Invest in the Work of Other Educators

TrueSchool Fellows share their breakthroughs and fund the ideas of other school teams.

We all want to know our ideas are worthwhile and see them become reality.

That’s why a major component of the TrueSchool Process is recognizing and rewarding excellence. At the end of our year-long Fellowship, we look back on all the hard work our school teams have done—identifying challenges, conducting Fieldwork, testing new ideas and evaluating their impacts on student learning. It’s essential that our TrueSchool Fellows both share their knowledge and celebrate their accomplishments.

We believe that when educators are given a platform to present their perspectives and receive feedback and praise for all they’ve done, we can harness that energy towards improving student learning. 

Following the Fellowship, 98% of participating educators reported feeling encouraged to share ideas that have worked for them, so that other teachers can take these ideas and run with them. 

Looking back on the experience, the Rohwer Elementary Team from Omaha, Nebraska, reflected, “We looked at our current practices and had fierce conversations about what we [needed] to change. We share our learning through the process and celebrate our success at the same time.”

TrueSchool is always looking for new ways to champion the hard work of our Fellowship cohorts. Last year, we introduced micro-investments as a way for TrueSchool Fellows to support their peers’ plans to improve equity and access in their schools.

At the end of the TrueSchool Fellowship, school teams submit a final Blueprint, a capstone presentation that shares each team’s findings from the past year. Last year, each school team received $250 to further their own work and an additional $250 to invest in the work of another school team they thought had the greatest potential to transform student outcomes.

From this process, we learned that school teams were eager to dig into, digest, and discuss each other’s work. After reviewing others’ Blueprints, 96% of school teams reported that they planned to use or replicate at their own school the work of another team. And at the end of the Fellowship, 23% more educators reported that they felt they were actively learning from the work of other schools locally, regionally, and nationally. 

Last year’s top awardee was Ezra Millard Elementary, which received $860 to further the project its school team developed with TrueSchool. During their Fieldwork, the Ezra Millard team discovered that many students were not able to give specific details about what they were learning. 

In response, the TrueSchool Fellows launched standards-aligned, student-friendly learning targets for first graders so that students would begin owning and discussing their education in new ways. They’re already working to implement student-oriented learning targets for all grade levels.

Here’s some of the feedback Ezra Millard received from other school teams:

  • “The impact on student learning was evident through the student testimonies on the videos in the presentation.”
  • “We are hoping to use their ideas to implement in our school since our goals were very similar. If we are going to borrow…we felt we should invest!”

Click here to read the full Ezra Millard Blueprint.

And if you’re ready to impact student learning at your school, apply for the 2020 TrueSchool Fellowship by October 15.