The Big Apple Awards Fellowship Year

Big Apple Award Recipients Serve as Big Apple Fellows 

The next school year, they serve as Big Apple Fellows, in addition to continuing their amazing work in the classroom, they serve on the Chancellor's Teacher Advisory Group. They meet monthly to develop their leadership skills and expertise in education.

Fellows' year-long experience focuses on three main goals:

  1. Work with senior leadership regarding citywide policies and programs
  2. Share excellent teaching practice with colleagues
  3. Take part in unique leadership development experiences

Reflections from Previous Big Apple Fellows

On Participating in the Chancellor’s Teacher Advisory Group:

“It was an honor to be a part of a select group of teachers with access to speak with Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Chancellor Fariña asked our opinions about policies, how we felt certain initiatives were working etc. Chancellor Fariña also gave us free time to speak with her about issues we were facing in our own teaching careers. Based on her long career in the Department of Education, she was able to give us valuable suggestions on how to troubleshoot problems that we faced. We were able to see that our leader was caring, knowledgeable, and had a strong and clear vision on how to enhance the educational system in New York. It was unforgettable and a highlight of our Big Apple experience!” – 2014-15 Fellows, Group Reflection

On the Fellows’ Network

“The Big Apple Fellowship has been a humbling experience. Over the last ten months, there have been so many enriching experiences, but nothing has been more important than the development of a professional community of top-notch teachers. The best part about this community was that it didn’t end when the meeting ended; I had the luxury of having expert teachers at my fingertips for any teaching advice I needed. The ability to work with colleagues from across the city and bounce ideas and information off of each other has been an absolute pleasure. They have helped me grow as a teacher, but more importantly as a leader.” – Joseph Pesqueira, 2014-15 Fellow

“I have learned so much about the DOE, have been inspired by the chancellor and by the other Fellows in my cohort, I learned to advocate for myself and for change, and I learned that there is a greater education world out there outside of my own school. I am so, so grateful and have been deeply impacted by this year. Truly life-changing.” – Anna Bennett, 2016-17 Fellow

On Developing Leadership Skills

“Being a Big Apple Fellow has given me the opportunity to learn more about myself as a teacher leader and aspiring school leader. The Fellowship Year experience is an exemplary model for adult learning. Through self-assessment, reading, workshops, group support, and reflection, I have been able to harness my strengths to become a more effective teacher leader. We are invested in authentic work that resonates with us personally, while also connecting us to the broader educational movement in our city.” – Katie Vitale, 2014-15 Fellow

“I have had the experience to listen and to interact with amazing educators whose passion for teaching is outstanding. By listening to their experience and by engaging in multiple professional developments with them, I have had the opportunity to grow as an educator and as a person. For example, during or PD with New York Peace Institute, I learned how I can deliver a message clearly. I learned to think about what I wanted to really say and how I could say it. This helped me deliver clearer messages or share my ideas in a clear and coherent manner.” – Melissa Stoller, 2015-16 Fellow

“The 360 feedback process was incredible in helping me understand how I view myself and my strengths and areas of growth, as well as how my leadership is seen and valued by others. I took away essential understandings of how to improve my leadership style and how to become a more effective leader.” – Aleks Shats, 2016-17 Fellow

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