Norwalk Teachers To Explore Teaching Methods In Asia This Summer Through Fellowship Opportunity

Norwalk Teachers To Explore Teaching Methods In Asia This Summer Through Fellowship Opportunity
Posted on 05/10/2018
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Brien McMahon teachers Ms. Rosa Ayala and Ms. Kelly Munkwitz will travel to China and Japan this summer to learn more about techniques used in mathematics instruction. The teachers were selected as Fund For Teachers Fellows (FFT) through a unique grant opportunity supported by The Dalio Foundation. Ms. Ayala and Ms. Munkwitz will visit schools, communities, and historical sites to learn how these cultural elements influence the learning process. When they return, they will share these insights with their students and integrate their findings into every day lessons.


In addition to being revered as leaders in technology, innovation, math, and engineering, China and Japan are also known for their education systems, particularly their achievements in mathematics. 


“In addition to being engrossed in an unfamiliar culture, the goal of our travel experience is to attain an understanding of what makes the education systems in these particular countries successful,” said Ms. Munkwitz.  “We will focus our research on instructional strategies that promote authentic learning, and work on developing engaging, real-world applications to help motivate our students to persist in problem solving.”


“I feel very fortunate to have been selected as a Fund for Teachers Fellow. I have been sharing my excitement with my students, and some of them have even been teaching me some phrases in Mandarin and Japanese,” said Ms. Ayala. “Ms. Munkwitz and I are looking forward to learning, exploring, and bringing back some new ideas to invigorate our teaching back home.”


The Dalio Foundation recognizes visionary teachers across the state giving them the opportunity to explore various interests across the world. This is the fourth year in a row that the Foundation has provided Fellowship grants for teachers across the state in 49 school districts.


“The best teachers seek opportunities to continue learning.  They know that learning leads to innovation and innovation allows them to inspire their students,” said Brien McMahon Principal Scott Hurwitz. “It makes me so happy that Kelly and Rosa are going to China and Japan to gain insights into how teachers in other countries make math relevant.  They are two of the many dedicated and caring professionals that we are lucky to have on our teaching staff.”


To be considered for the Fund for Teachers fellowship, educators underwent a rigorous application process, answering questions such as what they wanted to study, where they wanted to study, and the benefit to students. A committee of teachers, school leaders, district administrators and community stakeholders chose the finalists.