"The emerging consensus about effective professional development suggests that teachers need opportunities to work with colleagues who face similar challenges, including other teachers from their school and those who have similar teaching assignments."
The MƒA Master Teacher Fellowship is a five-year program that rewards outstanding experienced secondary school mathematics teachers. MƒA Master Teachers demonstrate strong content knowledge; they are recognized as leaders in their schools and beyond; they serve as mentors for beginning teachers; they are models for their colleagues; and they remind each of us about our own inspiring teachers. Typical duties of MƒA Master Teachers are described below. Typical compensation is a $10K annual salary supplement together with a $5K discretionary professional expense budget. However, the duties and compensation of individual awardees will be negotiated between the awardee and program representatives prior to the award start-date.
The immediate goal of the MƒA Utah Master Teacher Program is the nurturing of a professional community of mathematics teachers, capable of establishing and maintaining high standards of teaching practice, both mathematically and pedagogically, and of inspiring and supporting the work of their colleagues. The longer-term goal of the MƒA Utah Master Teacher Program envisions the existence of a professional community of mathematics teacher-leaders that is sufficiently numerous and capable to leaven the entire mathematics teaching profession in the State, and thereby to gradually enhance the learning and appreciation of mathematics by all of Utah's students.
Representing a range of seniority, MƒA Master Teachers must have at least four years of full-time classroom teaching experience and be planning to remain as classroom teachers for at least five additional years at the time of their initial award.
MƒA Master Teachers are invited to form a close community of professionals united in their passionate enthusiasm for mathematics and for their work as teachers of mathematics. They are invited to actively participate in professional development and mentoring within the MƒA corps.
That said, different MƒA Master Teachers will make different types of contributions to this professional community of mathematics teachers, depending on their particular skills, opportunities and interests. This professional community of teacher-leaders may manifest itself in small regional clusters of teacher-leaders or statewide networks. MƒA will support this work financially and logistically and facilitate the professional sharing of the work throughout the State of Utah, both within a gradually increasing community of MƒA Master Teachers as well as through cooperation with other mathematics teacher-leader initiatives through the Utah State Office of Education. However, building a 'professional community' does imply the sharing of one's professional talents and resources with colleagues.
MƒA Utah asks two related questions of applicants to the Master Teacher Program:
By listening to our experienced teachers around the State of Utah, we have learned that what MƒA can provide may vary from teacher to teacher since different highly accomplished teachers live and work in different professional situations. For some, the answer may be to open their own classrooms to their colleagues and to share on their own practice in a more public way in their own school. Or it may involve becoming a mentor teacher for a colleague just entering the profession. For others, it may involve district-wide or even statewide professional development work, for example on Utah Core implementation. For still others, it may involve design and piloting of professional development materials. And for all potential MƒA Master Teachers, it should involve continuing to do mathematics and reflecting on their own practice in order to refresh and renew their own professional edge.