As an educator, you may well have summers away from the classroom, which leaves you with valuable time to engage in unique and enriching experiences that you can bring back to the classroom in the fall. Travelling sits on the top of many teachers summer wish lists and can not only serve to help you relax and exhale, but can often times be used to enhance your understanding and connection to the material you teach and help you inspire your students even further. As all teachers know, when you’re excited, they will be too!
As wonderful as these experiences can be for you and the impact it may have for your future students, it’s not always easy to fund and plan your own expedition. Fortunately, there are many different programs that can help you fund the educational experience you crave. Applying for funds is as easy as filling out an application. While it may be too late to apply for a grant for summer 2014, it’s never too early to think about next summer!
The following organizations help teachers fund their travelling and learning learning experiences and may well be worth a look!:
- Fund For Teachers – In order to be eligible for a grant from this organization, you must be employed full time as an educator for PreK-12th grade and spend at least 50% of your work week instructing students. You must also have at least three years of teaching experience and the intent of continuing to teach the following school year. Anyone who thinks that a summer travel opportunity can positively impact his or her teaching should apply. If accepted, the fellowship can grant up to $5,000 for individuals. Application deadlines vary from state to state but on average, Fund For Teachers funds 500 summer programs a year.
- The Earthwatch Institute – The Earthwatch Institute recruits individuals from all around the globe to take part in research projects over the summer. In order to qualify for a research project, you just need to be a K-12 educator. Annually, 200 people are granted fellowships and Earthwatch will cover the cost of research, food and accommodations. Travel to and from the site is not covered unfortunately, but it is common that most people receive reimbursement. While working on the research project, many fellows keep journals and then incorporate their experiences into future lesson plans.
- Fulbright-Hays – Through Fullbright-Hays, educators are allowed to plan trips abroad that will help enhance their lessons and create a stronger impact for the students learning. The program is usually 4-6 weeks long and takes place in countries outside of Western Europe. Qualified applicants have three years of experience and teach some sort of curriculum relating to social sciences, languages or the humanities. The fellowship covers the cost of the entire trip except for a $450 cost share and more than 100 teachers are accepted annually.
- Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program – The Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program is designed to give all educators the experience to bring geographic awareness to their classrooms. The program is open to all educators who have a proven dedication to geographic education in their field. The program covers the cost of transportation, lodging and food. There are a few different expeditions over the course of a year and each expedition has 2-3 fellows. This program doesn’t just have expeditions during the summer, some take place during the school year- so when filling out your application, it is important that the date works with your schedule.
After going on any of these exciting fellowships, it would be hard to not have a wonderful time to further inspire your students’ learning and perhaps even inspire envy in your colleagues!
It may be too late for an abroad fellowship this summer, but it’s not too late to sign up for professional development days. We have put together a listhere of some great opportunities taking place all over the country this summer and be ready when applications open again for the fellowship programs next year!
Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers, schools, and organizations. This past fall Alchemy released SmartBinder Flip (beta), the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on class engagement and understanding. Our premium product suite consisting of SmartBinder Collaborate (which includes SmartBinder Teams) and SmartBinder Engage are now publicly available. Contact us today at alchemylearning.com.