We began by asking a question:
What would happen if teachers could bring their out-of-school passion into their classrooms?
We launched Passion to Teach with a small pilot cohort of teachers during the 2018-19 school year. Over the course of the year, they reflected on what brings them joy outside of teaching, made plans to bring that to their students in a rigorous, meaningful, and fun way, and worked throughout the year on building and refining curriculum and offering new and varied ways to learn together with their students.
What we learned reinforced our hopes: this type of work is invigorating for teachers and students. When teachers are given the tools to “dream big,” they produce amazing projects that are both joyful and full of learning for students. Teachers relish the chance to form connections with colleagues from different schools who can both push their thinking and support their vision by bringing new perspectives and offering actionable feedback. Teachers also need time and space to plan, reflect, and take advantage of community-based resources across Boston that will enhance learning.
Does this sound interesting? Read on to learn more about the 2018-19 pilot of Passion to Teach.
Meet some of the pilot cohort teachers:
Meet Mr. Forman, 5th Grade Teacher, “Our Food, Our Community, Our Lives”
“The Passion to Teach experience has been quite impactful on my teaching this year, specifically in my Social Studies and Science teaching. Not only did the targeted planning work help me develop curriculum and get ready for the year, but I have seen how the Passion Project content has excited and engaged students throughout the year. Growing plants in the tower garden and going to the cooking trips have been two of the most exciting learning activities of the year.
More specifically, the Passion Project learning has engaged students that might otherwise struggle in more traditional academic settings. One student, for example, has taken a strong interest in growing plants. While he struggles in reading and writing and shows less effort in these areas, our plant unit in science engaged him fully. He would come in every morning to check the plants from our experiment, and even asked for extra seeds to take home so that he could grow his own plants. This is just one example of how the work with the Passion Project has excited and engaged my students this year.”
Applications for the 2019-20 school year are now closed.