What Makes Professional Development Worthwhile

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On January 3rd, we joined teachers from all over the school district for the 3rd annual Philly Collaboration of Educators.  Caucus members leading sessions on immigration justice, racial justice, using restorative justice in the classroom, and educating in a climate of political change.  We were able to share resources, ideas for our classrooms and schools, and ways of bringing new topics to our students.  These workshops arose from deep organizing that is a part of building social movements, participation in summer book groupsfacilitation of inquiry to action groups organized by Teacher Action Group - Philadelphia, and daily conversations with fellow educators in our buildings. 

In our current system, professional development often arises from a top-down system that reflects a a deep need of student and teacher voices.  This constant work of reclaiming professional development means that we take ownership of the time that we spend and the content of our focus as we grow as teachers to our students, commit ourselves to reflective practice in our communities of colleagues, and leaders in our schools.  This is not a one time event - rather, it is a campaign to sustain autonomy over what we teach and learn in our classrooms. We can't wait to see you at the next one. 

Join us for the Black Lives Matter Week of Action, as we continue to reclaim space in our schools for dialogue and learning that reflects the 13 principles of the Black Lives Matter movement and takes social movements back into our schools in Philadelphia.
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April 26th: Collaboration of Educators!

Want to get professional development from your colleagues that really makes a difference? Ask your administrators now for permission to register for...

Philly Collaboration of Educators

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 (PD Day)

At McCall School (K-8)

and Central High School (9-12)

The sixth annual Collaboration of Educators is the outcome of the collective knowledge and creativity of Philadelphia educators. This is a grassroots, staff-led day of relevant and useful workshops.

View the Draft Agendas (workshops and tables added daily):

Propose a Workshop!

Register to Attend!

  • School District of Philadelphia employees must log in and register on PhilaSD.org > SchoolNet >PD Planner for Act 48 credit.

  • Non-school district employees register here.

Participants will choose their workshops on the day of the event.

Join the Facebook Event and Twitter #PhillyEdCollab for updates and discussions.

For more information contact Tom Quinn: taquinn@philasd.org

 

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Let's Take Back Our Professional Development!

WE and Teacher Action Group are among the educators working to reclaim professional opportunities across the city in the new year. We all know the best PDs are designed and facilitated by our own staff and the school district must stop outsourcing ourCHScollab1.png PD to opportunist corporate consultants like Mastery and Danielson. So if you want to escape from another "data-driven" school district PD day, you are invited to register for meaningful workshops at this year's three Philly Collaborations of Educators at Science Leadership Academy, McCall Elementary, and Central High School. These events depend on our collective energy and participation so propose a workshop! See below for these and many other opportunities to reclaim PD and return the professionalism to our profession!

  • January 23 - Biology PD for middle and high school teachers.
  • January 29-31 - EduCon - Register for Conversations here and create a Meetup with colleagues.

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State of Emergency Book Share

In Philadelphia, teachers must beg, borrow, and (hopefully not) steal books and materials to start the school year. Until the Pennsylvania legislature, releases a budget that fairly funds public education in our state, City Council releases funds they have allocated for schools, and the SRC prioritizes teachers and students over administrators and data, our students will go without many of the materials they need to learn effectively.

WE members have been hearing from teachers across the district about desperate lack of supplies. This spreadsheet is an emergency response to post books that are needed to start classes, and any surplus books that may be hiding in book closets around the city or nearby suburbs:

http://tinyurl.com/EmergencyBookTrade

Please take a look to see if you have anything to offer, and if you know of someone in need make sure they post here as well.

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Then contact your State legislators [www.pa.gov/Government] to demand and end to starvation budgets in Philly!

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It's Time to Take Back Our PD!


If you're tired of the "Driven By Data" agenda of corporate ed reformers, why not take back your professional development days? This year's PD from 440 was designed by administrators that have since left Philly for more money. What they left is a mess. What school staff have always known is that we can do much better because we know what our students, families, and school communities need. Working Educators are growing the idea of grassroots collaboration in schools as an alternative to top-down PD. 

September 3rd and 4th are professional development days and the chaos at 440 has left a vacuum of leadership. Many principals may be willing to shorten the district-mandated materials if there is something worthwhile or site-specific for their staff to engage in. Ask your principal to carve out some staff-led PD time - an hour, a day - for staff to design and lead meaningful and inspiring workshops and collaborations before school starts! Here are some suggestions to offer your colleagues:
  • Present a book or article you read over the summer.
  • Plan ways to address the needs of your ESL students and families.
  • Discuss how to facilitate dialogues on race and #BlackLivesMatter.
  • Invite community-based organizations to partner with school staff.
  • Choose your top 3 priorities for the year as colleagues.
  • Share strategies and cool things to use in the classroom.
  • "Turn-around" a training that you took over the summer.
  • Explore ways to engage teachers and youth in critical pedagogy.
  • Develop a year-long PD plan that staff can build on each PD day.
  • Address any real needs at your school site. Who knows best what solutions to try!

Once you've created the space for staff-led PD, share the great things you're doing with the Caucus blog or Facebook page. Take photos, video, and share materials to build momentum! Later this year, the Caucus of Working Educators will start to grow and share quality cross-school collaborations on district PD days. Think about the possibilities for upcoming staff-led workshops on all of these days!

  • October 28th (1/2)
  • November 3rd 
  • November 25th (1/2)
  • December 18 (1/2)
  • January 22nd (1/2)
  • February 16th (1/2)
  • February 26th
  • March 14th (1/2)
  • April 26th
  • May 10th (1/2)
In Solidarity and Collaboration,

Member-driven Caucus of Working Educators

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