Deliris Diaz received more than a master’s degree diploma from Montclair State University this year: she is one of 37 new teachers recently selected to join the Knowles Teacher Initiative’s 2019 Cohort of Teaching Fellows.
“This is an incredibly high honor,” says Secondary and Special Education Professor Tanya Maloney. “It reflects the brilliance she brought with her to Montclair State, where she has developed her urban teacher identity.”
Maloney adds, “As a Knowles Teaching Fellow, she will not only receive coaching and financial support for the first five years of her career, but she will also join a network of highly regarded math and science teachers from across the country, including 2015 Knowles Teaching Fellow Brian Moshofsky, who was a graduate of Montclair State’s Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship Program.”
Valued at $150,000, the Knowles Teaching Fellows Program supports the development of teaching expertise and classroom leadership in new high school math and science teachers. “The Program supports our Fellows in their efforts to become teacher leaders on the local, state and national level, leading to improved student learning of mathematics and science,” says Knowles Teacher Initiative President and CEO Nicole Gillespie.
As a graduate student and Newark Montclair Urban Teacher Residency (NMUTR) program participant, Diaz has been teaching physics to 11th- and 12th-graders at East Side High School in Newark – her own alma mater.
While the Residency program provides graduates like Diaz with mentoring and professional development support through their first three years of teaching, the Knowles Teaching Fellows Program provides access to a wide range of benefits. “Knowles offers multiple opportunities for professional development so I can best support the needs of my students,” Diaz explains.
These benefits include stipends; grants for professional development classroom materials and National Board Certification; mentoring and support for teacher-led initiatives; and membership in a nationwide community of more than 400 science and math educators.
Diaz values her experience as a NMUTR program resident. “I feel the continual support I received from the faculty as well as my classmates has helped me to succeed as a teacher,” she says. “I enjoy the challenge of being a teacher and of helping students succeed. I like that teaching is not a linear path, but that it tests a teacher’s capabilities to be creative, patient and skillful to ensure that students have opportunities to enhance their learning.”