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
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
- 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