Fulcrum Fellowship

With supplemental funding from the NSF's Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, we at the Institute had the opportunity of working with a group of outstanding teachers, the Fulcrum Fellows, to help them become Master Teachers within their own schools and districts. Each new year, for three years, Fellows were chosen based on presentations of clear action plans and the promise of support and encouragement from their administrators. This administrative support was critical for the Fellows' success as they mentored their teacher colleagues in professional growth and development.

Throughout the three years of the fellowship, 26 Fulcrum Fellows representing 14 schools from nine districts participated. Each district provided support by building administrators, totaling 14 Principals and two Assistant Principals.

"This year I was not only a science teacher to my students, but also to my colleagues as well. I was able to show my fellow fifth grade teachers what inquiry means by going into their rooms and teaching lessons. I shared with them how to lead student- based discussions and how to show their children how to inquire, explore, observe, and discuss. I have gained a lot of confidence and now feel much more comfortable working with teachers, both individually and as a whole building. I feel that we are now well received in the building and my hope is that my colleagues now see me as a reference to help with any science questions or problems they may have." – Fifth grade teacher, Fellow 2011-12

"I've loved being a Fellow! This was application of pedagogy and advocating for a cause. This was tackling real issues in our building and district that kept us stifled in areas where science was concerned. We were given the permission to have a voice." – Fourth grade teacher, Fellow 2010-12

The Fellows were able to make quite a positive impact in their schools and districts. Some of the changes they implemented and the activities they presented are:

  • SAM animation programs for students
  • Acquiring materials and supplies for colleagues and students, and modeling correct use
  • Designing and teaching a graduate course on inquiry to district colleagues
  • Harvard schoolyard project to see effects of global warming
  • Presentations at MAST, seminars at Tufts, and NELMS
  • Family Science Nights
  • Science Clubs
  • Cross-Age Science Buddies
  • DESE Science MCAS Question Assessment Committee
  • Mentoring teachers
  • Building a greenhouse made from recycled bottles
  • Creating a school-wide recycling program