The following article was written by and featured on the New Hampton School website, and can be found here. It features three Bowdoin students, Alex Kogan, Isabella Vakkur, and Ian Ward, who were teaching fellows at New Hampton over winter break.
New Hampton School welcomed four college-aged fellows to campus this January for a two-week fellowship in focused on boarding school education. A new program, the goal of the fellowship is to bring young teachers to campus, share the boarding school teaching experience, and provide exposure to New Hampton School for future recruiting.
Building a Teaching Fellowship
An initial partnership was formed with Bowdoin College, and the opportunity was open to students in their education program. Following a formal application process, three students were invited to participate from Bowdoin, and one student from Roger Williams who also learned of the opportunity. Fellows lived on campus and were each connected with a master teacher to shadow and use as a mentor. In addition, fellows supported co-curricular programs of interest and experienced residential life by spending time in student houses. Fellows met daily with administrators and master teachers to hone their craft.
Introducing the Basics
As an early practical experience for most of the fellows, New Hampton mentors focused on basics of today’s classroom instruction and residential programming. Fellows learned about differentiated instruction in the classroom, the basics of coaching, and how to use backwards design for lesson planning.
The experience culminated with each fellow teaching their own lesson. The exercise was recorded and the fellows reviewed each other’s teaching together with faculty as a learning experience.
A Memorable Experience
Although the fellows were only at New Hampton briefly, they had a significant impact on our community while making positive connections with our students in and outside of the classroom. Faculty reflected that working with a fellow encouraged them to consider their own teaching practice and reflect, as they spent time reviewing their strategy and goals with their mentee.
Collectively, fellows and mentors experienced a culture of learning best practices collaboratively. One quote from their anonymous program evaluation reads:
“The New Hampton Teaching Fellowship allowed me to work closely with incredible teachers, supported by a welcoming community. I formed lasting friendships from the other fellows and learned a lot from observing classes, participating in co-curricular activities, attending school and faculty meetings, doing dorm duty, and most of all, teaching on my own for the first time. I appreciated the supportive feedback I received and look forward to more opportunities to explore teaching!”
The Fellowship not only provided gains for the college students, the community experience was reciprocal and we are thrilled by the enthusiastic response from this program trial. Another fellow reflected: “The NHS teaching fellowship provided a unique experience to fully engage with boarding school life. The access to faculty members made it easy to learn, ask questions, and engage.”
Lifelong Learning for Fellows and Faculty
The teaching fellowship meets our mission to create lifelong learners in our students, our faculty, and all those who connect with our school. New Hampton is exploring opportunities with select colleges to bring more young teachers to campus who can learn from, and inspire, our talented faculty and students.