Frequently Asked Questions
What is required of me if I am accepted as a DINÉ Fellow? Accordion Closed
DINÉ Fellows must commit to full participation in the seminar. For 2020, this includes:
- March 24: Virtual orientation meeting
- April 18, 2020: Seminar meeting at NAU (all day)
- June 21-June 30, 2020: Summer Intensive Session & Residency @ NAU (most of the day, every week day)
- August 15, 2020: Seminar meeting @ Navajo Nation (i.e. Kayenta, Window Rock, etc.) (all day)
- September 19, 2020: Seminar meeting @ Navajo Nation (i.e. Kayenta, Window Rock, etc.) (all day)
- December 5, 2020: Annual Showcase & Open House @ NAU (all day)
In addition to firm attendance requirements, participation in the DINÉ requires independent reading and research, as well as the development of a 12-20 page original curriculum unit that meets the criteria of the Teachers Institute approach. Teacher Fellows then commit to teaching their curriculum unit in their classroom. Finally, Fellows agree to serve as collaborative leaders in their schools and communities by recruiting new Fellows and sharing their curriculum units with colleagues.
How is this different from other professional development I’ve done? Accordion Closed
Perhaps most importantly, the Diné Institute for Navajo Nation Educators is an initiative that started with teachers and has developed under the guidance of teachers. Teachers are respected and valued as professionals in the DINÉ. In addition to being teacher-led, the DINÉ seminars are long-term because we know from research that effective professional development must be sustained over a period of time. We also know that effective professional development must focus on teachers’ content knowledge and allow them to inquire, explore, and research topics that are relevant to their classrooms and communities. This is why the DINÉ seminars are always on topics that teachers in Navajo schools have expressed an interest in, and it’s also why we partner closely with Diné elders and traditional knowledge scholars. The curriculum units that Fellows develop in the DINÉ are culturally responsive and rigorously aligned to district, state, national, and Diné educational standards. When it’s time to take your DINÉ curriculum unit back into your classroom, you will be confident in your own knowledge and in your ability to ensure your students’ meaningful mastery of the content.
What is the cost to be a DINÉ Fellow? Accordion Closed
Teacher Fellows are not charged for participation. Occasionally, Fellows are asked to purchase books for the seminars, but most materials are provided. Room, board, and on campus meals are provided at no cost to the Fellows during the residency at NAU in June.
What are the benefits of being a DINÉ Fellow? Accordion Closed
National Fellows and local Fellows from other states have commented that this is the best professional development in which they’ve ever participated. Teacher Fellows benefit from increased content knowledge, capacity to develop culturally responsive and rigor curriculum units, leadership skills, and writing facility. DINÉ Fellows develop a rigorous, culturally responsive curriculum unit that is tailored to their own classroom, style, standards, and needs. Fellows also establish a network of colleagues from across the Navajo Nation with whom they can collaborate. Fellows benefit from access to NAU resources during the year of their fellowship, as well as access to all curriculum units developed by DINÉ and Yale Fellows. Upon the successful completion of the seminar, Fellows receive a stipend and become eligible to apply for the Yale National Teachers Institute for the following year. Fellows can also request to use seminar hours toward the requirements to maintain teacher certification through their Human Resources departments and/or the Arizona Department of Education.
How do I become a DINÉ Fellow? Accordion Closed
Fellows are motivated, intellectually curious teachers who want to improve their content knowledge and have high expectations for their students. Fellows must also commit to remaining in the classroom in their current district or school on the Navajo Nation for at least three years. Due to the workload, first-year teachers are not typically a good fit for the DINÉ. If you meet these criteria, you may apply. Applications are generally available online in early January, and they require approval from your principal.
Applications for 2020 are due by 8pm on February 17, 2020. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by March 3, 2020.
Who can I contact to get more information? Accordion Closed
If you have other questions, or would like additional information about the Diné Institute for Navajo Nation Educators, please contact the Diné Teacher Representative or the Planning Director.