Fishman Prize
Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice

About the Residency

In addition to receiving $25,000, Fishman Prize winners participate in a one-of-a-kind, 4-6 week summer residency, during which they collaborate on a collection of essays about their teaching strategies, meet with luminaries throughout the education world, and explore the larger issues that shape their profession. Even more than the monetary award, the residency symbolizes what the Fishman Prize is all about: treating great teachers like VIPs, giving them time and space to reflect on their teaching, and ensuring their voices are heard. 

The residency typically begins in late June or early July and ends in early August, so that Fishman Prize winners are away from their classrooms as little as possible. Although the residency is designed to allow the winners to collaborate virtually from their homes on most days, it is an intensive, full-time commitment that includes several multi-day trips. In 2014, the winners spent time in New York, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.

The residency provides a platform for the nation’s finest teachers to engage with one another deeply over a short period of time without removing them from the classrooms where they do their most important work. As part of this experience, TNTP challenges the winners to capture in writing some essential elements of their practice and create a window into how they run their classrooms every day. TNTP provides guidance and support throughout this process and publishes the winners’ essays as part of the Fishman Prize Series on Superlative Classroom Practice.

At the close of the summer residency, Fishman Prize winners join an elite network of alumni who continually reflect on their work and the teaching profession, and take action to make the change they want to see.

Sample Residency Schedule

Each day of the summer residency is packed with engaging activities that push participants to reflect on their profession and the craft of teaching. Read about one winner's experience, and check out a sample schedule below.

Week 1

  • Trip: Kick off the residency with a 3-day trip to New York City
  • Discuss and select topic ideas for the Fishman Prize essays

Week 2

  • Outline the Fishman Prize essays
  • Participate in a TNTP project to better understand great teaching and help more teachers improve
  • Give an interview to be published on the TNTP blog

Week 3

  • Begin drafting Fishman Prize essays
  • Trip: Meet in another US city to workshop essay outlines in person

Weeks 4 and 5

  • Draft the Fishman Prize essays
  • Join a live video conference to share ideas with staff from across the organization
  • Participate in a second TNTP project

Week 6

  • Trip: Meet in Washington, DC, to close out the residency and meet with national education leaders and thinkers
  • Complete final drafts of Fishman Prize essays and submit for editing

Over the years, past Fishman Prize winners have met with a long list of top educators, writers, researchers and policymakers, broadening their understanding of current issues in school reform. This list includes national leaders like Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin; influential figures in education like Doug Lemov and David Coleman; journalists for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and TIME Magazine; leaders in education research and policy; and other award-winning educators.

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