Translating this study into practice, it clearly tells us what we know so well: our greatest challenge is at the high school level. I still remember my days as a high school biology teacher with three different preps. That was a different challenge in itself. However, the bigger challenge was mapping out an individualized plan that met the needs of all my estimated 150 students. The needs were as diverse as my students; from linguistic and affective, to cognitive needs. What helped me in those years, were God’s blessings manifested through some amazing mentors who had been teaching high school much longer and had first hand experiences on how to implement those individualized plan for each of my 150 students. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet with five of the seven amazing educators God sent across my path for what we called “Mentor Reunion”. With over seven years out of the classroom, we had quite a lot to share together.
With all the many hats educators wear in the day-to-day affairs of school operations; finding the time to meet with a mentor consistently can be taxing. However, there are programs today that would have done similar things my God sent mentors did back then. One of such programs is the Hollyhock Fellowship. This program aims at encouraging, supporting and providing robust learning opportunities for high school teachers in the content areas (science, math, history or English). The program brings together 100 high school teachers from across the nation with low-income student populations to Stanford University for two weeks of residential workshops for two consecutive summers. Teachers receive teaching/mentoring from university scholars and expert practitioners, with follow-up online coaching for two school years.
The cool thing about this program is that it is free to participating teachers. Also, teachers are awarded a stipend, in addition to paid travel, room and boarding expenses. Application for this unique program is now available and due by January 15, 2015. With all the festivities coming up, it will take a dedicated effort to complete the application; but fully worth it in the long run. To apply visit https://cset.stanford.edu/fellowships/hollyhock/application and register. Once registered, you will receive instructions on how to proceed with the application.
Teachers- one of our world’s greatest treasures!