We Broach Hard Conversations In The Classroom?"

Watch Liz' TED Talk here.

On her fellowship, Liz researched in South Africa the history of Apartheid, how the social construction of race has influenced communities outside of the United States, and how restorative justice practices can be used in reconciliation and healing efforts to inform an anti-bias curriculum for elementary aged students.

We close by congratulating Sara Boeck Batista for being awarded EL School's 2019 Klingenstein Teacher Award.

On her fellowship, Sara researched past and present resistance movements in Mexico to use these as a model for student writing and meaningful resistance to injustice in local communities.

Please share your accomplishments with us so we can honor you and inspire others with your success!

Remember – you are not alone. The Ramsden community stands behind you. Send us your questions that we can post to the broader community. Let us know what’s on your mind! Keep in touch at Carrie@fundforteachers.org.