Fund for Teachers (FFT) enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the globe that will have the greatest impact on their practice, the academic lives of their students and their school communities. FFT grants are available to all eligible Pre-K through 12th grade teachers in the state of Oklahoma through a partnership with the national Fund for Teachers organization and the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.Mary Griffin (2007 Fellow), a teacher at Peters Elementary in Union Public Schools, studied art and architecture in the United Kingdom during her fellowship. She recently described her experience, saying, “The Oklahoma Fund for Teachers grant has ignited such creativity in our classroom! Our latest project was to construct holiday trees in the shapes of pyramids. My youngest students now grasp the meaning of the face of a three-dimensional shape, angles, perpendicular lines, pyramids and vertices. Seeing that “ah-ha” moment on their faces as they built their pyramids was a holiday gift every teacher dreams of receiving.”The Fund for Teachers program at TCF began awarding grants in 2002 to Tulsa area teachers. In 2006 the program expanded state-wide when the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence joined the partnership. Since 2002, over $2.2 million has been awarded to 712 teachers in 384 different schools. Malissa Barker and Susan Cronk (2007 Fellows), teachers at Jenks West Intermediate Elementary School, attended a summer writing institute at the Teacher’s College of Columbia University. Describing their FFT experience, they said, “Each night we had a writing assignment, and it was challenging and stretched us to grow as writers. We quickly realized that in order to teach students in our Writer’s Workshop we had to have our own journal and engage in weekly writing ourselves. This experience certainly gave us great insight to what it must feel like for students as they approach the tasks we set for them.”
FFT provides fellowship grants directly to teachers with more than three years of experience, to support professional learning during the summer. Their experiences come in many forms, but share the purpose of better teaching. Ultimately, FFT believes that by experiencing the potential of their personal and professional learning, teachers in turn inspire potential in their students.Program and Award Information
The number of awards available each year is limited both by the merit of the applications and the funding available. Teachers within the state of Oklahoma may apply for up to $5,000 as an individual or up to $10,000 as a team of two or more eligible applicants. Awarded teachers must wait 5 years before applying for an additional FFT grant.
- Teach in a Pre-K through 12th grade classroom,
- Have a minimum of three years classroom teaching experience,
- Be a full-time teacher spending at least 50% of the time in the classroom or a classroom-like setting, and
- Have the intention of returning to teaching in their school/district in the consecutive school year.