By Hilary Mahan, MBEF Board Member
Traditionally, we look to our teachers to be leaders in the classroom, to guide our students through established curriculum and ensure they are meeting or exceeding expectations. The teachers who are inspired in their approach, who stretch the boundaries of learning, are typically the most successful. The most successful at not only ensuring that standards are met, but also at encouraging an enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge in students that stays with them well into their adult lives.
Now more than ever, particularly with the adoption of Common Core Standards, we are looking to teachers to stretch beyond textbook teaching and bring together a cornucopia of instruction methods that will ultimately help a student delve deeper into a subject. We are among the fortunate in the state – our exceptional teachers have been leading the charge towards innovative classrooms for years. And now MBEF is stepping up to encourage this even more so.
With the introduction of a new MBEF grant this year, Teachers Driving Innovation (TDI Partnership), MBUSD educators are encouraged to submit proposals for projects that provide innovation and/or collaboration in learning in alignment with District goals. The purpose of this program is to enhance student learning by providing educators with an opportunity to exercise their passion for teaching, develop ideas, partner with colleagues and connect with the wealth of knowledge, expertise and talent within our District and community.
MBEF believes the inclusion of innovative learning techniques throughout K-12 curricula is critical to developing our students into tomorrow’s leaders. We are optimistic that this inaugural TDI Partnership will be the cornerstone of innovative development programs that will define funding criteria, funding cycles, and evaluation methods in the future.
Applications are due by November 20th and will be implemented during the 2015/16 school year if approved. The TDI Grant Committee is comprised of current MBEF Board members and education experts, including Alison Diaz, Adam Goldston, Elizabeth Kunkee, Kevin Post, Jeff Serota and Marla Zaslansky. A total of $25,000 in funding is available this school year, however the Grant Committee predicts this will grow significantly in the years to come.
MBEF is excited to continue its mission to inspire learning, enrich teaching, promote innovation and drive academic excellence. Teachers, please consider applying – a single idea could spark excitement and inspire learning for thousands of MBUSD students. Here’s a link to the application for all interested teachers.