At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we believe that nobody knows teaching like teachers. Teaching can be isolating, and we have been trying to figure out how to connect teachers in more powerful ways to have conversations about their profession and practice. Teacher fellowships are one way for teachers to connect, reflect, and improve their practice.
So we set out to learn more about what opportunities exist for teachers and how they are organized. Who sponsors teacher fellowships? How are teachers connected beyond their fellowship programs? How might we connect teacher leaders across fellowship programs?
We didn’t intend to produce a booklet on teacher fellowships, but we amassed enough information about individual opportunities for teachers that we thought it worth sharing. This is a starter list that we hope will help connect you to an opportunity that might improve your practice or encourage you to become a leader in your own learning.
We started with a working definition of what a fellowship is:
- A competitive opportunity for experiential learning, training, and professional development over a period of time
- An opportunity for translating new skills and experiences into enhanced classroom teaching or enhanced educator roles
- A network of current educators
- Free or low- cost; often includes stipend