- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1035229
- First Name Davida
- Last Name Fischman
- Discipline Mathematics
Marcus Funchess, San Bernardino City Unified School, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Cronk, Victor Valley Union High School District, email@example.com
Joseph Jesunathadas, California State University San Bernardino, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jeremy Aikin, California State University San Bernardino, email@example.com
Jeremy Aikin, CSU San Bernardino, firstname.lastname@example.org
This project creates a community of well-prepared teachers who support each other in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. The benefit is to the schools, teachers, and students in the district, as well as to CSUSB. Scholars graduate well-prepared for their profession and viewed highly by prospective employers. The community created by this partnership grows and continues to improve the quality of mathematics instruction in middle and high schools throughout the community.
The major components of the CSU San Bernardino Noyce program are mentored classroom experiences (2 full weeks in the beginning of the academic year, and weekly thereafter), monthly seminars attended jointly by scholars and mentor teachers, expanded supervision of Noyce scholars’ student teaching by subject-matter faculty, and enhanced academic advising by Natural Sciences as well as Education faculty. All of these are firmly grounded in a strong partnership between the CSUSB College of Natural Sciences, College of Education, and the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
Additionally, we encourage and support financially scholars’ attendance at local and regional meetings and conferences such as the Riverside-San Bernardino Counties Math Teachers Association Dinner Meetings, the Western Regional Noyce Conference, and the California Math Council – South Annual Conference.
Structured mentoring experiences are at the core of our program; these are particularly valuable since our Noyce scholars are primarily undergraduates who have had little or no experience in the classroom. The program partners collaborate to identify lead teachers in the district who have outstanding skills both in teaching secondary students and in working with adults. The mentors and scholars are then matched, based on perceived needs of the scholars and skills of the teachers. While in the Noyce program, each scholar progresses through a series of benchmarks: at first the scholar observes classroom activities with a specific focus and records them, and then over time progresses from individual ad hoc tutoring to working with small groups, then co-planning and teaching portions of lessons, and eventually to independent planning and teaching of lessons under the supervision of the mentor teacher.
The Noyce seminars provide scholars and mentor teachers with additional opportunities to learn from university and district experts. Focus topics for 2015-16 include classroom management and interview techniques for scholars, Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice and Depth of Knowledge discussions and increasing the rigor of performance tasks for mentor-scholar teams, and mentoring skills discussions for mentor teachers. Additional topics of particular interest during the years have been formative and summative assessment, making use of resources to teach conceptually, and standards-aligned teaching with understanding.
As our funding comes to an end in Spring 2017, we have identified funding to continue the scholarships, and we have been in discussions with San Bernardino City USD to continue support for the program. AY 2016-17 will be a transition year, in which both programs will fund Scholars.
Many scholars have said that without the Noyce-sponsored mentored and structured classroom experiences, and the confidence they gain through them, they would not have made the decision to become a teacher. Noyce Graduates have said that their first year teaching is immeasurably more successful than it would otherwise have been after having learned so much about teaching in all its aspects from their mentor teachers and through the Noyce seminars and conferences they have attended. Feedback from district personnel indicates a high level of satisfaction with the work of the Noyce teachers.
Recruitment efforts target a diverse range of applicants, many of whom are from underrepresented groups. The program builds capacity by creating recruitment and support strategies that can be sustained beyond NSF funding. Recruitment vehicles are designed so that support and articulation activities are sustained within existing infrastructure and so that personnel are prepared to be involved in the recruitment process. The project creates a model community of well-prepared teachers that support each other and mentors new teachers as they are recruited. This model can be disseminated to add to the body of knowledge on best practices regarding recruitment, teacher preparation and retention.