Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
Applications for the 2015-2016 Teaching Ambassador Fellowship are now available and will close on January 20, 2015. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the 20th. No materials will be accepted after the submission date. For updates on the 2015-2016 application process, sign up for email notifications or if you have questions regarding the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program, please email TeacherFellowship@ed.gov.
Please read the Eligibility, Program Overview, Frequently Asked Questions and Application Instructions carefully before you complete this application. Please note that only currently practicing Preschool-12th grade teachers and instructional coaches/specialists with at least five years of experience are eligible to apply for this program (if this school year is your fifth year teaching, you are eligible). Applicants may apply for either the full-time Washington-based or the part-time Classroom Fellowship, but not both.
Contributions to Student Learning– the extent to which the candidate has had demonstrable and meaningful impact on student achievement and school success;
Effective Leadership– the extent to which the candidate brings a record of effective leadership and team work amongst peers and other key stakeholders;
Communication Skills – the extent to which the candidate demonstrates the written and oral communication skills required to serve as a Fellow;
Other Applicable Skills and Experience – the extent to which the candidate demonstrates experience linked with the unique requirements and attributes of the Fellowship role.
Relevant Interests and Expertise – the extent to which the candidate has the ability to provide relevant insights from school and district experiences to education policy, programs, and initiatives; and,
School System Support – the extent to which the candidate has demonstrable support from their school and district for program participation.
More specifically, a complete application includes:
Five Narrative Responses
The applications contains five questions to which the candidate must provide five short narrative responses (no more than 500 words or 3500 characters with spaces) describing specific contributions to student learning, leadership experience, communication skills and networks, policy interests and expertise, and applicable training and development experiences.
The specific questions that applicants are to address are:
1) Contributions to Student Learning– Describe your effectiveness as an instructor as measured by improved student learning and achievement. Include quantitative and qualitative evidence. Discuss how your unique school context, setting and demographics informs your instruction and your role with in the school community.
2) Leadership Experience– Describe your leadership experience and provide examples of your approach and style in working with other educators or school community members in teams or settings that may include peers, educational leaders at a variety of school levels, or other key education stakeholders. You may include relevant experience from your personal, educational or professional background. Discuss how you measure your effectiveness as a leader or factors that have enabled your success.
3) Communication Skills - Describe your experience writing and orally presenting on education issues. Provide examples of the different forums in which you have made presentations or led discourse and describe the professional networks in which you participate which could serve as potential vehicles for outreach to other teachers. Discuss strategies you have employed to effectively communicate complex or difficult information or to resolve challenges you faced.
4) Other Applicable Skills and Experience – Ambassador Fellows work in a fast-paced and ambiguous environment in which they must quickly focus, digest complex information, and network with a wide variety of education stakeholders. Describe how specific training, academic or other experiences have prepared you for this role. Include specific strategies, tools or resources which have enabled you to be successful in these environments which may serve you in this unique role.
5) Interests and Expertise – Discuss how your experience can help inform the Department’s work and what you hope to gain from the Fellowship. Include relevant experience with Federally-funded or key initiatives addressing: the transition college and career ready standards and instruction; support for great teachers and leaders; turning around chronically low performing schools; or providing access and opportunity for all students from cradle to career.
Highly rated candidates provide succinct but thorough responses addressing each of the sub-components of the vacancy question and provide examples demonstrating how the applicant meets the above criteria. Applications are peer reviewed as a whole package. While information found in any part of the application will be considered as part of the scoring, applicants are encouraged to clearly demonstrate how they meet the criteria outlined in each question and may repeat information as is necessary to do so.
An Employer Letter of Recommendation
Fellows share public resources with and hear from educators across the country, including in their own school communities. School and district support for Teaching Ambassador Fellowship participation is critical. Therefore the required employer letter should indicate an understanding of the requirements of participation in the Fellowship program and recommend you for the program. The letter must be on letterhead and signed in order to be considered. Information in the letter that supports or bolsters your narrative responses on any of the topics above will be taken into account in the review process. Highly rated submissions speak to specific ways in which the applicant is a valued member of the school’s community or ways in which the writer or larger school community will enable the candidate’s program participation.
Please note: Recommenders do not need to submit any paperwork at this point or guarantee IPA approval. Rather the employer letter should demonstrate a willingness by the candidate’s supervisor to assist in ultimately gaining district approval for the IPA should s/he be selected.
A Current Resume
A resume is required for all Federal candidates. It should at a minimum provide current and best contact information and clearly indicate the school and district in which you serve. Resumes are used to help verify eligibility and should be consistent with or able to enhance information contained within your narrative responses.
To begin applying for the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship please review the vacancy announcement at usajobs.com. Be sure to carefully follow all directions and steps included within the Vacancy Posting. For step-by-step instructions, please print and read the Application Instructions.
How Applications Are Evaluated
All applications are screened for eligibility and reviewed by teams of current and alumni Fellows and Department staff members who have been or work closely on issues of concern to teachers. Applications are rated according the criteria listed above. The most highly rated applicants may be asked to participate in telephone and potentially in-person interview processes.
All applicants will be notified by email of their status in the competition. If you have not heard back from the Department by April 2015, please be in contact with us at TeacherFellowship@ed.gov. Given the volume of applications, feedback on applications will not be provided.