The TST-BOCES/Ithaca College Teacher Research Fellows Inquiry Group

A Collaboration of Districts in the TST-BOCES Region and Ithaca College's Education Department

Who are we?

Person speaks to a group in front of a projected slide

Teacher Research Fellows present research at the Annual Conference on Teacher Inquiry at Ithaca College.

The Teacher Research Fellows Inquiry Group is a small community of teachers from across the TST-BOCES region engaged in systematic, year-long study of our own teaching. 

Teachers rarely are afforded time to systematically document their practice. However, teachers bring expertise to classroom-based research and are uniquely situated to investigate their own teaching. We believe teachers should do this work in the company of others who can support them, encourage their risk taking, and mutually benefit from their new learning. Our collaborative environment is designed to provide this kind of space, time, and support for teachers to build new understandings together--in community.

Teacher research, as it is used in our inquiry community, is an umbrella term that encompasses multiple genres and forms of research, including, but not limited to, action research, self-study, teacher inquiry, and additional ways of representing and acting upon new learning. We are expansive in the types of research we support.

Projects are intended to benefit student learning as teachers energize their practice.

"It [the TRF] has helped forge a relationship with my students that I haven't had in years. It was like we were all invested in getting better as learners."

Former TRF Fellow

Commitments and Responsibilities of Teacher Research Fellows

Adults sitting around table, with papers

Teachers share project updates at a monthly meeting.

As part of joining the Teacher Research Fellow Inquiry Group, Fellows are committing to the following professional activities. Each Fellow will

  • Attend monthly meetings (2 hours each), throughout the academic year, tentatively scheduled for the first or second Tuesday of the month at 4:00 p.m. or later.
  • Develop a teacher research question or project to be explored throughout the academic year, with progress reported and evidence analyzed at monthly meetings. 
  • Complete readings and monthly assignments, including time collecting and analyzing evidence related to the teacher research project.
  • Present the results of the teacher research project with the professional community.

Benefits of Being a Teacher Research Fellow

In exchange for their work, Teacher Research Fellows will receive a stipend of $500 at the conclusion of the year.

In addition, Fellows will enjoy the following benefits:

  • greater familiarity with current research in the field of teacher inquiry and in the area(s) of their research projects;
  • mentoring in the use of a variety of data collection methods and analysis techniques to help reflect on their own practices;
  • explicit support in meeting the proficient and highly proficient characteristics of the Danielson Framework’s Domain 4, component e: “Growing and Developing Professionally;”
  • skills for sharing the results of professional learning to a teacher community beyond one’s own school (e.g., writing for professional journals, presenting at professional conferences, developing a local professional learning opportunity within a district or for a nearby campus);
  • a new network of colleagues, each of whom is committed to systematic professional growth;
  • receipt of the title, “Teacher Research Fellow” to signify the teacher’s efforts to positively contribute to student achievement;
  • strategies to develop local teacher research communities back in their home schools/districts;
  • competence at using data in a variety of ways in the service of student learning; and
  • professional invigoration.

Announcing the 2023-2024 Cohort of Teacher Research Fellows

Ashley Smith, Dryden Elementary School (Dryden Central School District)

Ellen Eurich, Caroline Elementary School (Ithaca City School District)

Maggie Gilroy, South Hill Elementary School (Ithaca City School District)

Margaret Henry, R.C. Buckley Elementary School (Lansing Central School District)

Rachel Paparone, Charles O. Dickerson High School (Trumansburg Central School District)

Paul Wiech, Charles O. Dickerson High School (Trumansburg Central School District)

Facilitators: Randi Beckmann (Ithaca City School District) and Jeane Copenhaver-Johnson (Ithaca College)

Meet our Former Fellows

Learn more about the history of the program by visiting our list of former Teacher Research Fellows.