Philly Education Stories

Over the past year, the Teacher Action Group has convened 100 educators and students throughout Philadelphia to sit down together in story circles to document their experiences and beliefs about education. From these story circles they have co-created a piece of theater to share their collective vision for educational transformation in Philadelphia.

Free Performances:

  • Sunday, November 10th @ 4pm
  • Monday, November 11th @ 6:30pm
  • Reserve your free ticket here.
  • All shows at Theatre Exile (1340 S. 13th St.)

The project is directed by Anissa Weinraub, a 14-year Philly public school educator, theater-maker, and TAG founder. It is being supported by the Simpatico Theatre and the Leeway Foundation.

Philly Education Stories

An original play co-created by Philadelphia educators and students

In collaboration with Simpatico Theatre and the Teacher Action Group
Directed by Anissa Weinraub

Educators sharing in a Story Circle.

For the past year, educators and students throughout Philadelphia have been sitting down together in Story Circles to document their experiences and beliefs about education. From these Story Circles, students and teachers are together co-creating a piece of documentary theater to share their collective vision for educational transformation in Philadelphia.

Students and teachers acting out their morning
routines at school.

This summer, student and educator participants will work in collaboration with professional theater-makers to devise an original play based on the stories collected from the Story Circles. The final play will be performed in the fall of 2019.

The project asks…

  • How does school, with its need for compliance, feel to teachers and students?
  • What kind of education system is actually needed in our city and for our world?
  • What would it take to humanize our schools?
Students sharing in a Story Circle.

This project uses storytelling and theater-making as a cultural strategy to strengthen intergenerational bonds, heal tensions within communities, and amplify participants’ calls for systemic change in education.

Announcing our 10th Education for Liberation Conference

Teacher Action Group’s Education for Liberation Conference is turning 10!  Ten years of convening, inspiring, connecting, incubating and building.  Ten years of movement-building and continued struggle, of powerful victories and painful setbacks.  Ten years of lifting up the critical need to continue working towards education for liberation.

At this conference, we are marking our anniversary: reflecting on lessons from the past ten years of organizing, creating opportunities to plug into the urgency of the current moment, and sharpening our skills at imagining and enacting a powerful vision for the future.  Whether it’s your first or tenth time, JOIN US!

Register for the conference here.

Toxic Schools 215: A Tale of Two Cities

TAG is launching a new media campaign: Toxic Schools 215: A Tale of Two Cities

We live in two very different cities. One is for our public school students, mostly Black, Brown, and living in poverty. It features toxic lead, leaky roofs, and unbearable temperatures in the buildings where children are trying to learn. The other is a playground for the wealthy developers who benefit from Philly’s ten-year tax abatement. They charge millions for luxurious new residences, and instead of paying their fair share to fund our schools, they walk away with the profit.

These conditions are a direct result of the racial capitalism we live under, which says our students’ education matters less than money in the pockets of these mostly white, already wealthy developers. As educators in these schools, we say no to profit over our students’ health and education. Together with The Caucus of Working Educators, we demand:

  • Ending the ten-year tax abatement for the wealthy and requiring big universities and mega non-profits to pay their fair share through PILOTS
  • Lead remediation in all schools that have toxic lead — not just the 40 schools the District has selected
  • Robust pest control and air conditioners in every learning space in order to alleviate asthma, which is a widespread cause of suffering and absenteeism among Philly children.

TAKE ACTION! 
– Do you work in a Philly public school? Send us your photos
– Are you a non-PFT member? Sign this community petition! 
– Are you a PFT member? Email kathleen.melville@gmail.com to get a hard copy of the version for PFT members and gather signatures from your school!

2019 Inquiry to Action Groups

Inquiry to Action Groups (ItAGs) are spaces co-created to advance our understanding of the political and social landscapes that affect our schools as well as share best practices for our daily work. 

Click here for our 2019 ItAG Catalog.  You will find detailed descriptions of the six ItAGs that will convene across the city in the coming months. Register here to participate.  


2019 Inquiry to Action Groups:

  • Notice: Philly
  • Building Consent Culture in Philly Schools
  • Singing for Justice with Sing, Unburied, Sing
  • Teaching for Black Lives
  • Story Circle Theatre Project
  • Critical Financial Literacy Part 2, Policy Implications and Action Steps     

Join us at 5:30 on WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 20th for a PUBLIC LAUNCH and a chance to meet the facilitators.