The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) recently honored 94 teachers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) for accomplishments that included the writing of 1,900 pages of new curriculum accessible to teachers worldwide.
The CMS teachers, called CTI Fellows, completed CTI seminars led by Davidson College and UNC Charlotte professors. They expanded the impact of what they were learning by developing the new curriculum units for their own students and for other teachers via the CTI and Yale National Initiative (YNI) websites. The institute recognized fellows’ work at celebration held at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.
“Together, these teachers spent nearly 3,000 hours attending CTI seminars at Davidson College and UNC Charlotte,” said Scott Gartlan, CTI executive director. “In addition, they spent time reading and researching and writing the original curriculum units. They plan to share their curriculum units with nearly 500 other CMS teachers and 7,425 CMS students will learn from the units the teachers created this year.”
The educators represented every grade level, with 29 elementary, 25 middle and 40 high school teachers. According to Gartlan, CTI provided participating teachers with a transformative experience that will change their instruction forever.
In a recent CTI/Yale National Initiative survey, a CTI Fellow spoke of the initiative’s impact. “CTI has helped me grow into a better teacher by reminding me that I must constantly evaluate my effectiveness and look for opportunities to improve, even in the smallest of ways,” the teacher said.
Each year, CTI teacher leaders request and select seminars designed in conjunction with UNC Charlotte and Davidson College faculty. A CMS teacher coordinates each seminar, in partnership with the higher education faculty member. This year, seminars and leaders included:
- The Science of NASCAR – Peter Tkacik, mechanical engineering, UNC Charlotte
- Reading African American Lives – Jeffrey Leak, English, UNC Charlotte
- Entertaining with Math – Tim Chartier, mathematics, Davidson College
- American Political Parties: Their Failures and Their Futures – Susan Roberts, political science, Davidson College
- Reading Media Imagery: Critical Thinking and Literacy, Dan Grano, communication studies, UNC Charlotte
- ‘All Immigration is Local’: Exploring the New Geography of Immigration – Heather Smith, geography and earth sciences, UNC Charlotte
- African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement – Brenda Flanagan, English, Davidson College
- Environmental Science and Climate Change – Cindy Hauser, chemistry, Davidson College
The Charlotte Teachers Institute is an educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The institute cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. Programs include long-term seminars and special events for teachers, as well as community presentations such as its “Exploding Canons” interdisciplinary discussion series. Resources come from the three Institute partners and private funding from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Belk Foundation, the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation. The Institute is housed at UNC Charlotte within its College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.