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?
The Teacher Research Fellows Inquiry Group is a small community of teachers from across the TST-BOCES region engaged in systematic study about their own teaching. We have been convening local teacher researchers since 2016.

Our teacher research community grounds our work in the perspective that teachers are uniquely situated to investigate and analyze their own practice. 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 multiple ways of representing and acting upon new learning. As a small group of collaborating practitioners, we emphasize the role of the teacher in the generation of classroom-based knowledge. The ultimate purpose of the inquiry projects teachers carry out is to enrich their students’ learning and life chances. 

Teachers are generally afforded little time to systematically document and consider what they are learning with the explicit and regular support of others. The Teacher Research Fellows Inquiry Group offers time, space, community, and methodological support for teachers to help colleagues think in new ways about our practices. Fellows will share their projects with others in the inquiry community and with a broader audience of teaching professionals.

Commitments and Responsibilities of Teacher Research Fellows

As part of joining the Teacher Research Fellow Inquiry Group, Fellows are committing to the following professional activities. Each Fellow will
•    Attend one three-hour training session in September for program initiation, one three-hour retreat mid-year (January), and one three-hour retreat at the conclusion of the project (June).
•    Attend monthly meetings (2 hours each), throughout the academic year, tentatively scheduled for the 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.

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.

How can I join?

Each spring, teachers from participating districts receive an invitation to apply for the program and an informational flyer. We have made the decision to pause fellowships for the 2020-2021 academic year and hope to begin recruitment for the next cohort of Fellows in Spring 2021.