The Power of Communities
At Uncharted Learning, we recognize the value of community and developing 'uncharted learners' and leaders. When educators are given the opportunity to learn and share with fellow educators, they may be inspired to try new things and ask difficult questions about their practice. By engaging in professional development, educators are able to model learning and reflect on their own approaches to learning. This reflective practice can help hone and advance leadership skills as they are better able to articulate how to practice, improve and master their instructional craft.
As part of a professional learning community, Uncharted Learning educators are offered opportunities to share their entrepreneurial content and instructional knowledge at learning events, support teachers new to the program, or participate in a variety of other activities for development.
Our PLCs provide time and space to come together to allow these teachers (who are sometimes soloists or in small departments) to connect with others. Feelings of connection keep us happy and give us momentum during tough times. Our Curriculum and Instruction team builds bridges and ramps and opportunities for our member teachers to connect in authentic ways. We strive to inspire and stay in communication via office hours and newsletters with student opportunities and content essentials.
Educator Respect and Recognition
We respect educators as professionals, and aim to support their pursuit of refining their craft and improving their knowledge for the benefit of others. All of our Uncharted Learning professional development experiences are aligned with Standards for Professional Learning to ensure we provide high-quality experiences for teachers to earn continuing professional development credits (CPDUs).
These activities include our annual National Summit conference; timely meetups focused on specific content topics like financial modeling, legal for startups, and marketing with little to no budget. In addition, we offer virtual and immersive workshops on instructional best practices like SEL, project-based learning, and managing teams; and curriculum-specific training for new teachers who are supporting students through new concepts.
Collaboration and learning, whether synchronous or asynchronous, takes time, effort, and commitment and for these reasons, we recognize educators with different distinctions based on their investment in the community.
Levels of Recognition
We offer three levels of recognition as detailed below, and we've spotlighted just a handful of our member teachers who are exemplars in these categories. View the full list of educators who have been newly honored as part of our Teacher Recognition Program.
For those educators who demonstrate commitment to ongoing learning by attending multiple learning events in an academic year, we recognize them with the title of “Certified” Teacher. These teachers are active learners who model continuous learning and actively participate in our program-specific professional learning community.
Upon the start of her first year of teaching MobileMakersEdu (MME) in the fall of 2021, Dr. Stacey McJunkins, from Rich East High School, had several obstacles and uncertainties to overcome. Her participation in the MME Startup Teacher Bootcamp for two consecutive summers, as well as her regular participation in teacher Meetups and virtual training sessions shows her commitment to her students and the program. Dr. McJunkins thirst for learning and collaborating has inspired both new and experienced teachers to keep asking for support and share failures with others.
When teachers go beyond being a learner to share their experiences with others in one of our Slack communities, lead an onsite or virtual learning event, or showcase their students and school on social media, we recognize them with the title of Leader Teacher. This group inspires our community to take measured risks by exposing their best practices and failure stories with others.
Launching a new INCubatoredu program during a pandemic is no easy feat - some of the best launches happen when the educators embrace the lean methodology and apply it. When Nikki Sauerbrey of Tavares High School showed up to her first orientation to the INC program, she was ready to start small, iterate, and share with others. She is an active contributor to the INC teacher community on Slack and at virtual meetups. From the website she built to recruit community volunteers, to the recordings of her students at their end of year pitches, Nikki continues to lead by example in the INCubatoredu community.
As educators gain more confidence and skills in teaching innovative and evolving content areas, like entrepreneurship and mobile app development, we encourage them to lead the learning of others. Options for leadership include serving as a mentor or trainer to new teachers, contributing to curriculum development, or co-facilitating professional development. Uncharted Learning educators who take on these responsibilities are honored with the title of Master Teacher. These distinguished educators contribute to the robustness of our educator professional learning community and are a model for new teachers and schools.
As a pioneer of the mxINCedu program at Leroy Greene Academy Charter School in Sacramento California, Denise Mitchell Andrews opens her door to 7 - 12th grade educators, shares her learnings with the international mxINCedu community, and gives essential feedback on curriculum and support that Uncharted Learning provides. When she completed her 2nd year with mxINCedu, Denise was hungry to learn and do more for her students. She recognized that if she could teach INCubatoredu, she could loop with her 7th and 8th graders, whom she introduced to entrepreneurship and the BMC. So in the summer of 2022, Denise trained to teach the INCubatoredu course to high school students. Along the way, she continues to share what she learns with Uncharted Learning. Her perspective has influenced our curricular resources so that more students are able to access entrepreneurial experiences. She recently contributed to the Uncharted Learning Blog with this thoughtful post, 'How to Restore Connection and Community in the Classroom'.
We're here to support educators
We honor all educators as they strive to meet the challenge, express an 'entrepreneurial mindset, and advance their own skills in the spirit of supporting students in learning and growing. Check out our new workshops - professional development for teachers.