Participants will examine the many ways in which race and ethnicity matter in teaching and learning, and explore how to design educational settings in which all students can learn from each other.

Teacher Leadership Strand: Catalyzing Lasting Change in Schools

Felicia Moore Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University

Do you want to create a movement in your school to transform teaching and learning for students of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds? Do you want to catalyze positive change that is sustainable over the long term? Do you want to cultivate a school culture that fosters teacher voice and professional growth? In three sessions, teachers will learn essential skills and practices of successful teacher leaders, including how to develop an action plan, how to identify and surmount challenges, and how to build a community of stakeholders committed to lasting improvements. Teachers will come away prepared to return to their schools and lead change efforts that will create vibrant, equitable classrooms for the future. The Teacher Leadership Strand begins with a Monday workshop followed by two 60-minute afterhours sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. Unlike other workshops, enrollment in the Teacher Leadership strand is capped at 12 participants.

Monday: Teacher Leaders Know Themselves
In this opening workshop, teachers will participate in activities designed to get to know themselves better. Identity issues are fundamental to the work of teaching and leading, and as you get to know yourself better as a teacher, your leadership qualities will rise as well as your relationships with students and peers, and you can be the kind of leader you want to become.

Tuesday Afterhours: Developing a Leadership Plan for Action
In this afterhours workshop, teachers will discuss a leadership plan for themselves and their school. But prior to developing a plan, you have to know what you need. This session will focus on developing a needs assessment. We will also engage in brainstorming activities designed to reveal issues while also trying to address them.

Wednesday Afterhours: Meaningful Leadership Execution
In the third workshop session, also offered afterhours, teachers will continue to develop their leadership plans and present them to the group for additional feedback. The hope is to execute these plans by sharing them with others in your building and to gain support in leading school change. We will discuss “change” as it relates to individual and collective goals. Finally, we will discuss a plan to stay in contact over the year to support execution of your leadership plans.

Felicia Moore Mensah, Associate Dean of Teachers College, serves as liaison between administration and the student body by supporting student development, graduate experiences, and programming. Her research addresses issues of diversity and equity in science teacher preparation and professional development, and curriculum development with culturally relevant teaching, multiculturalism, and critical theories guiding her teaching and research. Felicia’s contributions in science education as well as her mentorship in working with students and faculty, as well as teachers and administration, are evidence of her commitment to teaching, learning, and research, and the potential of transforming education to the benefit of all.

Facilitated Small-Group Dialogue Session

The facilitated small-group dialogue session is a space for participants to deepen their learning through group dialogue and individual reflection. Similar to school homeroom, each group comprises diverse participants who meet daily. Through activities facilitated by Teachers College doctoral students, participants explore how insights gained from workshops and plenaries will actively inform their practice in education. Participants will be encouraged to engage in critical conversations in order to challenge assumptions and spark innovation for their work moving forward. By Thursday, participants will emerge with a plan to put new learning into action in their unique professional context.