Distinguished Fulbright in Teaching Award to México

The 2010 Distinguished Fulbright in Teaching Award grantee cohort in Washington, D.C. (photo courtesy, AED)

Last spring, I wrote a series of posts on sabbaticals. After 14 years of teaching, I began thinking about the lack of resources that teachers have to engage in serious and innovative research. That’s when I decided to apply for the Distinguished Fulbright in Teaching Award. Much to my thrilled surprise, this past spring I received the award to go to México from January to July of 2011. Different from the longstanding Fulbright Teacher Exchange, which sends teachers to various countries throughout the world to teach their content area, the Distinguished Fulbright acknowledges that teachers are scholars.

The Distinguished Fulbright has three components. Once in their host country, educators are expected to 1) attend graduate level courses at a local university; 2) lead professional development workshops and conduct research at local schools; 3) complete a capstone project that merges their coursework and teacher research. Continue reading

Readers Respond: Your Thoughts on Teacher Sabbaticals

The following is cross-posted at Equality 101.

As I enter the end of my thirteenth year of teaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about sabbaticals and how they should be a much more widespread practice in schools. To me, sabbaticals are a form of not only self-care but also school-care and student-care.

Teachers need sabbaticals in order to embark on a variety of professional development endeavors: research, coursework, teaching-related travel, writing and reflection. At the end of a sabbatical, we are able to give back to our school communities with rejuvenated energy and intellectual re-invention as thinkers, writers, and scholars. Students benefit from sabbaticals as well, as teachers return to their classroom with new ideas, different texts, and fresh perspectives. They also allow students to see teachers as professionals who have taken time off to learn more about their field. Continue reading