Page 8 - Baltimore Fishbowl - 2017 School Guide
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Jackie Burr, The Bryn Mawr School’s Wilgis Teaching Fellow
trainer model, using the endowments from the Callard and Cooper to bring two University of Pennsylvania graduate students to campus for two years.
“We are at a significant inflection point with our fellows program,” says Bartley Griffith, assistant head of school
at Gilman. “The classroom is an increasingly complex and demanding place for early-career teachers, and we want to provide them with the best support and learning experiences possible. So we partnered with UPenn to provide what we trust will be a transformative fellowship experience.”
Under the new Penn-linked model, each fellow will receive “aggressive mentoring,” according to Griffith.
“Penn incentivizes with Gilman the mentor situation,” Griffith says. “A Gilman mentor observes \[the fellows\] each day. The fellow will take on one of the classes of the mentor teacher. And the Gilman teacher gets a course reduction to dig in and have time to invest in the fellow’s career. Then University of Pennsylvania professors will have feedback, too—the fellows are getting the support and expertise of courses at Penn. And this creates a cohort of peers \[across the East Coast\] going through the same experience.”
Gilman faculty generally includes between seven and 10 former fellows, according to Griffith, and the majority of the overall faculty hold master’s degrees, though they are not required.
“Last spring, I graduated from Davidson in North Carolina with \[an undergraduate\] degree in English,” says rising Cooper Fellow Ethan Faust, 22, who enrolls as a University of Pennsylvania grad student in August. At this time, Faust will relocate to Baltimore and begin shadowing Matt Tully, a seventh-grade language arts instructor and celebrated track coach. Tully, Gilman ‘02, also started his career as a fellow.
“Matt can really understand where I’m coming from as a young teacher, which is nice,” Faust says.
Of course, the University of Pennsylvania program is itself quite young—downright newborn—so there will be a whole lot to figure out.
“I think a lot of this first year, we’re going to be feeling out what works,” Faust explains. “It’s going to be a work in progress for everyone.”
The newness isn’t entirely a troublesome thing.
“Because the Penn program is brand-new, we’re working with a lot of materials written in the last year or two that look at relevant social issues and how to deal with those,” Faust says. “Our curriculum is innovative and at the forefront of these discussions—it’s increasingly important to talk about identity in all sorts of senses and to help students figure out who they are as people.”

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