In this issue of the Beacon you can find:

  • Opportunities for Your Input
  • Fellow-Generated Classroom Resources Connected to the Film “Harriet” and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • Accomplishments and Inspiration from Fellows Across the Nation

Your fellowship is only the beginning. After returning from your summer learning experience, you're welcomed into the The Ramsden Project, a recently launched extension of the Fund for Teachers grant program. We hope to connect you with other Fellows to deepen your knowledge, create opportunities for ongoing self-designed professional learning, and share updates among one another for inspiration. Our current Ramsden Project offerings include this mentor group, conversations in topics relevant to your pedagogy, and chances for Fellow feedback on areas of interest and the ongoing direction of this initiative. With your support, we're building a robust digital network.

Opportunities for Your Input

Twitter Chats - Tell Us When and What

The Ramsden Project is built for you and designed to be responsive and ever-evolving. To facilitate a conversation around these goals, two-time Fellow Jaime Kerns (pictured above on her 2019 fellowship exploring the intersection of culture, history, cuisine, and agricultural science in Peruvian products and practices) has volunteered to lead a Twitter Q&A sometime this month. Please click the button below and let us know what times would work for a live Twitter chat and what topics you are interested in discussing.

Monthly Polls - Keep the Conversation Going

Many of you already shared your responses to the October poll question from our last email. Your thoughts were not only helpful in starting a dialogue in peer-to-peer groups, but we've also summarized them as actionable ways to help potential Fellows in their application process. Thank you so much for your feedback!

Next month's question is live on our landing page, so jump in and share your thoughts: "What is your biggest challenge in the classroom right now?"

Fellow-Generated Classroom Resources Connected to the Film “Harriet” and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The first film solely dedicated to Harriet Tubman's story premiered this month. Many of our Fellows have designed classroom experiences that tell the story of Tubman and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in fascinating ways.

The Underground Railroad - Two Approaches to the Journey

In a multi-school effort, Fellows Tawanna Cheri, Brooke Wilson, Destiny Parker, and Kelly Caldwell (Houston, TX) spent their fellowship on a stretch of the Underground Railroad from Detroit to Canada. This sojourn to facilitate authentic, interactive Social Studies and Language Arts experiences followed the North Star to Freedom. These teachers then created a version of the Underground Railroad at their schools, so students could imagine a bit of what "Conductors" and "Passengers" experienced. Read here how they worked with the local Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority to make their annual Freedom Nights meaningful for the entire community.

In her fellowship, Melissa Minkin (Los Angeles, CA) followed the northern trail of the Underground Railroad from Ohio to Canada, mirroring the journey of characters in the novel North by Night. She wanted 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 and download her lesson plans with additional resources here.

Left: Melissa interviewing Jackie Wallace & Carl Westmoreland at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati; Right: Fellows at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum in Ontario

Classroom Tech - Mapping the Diaspora

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 this work with her webpage on creating a similar site and more.

Accomplishments and Inspiration from Fellows Across the Nation

Struggling to facilitate meaningful student discussions around complex subject matter? Check out the above TEDTalk with FFT Fellow Liz Kleinrock, or listen to her recent NPR interview, "How Can We Broach Hard Conversations In The Classroom?"

Congratulations to 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.

Take a quick virtual field trip with Fellow Emily Kjesbo-Johnson to learn about her fellowship exploring VR capture and architecture in Thailand. The majority of Emily's students are from Southeast Asia. To connect geometric principles to their culture, Emily is using 360 degree photospheres and digital analysis from the trip with her students.

We want to celebrate your work and inspire others with your success. Please share accomplishments and any broader thoughts to carrie@fundforteachers.org.

Grant Applications Are Open

As experts in the Fund for Teacher experience, we imagine you have to field numerous questions about application best practices and your time on fellowship. When you’re offering feedback, feel free to take advantage of our Application Learning Center or share:

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

Applications just opened on October 1, so please share the opportunity with teachers in your network!