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Accompanying through Uncertainty: ACE Ambassadors Help Others Say ‘Yes’ to Teaching

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 by Theresa Steinmeyer

ACE 25 Ambassadors

I’ve never taught before, and I don’t even know where I’ll be sent to teach. How do I tell other college students what it’s like to be an ACE Teaching Fellow?

From the Crease to the Classroom

Thursday, July 05, 2018 by Seamus Ronan

Katie Willis ACE 25 Crease to Classroom

Many ACErs appear on campus for their first week of ACE Summer fresh off of a college graduation or the completion of a fellowship or job. Few are coming straight from back to back NCAA lacrosse titles only a few days before. On Memorial Day weekend in Roanoke, Virginia, Gettysburg College defeated Middlebury College 11-9, with senior captain Katie Willis contributing two goals to her team’s victory. Three days later, she began her M.Ed classes at the University of Notre Dame.

From Zoggendoodleheimers to Robots: CORE Summer Camp Gets Students Coding

Friday, June 29, 2018 by Theresa Steinmeyer

Marian High School Summer STEM CampPhoto Credit: Seamus Ronan

“This apparatus is one of a kind,” Jackie Salas tells her middle school students, holding up the mysterious bundle wrapped in a white plastic bag. “So, for those of you who were able to create this apparatus, you are part of Marian High School history. We’ll call it… the Zoggendoodleheimer!”

Luke Wajrowski: From Argentina to ACE 25

Thursday, June 21, 2018 by Theresa Steinmeyer

Luke Wajrowski Argentina Fulbright

During his Fulbright service, Luke Wajrowski’s students in Argentina told him that their performance of Twelve Angry Pigs was the first English production they could recall performed in their community. The play—based loosely on Twelve Angry Men—posed frequent logistical challenges, including finding rehearsal space, recruiting student performers, and motivating students to stick with the production. But in the end, the show reflected Wajrowski’s commitment to engaging his students in learning English.

The History of FJ’s Cookie Socials

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 by Theresa Steinmeyer

The history of FJ's Cookie SocialsPhoto Credit: Seamus Ronan

If you want to help Fr. Joe Carey, C.S.C., bake for his weekly “FJ Cookie Socials,” just follow your nose up the Ryan Hall stairs to chocolate chip, peanut-butter, sugar-sprinkle, snickerdoodle, M&M, chocolate sprinkle-crinkle, and FJ’s “Award Winner” from Carroll Hall’s competition nine years ago: chocolate cookies with chocolate chips.

Getting to Know ACE’s Newest Communities: Philadelphia and Stockton

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by Theresa Steinmeyer

ACE Communities Stockton and Philly

Even the busy first day of summer classes can’t slow down ACE’s newest communities in Philadelphia and Stockton, who still meet for dinner to share their experiences starting new ACE sites last year. While most new ACE teachers are placed into existing communities of first- and second-year teachers, these eight members of ACE 24 established new ACE sites in Philadelphia and Stockton, California, where they forged new relationships with their schools, neighborhoods, and one another.

ACE 25’s First Week: To Teach as Jesus Did

Thursday, June 07, 2018 by Theresa Steinmeyer

ACE 25 - To Teach As Jesus Did

“To teach as Jesus did,” as one group of new ACE 25 teachers brainstormed this week on a large sheet of butcher paper hung on an ACE office wall, is “to be adaptable to students’ needs,” “to serve others,” and to “be vulnerable.”

Finding Community at April Retreat

Friday, May 11, 2018 by Emma Doerfler, ACE 25 - Stockton

ACE 25 April Retreat

A weekend full of prayer, learning, and relationship building came to an abrupt close for the off-campus members of ACE 25. As April Retreat ended on a Sunday afternoon, we waited for the bus to take us from Notre Dame to the Chicago airport. Someone announced that the bus had been cancelled. Before we could panic, the ACE Pastoral Team concocted a plan: we would pile into their cars, race to the South Bend station, and catch the train scheduled to leave in 10 minutes. “When you get to the train, just get on!” they told us. “You can buy your tickets later, but you have to get on board!”

Fighting the Good Fight to Finish the Race

Thursday, April 05, 2018 by Dan Brndjar - ACE 24, Atlanta

Dan Brndjar Marathon

Twenty miles down, three hours into the race, and my left quad starts cramping. This is really hard. This hurts. Why did I sign up for this? How am I going to finish? With these thoughts racing through my mind, a runner passes by me uttering words of encouragement: “This is what we trained for! We can do it! Just keep going!” Spectators on the sidewalk enthusiastically cheer, urging us onward. The negative thoughts start to pass away. Here we go. For the kids. I have to finish. Upon crossing the finish line of the Georgia Marathon little over an hour later, several ACE friends immediately swarm around me, congratulating me on finishing. Limping over to the ACE tent, I began to celebrate with the 40 other teachers who had all come to Atlanta from across the country to run, cheer, and fundraise for St. Peter Claver Regional Catholic School. Time passed, and the pain subsided amid good food and great fellowship. Over these next few hours, I began to reflect on all that had just happened. I began to see that this marathon experience really is a great metaphor for my first year in ACE.

"Window Moments" in Brownsville

Thursday, March 22, 2018 by Kelly Griffith - ACE 23, Brownsville

Kelly Griffith Window Moments

Saying “yes” to ACE was the most hesitant “yes” I have ever said. For the first time, I jumped blindly into something with no way of knowing how I might come out on the other side.

Community in ACE: Stockton, CA

Friday, March 16, 2018 by ACE Stockton

The members of ACE Teaching Fellows in Stockton provide a look into their experiences of living as a community.

Seeking the Living Sacrament in the Classroom: Part Two

Friday, March 09, 2018 by Daara Jalili - ACE 24, LA East

 Seeking the Living Sacrament in the Classroom (Part Two)

I was once told that small acts of love–routine or not–were called “lower-case-s” sacraments, for they brought God’s grace into our lives. My life each day as a math and science teacher at Cantwell Sacred-Heart of Mary High School in East Los Angeles is rich with these small signs of God’s grace. Yet, even as I write this reflection, I find myself hesitant to share the anecdote from the first part of this reflection. After all, we are called during these 40 days of Lent to cleanse body and mind in order to receive God’s ultimate sacrifice. We are called to prepare ourselves for the Living Sacrament–capital S. With an act of such infinite self-giving love on the horizon–one that is the very center of our faith–why would I share such a seemingly inconsequential story?

Seeking the Living Sacrament in the Classroom: Part One

Wednesday, March 07, 2018 by Daara Jalili - ACE 24, LA East

 Lenten Blog

After observing Ash Wednesday to start Lent, we have been thrust into a season of intentional reflection and prayer. As a Catholic educator, I feel called not only to prepare lesson plans and materials for my students in these 40 days but to also curate opportunities for my students to reflect on the season of Lent in the classroom. The first of these opportunities for students was one that is a staple among Catholic school-teachers across this country. I had students write down their Lenten promises on small purple pieces of paper and posted them on a bulletin board.

A Great Decision at First-An Even Better One in Retrospect

Friday, February 09, 2018 by Connor Bliss - ACE 24, Mission TX

connor bliss

As I think back on my decision to say “yes” to ACE nearly a year ago, so much in my life since that moment that has confirmed that I am where I am meant to be. When I started my final year of college, I found myself in a position that is familiar to many seniors with an interest in education: I needed to choose between the countless alternative teacher certification programs that dot the country. In the moment, the only thing that mattered to me was picking the program that would best prepare me to walk into a classroom sometime in mid- to late August for my first day of school. On these grounds, ACE stood out to me based on the qualities that have made it a world-renowned program (intensive summer coursework and practicum placement, excellent academic support from a team of extremely accessible faculty, ability to earn a free Master of Education degree from the University of Notre Dame–the list goes on and on).

"Why is This Model of Learning Not Standard Across the Nation?"

Monday, February 05, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Trustey STEM Teaching Fellows RISE Summit

I recently had the privilege of joining my colleagues from the Notre Dame Center for STEM Education for the third annual RISE Summit in Palo Alto, California. The RISE Summit is an opportunity for Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows–some of the nation’s most outstanding STEM teachers who take part in a multiyear professional development program through the Center–to gather, reflect, collaborate, and grow. As if a trip to California in January was not enough on its own, I was overjoyed by the enthusiasm, curiosity, and determination of the 56 Fellows. I learned so much from these outstanding teachers throughout our short workshop on blended learning, and I wanted to share one of the most important takeaways and one of the most interesting discussions from our session.

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