Teachers Institute Fellow Named Teacher of the Year
Waltrina Kirkland-Mullins, a six-time Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Fellow who teaches third grade at New Haven's Davis Street School, has been named the New Haven Public Schools' Teacher of the Year for 2003-04. She was also honored as a runner-up in the State of Connecticut's Teacher of the Year competition.
Kirkland-Mullins was honored for her classroom work and for her contributions to the New Haven school community. She credited her participation in the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute for helping improve her teaching and inspire her students. She said, "The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is an inspiring think tank where dedicated instructors are allowed to nurture their creative know-how. The Institute serves as an empowering resource--a place where educators across grade levels have the opportunity to work with adept university professors to develop and enhance their very own curriculum units. Those units become a living, breathing teaching tool. As a result, our students buy into becoming critical thinkers and empowered learners. The implementation of our units results in academic success."
Kirkland-Mullins has participated in Institute seminars on a wide variety of subjects such as astronomy, art history and survival narratives. Most recently, she was in the 2003 Institute seminar "Geography through Film and Literature," which was led by Dudley Andrew, Yale Professor of Comparative Literature and Film Studies. The curriculum unit she produced in that seminar, entitled "A Story, A Story--Embracing Geography, Culture, and Diversity through Film."
In addition to her role as a Fellow, Mrs. Kirkland-Mullins is Coordinator of the Institute Center for Curriculum and Professional Development in her school. In that capacity, she heads a team of teachers who have themselves participated as Fellows and/or continue to make use of the Institute's curricular resources, both in print and online. "Bottom line!" she said. "I'm proud to be a Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Fellow!"
The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is a member of the League of Teachers Institutes within the Yale National Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools. From 1997 to 2002, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute conducted a National Demonstration Project to show how the approach developed in New Haven could be implemented in other cities with different educational needs and resources. Building on the success of the Demonstration Project, the Initiative seeks to establish Teachers Institutes in states around the country.