In the Fund for Teachers universe, September is very significant. Our grant recipients are back from their fellowships, back in their classrooms and reporting back to us about what they learned and how their students will now learn differently as a result.
September is also the month before we open our grant application for the upcoming year. We begin marketing the opportunity to teachers and districts, collaborating with our local partners to cast a wider net for applicants, and, hopefully, let more teachers know about the opportunity to design their best version of experiential learning with $5,000 as an individual or $10,000 as a team.
So with these bookends in mind, we wanted to produce a series of September podcasts, one per week, that highlights the learning of our Fellows over the past summer in a way that, hopefully, encourages potential applicants about what is possible should THEY chose to take a risk, take the time and make the effort to apply for a 2022 Fellowship Grant or – for previous FFT Fellows – an Innovation Circle Grant.
Because Rashaun James was awarded one of each of these grants, she’s the perfect person to kick off the series.
Rashaun is a 15-year teaching veteran who holds a bachelors degree in Middle School Childhood Education, master’s degree in Educational Literacy and teaches at Mifflin Middle School in Columbus, OH. Last summer, Rashaun used an Innovation Circle Grant to attend classes at the Anahata Education Retreat Center in Floyd, VA, where she learned research-based tools to support the mental health and social emotional learning of students. Three years prior, she used a Fellowship Grant to film a teaching documentary exploring events surrounding the French Revolution in Paris that also incorporates the lives and works of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens & the Brontë sisters from the same time period in London. In both of her proposals, she tossed in some surprising thoughts on race, equity and her opinion that London and Paris go together like Jay-Z and Beyoncé.