Fellowship Posts

Creating a More Inclusive Fellowship Weekend for Educators

In a previous post, we described our attempts to reduce bias in the selection process for our Desmos Fellowship, an application-based program from which we select 40 people every year for an all-expenses paid trip to San Francisco for a weekend of mutual learning. We seek a diverse group of participants for the Fellowship because we want to support a diverse group of teachers and students with our work, and the Fellows offer us some of our most important instruction about this goal every year.

But we are reminded by the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Robert Berry, that “it is possible to have diversity without inclusion.” Desmos Fellow Lauren Baucom noted similarly last year that it is one thing to feel invited, and another much more significant thing to feel as though you belong.

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How We Reduced Bias in the Desmos Fellowship Application Process

At Desmos, we spend the majority of our day thinking about ways to support teachers. To refine our thinking and ground our decisions in the reality of classroom work, we created the Desmos Fellowship, a yearly application-based program from which we select 40 educators to join us for a weekend of conversations and mutual learning at our headquarters in San Francisco (all-expenses paid). There is no obligation beyond that, though many Fellows stay in touch.

Desmos employees are also growing in their awareness of their unconcious biases, particularly their biases towards race and sex. This post describes our efforts in reducing those biases in our Fellowship selection process so we can create a fellowship that represents the diversity of the teachers we want to support.

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