Marco Cenabre

New Haven Academy, New Haven CT

Attend the Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking in Annandale, NY, and afterwards award-winning author Debra Moffit’s "Gaining Creative Self Confidence Writing" retreat in Lake Annency, France, to implement intentional strategies in reflection and storytelling with high school students in an underserved community.

Where I've Been

  • Annency , France
  • Annandale , new york

My Fellowship in Images

At Bard college, we sat in a different environment, and compared studied the effects it had on our writing. I never thought of how our own setting transforms writing.
Our cohort consisted of educators all over the world, serving in different contexts. True collaboration is learning from truly diverse perspectives.
A workshop, turning writing into music, and music into writing. We had to sing together. None of us had experience, yet we all walked out closer, and in turn, we were more comfortable sharing our writing. This was nerve-wrecking and rewarding.
Annency, France in the evening. I found different places to stop and write. My surroundings truly influenced my ideas, especially being in a brand new setting.
Lake Annency, is simply amazing. This was my first time kayaking, and I couldn't believe how much fun I had, and also, somehow, in Connecticut, I've never done this.
In the workshop in France, we represented 8 countries all over the world. In having coffee chats, even in the small-talk, everything is a learning experience.

Igniting Personal and Professional Growth

What changed as a result of your fellowship? Why was it vital for you to pursue this particular opportunity/experience? What learning gaps (yours and/or your students’) were/will be filled as a result of your fellowship?

Before my fellowship, my identified growth area is being able to provide creative opportunities to inspire kids, and have students both share and value their own stories. In meeting with educators all over the world, without them even knowing it, just listening to them speak about a topic from a different perspective was integral to my learning. I am now creating more opportunities for students to share their perspective, experience, and learn from each other.

How do you see your teaching evolving after your fellowship? Your students’ learning?

I am a very stringent lesson planner, teaching to strict objectives, and making sure everything I do is in service to them. In this, what's lost, as students individualized experience. I now plan specifically for each student to insert themself , and their story directly into the lesson, to create a culture of sharing, and valuing story telling.

What were some unplanned or unexpected experiences or outcomes of your fellowship?

I made incredibly close connections to everyone along the way of my journey. I used to hate "small talk" but now value it/ am much more open to hearing the opinions, stories, and anything else with the people around me. This fellowship made me open up more to people, make new friends, and in general, become more social. As a proud introvert, I never saw this coming.

Impacting Your Classroom, School and Community

How will your students learn differently because of your new knowledge or skills?

Students will value their individualized stories , and put value in truly getting to know each other. In the lesson, I will create room for opening mediation, free-write, and sharing creative stories, in top of the traditional academia. In doing this, classroom culture will evolve tremendously.

What specific events, projects or deliverables will your students experience related to your fellowship?

Students will engage in story exchanging with eachother. They will write 2 more college essays than they haven't before. They will engage in circles, and also projects in relation to their life and the people close to them.

How, specifically, will your fellowship extend beyond your classroom? (e.g. families, school-at-large, afterschool groups, surrounding community, colleagues, etc.)

I also am a teacher developer for Teach For America. I will give tools, and insight I learned for teachers to implement in their room. I also plan to have parents be directly involved in their child's learning in school.

Inspiring the Future

Why was this opportunity transformative for your teaching on a macro-level?

On a Macro level, hearing from educators around the world made me realize how much Connecticut education, and also American in general, lives in a bubble. There are so many different learning styles, and this fellowship made me understand the limitless ways students, and teachers, can learn.

Why do students benefit from this type of teacher learning?

Teachers set the weather of their classroom, and are the role models, illuminating the way for their students. The more tools teachers have in their toolbox, and the broader their perspective, the more they can offer their students. Teachers often get tunnel visioned, and even seeing something slightly different leads to so much more rich learning.

How would you describe to a friend or grant funder the fundamental ways in which your fellowship changed your personal and/or professional perspective?

Transformative. Again, I cannot believe the bubble I lived in, in regards to the possibilities of teaching and learning. I recommend this fellowship to all teachers. It changed my perspective in teaching, and life.