National UTeach Alumni Network Newsletter
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National UTeach Alumni Network

October 2016

Flood Relief for GeauxTeach Alumni

In August 2016, Baton Rouge experienced devastating flooding. Some of our GeauxTeach alumni have lost the entire contents of their classrooms and are displaced from their schools. They are juggling chaotic schedules and scrambling for supplies. UTeach Nation is rallying to raise funds to help them with flood recovery in their classrooms and school communities.

We've gathered classroom wish lists from these GeauxTeach teachers and hope that you can join us in lending support. The most wished-for items are basic classroom supplies — things like binder clips, paper, markers, pencils, etc. Some of them need graphing calculators, curriculum workbooks, and kits.

Let’s chip in to help as these folks rebuild!
Morgan Westbrook, GeauxTeach alumna
Morgan Westbrook teaches at St. Amant High School, “We are finding a balance between maintaining high expectations in the classroom and providing emotional support for students in need.”

An aerial view of St. Amant High School during the flooding.
St. Amant High School flooded

UTeach Nation Virtual Network

Launching this fall, this is an online space where UTeach alumni can collaborate, network, and share ideas and materials to get the teaching support and answers you need. Teaching can be an isolating profession at times and our goal is to create a vibrant and supportive online community for UTeach alumni. Look out for updates in the near future!

UTeach Nation Virtual Network

UTeach Alumni Conference Highlights

More than 60 alumni from 11 UTeach programs came together on July 14 and 15 for the 3rd Annual UTeach Alumni Conference in Austin, Texas. Participants engaged in networking and professional learning over the course of a day and a half. Mariam Manual, teachHOUSTON alumna, gave an inspiring keynote address about her UTeach journey from classroom teaching into leadership roles that ultimately took her back to her stomping grounds at teachHOUSTON.

The UTeach Playground featured ten exhibitors in an interactive setting, including SparkFun Education, MathHappens, and HHMI. Fifteen concurrent break-out sessions were presented by UTeach alumni from across UTeach Nation on topics ranging from differentiated instruction to instructional coaching.
2016 UTeach Alumni Conference

UTeach Academy of Innovative Teaching and Learning

Emily Jones, UTeach Austin alumna, was the first graduate of the UTeach Professional Development Academy. We asked Emily why she completed the UTeach Academy of Innovative Teaching and Learning:

"When I was teaching, I didn't have many professional development hours as it was at a private school, and by the time I realized how far behind I was in completing 150 hours in 5 years, I only had 2 years left. I realized there was a dearth of quality online professional development instruction online and was pleased to learn of the offerings of the UTeach Academy of Innovative Teaching and Learning."
She says her favorite class was Learning Through Inquiry in a Flipped Classroom, because,
"...intuitively, this practice sounds virtually impossible. How can you deliver content at home before class to students while maintaining an inquiry-based approach? The course forced me out of my comfort zone to produce video content for my 'flipped' classroom and I had to be creative in order to maintain inquiry in this environment.  It can be done!”
Find out more about UTeach Professional Development and ask us about an alumni or school discount.

* * * 

Emily Jones, UTeach PD Academy graduate

Kelli Allen, UTeach Austin Master Teacher (right), presenting Emily with her Academy certificate at the UTeach Alumni Conference.

USEA Alumni Award

Congratulations to William Kiker, UTeach Austin alumnus, for winning the inaugural UTeach STEM Educators Association Alumni Award. William was presented the award at the UTeach Conference in May and was featured recently in Notes from UTeach Nation, a terrific series of alumni profiles in celebration of UTeach turning 20 this year.

William Kiker, USEA Alumni Award recipient
Share your news! Send us announcements about your achievements, job changes, presentations, and publications.

Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship

The Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship is “one of the most comprehensive fellowship programs in the nation for STEM teachers starting their first or second year of teaching.”

Katrina Muir Cornell, KSTF FellowKatrina Muir Cornell, UTeach Austin alumna, is entering her fourth year of teaching and her second of five years as a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Teaching Fellow. Katrina teaches grade 8–12 math and science subjects at Telluride High School in Telluride, Colorado.

With the grant funds, she's purchased supplies and technology for her classroom, covered costs to attend the Creating Balance Conference on math education and social justice, and taken courses towards her master's in math, She says, “A friend of mine happened to know someone who was a fellow and said she raved about it. He thought I was eligible and recommended I look into it. When I did I was astounded that I had never heard of this during my teacher certification training. All programs should be advertising this!”

Sarah Hettenbach, KSFT FellowSara Hettenbach, UKanTeach alumna and 2016 Knowles Fellow says, “I student-taught with Camden Hanzlick-Burton, who is a Knowles Fellow, and another Knowles Fellow, Tim Ellis, teaches at my school. Their encouragement plus some from teachers in the UKanTeach program prompted me to apply. Hearing Camden and Tim talk about the opportunities and support they had because of the fellowship really made me excited to be a part of the KSTF community."

Share your news! Send us announcements about your achievements, job changes, presentations, and publications.

Teaching Tips: “Shocktober”

How to talk to a “Problem Student” WITHOUT them tuning you out. (Frank, classroom teacher in Los Angeles. Check out his blog for more tips for new teachers.)

Feeling overwhelmed? Here's some encouragement: Hey, New Teachers, It's OK To Cry In Your Car. (Meg Anderson, nprEd)

Learn more about the mindfulness training for teachers through the program called Cultivating Awareness and Resilience for Educators, or CARE for Teachers When Teachers Take A Breath, Students Can Bloom. (Anya Kamenetz, nprEd)

Opportunities from NMSI

NMSI is seeking expert teachers to mentor teachers for its College Readiness Program (CRP) and facilitate teacher and student learning events for its Laying the Foundation (LTF) professional development program in the 2016–2017 school year.

Training facilitators for the CRP program lead content-focused training, professional development, and mentoring sessions for current AP math, science, and English teachers. Facilitators for LTF training work with 3rd-12th grade teachers to increase their content and pedagogical content knowledge through discipline-specific, hands-on workshops.

All of NMSI’s Facilitators receive high-quality training and earn a competitive stipend. Requirements to apply include 3+ years of AP experience and a track record of AP student success, or completion of at least one year (or four modules) of LTF training.

For more information and to apply, visit the NMSI careers/ trainers website. Contact Frances Edmun at with any questions.



NEA Grants to Educators

The NEA Foundation has grant opportunities for public school teachers who are NEA members. Their Learning & Leadership grants to individuals ($2,000) and groups ($5000) support teacher professional growth.

Student Achievement Grants (in the amount of $2,000 or $5,000) support projects that promote critical thinking, problem solving, and deepen conceptual understanding in standards-based subject matter. The emphasis is on inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection—perfect for UTeach Nation!

Application deadline is October 15, 2016.

Global Teacher Prize

The Global Teacher Prize is “a one million dollar award that is given to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.” Visit the website for information about nominating a teacher or submitting an application.

Application deadline is October 14, 2016

Texas Excellence in Science Teaching Awards

Texas UTeach alumni, nominate yourself and your friends and colleagues for the 2016 TMA Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching. Three Texas teachers will receive $5,000 and their schools will get $2,000. Three additional science teachers will receive $1,500 each and another $1,000 for their science curriculum as second-place winners!

Nominations deadline is November 18, 2016. TMA will contact nominees to submit an application, due on December 16, 2016.


UTeach Professional Development launched its first-ever MOOC on June 1, part of the White House ConnectED Initiative. Classroom Strategies for Inquiry-Based Learning features classroom video from two UTeach Austin alumni (Shana King and Jenna Saldana), along with UTeach Master Teachers Kelli Allen and Shelly Rodriguez as the instructors of the course. Learn more!

We're also offering a self-paced version of Classroom Strategies for Inquiry-Based Learning that launches August 18, 2016 and runs through May 31, 2017.

UTeach is turning 20!

2017 marks 20 years of UTeach, and we are gearing up to plan promotional, celebratory, and fundraising activities to benefit UTeach programs nationwide during the 2016–2017 academic year. Let us know if you'd like to be involved!

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Save the Date

4th Annual UTeach Alumni Conference

July 13–14, 2017
Austin, Texas

Email Carrie Culpepper to sign up to serve on the conference program committee that selects conference presenters and sessions.

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