Accessibility: Inviting Participation
Drop-in Model vs. Cohort Model: Pros and Cons
If you are having people on a drop-in basis, it often, for the purposes of designing a budget for your grant is, I think, it's easier to kind of include more people than you originally had planned on because, generally speaking, the cost involved of say an extra five people is not—that's not the big cost in say, putting on an event.
Because of the way that the evaluation process has been set up, where it's hard to kind of determine, "Well, who, in the terms of the grant, is really someone who's really a member of the grant as opposed to someone who's just dropped in?"
The good thing, though, about having a committed cadre of teachers are things like esprit de corps, and really having people, especially if you're working with multiple schools, multiple districts, that sort of—having people get to know each other, get to work with each other on projects from different schools. It's wonderful to see say, suburban and urban schoolteachers working closely together and building those kinds of connections.
We'll do like a big summer away trip, say to Washington, DC, or we did one to Birmingham and the Civil Rights Institute there. In hindsight, I wish that we had done that at the very beginning, as soon as possible, because once they'd spent three days together, that group was so tight, and tight—they were comfortable talking about things. They were enthusiastic.
. . . once they'd spent three days together, that group was so tight, and tight—they were comfortable talking about things. They were enthusiastic.
It makes it possible to develop teaching modules or lesson plans, or whatever it is, the kind of end product that you want these teachers to kind of develop as a result of this, to be much more comprehensive. You've got the same group of people, so you can get them started early on in the year. You can set special events that are say, just about, say, using technology and developing classroom resources, or on keys to developing a successful lesson, or any number of things.
The More the Merrier
I guess there's always opportunity, of course, if you can figure out how to finesse it, to do a little of both. In other words, if you have, say, a committed core of 25 or 30 teachers, but you know, you really could take more people, well then why not?
Every month we'll have what we call a history forum. We'll invite an historian. We'll have like a dinner. We'll have maybe some kind of workshop or something connected with that, and that will—of course, the teachers that are involved in the course come to it. It's part of their class. But we'll open the doors and invite the entire—people from all the districts that are being served. And so, that is—so, there is a way to kind of do it both.
Are there places that you can hold this event in the community that will either draw community members into it, or other audiences, or if that will just kind of shake things up. . .
When at all possible, we try to have venues that were in the community. So, we’d say, might have our events at the local public library, it might have a room for it. Just to get teachers out of the, you know, the kind of sitting in the library of the high school after hours. Get them out of school for a while. So, that’s another thing to—not quite what you asked me, but, you know, it’s to think about venues. Are there places that you can hold this event in the community that will either draw community members into it, or other audiences, or if that will just kind of shake things up, and remind—and get teachers out of the high school library or the high school cafeteria or auditorium.