Charlotte Teachers Institute Honors 94 Teachers for Seminar Achievements

Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) Honors 94 Teachers for Seminar Achievements

CHARLOTTE – Dec. 19, 2012 – Charlotte Teachers Institute recently honored 94 teachers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for accomplishments that include the writing of 1,900 pages of new curriculum accessible by teachers worldwide.

The teachers, called CTI Fellows, completed CTI seminars led by Davidson College and UNC Charlotte professors. They expanded the impact of what they were learning by developing the new curriculum units for their own students, and for other teachers via the CTI and Yale National Initiative (YNI) websites. CTI recognized Fellows’ work at its 2012 Fellows’ Finale Celebration at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.

The educators represent every grade level, with 29 elementary, 25 middle, and 40 high school teachers. They teach subjects ranging from art to biology, world history to foreign languages and ESL, language arts and costume design to physics, and math to technology.

“Together, these teachers spent nearly 3,000 hours attending CTI seminars at Davidson College and UNC Charlotte,” said CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan. “In addition, they spent time reading and researching, and writing the original curriculum units. They plan to share their curriculum units with nearly 500 other CMS teachers and 7,425 CMS students will learn from the units the teachers created this year.”

“CTI provides teachers and higher education faculty with a transformative experience that changes their teaching forever,” Gartlan added. “This year’s Fellows have collectively taught for over 1,080 years, or 11.6 years per teacher. Of those combined years, they have taught 807 in CMS.  They plan to teach a combined 1,177 additional years.”

In a recent CTI/Yale National Initiative survey, a CTI Fellow spoke of the initiative’s impact. “CTI has helped me grow into a better teacher by reminding me that I must constantly evaluate my effectiveness and look for opportunities to improve, even in the smallest of ways,” the teacher said.

Each year, CTI teacher leaders request and select seminars designed in conjunction with UNC Charlotte and Davidson College faculty. A CMS teacher coordinates each seminar, in partnership with the higher education faculty member. This year, seminars and seminar leaders included:

  • The Science of NASCAR – Peter Tkacik, mechanical engineering, UNC Charlotte
  • Reading African American Lives – Jeffrey Leak, English, UNC Charlotte
  • Entertaining with Math – Tim Chartier, mathematics, Davidson College
  • American Political Parties: Their Failures and Their Futures – Susan Roberts, political science, Davidson College
  • Reading Media Imagery: Critical Thinking and Literacy, led by Dan Grano, communication studies, UNC Charlotte
  • ‘All Immigration is Local’: Exploring the New Geography of Immigration – Heather Smith, geography and earth sciences, UNC Charlotte
  • African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement – Brenda Flanagan, English, Davidson College
  • Environmental Science and Climate Change – Cindy Hauser, chemistry, Davidson College

Each CTI Fellow received three continuing education units and a stipend for seminar completion. Additionally, each Fellow is now eligible to apply to attend the YNI Summer Intensive Seminars at Yale University in July 2013.  CTI is one of five Institutes nationwide affiliated with the Yale program, including others in New Haven, CT; Pittsburgh, PA; Philadelphia, PA; and New Castle, DE.  Richmond, VA will be the site of a new Teachers Institute.

The Charlotte Teachers Institute is an educational partnership among Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Davidson College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, working to improve teaching in Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools. CTI cultivates content-knowledge, creativity, leadership skills and collaboration within and among Charlotte’s public school teachers. Programs include long-term seminars and special events for teachers, as well as community presentations such as its “Exploding Canons” interdisciplinary discussion series. Resources come from the three Institute partners and private funding institutions, such as the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Belk Foundation, the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation. The Institute is housed at UNC Charlotte within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

For more information, contact CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan, 704-687-2026,