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Janet Erskine Stuart Teaching Fellows Program

“Sacred Heart Schools form young people on a path towards transformation and hope by providing an effective education and the formation of character. For Sacred Heart educators this cultivation of virtues is informed by the charism of the Society and the values articulated in the Goals and Criteria. Nothing short of excellence will ensure that the members of learning communities develop an informed, active faith, critical thinking and service to others.”  - Sacred Heart School Identity Paper

Philosophy of Program

The philosophy of Sacred Heart education is framed by the assumption that education is transformational because students and educators are engaged in learning for the purpose of coming to self-understanding as those loved by God. Such self-understanding is not possible without intentional formation in critical thinking. Committed to educating to a deep respect for intellectual values, Schools of the Sacred Heart develop curricular and student life programs based on educational research and on-going evaluation. The intention is to inspire students both with a lifelong love of learning and a sense of hope. Education serves as the means by which students and adults experience confirmation of their human dignity. Within a dynamic of relationships that respond to the dignity of the other, students and educators come to know and experience God’s love.

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Janet Erskine Stuart Teaching Fellows Program is to provide a supportive professional community for beginning teachers to promote teaching that leads to meaningful student learning. The program will facilitate on-going professional development based on educational research and on-going evaluation for new and experienced faculty that is rooted in curriculum and instruction, the philosophy of Sacred Heart education, and reflective practice. This program is framed by the assumption that education is transformational because students and educators are engaged in learnings for the purpose of coming to self-understanding as those loved by God.

Program Objectives

  • To provide the world of education with inspired, committed, well-prepared teachers ready for their own classrooms and programs.
  • To provide a first class, nurturing and challenging mentoring process for teachers by working closely with passionate, skilled, master teachers.
  • To combine an introduction to teaching with theoretical study and seminars for talented and motivated beginners.
  • To provide opportunities for significant personal and professional growth through the challenges of working with engaged, intellectually curious, and lively students.
  • To infuse the community with new ideas, energy, and vitality in the classrooms, fine arts and athletics programs, and co-curricular activities.

Outline of Program

Strand 1: Teaching and Learning

Fellows study cognitive science, learning theories, educational technology, and curriculum design. This strand builds upon the idea that different strategies and approaches are appropriate to instruction based upon a specific discipline or field of study while acknowledging the central nature of intellectual development to the Mission of a Sacred Heart school.  Fellows reflect on their particular teaching fields as well as reviewing relevant research and case studies plus consider emerging knowledge of adolescent cognitive and social development. Fellows apply these theories in practice through work in their classrooms.

Strand 2: History, Culture, and the Social Context of Sacred Heart Schools

Fellows study the history, charism, and educational philosophy of education in the Network of Sacred Heart schools, with particular attention to schools in the United States.  Fellows acquire a lens through which to understand the culture, tradition, rituals, and daily routines as well as the curricula of a Sacred Heart School. This strand will work in conjunction with the Mentor Program.

Strand 3: Reflective Practice

Fellows are supported in developing an inquiry stance toward their practice, as they are encouraged to constantly reflect on and improve their teaching.  Fellows learn how to collect and analyze data to inform their practice and learn about the importance of professional learning communities. As part of this strand, fellows develop and reflect upon their personal philosophy of teaching and learning. This strand builds toward the culminating project, where fellows conduct an inquiry project to examine a particular question that emerges from their teaching practice.

Schedule of Program

The program offers its fellows many opportunities to enhance their teaching and be active members of a teaching community at Carrollton.
  • Fellows will be provided with a structured set of professional development activities designed to help them refine their teaching skills and learn to teach more efficiently.
They will benefit from engaging in these activities in a community of other teachers, including past Fellows (eventually), faculty mentors and administrative staff.

Fellows will engage in a variety of program activities sequenced to develop and refine their teaching skills over the course of the year.  These activities will help Fellows use their time more effectively and efficiently as they will also be engaging in the day-to-day practice of teaching three to four classes (in addition to other duties as assigned, i.e., coaching, sponsoring clubs, etc) —designing courses, planning lessons, and reflecting and writing about your teaching.
  • Seminar on Teaching and Learning—Each semester, the fellows will participate in a three-session seminar that has two purposes.  First, it is dedicated to exploring important dimensions of the scholarship on teaching and learning so as to inform the fellows’ development as scholar-teachers.  These dimensions could be explored through diverse mode, i.e., articles, videos, books, and research/case studies. This second purpose involves practical work to design or (re)design a course that the participating fellows will offer. (Weekly)
  • Capstone Project—Fellows will engage in an inquiry experience that involves an investigation of a problem or question related to a field of study. Also called a capstone experience orculminating project, among many other terms, a capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating intellectual experience for fellows. The project “synthesizes classroom study and real world perspective” through a project that focuses on a Fellow’s personal interest. (Year-long)
  • Individual Consultations—Fellows will meet regularly co-chairs to reflect on your teaching. The first consultation will provide an opportunity for you and your consultant to design a customized development plan.  These conversations will be based on the individual goals set forth by the Fellows and may include course design, observations, and student evaluations. (Semi-weekly or monthly)
  • Teaching Visits—Fellows will visit the classrooms of both senior faculty and your peers in the fellowship to observe them teach, meeting afterwards to discuss their teaching choices with them. These visits are not intended to be critiques of the host’s teaching.  Instead, they are opportunities for the Fellows to reflect on their own teaching choices in response to the teaching choices made by the host in a concrete teaching context. (Semi-weekly or monthly)
  • Dinner Discussions— Fellows will meet over dinner with the program co-chair, twice a semester to share experiences with each other on subjects including teaching as scholarship, how to teach for successful reappointment and tenure, connecting your research to teaching, and developing academic leadership. (Monthly)
  • Journals—At the end of every week, Fellows will have a chance to reflect on their learning and growth as a teacher. These journals will eventually support the creation of an educational philosophy.

Note: Together these events require a time commitment of approximately forty hours, including time for preparation.

Fellows Cohort for 2019-20:
Wyatt Ashby, Micaela Chiang, Doug Kreh, and Ross Hermelee

Co-chairs:
Lyana Azan, Upper School English Chair
Tim Cassel, Director of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Programs


"For the sake of one child, I would have founded the Society."
-Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat