Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
The U.S. Department of Education believes that teachers should have meaningful opportunities to both contribute to and understand the policies that impact their students and school communities. In order to implement needed reforms, all stakeholders must understand the intent of policy and be engaged in the outcomes. The Department also understands that when families, students, and teachers want information about education, it is most often to teachers that they turn.
The Teaching Ambassador Fellowship supports the Department’s mission by employing a cadre of outstanding teachers to contribute their classroom expertise to the national dialogue and in turn facilitate discussions with educators across the country. For the Fellows, the program adds greater knowledge of educational policy and leadership to their toolkits to contribute to solutions at all levels for long intractable challenges in education.
Fellows spend a year gaining greater knowledge of the content of key federal programs and policies, in addition to the context and process by which they are designed and implemented. Fellows share their expertise with federal staff members; provide outreach and communication about federal initiatives to other educators on behalf of the Department; and facilitate the involvement and understanding of teachers in developing and implementing these efforts at the federal, state and local levels, to improve the likelihood of their success.
The Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program offers two separate year-long paid positions: the Washington Fellowship is a full-time appointment based at the Department’s Headquarters in Washington and the Classroom Fellowship enables teachers to participate on a part-time basis for the Department, in addition to their regular school responsibilities, working in collaboration with the Department’s Regional Offices.
In the Washington Fellowship, selected teachers serve as full-time federal employees in Washington, DC for one school year. Fellows are placed in offices within the Department of Education to work on education programs and policy matters. They contribute valuable school and classroom level knowledge and perspective to the Department, collaborate to provide specific outreach to other teachers, and greatly increase their knowledge and understanding of federal education policies and programs in order to share with other teachers. Over the year, Washington Fellows gain in-depth knowledge of Department initiatives; provide their perspectives to senior staff; share relevant school and classroom experiences with internal and external audiences; and facilitate discussion among educators about policy in DC and in areas around the country as necessary.
In the Classroom Fellowship, selected teachers serve as paid, part-time federal employees, in addition to their chief work as teachers for one school year, primarily by sharing public information with other teachers and facilitating conversation amongst educators at the district, state and regional level. They contribute their insights and knowledge about schools and classrooms to the Department, collaborate with other Fellows and Regional Office staff to provide specific outreach to teachers, and increase their knowledge and understanding of federal education policies and programs and their critical interplay with state and local policies. Over the year, Classroom Fellows gain knowledge of key Department initiatives and understand how these intersect with state and local efforts; work with Department staff to gather and share information with constituencies in the region; and are asked periodically to share relevant school and classroom experiences with internal and external audiences.
During the 2013-2014 Fellowship year, the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship will focus on the Department’s key policy priorities – particularly as they relate to ensuring that every student has an effective teacher and quality educational opportunities from cradle to career. Teaching Ambassador Fellows will work to learn about, contribute to, and share information as the Department continues to 1) Support p-12 reform at the State and local levels; 2) Work to strengthen and renew the teaching profession; and 3) Increase college completion rates.