Helping teachers develop and share innovative ideas for the classroom is the goal of the Impact II program run by the New York City Board of Education.
Under the program, about 200 elementary- and secondary-school teachers from throughout the school system win small competitive grants ($200-$300) to develop a curriculum idea--such as "creating a metric cookbook"--or to replicate someone else's concept.
The city helps teachers involved in Impact II to spread the word to their colleagues--and at the same time combat what many feel to be the debilitating isolation of the classroom--by organizing workshops for them, publishing an annual project directory, and even paying a school the cost of a substitute so a participating teacher can be freed to meet and discuss projects with colleagues in other schools.
After three successful years as a pilot project under the sponsorship of the Exxon Education Foundation, the $260,000 program has won continuing support from Exxon and the city's board of education, which have agreed to split the cost of the program. In addition, to encourage cooperation between public- and private-school teachers, grants will be offered to New York City-area independent-school teachers for the first time this spring.
For more information on both the public- and private-school programs, contact: Impact II, New York City Public Schools, 131 Livingston St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201, (212) 852-0227.
Officials of the Iowa State University college of education have come up with a plan to encourage more students to become teachers of mathematics, physics, and chemistry, instructional fields that are facing critical teacher shortages nationwide.
Under the Iowa plan, the university, beginning with the 1982-83 school year, would loan 10 undergraduates majoring in one of these fields $4,000 over a four-year period. After graduation, the student would have 25 percent of the loan forgiven for each year he or she taught. Thus, loan recipients who honored their commitment for all four years would not be required to repay any of the loan. But if the students didn't go into teaching, they would owe the entire amount of the loan, plus interest.
In addition, the university announced that two graduate students would be offered $2,000 in loans over a two-year period, and they would also have to teach for two years in order to have their loans forgiven.
The New York State United Teachers (nysut) has developed a Career Alternative Program to help its members who have been "pink-slipped" to prepare for finding work in other fields.
This spring, some 40 nysut-trained instructors will conduct 12-hour workshops (in three or four sessions) across the state covering such topics as resume writing, interviewing skills, and where to look for jobs. They will also help teachers to identify acquired skills that can be transferred to other occupations.
The 250,000-member union will also provide its laid-off or about-to-be-laid-off members with an "Unemployment First Aid Kit" that includes directions on how to collect unemployment benefits as well as information about recall procedures and "preferred substitute" status.
For more information on the Career Alternative Program, contact Stuart Horn, New York State United Teachers, 80 Wolf Road, Albany, N.Y. 12205, (518) 459-5400.
--By Thomas Toch