Beloved Community: Working Together to Enact Change

We are excited to invite you for a day of community building and professional development at the TR@TC Summer Teach-In.  Our theme for the event is Beloved Community: Working Together to Enact Change.   Join the TR@TC community as we engage in participant–led workshops  that explore opportunities of professional community engagement in schools.  All sessions will be facilitated by members of the TR@TC community.  Check out times and workshop descriptions below.

Thursday, June 12

Teachers College, Columbia University

9 am – 4:15 pm


9:00 - 9:30 Welcome and Introduction with the Peace Poets

9:45 - 11:00 Session I Workshops

11:15-12:30 Session Ii Workshops

12:30-1:30 Lunch

1:45 - 3:00 Session III Workshop

**Reception to Follow**

Session I:

What’s a Mentor?: Professional Growth in the Learning Community [Room HM 140]

How do you meaningfully engage in mentoring as either mentee or mentor?  This session will explore opportunities of the dynamic mentoring relationship.  Join us as we engage in conversation about how this relationship can help you grow as an education professional.  This session will focus specifically on the TR@TC Induction Program, but is also relevant for those seeking mentoring supports in other contexts.

Session II:

Building Beloved Community: Working with Others as Advocates for Positive Change  [Room HM 150]

The responsibility of a teacher is to be an agent of change in a context where we’re working toward positive outcomes for students in a school community.  This is only possible if we take on mindsets that assume value of all members of the learning community.  Join us as we discuss and practice ways we might create the Beloved Community. 

Big History: How do teachers and students see themselves within the context of the entire universe? [Room HM 152]

After discontinuing Global Studies, Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies (BCS) commenced with 2013/14 school year by adopting Big History. Big History utilizes a different approach by incorporating the modern, scientific equivalent of the origin stories, and identifies major turning points described as “thresholds,” throughout the universes 13.7 billion year history.  This session will not only chronicle the undertaking of a dynamic curriculum, but also how fortuitous opportunity provided a landscape for teachers and students to challenge current discourses within education. Discussion and activities will feature current BCS students, with a focus on student generated discussions, technology and learning strategies that work to enhance all learners’ potential.       

Closing thought:  

If the Earth’s 4.5 billion year existence was compressed into a normal 24 hour day humans would only occupy the last few minutes of the day.  It spite of this no other species has ever had such dominant role in shaping our biosphere.  

Key Changes: Music in the Classrooms Across Curricula [Room HM 140]

Music re-orients / centers students toward greater self-awareness, autonomy and innovative thinking, which can challenge and shift oppressions, specifically racism and sexism. Are you intrigued or excited by the possibilities of using music and creativity in your classroom WHATEVER the content, context or curriculum?  Are you passionate around social justice?  Could your classroom culture benefit from fully engaged, self-expressed students embracing their intellectual curiosity? This is for you!

We'll share some of what we've explored this semester with TR@TC residents with attention on how to create a safe space for a cypher.

Session III:

Creating Collaborative Relationships to Build Capacity for CHANGE [Room HM 150]

How can teachers work together to advocate for more just policies in NYC and beyond?  Two experienced teachers and TR alums discuss the importance of collaboration in their work as advocates.  Lesley Crawford has worked with her school faculty to build a united message against the overuse of standardized testing. Oliver Cannell worked with other teachers and students to build a school-based club for undocumented students and support the New York Dream Act.  Discussion and activities will focus on strategies for building collaborative responses in the face of challenges that impact our jobs and our students' lives.  

Restorative Circles: Structures and Scaffolds [Room HM 140]

Building a Restorative Justice Framework for your school and classroom community takes a commitment to restorative practices. One of these practices, Restorative Circles, can help you to develop a positive community and authentic learning environment in your classroom. This workshop is a product of a semester-long Inquiry to Action investigation into the use of restorative circles in schools as a practice to connect students to one another in deep and meaningful learning.  Come participate in a restorative circle and learn several structures that will enable you to begin exploring restorative circles in your learning community.  Restorative Justice resources will be shared with all workshop participants.

Collaborating with Technology to Build Beloved Community [Room HM 152]

Technology in the classroom can offer a myriad of opportunities for collaboration and enhancement of learning, but how do we identify what these opportunities are and how to best take advantage of them?  This workshop will focus on developing creative approaches to using technology in the classroom in a way that promotes authentic learning and collaborative community.

**Watch for updates as one other workshop will be happening during this session**