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 groups, facilitation 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.