Teacher Leadership

The most effective way to increase student learning is to improve teaching. We are committed to developing teachers through every stage of their career, empowering them as professionals for the benefit of our students.

Fund for Teachers

Fund for Teachers enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the world that make the greatest impact on their practice, students and school communities. Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has awarded 8,000 teachers $30 million in grants to visit 148 countries on all seven continents.

PEF is proud to be the local partner for Hamilton County Schools applicants. Fund for Teachers has provided more than $596,000 in grants to 153 Hamilton County public school teachers over the last seven years.

2019 Application now closed –

We wish you all the best with your proposals!


The Fund for Teachers application deadline is January 31, 2019.  Learn more about the program in the Teachers section of the FFT site.  PEF offers information sessions and writing workshops leading up to the application deadline.  Funding awards will be made in early April 2019, and awardees will be required to attend a pre-fellowship Orientation later that month.

Here are some helpful tips from Fund for Teachers to assist you with your application:

  • Visit the Application Learning Center where you can find everything you need from how to develop your fellowship ideas to tips for using the online system.
  • Talk to past Fellows!
  • Writing tips for your application- we especially love tips #7, 8, and 9!
  • Applications are all judged against the Fund for Teachers’ Scoring Rubric.  Each section of the proposal is weighed equally.  Use the rubric as you write!
  • Once you have a final draft, reread the Application Guidelines to make sure you have covered everything.
  • Need help with the Online Application?  You can find tips for using the Online Application here.
  • You can also read the Fund for Teachers newsletters and blog for inspiring stories, tips, details, and dates.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about your proposal- mailto:cbrittingham@pefchattanooga.org.


  • Employed full-time as a PreK-12th grade teacher, curriculum specialist, curriculum head, Special Education Coordinator, media specialist/librarian, or other type of educator who spends at least 50% of their work week directly teaching students;
  • Intends to continue teaching in the consecutive school year; and
  • Has at least three years teaching experience as a PreK-12th grade teacher.

Individuals may apply for up to $5,000 and teams may apply for up to $10,000 (while team members may be from different schools, districts or states, all members must meet the eligibility criteria).

See the Fund for Teachers site for full eligibility information, including restrictions on how grant funds may be spent.


We encourage you to attend an info session at PEF to learn more.

  • Thursday, November 29, 4:30-6:00
  • Thursday, December 13, 4:30-6:00
  • Tuesday, January 15, 4:30-6:30

Congratulations to the 2018 cohort

Fund for Teachers allotted $76,000 in grant awards for Hamilton County public school teachers this year. Teachers could apply for up to $5,000 as an individual or $10,000 as a team. Sixteen grant recipients from 12 schools will visit 12 countries across the world this summer. The 2018 cohort includes:

  • Lauren South and Anna Barton of Soddy Daisy Middle School will explore Spain and France to learn the creative processes of Pablo Picasso and Earnest Hemingway to discover tools necessary to utilize art as a way to teach students how to create original visual and written narratives.
  • Daniel DeScalzo and Tarah Kemp of Dupont Elementary will visit the Volkswagen Europe plants and their partner schools in Spain, Belgium, and Germany to learn more about their career pipeline in an industry necessitating fluency in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
  • Rita Schubert of East Ridge Elementary and Vinnie Taneja of Apison Elementary will embark on a language and cultural immersion experience in Peru and Chile to improve their Spanish communication, raise cultural awareness, and gain engaging and effective instructional strategies.
  • Felicion McMillion-Diakhate of Barger Academy will attend The Summer Dance Institute in Seattle Washington to learn Anne Green Gilbert’s Brain Dance and Creative Movement curriculum to collaborate with other classroom teachers.
  • Grant Knowles of Normal Park Museum Magnet will develop virtual reality documentation of National Park design challenges to allow students an immersive experience as they go through an authentic design thinking process.
  • Amanda Edens of East Side Elementary will follow the Civil Rights Trail through Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., to deepen her understanding of this historic movement and the way these events still impact the lives of her students and her instruction.
  • Kim Brown of Signal Mountain Middle/High will gather and create resources, photographs, and videos of the unique landscape and ecology of Costa Rica and then build problem-based learning units that will allow students to virtually explore that environment and use their experiences to complete authentic tasks.
  • Julie Tufts of Ooltewah Elementary and Zach Tufts of East Side Elementary will explore and investigate significant castles and surrounding areas in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Ireland to bring authenticity to locations, as well as current and past ways of life considered purely fictional.
  • Beth Wilson of Red Bank Elementary will visit and document best practices of intergenerational centers in Paris and Denmark to build a curriculum that respectfully reconnects students with their elders for progressive programming and mutually-beneficial learning.
  • Tammy Johnson of Lookout Mountain Elementary will research marine and water conservation efforts in national marine sanctuaries of California and Florida to inspire students to become conservation problem solvers who promote sustainable practices in the school.
  • Autum McCamish and Kaylan Reinisch of Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences will research Italian cultural practices that lead to longevity and inform the design of a unit that teaches and promotes habits of holistic, healthy living.

For more information on Fund for Teachers contact:

Cliff Brittingham Instructional Development Coordinator
423.648.4448 • mailto:cbrittingham@pefchattanooga.org