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2020-21 Teacher Program

Teachers today increasingly need expertise and innovative ways to teach about world cultures and global issues.  This program builds a community of Grade 6-12 educators who will enrich and revitalize their teaching together, focusing on this year's topic, Religious and Cultural Diversity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and in Southeast Asia (SEA).

Throughout the school year, the cohort of teachers will participate in expert-led workshops, discuss assigned readings, attend world-class artistic performances and cultural events, visit houses of worship and museums, and meet with religious leaders and representatives from local MENA and SEA communities. Activities also include exploring classroom strategies for teaching about the topic and developing curricular components and units about MENA and SEA.

The cohort will assemble from 9:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m.—one Saturday every month between September 2020 and June 2021 (except December), usually on U-M’s Ann Arbor central campus.

Tentative schedule: September 12, 2020; October 31, 2020; November 14, 2020; January 9, 2021; February 13, 2021; March 13, 2021; April 10, 2021; May 8, 2021; June 25, 2021 (falls on a Friday)

The program will culminate in July 2021 in an optional GEEO (Global Exploration for Educators) trip to one or more countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, or North Africa. On this trip, the cohort will together expand the knowledge and skills acquired in the year-long program to bring their travel experiences directly into their classrooms. The two centers’ outreach coordinator(s) will accompany the participants to help contextualize and reflect upon what they are seeing and learning. Educators’ $1,000 honoraria may be used to offset fees from the GEEO trip.

Intended Participants

  • Grade 6-14 teachers from public, private, and charter schools
  • Grade 6-14 school leaders, librarians, and other school-based educators
  • Teachers in the profession for five or fewer years are especially encouraged to apply
  • Educators who teach (or plan to teach) about the rich religious diversity in MENA and/or SEA, in a wide range of curricula, including courses in global studies, comparative religious studies, world history, literature, the arts, and other fields

Applicants not currently teaching should use their essays to describe the impact their participation in the program will have on teaching and learning at their schools (for example through curriculum development or programs for students).

Application Requirements

  • Application materials should include these five components:
  • Online data-intake form, via this link »
  • Résumé or CV: Not to exceed five pages, detailing your educational qualifications and professional experience
  • Application Essay: Should not exceed four double‑spaced pages in length and should address all of the following questions:
    • What motivates you to apply for this program?
    • What qualifications and/or international experiences equip you to make the most of the program and to contribute to its learning community?
    • How do you plan to incorporate what you have learned in the program in your teaching and with fellow educators?
  • Lesson Plan: A lesson plan and a one-page reflective response about the execution of the lesson plan. (The lesson plan need not teach about one or either of the two regions.)
  • Recommendation Form, via this link: Should be written by a senior colleague or administrator at your school (e.g., your department chair, assistant principal, or principal). The form will be submitted independent of the rest of the application materials. Please give your recommender ample notice of the deadline.
  • An application without ANY of these five components will be considered incomplete, and will NOT be reviewed.

Selection Criteria

  • The selection committee will evaluate applications based on evidence of:
  • effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator;
  • motivation and commitment to international education;
  • perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the program’s learning community; and
  • evidence that participation will have a long-term impact on your teaching.

Successful applicants will be notified via e-mail of their selection by Thursday, April 30, 2020, and they will have till Friday, May 15, 2020, to accept or decline the offer.  When choices must be made between equally qualified candidates, preference is given to those who would enhance the diversity of the program’s cohort.

Tenure Conditions and Benefits

Program participants must attend and participate in the all-day workshops, meetings, site visits, etc., held on each scheduled Saturday between September 2020 and June 2021 (excluding December). By the end of the program, teacher-fellows are also required to produce two lesson plans, one about each region, that will be shared publicly and freely on the websites of CSEAS and CMENAS. They also must complete evaluations of the program.

Each educator will receive:

  • $1,000 honorarium award. Educators may use the award to offset fees from the MENA-SEA Teacher Program’s culminating GEEO (Global Exploration for Educators) trip in the summer of 2021 to Southeast Asia or to the Middle East
  • SCECH eligibility from the Michigan Department of Education or from the departments of education in the states wherein they teach
  • Tickets to cultural events, artistic performances, and museums as part of the cohort activities
  • Reimbursement for travel to/from U-M, Ann Arbor, and overnight lodging (under special circumstances)

Failure to complete the program requirements will result in a reduction in the honorarium.

The tentative schedule for the 2020-2021 MENA-SEA Teacher Program: September 12, 2020; October 31, 2020; November 14, 2020; January 9, 2021; February 13, 2021; March 13, 2021; April 10, 2021; May 8, 2021; June 25, 2021 (falls on a Friday).

Application Deadline: Friday, April 10, 2020, by which date complete applications must be submitted online, by e-mail, or by post.

If submitting online: Materials may be uploaded via the data-intake online form. If you prefer to not have your materials uploaded via the data-intake form, please email your files to: Rima Hassouneh, rhassoun@umich.edu; subject heading: “Application to 2020-2021 MENA-SEA Teacher Program.”

If submitting by post: Please print your completed data-intake form and attach this to the rest of your application materials. Send your complete application to: Rima Hassouneh, International Institute, Weiser Hall, 500 Church Street, Suite 500, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106

Please note: An application without ANY of the five requirements will be considered incomplete, and will NOT be reviewed.