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    How might teachers lead the next wave of school innovation?

     

  • By becoming

    Teacher Innovation Leaders.

    Passionate teachers like you have special insight into how we might solve stubborn problems in education. So what if you had support to help bring these ideas to life? And what if you could learn leadership and innovation skills along the way?
     
    Sound interesting? Maybe the ImpactLab Teacher Fellowship is right for you.

  • ImpactLab supports K12 teachers who are passionate about solving a problem in their school community, have invested time thinking on how to get it done and are motivated to build this new program, process, policy or whatever the solution may be. Sound a little like entrepreneurship? That's because it is. Since you're working inside an organization we call it intrapreneurship. 

     

    We believe real change happens when motivated people like you are empowered with the knowledge, skills and support to turn good ideas into solutions much like how an entrepreneur turns an idea into a business. One key difference: instead of dollars you create impact. And so our mission at ImpactLab is simple: to help you be successful and make an expanded impact in your school community while becoming a Teacher Innovation Leader in the process.

     

    Video: 2016 ImpactLab Teacher Fellow Luci Cambria talks about her project and her experience in the program.

  • The ImpactLab Teacher Fellowship

    Empowering, individualized, action-oriented Professional Development.

     

    The ImpactLab Teacher Fellowship helps passionate teachers turn an idea into a “solution” in a supportive, small-group format with the guidance of an experienced coach. Over the span of ten months (September - June) our Fellows:

    LEARN

    Learn the “how-to” of turning an idea into a solution through problem-solving, design and leadership skills. Our methods come primarily from the worlds of entrepreneurship, design and software development.

    BUILD

    Build and launch your “solution” at your school with the support of your coach and peers. Then produce a "How-to Kit" (see example) so your ideas can be shared with educators everywhere.

    CONNECT

    Connect with innovative teachers from across the US. Develop lasting relationships and expand your professional network. Become part of an active and expanding education innovation community.

  • "The ImpactLab Fellowship allows for a paradigm shift. Teachers can now lead the change."

    Lucas Elliott
    ImpactLab Teacher Fellow 2016-17

  • "I have some questions."

    We have some answers! This idea of supporting teacher-led innovation within schools is pretty new so we expect there will be lots of questions. We have included several answers below and welcome additional questions at: fellowship@impactlab.us

    What's the timeline?

    • Rolling acceptances (we encourage applying early!)
    • Application closes 9PM CT AUGUST 19, 2017
    • Acceptances sent by September 5, 2017
    • Program on-boarding begins September, 2017
    • First coaching session in mid/late September, 2017
    • Program wrap-up June, 2018

    How is the program structured?

    The Teacher Fellowship is fast-paced with new learning and actions every two weeks, September - June. The curriculum is efficiently packaged and everything you will do is relevant, timely and targeted. Each two-week "sprint" consists of the following elements:

    • core and supplementary content in the form of short videos and applicable learning frameworks or "tools"
    • growth reflection and measurement
    • guided peer collaboration
    • group coaching session

    Groups are small (12 Fellows) and bi-weekly coaching sessions (online) are led by an experienced ImpactLab coach. Start times are typically 5pm or 6pm in your time zone.

     

    Formal and informal support is ongoing in our digital community where you will interact not only with peers, but also coaches and guest mentors, program alumni and volunteers.

    “My professional network has grown greatly due to the experience of the fellowship.”

    - 2016-17 Fellow

    Is this program a good fit for me and visa versa?

    The ImpactLab Teacher Fellowship is designed for full-time K-12 teachers with the following traits:

    • passionate about solving a problem in their school community
    • want to learn skills that will help them design and build a solution
    • want to expand their professional network
    • 3+ years of classroom experience and LOVE teaching
    • desire to become a leader but not necessarily leave the classroom
    • have a track record of instructional effectiveness
    • located anywhere in the US
    • teach in a public, public charter or private school

    What kind of projects do you support? What are some examples?

    We support teachers looking to directly or indirectly boost student growth through innovations that are sustainable and replicable. Projects (or “solutions”) may take many forms depending on the problem a Fellow is working to solve. Some hypothetical examples:

    1. Problem: Weak parental involvement among non-English speaking parents
      Solution: A program that attracts them into the building and engages them
       
    2. Problem: Teacher burnout
      Solution: A new model of team teaching that matches teachers with complementary strengths and redistributes duties accordingly
       
    3. Problem: Rising high schoolers with poor sense of career options
      Solution: Process that uncovers each student’s strengths and interests leading into a virtual mentoring program with volunteers from across industries
     

    The strongest applicants will have ideas for solutions that are:

    • High-impact
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Replicable
    • Free or very low-cost to produce and implement
    • Require no (highly) specialized knowledge
    • Sustainable

    What does a finished project look like?

    That depends on what type of project the Fellow created - a technology tool, an after-school program, a school policy or process. However, all Fellow projects culminate in a "How-to Kit" - detailed instructions, shared with the world, enabling anyone, anywhere to replicate the Fellow's project. Here's an example of a How-to Kit from 2016-17.

    “This fellowship helped me to feel energetic and enthusiastic in my 5th year teaching.”

    - 2016-17 Fellow

    Is there a cost to participate?

    Yes. For teachers paying their own way the fee is $600 for 2017-18. We know...that's a lot of coin. But we have to pay our coaches, you know? We do have a few ideas about getting help paying:

    1. Academic departments often have funds for teacher professional development.
    2. Ask your school principal to pay fully or split the cost.
    3. Do a fundraiser on DonorsChoose.org or GoFundMe.
    4. Talk to your school PTA. 
    5. Ask a community-minded local business to help.

    We are happy to provide you with an official document to help your efforts, such as a letter of acceptance to the Fellowship.

    What’s the time commitment?

    For the program itself (coaching sessions, content learning, preparation, reflective writing, and optional elements like mentor sessions) the time commitment is no more than 2 hours per week. That doesn’t include time spent on building your project, which will vary greatly from project to project.

    “The new language of entrepreneurship helped me view my work as not just impactful in the classroom, but in the larger context of my own professional development.”

    - 2016-17 Fellow

    Where and when do the coaching sessions happen?

    Online and in the early evenings.

    School Buy-In: Do I need the OK from school administrators in order to participate?

    The Teacher Fellowship is all about building solutions in your current school community. We prefer applicants to have the support of one or more school leaders.

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    Ready to apply?

    *Applications Due AUGUST 19th*