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Inspiring the Next Generation of Innovators

Mentor and Coordinator FAQs

  1. What is the cost of a Fellowship?
  2. Can I select the teacher myself?
  3. What kind of teachers apply to the Ignited Program?
  4. What if Ignited can’t find a teacher with the qualifications I need?
  5. What kinds of projects are appropriate for teachers?
  6. The project I’ve identified will only take six weeks. Is that okay?
  7. How will my department and I benefit from this teacher’s work?
  8. How much of my time will mentoring a teacher take?
  9. How many hours per week is my Ignited Fellow expected to work?
  10. Am I expected to help the teacher with his/her Education Transfer Plan?
  11. What hahttp://www.igniteducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/TeacherRetentionStudy.pdfppens if my teacher doesn’t work the full 8 weeks?
  12. Can I work with my teacher longer than 8 weeks?
  13. Do Teacher Fellows fill out timesheets?
  14. How do Teacher Fellows get paid?
  15. Are teachers allowed to work flexible hours or telecommute during their Fellowship?
  16. Can I extend an offer for regular employment to my Teacher Fellow?
  17. Can I invite my Fellow back for a second summer?
  18. Do I get to evaluate my teacher and the Ignited program?
  19. What is an Ignited Coach?
  20. What happens when the Fellowship is over?
  21. Doesn’t Ignited help teachers leave teaching for industry jobs?

 

  1. What is the cost of a Fellowship?

Please contact Ignited's CEO, Shari Liss (shari@igniteducation.org; (408) 553-3179), for cost information.

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  1. Can I select the teacher myself?

Absolutely!  Ignited staff will provide pre-screened resumes that match your qualifications for your review.  Ignited recommends conducting face-to-face interviews before selecting your teacher.  If you already have a specific teacher or school in mind that you would like to work with, just let us know and Ignited will assist in matching you up. For more information on the Teacher Selection Process, please visit the Host Resource Center.

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  1. What kind of teachers apply to the Ignited Summer Fellowship Program?

Approximately 300 teachers apply each year and approximately half are high school science, math or technology teachers. Others teach K-8 or community college. Teachers of non-technical subjects are also welcome to apply. 

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  1. What if Ignited can’t find a teacher with the qualifications I need?

That should not be a problem if you adhere to Ignited's recommended timeline. However, if it happens, we will work with you to determine if you can adjust the project requirements. If you can't and we are unable to recruit a teacher suited for your project, then you are not obligated to proceed with the Fellowship.

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  1. What kinds of projects are appropriate for teachers?

Ignited teachers have been successful in a variety of areas within an organization: community relations, engineering support, finance, information technology/MIS, marketing, quality assurance, research, software development, training and web development. Review the sample Fellowship descriptions on the Ignited website to get a sense of the level and scope of projects teachers can undertake. 

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  1. The project I’ve identified will only take six weeks. Is that okay?

Yes, as long as Ignited is aware of the modified schedule and the teacher you select agrees up front. (Short assignments are usually very attractive to teachers.)

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  1. How will my department and I benefit from this teacher’s work?

In 2016, 95% of Ignited Mentors said their department benefited from their teacher’s contributions. Mentors value the teachers’ fresh perspectives, strong interpersonal skills, initiative, and sense of professionalism. Teachers are professionals with a strong work ethic. Many teachers develop ideas that improve a Host’s current practices or benefit the bottom line.

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  1. How much of my time will mentoring a teacher take?

This varies by individual and by difficulty of the work assignment. Most Mentors can screen, interview and select teachers in a total of 4-5 hours. Arrangements (telephone, computer, desk, security badge, etc.) then need to be made to prepare for the teacher’s arrival at the worksite. We ask new Mentors to attend a one-hour orientation session prior to the start of the program. During the Fellowship, Mentors typically meet with their teacher at least once or twice per week to monitor progress. It helps if there are other team members who can work with the teacher during the Fellowship. At the end of the summer, Mentors are asked to complete an evaluation that takes about 5-10 minutes. Then your official mentoring obligation ends, however we hope your relationship with your teacher continues.

View this video to hear about it from a Mentor's perspective.

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  1. How many hours per week is my Ignited Fellow expected to work?

Ignited Fellows work full-time (40 hours per week) unless alternate arrangements are made with Ignited. Fellows are expecected to work 280 hours over teh course of the summer (35 hours per week) on the project you have defined. THe balance of the Ignited Fellow's time (approximately 5 hours per week) will be devoted to professional development activities focused on supporting teachers to transfer the summer work experience to the classroom.  Teachers spend this time attending Ignited meetings with their Ignited Coach or other Teacher Fellows, and developing an Education Transfer Plan (ETP) under the guidance of Ignited staff and their Coaches.

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  1. Am I expected to help the teacher with his/her Education Transfer Plan?

No, the teacher is solely responsible for creating strategies for bringing the summer work experience back to their school. You are, however, asked to read and sign off on your Fellow’s Education Transfer Plan in August. If you can help the teacher brainstorm ideas or provide resources to develop or implement the ETP, GREAT!

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  1. What happens if my teacher doesn’t work the full 8 weeks?

If the teacher has completed your project and you have agreed that s/he end the Fellowship early, that’s okay with Ignited. Just let us know. At the end of the summer, Ignited sends Hosts information about any credit or outstanding balance on their payments to Ignited.

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  1. Can I work with my teacher longer than 8 weeks?

That’s fine, as long as you agree and are willing to pay for the work and the project does not conflict with the Fellow’s teaching schedule. Ignited can continue serving as the Employer of Record for this period if you wish. Please contact Ignited if you would like to extend the Fellowship.

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  1. Do Teacher Fellows fill out timesheets?

If your organization has designated Ignited as the Employer of Record, then Ignited issues and collects timesheets. Mentors will be required to review and approve them. If your organization has hired the teacher directly, please check with your Human Resources department about the payroll process.

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  1. How do Teacher Fellows get paid?

If Ignited is the Employer of Record, then Ignited issues a paycheck four times during the Fellowship. It is the teacher’s responsibility to submit the approved timesheet to Ignited for payment.  

If your organization has hired the teacher directly for the summer, check with your HR department for payment schedule.

Teachers also receive a grant after the summer (half upon submission of their Education Transfer Plan and the balance after submitting an Impact Report). No matter which organization is the Employer of Record, Ignited will distribute these grants.

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  1. Are teachers allowed to work flexible hours or telecommute during their Fellowship?

Yes, as long as you approve the arrangements. We do not recommend, however, that teachers telecommute for a large portion of their Fellowship. One of the benefits of Ignited Fellowships is the opportunity they provide for teachers to experience an industry work setting or research lab.

If Ignited is the Employer of Record, Hosts need to notify Ignited of any alternate work schedule prior to the start of the Fellowship.  Hosts are required to pay Ignited the cost of any overtime worked by the teacher in excess of eight hours in any day, or forty hours in any week, or any time on the 7th day in a workweek, in accordance with state and federal law. 

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  1. Can I extend an offer for regular employment to my Teacher Fellow?

No! Ignited’s mission is to help retain good teachers in education and strengthen their ability to reach students.  Please do not take our teachers from the classroom. If a Teacher Fellow initiates this discussion, please remind him/her of Ignited’s mission and notify an Ignited staff member.

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  1. Can I invite my Fellow back for a second summer?

Yes, it is often very attractive to a teacher to return for a second summer. The training time is reduced and teachers feel a sense of accomplishment at being invited back. We do limit teachers to two summers at the same Host organization.

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  1. Do I get to evaluate my teacher and the Ignited program?

Yes, we will ask you to complete a quick evaluation at the end of the summer. However, if you have concerns or problems with your teacher before then, please notify Ignited immediately.

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  1. What is an Ignited Coach?

To ensure that Ignited Fellows stay focused on converting their summer experiences into classroom instruction, Ignited appoints a small cadre of Coaches each summer. These Ignited Coaches, veteran teachers who have held at least two Fellowships previously, facilitate Community Group meetings for small groups of Ignited teachers working at the same Host or at Host organizations in the same geographic area. They also help troubleshoot problems at the summer work site. Once the Fellowship begins, Ignited will tell you which Coach has been assigned to your teacher(s) and provide his/her contact information.

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  1. What happens when the Fellowship is over?

Your official mentoring obligation ends. However, we hope your relationship with your teacher continues.

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  1. Doesn’t Ignited help teachers leave teaching for industry jobs?

On the contrary, Ignited Fellowships help retain teachers in education. A 2001 Teacher Retention Study showed that teachers who have held an Ignited Fellowship stayed in teaching at more than twice the rate of their peers in the state and nation.

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