- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1540713
- First Name Alison
- Last Name Wallace
- Discipline Biology
Steve Lindaas, Minnesota State University Moorhead, email@example.com
Alison Wallace, Minnesota State University Moorhead, firstname.lastname@example.org; Steve Lindaas, Minnesota State University Moorhead, email@example.com
One of our primary goals for our Noyce Scholar graduates is to retain and strengthen their feelings of belonging to a supportive community as they commence their teaching careers. While our first Noyce graduate began teaching in 2017-2018 as a cohort of one, our next cohort was considerably larger: eight science teachers and two math teachers. We immediately noticed their absence during our first face-to-face meeting in the fall of 2018 with our remaining Noyce Scholars. We decided to make a concerted effort to connect these two populations to facilitate the creation and maintenance of a cohesive community network.
How can we facilitate some ‘near peer’ mentoring relationships between our current undergraduate Scholars and our graduates in their first year of teaching?
Originally our mentoring plans centered around classroom visits to the new teachers’ schools, and monthly virtual meetings between all Scholars, whether already graduated or still attending classes. We added two more components to this plan: 1) creating smaller groups of 2-3 Scholars in a program we are calling ‘Noyce Neighbors’, and 2) inviting current undergraduate Scholars to attend classroom visits along with one of the scholarship program’s PIs.
Preliminary results show increased confidence and agency among the current Scholars as they interacted with graduated Scholars, an increased level of networking.
Lessons learned from these early efforts will be shared, along with anticipated improvements for the 2019-2020 academic year. An additional goal is increased participation from our Noyce graduates/new teachers in our mentoring and professional development opportunities. Making these new teachers the ‘advice-givers’ could provide a means for motivating them to remain active in our extended community.