Organizing and leading schools is challenging work. It is even more challenging – and more rewarding, too – when working with students and communities who bring unique characteristics, differences, needs, and histories to the table, including those that are the result of neglect and injustice. We desperately need leaders who incorporate these challenges into the backbone of their leadership practice and who have the courage, commitment, knowledge, and skills for doing the work. In this workshop, we will share stories and reflections about these challenges. Then, we will take a look at a comprehensive framework for leadership in schools serving diverse students. You’ll apply the framework to a school you care about and identify key tasks and strategies for creating and sustaining opportunities that counteract systemic privilege, honor difference, strive for justice, and support engagement and achievement for all. Our hope is that this framework will become a guide for you as you find your way in the schools you serve. This workshop is appropriate for principals, assistant principals, and teachers, parents, and others who provide school-based leadership.
Presenter: Carolyn Riehl is Associate Professor of Sociology and Education Policy in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a sociologist of education with special interests in organizational dynamics in schools and school systems, diversity and equity in schooling, public engagement, policies and practices for instructional management, and education leadership and policy. She earned an M.A in school organization and administration from New York University and a Ph.D. in sociology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been a high-school English teacher and has held faculty appointments at the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Riehl co-chaired an American Educational Research Association task force whose work culminated in the book A New Agenda for Research in Educational Leadership.
An understanding of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) principles, and how they are intertwined with educational equity issues, is important for all district leaders to be cognizant of, and contributes to supporting teachers in developing the relationships, respect, and academic relevance students need to be successful. The audience for this workshop is education policy makers (i.e. school board members or superintendents), and anyone in a school district who has a leadership role, resource allocation authority, or who conducts professional development for staff. Research shows disproportionality in discipline, suspensions/expulsions, and drop-out and graduation rates tied to the social-emotional issues experienced by PreK-12 students, particularly students in poverty and of color. Attendees will develop their knowledge base related to: SEL principles; Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs); Toxic Stress; Vicarious (Secondary) Trauma; and Trauma-Informed Practices in order to make equitable policy, strategic planning, and resource allocation decisions supporting students impacted by these issues.
Presenter: Mary Fertakis, M.Ed., Principal & CEO, M FERTAKIS Consulting. Former School Board Member (22 years) for the Tukwila (WA) School District - named most ethnically-diverse school district in the USA by the New York Times several years ago; Consultant for the National School Boards Association Equity Department; Past President, Washington State School Director's Association. Mary presented at the 2017 Reimagining Education Summer Institute on racial equity policy development, and has been a presenter on multiple equity-related topics (i.e. authentic family and student engagement; eliminating barriers for underrepresented and students of color through board policy and resource allocation; framing the equity conversation for school boards and district leadership teams) at state school board association conferences in WA, OR, AK, MN, CA, TX, WI, AL, GA, KY, AZ, MA, and at the Council of Urban Boards of Education and NSBA Equity Symposiums and Annual Conferences.
During this workshop, participants will learn how the Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence (PROSE) program allows educators at collaborative schools in NYC to explore innovative ways of re-shaping their schools, including through designing and developing integration plans tailored to the needs of their students and their communities. Topics covered will include how PROSE schools have used admissions flexibilities, recruitment efforts, professional development opportunities, and other strategies to increase and support diversity and integration. The workshop will be relevant not only to educators, policy-makers, and advocates from NYC but also to those from other districts who are seeking to learn more about how the program was created and how it could be implemented in other contexts.
Presenter: Dr. Christina Collins is Lead Researcher and Policy Analyst at the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), a union representing approximately 200,000 public school educators and other professionals in New York City. Tina holds a joint Ph.D. in History and Education and a graduate certificate in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and has received fellowships from the Spencer Foundation, the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her book on the history of the impact of institutional racism on ethnic and racial diversity among NYC teachers, Ethnically Qualified: Race, Merit, and the Selection of Urban Teachers, 1920-1980, was published by Teachers College Press in 2011. At the UFT, she has worked extensively on efforts to increase diversity and integration in the city's schools, as well as on issues such as charter schools, state standards, and teacher professional development, leadership, and evaluation.
So often we are asked, aren’t they too young to talk about race and gender? What we have found is that K-2nd grade students are not only open to these conversations, but that, when addressed at a young age, they are able to continue these conversations as they get older. In this workshop we will look at the research behind early childhood understanding of identifiers and provide explicit examples of lessons and conversation addressing race and gender and approaching curriculum with an anti-bias lens.
Presenter: Blair Welsh teaches 2nd Grade in a co-taught classroom at Community Roots Charter School, an intentionally integrated and inclusive K-8 school in Brooklyn, New York, where her teaching is grounded in an anti-bias framework. Blair has facilitated professional development for staff around anti-bias education and issues of equity, privilege, and identity and has led family workshops on the same topics. Additionally, she is a presenter for Roots ConnectED and has facilitated workshops for educators from across New York City on her classroom practice, specifically around talking about race and gender in the classroom.
Our aim is to highlight the tensions of enacting inclusive education and to unpack the question: How do I enact inclusive education in a racially diverse school? Recent work in Disability Studies has noted that disability is the largest minority. Yet, when we discuss racially diverse schools, conversations about disability are often absent. Though this workshop is intended for all audiences we specifically highlight strategies and ideas for pre-service (graduate student) teachers, in-service teachers and administrators. The field of inclusive education is grounded in the field of disability studies in education; however, we intend to take the field one step further and use intersectional ways of thinking about students’ identities and experiences when strategizing access. As race has been under-theorized in teacher education, we will unpack Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory in Education (DisCrit) to encourage participants to situate their understandings of racism within the mutual construction of race and (dis)ability. Implicit in this notion is the idea that there are a variety of learning profiles, or “abilities,” present in today’s racially diverse schools. We will start by introducing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as one method for lesson planning that provides opportunities for taking up a DisCrit framework. We will expand UDL to address ways of incorporating strategies both school-wide and in the classroom. Participants will leave our workshop with a variety of strategies related to fostering active and collaborative learning with a specific focus on inclusive and culturally sustaining pedagogies.
Presenter: Katherine Newhouse is a doctoral student in the Curriculum and Teaching Department at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also works as an instructor in the Elementary and Secondary Inclusive Elementary Programs with students pursuing dual-certification in elementary general education and teaching students with disabilities. Her interests include disability studies in education, educational justice, intersections of disability, race and gender, adolescents and the experiences of young adults with intellectual and emotional disabilities. Prior to starting her doctoral education at Teachers College, Katherine worked as a special education classroom teacher for seven years with high school and middle school aged young people.
Engaging teachers have a little Broadway in them. They are playful players, making learning exciting through storytelling, dramatic language, suspense and humor. As we reimagine education and promote culturally sustaining leadership, how can we increase students' interest through varying our voices’ volume, pace and emotion? How can we use our gestures, posture, expressions and emotional range to connect learning with our students’ inner universe? Within the actors' toolbox are techniques to utilize our body language and even communicate in silence as we build in mystery, surprise and anticipation to enliven our teaching practice. As students are burdened with taking 13 standardized tests on average per year in grade 3-8, education is intentionally being flattened and dulled. Too many lessons focus on students surmising what the test taker is thinking rather than cultivating their own perspective and voice. Through theater games and explorations, teachers will examine their own cultural roots and context while experimenting with new forms of self-expression. Teacher dynamism enriches the educational experience, helping students reach their highest potential while promoting dialogue, equity and engagement. Participants will discuss our prior knowledge, generate ideas about the similarities of acting and teaching, play games, examine our current modes and experiment with different presentation styles. We will discuss what role actors could play as mentors in schools to improve the public speaking, listening and presentation skills of our school community. Participants will take away some new acting skills that will rejuvenate and celebrate justice, community and connection.
Presenters: Suzanne Darrell is Teaching Artist at Wingspan Arts. Elaine Perlman is Director of the Peace Corps Fellows Program; Teacher for 30 years; current 7th and 8th grade teacher at the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) and an amateur actor. Elaine has led a workshop at Teachers College’s Teaching in Trying Times conference entitled “Studying feminism and the LGBTQ movements in the middle school classroom.”
New York City has 32 community school districts. As of now, only one district across the City has a desegregation plan. On the Lower East Side of New York City, educators, parents, and district leaders are working to build a diverse and inclusive environment for all their students and families. This workshop will take a deep dive into New York City Community School District 1’s (CSD1) journey for Real Integration as a case study that can inform the efforts of other districts and schools going through this process. The current and former Superintendents will discuss the history of integration efforts in CSD1, the process of designing the new admissions model, and the work being undertaken to prepare school leaders, faculty, and parents for more diverse student bodies. Attendees will come away with an understanding of the CSD1 Diversity in Admissions enrollment plan, as well as the subsequent policies and practices undertaken by the District to support inclusive and welcoming school environments for all students.
Presenters: Carry Chan is CSD1’s current Superintendent and Daniella Phillips is a former CSD1 Superintendent. Naomi Pene is President, Community Education Council CSD1. Lyntonia Gold is the Director of School Renewal for CSD1, and Matt Gonzales is Director of the School Diversity Project for New York Appleseed.
In today’s classrooms, we are faced with many challenges. One of these challenges is dealing with cultural and racial issues, which stem from intolerance and stereotyping, in addition to resolving conflicts that arise due to lack of knowledge and understanding. At the end of the day, we all want our students to be tolerant individuals who appreciate differences and value personal choice. In this interactive workshop, we will discuss a number of strategies through which teachers can assist their students in realizing their roles as citizens of a changing world; one in which each individual needs to embrace the values of openness, knowledge and communication. We will also engage in a number of hands-on activities that educators can use in their classrooms to prepare students to be active community members who avoid assumptions and make informed decisions. Towards the end of the workshop, participants will be working in groups to design lesson plans that center around the notions of diversity and tolerance using the strategies and activities we discussed throughout the session. The workshop is appropriate for middle school and high school teachers and program coordinators. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their own classroom settings and teaching practices and share thoughts and ideas on how to best prepare their students to be active citizens and aspiring community leaders in today’s world.
Presenter: Salma Waly is an educator, teacher-trainer, curriculum developer and literacy consultant with over 14 years of experience in the USA and internationally. Her research interests include teacher identity and citizenship education especially for immigrants and minority students. She had previously presented and trained educators in conventions across the United States and the Middle East.
The objective of this workshop is to provide an introduction to Circle Keeping as a pedagogical tool for humanizing the classroom and school. Through informational materials and exercises, we aim to impart the purpose, tenets, and methodology of Circle Keeping. We see Circles as a space for cultivating racial, cultural, and emotional literacy which serves to humanize, educate, and empower participants of all ages. Although this workshop is geared towards youth, teachers, and community organizers/members, we welcome everyone. Additionally, we will include a closing section with materials and exercises that operationalize “the work”--that is, the ability to reflect on one’s thoughts/behaviors/actions and assess how they may contribute to the reproduction of inequality; in turn, we are better able to disrupt/transform dehumanizing social relations in the classroom and beyond. We will discuss praxis for educators and youth; this includes writing exercises for critical self-reflection, self-care strategies for pedagogies of love, and creating a community of accountability with and among students/teachers for creating/sustaining a more equitable classroom. Workshop takeaways include how to: effectively facilitate a Circle in the classroom (and other learning spaces) with youth and/or peers; meaningfully engage in critical dialogues around students’/staff’s lived experiences inclusive of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and much more; center the knowledge and experiences of students to enhance peer empathy and foster cultural humility; strengthen emotional and racial literacy for self, students, and staff to build community within the classroom/school.
Presenters: Christina Marie Chaise, of Teachers College, Columbia University’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education, is a Graduate Student/Group Facilitator/Circle Keeper. She was a founder of Critical Scholars Network, a network for scholars, researchers, practitioners, and community members to learn/unlearn systems of power and oppression with and from one another. Christina has served as a facilitator for various student groups since 2011 and specializes in youth development/empowerment. Her most recent workshop with Amy Fabrikant on Circle Keeping was at Beyond the Bars Conference of the Center for Justice at Columbia University March 2018. Amy Fabrikant (she, her, hers) is a writer, educator, activist and national speaker for access and equity in education. Amy consults with schools on how we can build connection and respect for all in our school communities using restorative justice circles, mindfulness practices, Conflict Resolution strategies, Growth Mindsets and other restorative practices that lead to positive critical awareness. Amy is the author of parenting and school based articles and the author of the award-winning children’s book, When Kayla Was Kyle and Paloma’s Secret, www.palomasecret.com Summer 2018. Both Christina and Amy will also be co-facilitating a Circle Keeping workshop at the Fourth Annual School Social Work Conference at Columbia University’s School of Social Work June 2018.
Fred Rogers once said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning.” Research shows, time and time again, that play is important to the development of human agency, socialization, language, and cognitive/intellectual functioning. Yet it is increasingly a rare practice in classrooms. We lament play as a lost form of pedagogy across all levels of education. In schools where the arts, physical education, and the humanities are being cut in exchange for “academic rigor,” most often, children from marginalized communities suffer the consequences. Teachers who don’t play are also at risk for burnout. Providing spaces for play and playful experimentation classrooms is a form of equity pedagogy, for our students and for ourselves. In this workshop, we explore the ways that curriculum and play could, and should, be interchangeable. We provide teachers with examples of classroom practices that embrace play as the tool with which to teach most equitably. In this session, classroom teachers and school principals at all levels are welcome to challenge their own curricular pedagogies in order to make room for play. In pairs and small groups, participants will examine their schedules and activities, identifying openings for potential playful encounters. We intend for all to leave with new possibilities for their classrooms and tangible practices to put into play (pun intended) so that their classrooms are places of joyful learning and living.
Presenters: Tran Nguyen Templeton has an Ed.D. in Early Childhood Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has taught children and youth with special needs in Houston, Texas and Guatemala City. As a former school director, Tran has worked with special education teachers to develop curriculum from children's inquiries and abilities. At Teachers College, she taught courses on curriculum development to pre-service teachers in Early Childhood. Tran conducts research related to children's photographic practices and pre-service teachers' critical consciousness as reflected in curriculum. She will be joining the faculty of the University of North Texas in the fall. Haeny S. Yoon has a Ph.D. in Language and Literacy from the University of Illinois. After working as a public school teacher for seven years, she worked on curriculum design with K-5 teachers as a teacher collaborator. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood at Teachers College, Columbia University where she teaches courses on integrated curriculum, language/literacy, play, and qualitative methods. She continues to work with pre-service and in-service teachers throughout New York City, specifically teachers of color, to re-imagine culturally relevant pedagogy in their curriculum, practice, and professional development.
ERASE Racism’s workshop focuses on how adults and students can unify to advance school integration efforts. Using our Student Voices Campaign as an example, we will demonstrate how vital coalition building with student leaders can be to creating change in suburban areas. Students will supply adult attendees with valuable insight into the power of the student voice and the ingenuity students bring to the table when creating actionable items for educational reform. We will spotlight key strategies to mobilizing and uplifting the student voice within the context of a metropolitan area that suffers from deeply entrenched residential and interdistrict segregation, effectively isolating students within their schools and communities. Specifically, we will address, with the aid of students who are part of our Student Task Force, the benefits and challenges to mobilizing students within a suburban context. For example, it has been a benefit to our work to have students come from different schools and communities with drastically different experiences. However, it has been a challenge to bring students together to share those experiences with one another in person due to a lack of efficient public transportation. Both student and adult facilitators will share their perspectives on how we best capitalize on our benefits and how we overcome some of the challenges. Our hope is for our workshop to be interactive and for attendees to be able to utilize knowledge overviewed at the beginning of the workshop to collectively strategize with our students about next steps for the Task Force at the end.
Presenters: Elaine Gross is founder and president of ERASE Racism, a regional civil rights organization based on Long Island, NY. ERASE Racism exposes and addresses the devastating impact of historical and ongoing structural racism, particularly in public school education and housing. It does this by utilizing research, policy advocacy, legal action, and educating and mobilizing the public. It drives policy change at the local and statewide levels and participates in related national coalitions. Throughout her career, Ms. Gross has focused on addressing the systemic causes of social, political, and economic inequities. Some of her previous experience: Deputy Director of the Boston Housing Partnership; founding Executive Director of Sustainable America – a national nonprofit that supported regional sustainable development initiatives – and Program Officer at the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program, where she oversaw national grantmaking in economic development and human rights. She has published opinion articles and received numerous awards. Nyah Berg is the Education Equity Organizer at ERASE Racism. She spearheads the Student Voices Campaign and facilitates the Student Task Force for Racial and Socioeconomic Equity. She has been a key component in educating and empowering students from across Long Island through workshops, conferences, and social media campaigns regarding Long Island equity, and student advocacy and activism. She holds a Master of Arts from Teachers College, Columbia University in education policy and social analysis with a specialization in education law. Her graduate education equips her with a depth of education policy knowledge as well as research, policy analysis, and evaluation skills. With her experience and her passion for education equity for all students, Ms. Berg creates comfortable spaces for uncomfortable conversations that advance ERASE Racism’s mission of eliminating segregation and inequity in public school education on Long Island.
To challenge deficit-oriented perspectives of Black boys as independent and nonrelational, this workshop entails: (1) a brief presentation of evidence-based “relational teaching strategies,” designed to facilitate positive learning relationships among early-adolescent Black boys and their schoolteachers; and (2) small group and whole group discussion of the application of these strategies with specific boys at the respective schools of workshop attendees. Framed by a (re)imagining of Black boyhood, the goal is to assist teachers and other school professionals with the effective use of these relational strategies, with implications for boys’ academic performance and overall school engagement.
Presenter: Joseph Derrick Nelson, Ph.D., is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is on sabbatical from Swarthmore College, where he is faculty in their Department of Educational Studies. He is also a Senior Research Fellow with the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives at the University of Pennsylvania. His research has explored how stereotypes influence the identity development of high-achieving Black boys during early adolescence. These multi-year projects have led to publications with Teachers College Record, Harvard Educational Review, and co-editing a special issue on boys’ education with the Journal of Boyhood Studies. His forthcoming book is entitled, “Never Give Up: Resilience, Academic Success, and Middle School Black Boys” (Harvard Education Press). In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Nelson taught first-grade in a single-sex classroom for Black and Latino boys, in the low-income neighborhood where he grew up.
This is an introduction to e-textiles, toy making and making simple circuits without soldering. This is also a workshop about equity, expanding diversity in the technology sector and introducing new technologies through engineering, design and culturally relevant materials and practices. This workshop will address the current trends and future directions for teaching STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) in PreK -12 schools. This workshop is going to be hands on with tons of materials and participants will leave with a clear understanding and individualized action plan for enhancing STEAM education in their own work. Participants get to take home their own creation.
Presenter: Dr. Ronah Harris is a teacher and a maker. She currently teaches computer science at the Stuart Country Day School, an all-girls independent school in Princeton NJ. Dr. Harris is also the founder of Play Pattern LLC, an educational technology consultancy that trains teachers, educates families and designs products to increase participation in STEAM for girls and underrepresented groups. She was awarded two Daytime Emmys for her work on the educational television shows Sesame Street and The Electric Company. She also helped write the first computer science curriculum for NYC public schools. Dr. Harris has lectured at Teachers College, Columbia University, and has published and consulted on topics of cognition, creativity, innovation, technology and design. She lives in New Jersey with her two children, and makes interactive toys and dolls in her spare time.
Beginning in December 2017, members of the Black Student Union of Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, Cambridge, MA, released a series of PBS videos highlighting stories of racial incidents and instances of micro - to macro-aggressions experienced by mostly students of color at school. The videos and subsequent dialogues caught significant media attention resulting in significant attention on the school, leadership, teachers, and students. In this workshop session, Principal Damon Smith, as facilitator, will share accounts of some of the issues, tensions, and challenges that emerged as a result of this very public outpouring of concerns expressed by the school student community. The workshop session will specifically focus on the measures taken to rebuild trust amongst the student body, schools workforce - teachers and otherwise, school, district leadership, and importantly the wider Cambridge community. The session also explores some of the inherent and implicit tensions of school leadership, particularly for school leaders of color, in articulating an appropriate response to racist incidents, and also sense of vulnerability amongst students, teachers and community. Participants will be supported in developing their own, personalized toolkit of strategies for addressing issues of racial marginalization and discrimination across their local school communities.
Presenter: Damon Smith is Principal of Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in Cambridge, MA.
Mathematical modeling is a conceptual tool that combines real-world applications of mathematics with critical thinking in a community of student practitioners. In this workshop, participants will learn about mathematical modeling as a classroom practice and engage in applications of modeling using critical theories and social justice praxes. During the workshop, participants will be introduced to the Critical Engagement Pedagogies (CEP) framework and explore various mathematical models that can be applied in middle school and high school classrooms. Furthermore, this workshop will provide attendees with strategies for collaborating with students and continuing their discussions about mathematical modeling with colleagues using digital tools.
Presenter: Nathan N. Alexander, PhD, is the James King, Jr. Visiting Professor of Mathematics Teaching and the Associate Director of Communicating TEAMs (Communicating by Thinking Effectively in and About Mathematics) at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. As a graduate of the Program in Mathematics at Teachers College and as a former graduate student researcher with TC’s Harlem Schools Partnership (HSP), Dr. Alexander’s work explores the sociology of mathematics teaching and learning. His work examines real-world data and various social applications of mathematics. In particular, he uses advanced mathematical and statistical methods to study peer, social, and mathematical networks, as well as applications of critical theories of justice and equity in secondary and undergraduate mathematics, as a means to advance how teachers think about mathematics learning.