HPS Teachers Earn Fund for Teachers Fellowships
Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Spanish Teacher, Jennifer Augsberger, McDonough Middle School Counselor, James Gorss, and Bulkeley High School English teacher, Casey Cunningham have been named 2020 Fund For Teachers Fellows and are the recipient of grants which they will use in the summer of 2021 for travel.
Mrs. Augsberger of HMTCA will travel to Spain where she will extend (her) knowledge of Peninsular art and architecture by visiting key cities in Spain to develop a stronger understanding of the the country’s rich cultural identities (in order to) to teach these practices and perspectives to multiple levels of Spanish language classes.
Mrs. Augsberger, who is also the HMTCA World Languages Department Chair and National Honor Society Co-Advisor, is well-deserving of this highly selective award; she states, “I have always been interested in teaching Spanish history through its own art and architecture. This grant will give me the opportunity to travel throughout Spain while reflecting on creating engaging lessons for all levels of Spanish. Teaching every level learner cultural and historical viewpoints, creating respect for similarities and differences in our global society.”
Ms. Cunningham plans to experience Vancouver’s Indian Summer Festival and INFUSION YA Book Festival, to facilitate thought-provoking discussions about identity; develop opportunities for students to express themselves in nontraditional ways; and to ultimately allow for a safe space for students to learn about themselves and each other.
Ms. Cunningham states, “As an English teacher, words have been inspirational to me in how they can both empower an individual and unify larger groups. I am curious to explore how communities are formed, strengthened, and solidified through language and storytelling. This Fellowship will allow me to attend workshops, cultural festivals, poetry slams, art installations, book fairs (yes!)- all surrounding ideas of how we define language and how it can foster community. Upon returning, my goal is to facilitate thought-provoking discussions about identity; develop opportunities for students to express themselves in nontraditional ways; and to ultimately allow for a safe space for students to learn about themselves and each other.”
Mr. Gorss will participate in an eight-day immersion experience learning mindfulness techniques in Bali to institute efforts geared around students emotional regulation that will foster resilience, reduce toxic stress and build self-awareness translating into higher educational outcomes.
The Fund for Teachers has a tradition of surprising the newly selected Fellows in their classrooms. While we are personally disappointed to have missed these opportunities due to our school closures, we celebrate our Fellows. In the words of the FFT Charter, “Seeking that which builds my own experience and equips me better to move through this world as a constant force for equity, achievement and change for the better.”
Congratulations, to the new Fellows and to Hartford Public Schools for supporting teachers in pursuing their dreams as they continue to grow and contribute to the field of education.
Thank you to HMTCA Principal Julie Goldstein, for her excellent contribution to this article.
Learn more about the Fund for Teachers at http://www.fundforteachers.org/