Are you entering your first year of teaching? Or did you just finish your first year of teaching? If so, and you live in the United States, consider applying for a fellowship from the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF).
Applications are due November 27, 2016 - that seems like a long way away, but you do need to write essays and obtain letters of recommendation. It is worth the time and effort, but you may want to crank it out now (or over fall break if you get one).
Follow the link for eligibility and requirements. http://kstf.org/fellowships/why-a-kstf-teaching-fellowship/
The following infographic is from the above link:
IMPACT ON MY TEACHING
KSTF has connected me to people from all over the US. It has shaped me into the teacher I am today - not because they make you follow a particular pedagogical model, but because they helped me become more reflective on what I do. I have become a more responsive teacher to my students because I have been able to have intense work sessions with hark-working, dedicated teachers who help me see outside of myself. I wish I had better words to describe that I am simply a better human being because of KSTF, but I don't (maybe some other people could add on to this?).
With PD money, I've been able to explore my interests in great depth. I've been able to attend NSTA conferences, a week-long differentation workshop at UVa, an APSI out of state because I wanted to work with a POGIL facilitator, etc.
Long story short - if you are reading this blog, it's very likely because you want to learn and grow in your teaching practice. KSTF will help push you on your journey as a teacher to learn and grow from the important work you do in your classroom. KSTF values teachers and treats us like the professionals we are (just like ChemEdX)!
Finally, thank you, Harry and Janet Knowles, for your incredible generosity to so many teachers.