Since 1999 the Houston Teachers Institute has offered professional development services to over 800 public school teachers throughout the greater Houston area. Through a 14-week course of academic seminars on a variety of topics, which change every spring to reflect the current needs of Houston area schools, the Institute provides its participants, or Fellows, with the opportunity to gain a deeper, fresher understanding of their subject matter. During that time, Fellows will develop a 15-25 page curriculum unit consisting of a research paper and lesson plans to be used in their classrooms the following year. Because our seminars are led by top faculty at the University of Houston, these lessons will reflect the latest academic research in their fields. Past seminars have explored such varied topics as the Middle East, world mythology, cell biology, American politics, and many more.
Is the Houston Teachers Institute a good value for my school?
HTI is a great value for your school. Teachers attend HTI seminars in the evening, so there is no need for the school to hire substitutes, and therefore the continuity of instruction is not interrupted. The cost per teacher is $1500 and can be paid for with funds from Title I, Title II, and Title III. Most of this fee--$1000--goes back to the teacher upon successful completion of the seminar.
How will the HTI experience benefit my teachers?
The HTI experience contributes to higher morale for participating teachers. Although the work is challenging, teachers are rejuvenated by their success in completing rigorous research in their subject area, and enjoy the unique opportunity to discuss their work with colleagues and cohorts from schools all over Houston as well as leading faculty at the University of Houston. HTI Fellows use their time in the program to get a head start in planning their curriculum for the following year, and receive 32 hours of Gifted and Talented credit to be applied toward the necessary certification in this or other areas. In addition, the $1000 stipend is a great incentive to encourage outstanding teachers and teaching at your school.
How will HTI participation impact my school?
This is an outstanding opportunity to revitalize your school's curricula by having your teachers participate in academic study that is relevant to the changing needs of your school. Not only are seminar topics selected by a poll of Houston area teachers, but because Fellows are allowed to direct their own research, they are able to create lesson plans that actively engage the students in their classrooms. Though these lesson plans are particularly tailored to the teacher's own students, many are interdisciplinary and most can be adapted for any population of your school, such as LEP, ESL, G/T and college-bound, and students with special needs. Each participating school will receive bound copies of the published curriculum units.
What is the Institute's effect on retention statistics?
Studies conducted by the Houston Independent School District suggest that HTI participation has a positive impact on teacher retention. A 2007 study showed that after three years, 79% of HTI participants were still employed in the district. Renewed by their experiences in an HTI seminar, our teachers remain committed to their goal of providing high quality education to the students in your school.
How is HTI different from other professional development programs?
The Houston Teachers Institute provides a service like no other Houston area professional development program--specifically, it provides rigorous content-based seminars led by university faculty. Situated on the University of Houston campus, HTI is uniquely positioned to provide quality academic instruction to your teachers which will trickle down to your students.
When do seminars meet and who is eligible to participate?
The seminars will be offered over the course of fourteen weeks in the spring of 2010, beginning with our Convocation on Tuesday, January 19, and ending on Tuesday, April 27. Each seminar meets once a week on either a Monday or Tuesday evening from 5:30 to 7:30 at the University of Houston. Any full-time Houston area teacher is eligible to apply. Teachers must enroll in seminars that are relevant to the subjects they teach and plan on teaching the developed curriculum unit in the following year.