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Meet the 2016-18 Heinemann Fellows
The 2016–18 class of Heinemann Fellows has been announced. Click here to read about this new cohort and the rigorous selection process.
Seated: Dr. Kimberly Parker, Tiana Silvas, Katie Charner-Laird, Hollis Scott, Kate Flowers.
Reflections on Heinemann Fellows and Action Research by Ellin Keene
Heinemann Fellows are a group of educators with boundless curiosity about children, teaching, and learning.
They work collegially and individually in their schools and districts:
- To identify problems of practice,
- To generate research questions related to those challenges,
- To design a research plan to explore and revise instructional practices related to the question, and
- To share findings nationally through social media, presentations, and articles.
Though action research is the primary vehicle through which Fellows work, the initiative has evolved into a professional culture of its own. After becoming part of the initiative, Fellows soon adopt a discipline of observation and reflective practice in the classroom and the community. They undertake research designed to create new ways of thinking and fresh solutions to problems of practice.
The Heinemann Fellows Initiative is about a new form of professional interaction in education. It's about true collegiality. Not congeniality—the friendly, supportive, superficial, “how are ‘ya doing today” kind, but the type of professional engagement in which they challenge each other's thinking, ask provocative questions of each other, and engage in discussions focused on their most fundamental beliefs about children, teaching, learning, and living.
Fellows seek to create original ideas for our field in a time when many of our colleagues around the country question whether they can make a lasting contribution to their students. Original thinking for the field and new ways of seeing –- for children to come.
These Heinemann Fellows are creating a unique culture and establishing relationships with each other and with the team at Heinemann. Fellows set their own direction, but in the full knowledge that their colleagues at Heinemann will puzzle through ideas with them. It's about close professional and personal relationships they'll have for a lifetime.
And, Heinemann Fellows seek to create new professional learning opportunities for colleagues around the world, like a stellar new professional book title, an article for our Professional Development Catalog/Journal, a series of blog posts, or Twitter chats.
Most importantly, Heinemann Fellows hope to inspire educators around the world to take on problems of practice, develop research questions and plans to systematically review their instruction and amend it to better meet children's needs. They share a fervent desire to stand alongside children and colleagues to create better classrooms and schools with the long-term interest of creating a more just and inclusive world.
Reflections from Our First Class
Two years ago, ten educators from across the United States were selected to form the first class of Heinemann Fellows. They represented a cross section of content areas and brought diverse experiences and perspectives to their work. And, through focused action research projects, observations, and continued sharing via articles and blogs, they have become part of the fabric of Heinemann.View Full Article
Heinemann Fellows Chairperson: Ellin Oliver Keene
Ellin Oliver Keene has been a classroom teacher, staff developer, non-profit director and adjunct professor of reading and writing. For sixteen years she directed staff development initiatives at the Denver-based Public Education & Business Coalition. She served as Deputy Director and Director of Literacy and Staff Development for the Cornerstone Project at the University of Pennsylvania for 4 years. Ellin currently serves as senior advisor at Heinemann, overseeing the Heinemann Fellows initiative and works with schools and districts throughout the country and abroad. Her emphasis is long-term, school-based professional development and strategic planning for literacy learning.
Ellin is co-editor and co-author of The Teacher You Want to Be: Essays about Children, Learning, and Teaching (Heinemann, 2015); co-editor of the Not This, but That series (Heinemann, 2013 - 2015); author of Talk About Understanding: Rethinking Classroom Talk to Enhance Understanding (Heinemann, 2012), To Understand: New Horizons in Reading Comprehension (Heinemann, 2008), co-author of Comprehension Going Forward (Heinemann, 2011), Mosaic of Thought: The Power of Comprehension Strategy Instruction, 2nd edition (Heinemann, 2007, 1st edition, 1997) and author of Assessing Comprehension Thinking Strategies (Shell Educational Books, 2006) as well as numerous chapters for professional books and journals on the teaching of reading as well as education policy journals.
Heinemann Fellows 2016-2018
Years in Education:20
Current Position:Principal of Cambridgeport School (PreK–5)
Katie views her role as an instructional leader, spending large amounts of time in the classroom because “there is no perfect lesson. There is only a lesson that perfectly matches the needs of the students.” Recently, Katie has worked to create an approach for teachers to be in one another’s classrooms, engaging in what her school calls “collaborative observation.”
Years in Education:15
Current Position:Teacher at Conestoga High School
Tricia has spent the last 15 years as a classroom educator with a student-driven approach to teaching reading and writing. Through her career, Tricia has applied the philosophy of the teacher-as-researcher while applying best practices to “cultivate independent learners” through independent reading and student choice. “For better or worse, “well enough” doesn’t satisfy me. I approach each school year, each course, each unit with fresh eyes.”
Years in Education:19
Current Position:5th Grade (and former 1st Grade) Teacher, New Franklin School
Ian says it’s always productive to speak with students about “misfires and failures” and that they outweigh the learning moments of “triumphs.” He says we learn from how we tend to get things wrong. He is part of a yearlong collaboration with colleagues on the planning and teaching of writer’s workshop units of study.
Hometown:Santa Clara, CA
Years in Education:19
Current Position:English Teacher at Santa Clara High School
Teacher Consultant at the San Jose Area Writing Project
Kate focuses on engaging students in a joyful and vigorous classroom, filled with authentic writing and reading opportunities. She works to adapt progressive practices to work for students in overcrowded, underfunded classrooms, across different socioeconomic communities.
Years in Education:6
Current Position:Math Teacher at Simmons Middle School
Kent wants to change the way middle school students think about mathematics. He says he’d like students to solve equations more creatively and help them move “beyond memorized rules” in math practice.
Years in Education:21
Current Position:5th and 7th Grade Teacher at Oyster River Middle School
Chris engages his middle school students by incorporating meaningful projects to “focus their learning across subject areas.” Their inquiry often incorporates town landmarks or local historical areas as expedition projects for his students, which he says brings students closer to their community.
Hometown:San Jose, CA
Years in Education:19
Current Position:Kindergarten Teacher at Washington Elementary School in San Jose Unified School District
Aeriale has taught in districts across the United states from Florida to Alaska to California and has served at nearly every level of public education. “Professional educators need to question the world around them, but especially themselves. We cannot reflect on our practice without inner reflection. As an educator, I consider it a moral and ethical imperative.”
Years in Education:14
Current Position:Reading Specialist at Jefferson Middle School
Anna felt the call to education after watching a news report on the need for teachers. More than 15 years later she still wakes up every morning with a passion to make a difference for her students. “Teaching is not for the fainthearted. There are unexpected tragedies and life changes that happen, yet, teachers hold an ethical and personal commitment to our students.”
Dr. Kimberly Parker
Years in Education:14
Current Position:English Teacher at The Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School
Kim has worked successfully to address an achievement gap among struggling readers. She hopes her work in Cambridge helps other educators see the “potential in their historically underserved students.” Throughout her career as a teacher and through myriad leadership roles, Parker has been an advocate for classroom educators and sees her most powerful role as an educator who helps students grow their love of reading and find a book they’ll be able to connect with.
Years in Education:13
Current Position:5th Grade Teacher at Montair Elementary School
Hollis’ pedagogy is steeped in an emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, global citizenship, and visible thinking. “There is a social and ethical component to being a good teacher. Students need to learn how to be good individuals, citizens, and workers. They need to reflect and engage thoughtfully in conversations about social issues and how to take action, even if it is with simple acts of kindness.”
Hometown:New York, NY
Years in Education:12
Current Position:4th Grade Teacher, former Literacy Coach at PS 59
Tiana considers effective teaching to be an intersection of continuous co-constructed learning, self-confidence, and lifelong leaders that emerge from teacher teams and classrooms. Silvas feels that the best way to grow as an education leader is through experience in the classroom saying, “I continue to lead from the trenches.” She says “true leadership isn’t what you do in the moment, but the legacy you leave behind.”