Our fellowship program—developed in New York City over the last decade—serves as a national model to inspire the development of new programs in cities and states across the country.
Our model is simple. We don’t fix teachers. We don’t reform their practice. Instead, we focus on excellence and trust. We find the best teachers across New York City and build a professional community for them to collaborate and learn from one another. Ultimately, we inspire them to stay in the classroom and amplify their impact across the city and beyond.
We award two distinct four-year mathematics and science fellowships: one for teachers who are early in their careers and who show extraordinary promise and another for experienced, accomplished teachers. All teachers who receive an MƒA fellowship join a city-wide STEM community of critical thinkers, collaborative learners, and acclaimed experts. We advocate for teachers to be respected and trusted as professionals and to have access to a meaningful professional community where their voices are prominent. We believe MfA is changing the way we think about teachers and teaching in America. Our goal is to improve retention nationally by establishing a network of independent programs modeled on MƒA that supports communities of accomplished mathematics and science teachers across the country.
When we put great teachers together and enable them to collaborate, the professional community we create is nothing short of extraordinary. MƒA teachers inspire and motivate one another. They learn from each other and share ideas. They insist on excellence from their colleagues and from themselves. MƒA teachers meet regularly both professionally and socially, online and in person, building strong new professional relationships throughout their fellowships.
We believe participation in a professional community is critical to sustain teachers in their classroom work – and attending workshops at MƒA is just the beginning.
Throughout each fellowship teachers engage in a wide range of learning opportunities designed by and for our teachers. Teachers explore common themes to develop skills and new strategies for reaching all students. Our vast network of scientists and mathematicians allow teachers to deepen their content knowledge and make new connections. MƒA Master Teachers serve as mentors for MƒA Early Career Teachers so they, too, can grow and make teaching a lifelong career. MƒA teachers can access each other through our private online community to pose in-the-moment questions or propose meet-ups for study groups or events.
As hard as teachers work, we know play is important too, and MƒA provides many informal opportunities for teachers to get to know each other outside of the classroom. Playing on our softball team and attending social events, special lectures, and screenings are just a few ways we see teachers immersing themselves in the MƒA community.
Our model is about finding excellent people, creating opportunities for their growth, and sustaining them in their teaching careers. We do everything we can to make teaching professionally and financially rewarding - by creating a valuable learning community and offering significant stipends.
MƒA teachers are committed to learning. Through our fellowships, MƒA teachers deepen their own content knowledge, refine and expand their skills as pedagogues, and examine the best ways to teach each and every student in their classroom. Each semester of the school year, we provide ample opportunities for teachers to learn something new and stay at the forefront of their field.
We offer high quality, STEM-focused professional workshops and events on most evenings throughout the school year. Opportunities include:
- Professional Learning Teams (PLTs), which are small teams of teachers who meet monthly to collaboratively learn, investigate, and implement best practices.
- Year-long courses, where experts from outside academic institutions engage MƒA teachers at the cutting edge of their content area and/or pedagogical practice.
- Mini-courses, where experts from outside academic institutions and from the MƒA Master Teacher community engage MƒA teachers at the cutting edge of their content area and/or pedagogical practice.
- Single session workshops, where experts from the MƒA Master Teacher community and outside academic institutions engage MƒA teachers at the cutting edge of their content area and/or pedagogical practice.
The teachers we work with are impressive professionals, and we elevate their successes to build the respect and recognition they deserve. As experts in their field, MƒA teachers represent nearly ten percent of all mathematics and science teachers in New York City public schools. These expert professionals exemplify what it means to be a great teacher. We celebrate them – and we celebrate and honor teaching as a profession at MƒA.
We regularly offer opportunities for teachers to speak and share their work through special local, regional, and national events. Here are just a few examples:
- We build special events for and by our teachers, such as our yearly TED-style event, where Master Teachers present their own research and practice to their colleagues.
- We host an annual Fall ƒunction gala to bring together our teacher community, honor their commitment to teaching, and recognize their outstanding work and dedication.
At MƒA we also advocate for teachers across our community, New York City, and nationally, to be respected as professionals and to have access to a meaningful professional community where their voices are prominent.
Since its inception in 2004, MƒA has worked to inspire, support, and share new ideas that shape policy, practice, and the retention of excellent teachers in mathematics and science across New York City’s 1,700 public schools. Throughout the United States, our fellowships have inspired a network of programs, each of which provide the best STEM teachers with fellowships that keep them in the classroom and at the cutting edge of teaching and learning.
MƒA Keeps Accomplished Teachers in the Classroom Longer
Keeping the best STEM teachers in the classroom is important. Students are more likely to succeed with a teacher that has honed his or her craft over time. Losing teachers and training new ones is also costly. Over four years, MƒA Master Teachers have stayed in the classroom longer than their counterparts who are not a part of the MƒA community.
MƒA is a Successful Model that Can be Replicated
Every student deserves a great teacher—one who’s an expert in the subject matter and has a deep commitment to the craft of teaching. The MƒA Master Teacher Fellowship is a model that can be used to retain our best public school STEM teachers by establishing independent, statewide, prestigious professional learning and growth programs and communities. Through our fellowships, MƒA teachers report that they continue to develop a deep understanding of pedagogy. They also enhance their content knowledge through MƒA professional development. Moreover, they cite increased confidence, strong connections to a professional community, and above all, a desire to stay in the classroom.
Launched in 2013, the New York State Master Teacher program is an integral part of a statewide education strategy aimed at retaining the best teachers in order to create a world-class STEM learning environment for students.