Fund for Teachers fellows explore "self-directed" professional development
New Haven social studies teacher Garrett Griffin Jr. noticed his students were treading lightly around the topics of slavery and ancestry, and he set out to learn more in order to spotlight "the complexities and rich accomplishments of the descendants of Africa."
By looking into this history, Griffin said, "I hope to empower my students about our complex past for the ultimate purpose of increasing their academic performance."
When Erin Caouette, a Southington High School English teacher, learned about the stark spike in violence against the AAPI community, she sought out opportunities to study the history of discrimination, and to diversify her source material.
This hour, we hear from Garrett and Erin about their experiences as fellows of Fund for Teachers (FFT), a grant program supporting educators pursuing professional learning opportunities outside of the classroom. They are two of nearly 900 Fund for Teachers fellows from Connecticut.
Plus, we hear from those fielding proposals at Fund for Teachers, who underscore the increasing importance of culturally-sustaining professional development.
- JHD (Jennifer Heikkila Díaz): Program Team Member, Fund for Teachers; Learning Coordinator, Connecticut Council for the Social Studies; Activist-in-Residence, UConn Asian and Asian American Studies Institute
- Karen Eckhoff: Executive Director, Fund for Teachers
- Garrett Griffin, Jr: Social Studies Teacher, East Rock School
- Erin Caouette: English Teacher, Southington High School