KSTF Teaching Fellowships are awarded based on the following three selection criteria:
1. The potential to develop the content knowledge needed for teaching.
To meet this requirement, candidates should demonstrate:
- A strong foundation of current content knowledge in the subject(s) they intend to teach, including at least a bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent) in a related discipline.
- The capacity and drive to develop specialized teaching skills. This includes the ability to:
- Present expert concepts to novices
- Anticipate student difficulties
- Build on students’ prior knowledge
Teaching skills are developed over the course of a career, so KSTF does not expect candidates to be master teachers when they apply. Rather, we seek candidates who are challenged and excited by the prospect of learning more about and engaging in the fundamental practices of the discipline (especially those they think they have already mastered).
2. The potential to develop exemplary teaching practices.
KSTF Teaching Fellowships are explicitly designed to support beginning high school teachers; hence we are seeking candidates who are committed to working with adolescents and teaching math or science at the high school level. We do not expect candidates to display a mastery of teaching when they apply. Rather, we are seeking candidates who understand that teaching is highly complex, intellectually challenging work and recognize that, regardless of other experiences they may have had, it will take them considerable time and effort to become masterful teachers.
Outstanding, professional teachers have the ability to communicate clearly, plan and be flexible, and work productively with diverse individuals. They:
- Are curious about the larger implications of teaching practices and educational policies and have a well-developed habit of using data to analyze their practice and reflecting on the implications of those analyses
- Are willing to share and receive critical feedback from others and demonstrate the capacity to learn from both failure and success
- Have consistently high expectations for all learners and critically examine their own practices to ensure equitable learning opportunities for all students
KSTF seeks candidates who have developed the knowledge, skills and dispositions in previous experiences and display the propensity to continue to develop them as teachers.
3. The potential to develop the qualities of a teacher leader.
KSTF is committed to strengthening the teaching profession by identifying and supporting outstanding professional teachers. We’re looking for candidates who have the potential to become leaders and change agents—teachers who advocate for students, their communities, improved educational opportunities and the teaching profession from the classroom.
What makes a teacher leader?
Professionals cultivate leaders from within the profession and generate knowledge about and for their practice. Therefore, teacher leaders are outstanding teachers who have the curiosity and drive to work with others to understand and improve teaching practices in ever-wider circles of influence.
- Understand the power of collaboration
- Recognize the need to learn from and with others
- Can work as part of a team
- Know how to lead by leveraging the strengths of team members
KSTF seeks candidates with a capacity for collaborative leadership based on past experiences, as well as the potential to continue developing as leaders in and from the classroom.