UF’s College of Education has selected 40 teachers from across Florida for a new fellowship.

The Lastinger Center for Learning selected them out of more than 215 applicants to be part of the 18-month Florida Teacher Leader Fellows program, said Rebekah Cordova, the professional development coordinator for the program. It will train teachers to inspire students and improve the quality of teaching in the state.

Fellows will also complete a research project they can apply to their community, she said. In June, participants will come to UF to share their ideas with others.

“We’ve worked with teacher leaders from all over the state and have for many years,” Cordova said. “It’s always been a goal to have one group from across the state, instead of just inside districts.”

The center selected the 40 based on their desire for teaching and their willingness to collaborate with their peers, she said. The center wants to improve instructional practices across the state. They considered teachers, media specialists, guidance counselors and anyone who showed promise.

Charles Cummings, a Florida Virtual School instructor, was selected for the program.

“I was super stoked to hear back from it and to be selected for it out of so many people,” he said. “It’s crazy.”

He said he’s looking forward to working with teachers who work in a classroom, not online.

“I’m eager to see what the future brings with it,” he said.

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