The chance to work side by side with master teachers, learning the art and craft of excellent teaching with the “safety net” of the fellowship, is an invaluable experience.
Since 1991, Greenhill’s teaching fellowship program has introduced 214 young teachers to the world of independent school education through a variety of opportunities in the Lower School, the athletics and fine arts departments, and the Extended Day program. In 2006, the fellowship program was named for Lucinda F. Carter, a master teacher of teachers during her 35 years at Greenhill.
Carter Teaching Fellows are appointed to a one-year position. In every way, the fellows are an integral part of the faculty of Greenhill School and are expected to participate fully in the life of the school.
In 2016-17, there will be six fellows in the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten and four fellows in grades 1 – 4. The fellowship salary, paid over twelve monthly installments, is $32,100.
Lucinda F. Carter was a legendary figure in the Greenhill School community for over three decades before retiring in June 2006. At her retirement ceremony, the Teaching Fellowship Program was officially renamed the Lucinda F. Carter Teaching Fellowship Program in her honor.
After arriving at Greenhill in 1971 from the Selwyn School in Denton, Texas, Lucinda (Fox) Carter had a profound impact on life all over campus. Carter taught Middle School language arts for seven years before assuming the mantle of Head of Middle School, a role she held from 1978 – 2006.
In 1973, Carter and Sheryl Ellis came up with the idea for the student body to perform a musical each spring - a tradition that still stands today. Two years later, Carter decided to write a musical documentary based on Greenhill’s twenty-five year history. She and several students - including Peter Eckart ’79 and Heather Trim ’79 - researched the history of the school and wrote all the music and lyrics for the show. A video of this musical documentary, which was the first show ever performed “in the round” at the Zale-Fields Theatre, is housed in the school’s archives.
In April 1985, Carter instituted “Teacher [later Employee] Recognition Day,” the final gathering of the school’s employees each June. As part of this special event, the School hosts a reception and presents employees with a variety of gifts and stipends recognizing their years of service to the school. Ever the school historian, in the 1990s, Carter wrote and produced The Headmasters of Greenhill video, a documentary about the talented and dedicated headmasters who have guided the school to educational excellence and national prominence in its first sixty-plus years.
As namesake for the Carter Fellowship Program, Lucinda Carter remains a presence on campus and interacts with the fellows each year as they launch their teaching careers.
While some candidates come to the program with degrees in education, with certification, or with experience in student teaching, many are simply recent college graduates with an itch to teach, and this is an ideal way to explore that possibility. In each of these scenarios, the fellows find that their fellowship experience offers them the growth opportunities they need to refine their own sense of calling. For some, this is questioning whether teaching is really what they see themselves doing. For others, it is a process of deciding what age child, or what discipline, or in what type of school they wish to launch their teaching careers.
There is no expectation of a background in education courses or of teaching experience; only a love of children and a willingness to learn.
Your first year in your own classroom is a year unlike any other, and no preparatory experience can change that, whether it is student teaching, assistant teaching, or a teaching fellowship. That being said, experiencing your own classroom for the first time after having successfully completed the Carter Fellowship Program will significantly alter the confidence and wisdom with which you will lead that first classroom.
The chance to work side by side with master teachers, learning the art and craft of excellent teaching with the “safety net” of the fellowship, is an invaluable experience, a gift that many veteran teachers would love to have had the chance to experience. We have yet to hear a teaching fellow say afterwards that he would have traded his fellowship year for a year with his own classroom.
Many of teaching’s most important lessons are transferrable to virtually any age level. Many of our teaching fellows feel called to teach elementary or junior high students, but others see themselves eventually teaching at the high school or even college level.
We have former fellows teaching in high schools around Dallas and the country, and several who are university professors. And all of them will credit what they learned teaching younger students for their understanding of the learning process and their sense of how to plan and teach a lesson, how to consider and accommodate different learning styles, how to develop fair and productive assessments and grading rubrics, and how to make genuine human connection with students. A year of teaching Lower School students will benefit you regardless of what level you teach in the future.
The fellowship is a life-changing, eye-opening year of learning about teaching, about schools, about students, and about yourself. The vast majority of our fellows continue teaching in schools around the country, but even those who do not continue to teach in a school setting will credit their teaching experience here as formative in their sense of calling. And ALL of them talk about the year of working with amazing colleagues and inspiring students as a source of daily joy that propelled them into the next stages of their personal journeys.
It is only one year in a lifetime of work and self-discovery, but what better way to spend a year than working with students?! A common theme that we hear from our fellows: “There is not a single day that I don’t look forward to coming to school!” How many “work” experiences can boast that?
Yes – our teaching fellows are salaried and receive the same benefits package as all full-time faculty, including our retirement plan, medical and dental insurance coverage, short and long-term disability, and a free lunch daily.
And speaking of “benefits,” teaching fellows take regular advantage of tuition remission for continuing education or certification courses and often attend workshops and conferences with their mentor colleagues. Our fellows participate in LOTS of professional development opportunities of all kinds.
We begin looking at resumes and cover letters in February and March for the following fall. The search committee narrows its list to a group of finalists invited to campus for interviews in April and May, with positions offered (usually) in May and June. Fellowship orientation typically starts the second week in August.
This is, indeed, the reality of the situation. However, we spend a tremendous amount of time – as a group and in one-on-one “counseling” sessions – discussing the job search process, and you will receive a great deal of support in this process.
We will discuss the logistics of researching potential schools, assist you in defining the important criteria for you in your search, expose you to many different schools in the DFW area and around the country, and offer workshops on interviewing and writing “personal teaching statements,” show you how to compile your teaching portfolio, and serve as your advocate, official “recommenders,” and cheerleaders in your search for the next step in your teaching journey.
You will be going through the job search process yet again, but by virtue of your fellowship experience, you will go through this search as a completely different candidate with an impressively bolstered resume. Our fellows leverage this fellowship experience to find exciting jobs around the country that challenge them and offer them wonderful growth opportunities!