• Jesse Gershuny, Blend

Powering Up with tPop

Feeling a Little Stuck?

I have worked in education for nearly a decade, and can personally attest that I wasn’t always joiner. After growing out of a melodramatic goth phase in high school, I kept to myself in college, and even a few years out. I didn’t want to ask questions for fear of feeling vulnerable or seeming incompetent. Despite working in mission-driven environments, I didn’t feel like I was moving the needle, and wanted to have better relationships with colleagues and managers. I feared falling behind, and missing my calling. Something had to change.

After burning out in a senior management role, I knew it was time to make some changes. I began working at a university, pursued an MBA and an M.A. in Learning & Design, and pursued a career in training and instructional design. I joined study groups and task force committees. For the first time, I felt like I was my authentic self at work, and was making a difference. My relationships with colleagues and students flourished, and I had new energy to dedicate to my family and wellness.

me being my best authentic self :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

A New Community at the Nexus of Teaching and Technology

Then I met Anel Albertao, an educator and technologist, and knew that together we could create a community of practice for educators integrating and adopting technology in the classroom. She is a powerhouse that advocates for her students, and leverages technology in unique ways to help students meet their goals. She is also an accomplished trainer and instructional designer that understands that good use of tech in education requires good pedagogy. After co-presenting at an EdTech conference on AI in college readiness, I knew that it was time to build a new practice together.

Anel and I presenting on AI in College Access at Florida International University, Oct 4, 2019

The Power of Pedagogy is an organization committed to developing a community of practice that will enrich the lives of early-career and mid-level teachers while preparing them to design technology-enhanced learning experiences, practice action research, and most importantly, collaborate with a mentor on a semester-long project.

The Power of Mentoring Programs

So many educators face the risk of burning out from the long hours, limited resources, and lack of support. My spirit guide, Sheryl Sandberg, talks about the power of mentoring in Lean In, and the professional and benefits of formal and informal mentoring programs. Still, so many early-career teachers lack mentors and support in their schools. Yet, there is an overwhelming amount of interest in professional development and helping students be successful. tPop’s vision is to merge mentorship and professional development in a way that is authentic and iterative to meet the challenges of the 21st century workforce, and empower teachers to lead and innovate.

Mentoring programs like tPop’s Tech Innovation Fellowship help educators improve their skill set and mindset around teaching and learning. This program allows high school teachers to take on a real-world project while participating in professional development sessions.

Mentors and mentees receive feedback and support from a teacher that can empathize and provide feedback based on real-world experience. These reciprocal relationships and authentic dialogue allow our fellows to take risks in a low-stakes environment, and bring best practices and new initiatives back to their schools.

Becoming a tPop Fellow

The best part of the tPop Fellowship is that it’s virtual, and you can wear your yoga pants or jammies to the workshops and modules. This program is about making connections and allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and take risks using technology.

Fellowship Requirements

  • Tech-Enhanced Learning Project Idea

  • Preference for high school educators, but other educators will be considered

  • Access to a personal computer, communication tools, and software

  • Growth mindset and sense of humor

Fellowship Benefits

  • Structured mentorship from an experienced high school educator in the field

  • Bi-Monthly workshops on tech-enhanced learning, classroom management, and more

  • Opportunities to have projects and research featured with the tPop community and with global stakeholders

  • Access to an exclusive listserv and social media channels where resources, job opportunities, and encouragement can be shared

Not Required

  • Experience using technology in a classroom environment

  • Being a Tech Guru

The tPop Fellowship Application will launch in March 2020. In the meantime, fill out the tPop Interest Form.

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