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IISME Details: Recruitment of Teachers

Finding Applicants. Each year IISME casts a wide net for teachers. It sends out 7,000 flyers and announcements to principals, science and math department chairs, previous applicants, and members of NSTA and NCTM. Approximately 200 teachers apply by the January deadline. Teachers must be teaching K-14 full-time, have at least 2 years' teaching experience, and be recommended by their principal or superintendent for their applications to be considered.

Selecting Fellows. Fellows are selected by a free-market mechanism, i.e. a teacher's application is sent out to at least one possible sponsor and up to 8-9 sponsors. The sponsor makes the final hiring decision. Fellows can work for the same employer for only two summers consecutively, although there is no limit on the number of years a Fellow can participate. In sending out applications, IISME gives priority to teachers who have never held an IISME Fellowship.

Repeat Fellows. In 1996, 31 of 73 Fellows were first-time Fellows and 42 were repeat Fellows. Of the repeat Fellows, 15 were in their second year of IISME, 10 in their 3rd, 4 in their 4th, 3 in their 5th, 5 in their 6th, and 5 in their 7th year.

Although IISME gives priority to serving as many first-time Fellows as possible, anecdotal evidence shows that repeat Fellows derive a range of benefits from their continued participation. They go on to serve as IISME Peer Coaches, may use multiple summers in industry as a foundation to completely re-vamp their classroom or infuse their curriculum with industry applications, or may go on to assume leadership roles within their schools or districts.

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