Category Archives: Upcoming Events

2018 inquiry to action groups (ItAGs)

TAG is excited to present 2018’s Inquiry to Action Groups.  ItAGs bring together educators, parents, students, and community members to focus on topics related to social justice in education, and to take action connected to what they learned.  ItAGs create a space for us to explore, imagine, and work towards creating the schools our students deserve.

Listed below are descriptions of the NINE ItAGs that will convene across the city in the coming months.  Register for ItAGs here.

Join us at 5:30 on Thursday, FEBRUARY 22 at SCIENCE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY (55 N. 22nd Street) for a PUBLIC LAUNCH and a chance to meet the facilitators.

Spread the word!  Share the ItAGs list and registration widely, and join the movement for educational equity and justice in Philadelphia: @TAGphilly; #ItAGs2018; #PHLed; www.facebook.com/tagphilly.

For more information, reach out to us at tagphilly@gmail.com.

1) Addressing Islamophobia and Religious Diversity in Schools

Description: In today’s society, it’s important that educators help lead the conversation around Islamophobia and diversity within our classrooms and schools. Unfortunately, many children who are Muslim and those who look Middle Eastern face a barrage of insults and sometimes violent actions from students and teachers due to the climate of the country and the actions of a few. We must learn how to have serious and necessary conversations with the youth so that they grow into conscious and cultured adults.  In this ItAG, we will review videos, articles, and listen to personal accounts of Muslim students and teachers about the issues they face within classrooms and schools.  We will develop a lesson plan for addressing Islamophobia within the classroom, and also have weekly blogs from participants on what they’ve learned and how they will implement it into their daily lives and classrooms.

Essential Questions:  Why is it important to discuss Islamophobia within our classrooms and schools?  How should cultural sensitivity be discussed in our classrooms and schools?  Why is it important to develop knowledge on the diversity of the Islamic community?  How do we help students address issues of Islamophobia within their classrooms and school overall?

Facilitators: Keziah Ridgeway is a Philadelphia school teacher at

Northeast High School who identifies as a Black Muslim

Woman.  Contact:  keziah.ridgeway@gmail.com

Saturdays 2:00pm to 3:00pm.
3/3 Introduction to Islam/Diversity in the Classroom (Ask An Imam).
3/17 Islamophobia Pre and Post Trump (Topics include Diversity, Racism in Islam, Immigration)
3/30 Youth Panel Students Discuss Experiences and Next Steps
4/14 Create A Video Series of Muslim Youth/Series Recap

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2) Building Anti-Racist White Educators

Description: This ItAG is part of the ongoing work of the Building

Anti-Racist White Educators Group. We aim to take responsibility for educating ourselves about racism, and to support and push our colleagues in the same work. Our second goal is to turn these conversations into anti-racist action in our own classrooms, schools, and districts. We commit not just to talking about race but to using these conversations to devise concrete strategies for actively impacting change at our schools.  While we welcome people of color to join and contribute their ideas and opinions to our group, this is meant to be a group that holds white educators accountable for dismantling the white-supremacy that presides within ourselves, our classrooms, our schools and our society.  Our plan is to support each other in creating individual action plans for our work in our own classrooms and to design larger concrete action we can apply to our schools and/or districts.

Facilitators: Jenn Hare is a history teacher at SLA Beeber.  jenn.s.hare@gmail.com. Charlie McGeehan is a Humanities educator at The U School. charlie.mcgeehan@gmail.com.

Time/Place:   Tuesdays February 27, March 13, April 3, April 17, May 1 – 5:00-6:30pm – The U School (2000 N. 7th St., entrance 2nd door above Norris)
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3) Building Understanding of Underprivileged Students’ Rights and Needs in Schools

Description: The student-led non profit UrbEd Inc. will facilitate an ItAG on building understanding of underprivileged students’ rights and needs in schools. Specifically we want to focus on the school to prison pipeline and teacher diversity because these are extremely significant factors in how unhealthy classroom environments are created. Zero tolerance policies have plagued Philadelphia classrooms for decades and have an especially negative effect on low income minority students. To work towards ending these issues we must change the environments and cultures of these schools that are doing a better job imprisoning students rather than preparing them for higher education. We would emphasize a more positive culture and environment through interactions between school faculty and students. We must address the lack of diversity in faculty. Encouraging more people of color, particularly Black males to teach in schools. We want to work to create schools that elevate instead of regulate. As students we have a unique perspective on these issues. We would be more than honored to lead a series of sessions working towards changing classroom and school culture to promote healthier relationships between students and staff.

UrbEd Website: https://www.urbedadvocates.org/

Facilitators:   Zoey Tweh is a junior at Science Leadership Academy who has been passionate about social justice since Trayvon Martin’s murder. She was raised in West Philadelphia by her Liberian mother and attended Penn Alexander. Since then she has joined countless organizations and clubs that have helped her grow as a budding activist fighting for a range of social justice issues.  (Zoey Tweh will be leading group, other team members will come in all bios here: https://www.urbedadvocates.org/team/ztweh@scienceleadership.org

Time/Place: Science Leadership Academy, One weekday evening (TBD) at 6:00pm

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4) Color Matters: It’s Deeper than Skin Tone

Description: Over the last couple of decades there has been a growing perception that our society has become more diverse and inclusive of different groups. Along with this perception, people have pointed to the changing racial demographics of our society as indicator of the inevitable transformation of how view diversity in American society. In Color Matters: Deeper than Skin Tone, participants will explore the cultural, social, economic, political ramifications, and educational implications of skin color on our changing society and determine if we have advanced in relation to bias connected to things that are only skin deep. This ItAG is meant for anyone interested in exploring this subject further and wanting to become more aware of how we are all indoctrinated to associate skin tone positively or negatively in smaller intragroup and intergroup relations.

March 8: Colorism as power construct- An overview of the ItAG and framing.
March 22: Socio-economics of colorism- Specific examples of the effects of colorism on groups economics.
April 5: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal effects of colorism- How colorism affects relations between individuals and also the impact on personal perspective of self.
April 19: Latinos and Colorism- Whiteness as a zero sum game of power and its effect on spanish speaking countries and identity

April 26: Colorism and education- Implicit bias and educators in the classroom practice relationship to colorism. Next steps

Facilitators: Angela Crawford has been an educator for 19 years, and affiliated with the School District of Philadelphia for 15. Mrs. Crawford’s work with School District of Philadelphia began in 1997 as an Instructional Reform Facilitator and English Teacher. In addition, Angela led the teacher study group in which she encouraged self reflective practices for professional pedagogy, a discipline that deals with the theory and practice of education; thus it concerns the study and practice of how best to teach.

Ismael Jimenez is a dedicated educator, who for the last twelve years has worked with Philadelphia students from preschool to high school. After working as a social studies teacher at Germantown High School until it was closed, Ismael was appointed to Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School. Along with being an active PFT member, Ismael has facilitated professional developments in the school district and at postsecondary institutions like UPenn, Penn State and Princeton on issues including structural racism and bridging the gap between high school and postsecondary institutions. Currently, Ismael is co-chair of the Caucus of Working Educators and co-founder of the Philadelphia Black History Collaborative. The philosophical orientation that guides Ismael’s teaching and activism is rooted in the theoretical educational framework developed by Paulo Freire which emphasizes the interconnected nature of education with participating in the transformation of the world.  ishx12@gmail.com

Time/Place: Martin Luther King High School (library); March 8, March

22, April 5April 19April 26

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5) Critical Financial Literacy:  Rethinking Curriculum to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Description: This ItAG seeks to reexamine financial literacy programs found in many school and community programs. Recognizing the racial wealth gap in the US, we seek to support youth in understanding the historical and systemic context that created and maintains vast inequity and poverty. Our action will be to develop curriculum and school/community partnerships that provide basic financial literacy skills, and at the same time, challenge educators and youth to consider individual, community, and public policy solutions to help build generational wealth in marginalized communities, and to take active, ethical, and collective steps to close the racial wealth gap.

Facilitators:      Samuel Reed, III  is a U School Humanities Educator, TAG Member,  and Teacher Consultant Philadelphia Writing Project.  sriii2000@gmail.com

Tom Quinn is a Central High History Teacher and is part of the PYN WorkReady Summer Learning Team.   tquinn6935@gmail.com

Nicole Newman is President/CEO of Newman Networks.

Time/Place:

The ItAG will meet biweekly on Mondays, 5:00-6:30pm at the U-School, 2000 N. 7th Street, Room 304.
  • Monday, February 26 – (Re)Framing the Issues: The Historical and Structural Causes of the Racial Wealth Gap
  • Monday, March 12 – Public Policy Advocacy, Union Organizing, and Community Action Planning
  • Monday, March 26 – Rethinking Financial Literacy for Schools and Community Youth Programs – Part 1
  • MondayApril 9 – Rethinking Financial Literacy for Schools and Community Youth Programs – Part 2

Join the Critical Financial Literacy ItAG web forum.

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6) Dropped Out or Pushed Out? Come Learn with and from Students of YouthBuild Philly

Description: Why do students in Philadelphia drop out of school?

How are students in Philadelphia pushed out of school?

What can students, teachers, principals, district officials, legislators, parents, families, community members do to engage all students in continuing their education?  The content of this ItAG will include: First hand expertise from Philadelphia students and staff, research, podcasts, and discussion.  Who should join this conversation: Students, Teachers, Administrators, Community Members, Parents

This conversation matters because the more students that drop out connects to prison theory, homelessness and other life-altering consequences. The imbalance in dropout rates between white students and students of color points to persistent systematic racism.

Facilitators: Candyce Coleman is a senior at YouthBuild Philly Charter

School, pursuing a career in Healthcare. When she’s not studying she like to explore the the city with her four-year-old son who is a pro at skeeball.  candycecoleman18@ybphilly.org

Hadiyah Brown is a senior at YouthBuild Philly Charter School, pursuing a career in Healthcare. Hadiyah is an avid reader and has started a book exchange program at YB.  hadiyahbrown18@ybphilly.org

Rebekah Dommel is a math teacher who never liked math. She is a member of the academic team at YouthBuild Philly Charter School.  rdommel@youthbuildphilly.org

Justine Philyaw is a native Philadelphian and the Program Operations Director at YouthBuild Philly Charter School.  jphilyaw@youthbuildphilly.org

Time/Place: Thursdays 4:30 – 6:00 (4 sessions, specific dates to be

negotiated by the group) YouthBuild PHiladelphia Charter School 1231 N. Broad St, 3rd Floor

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7) Fair Housing and Education: Civil Rights in 2018

Description: Fair housing rights are civil rights tools that students can learn at a young age. It can be difficult to explain racism to students who attend segregated schools. For instance, a Black student whose peers are 99% African American has a hard time understanding what racism looks like. Likewise, teaching white students to un-learn racism can be futile if they’re never exposed to its impact on communities. Our challenge as educators is teaching students to identify the attitudes and practices that shape our neighborhoods on a macro level. Our ItAG will provide literary materials to teach students about housing discrimination. We will also discuss current housing issues in Philadelphia and discover their fair housing components together.

Facilitators: Joelle Tomkins, Karléh Wilson and Aurica Hurst are members of the Fair Housing Coalition of Young Professionals. Karléh is currently the Executive Assistant at the Fair Housing Rights Center and was previously a Teaching Assistant at Wissahickon Charter School. Aurica is an After-School Program Director at Overbrook High School. Joelle is a Foreclosure Coordinator at Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP. The three women dedicate a lot of time to understanding fair housing rights and identifying ways to stop segregation, slow down gentrification, and strengthen fair housing in Philadelphia.   kwilson@fairhousingrights.org

Time/Place: TBD

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8) Popular Education: Museums & Social Justice

Description: What role can art museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions play in facilitating education for social justice? How can they practice and promote inclusivity? Taking lessons from recent projects such as PHL Assembled, Decolonize This Place, and at land’s edge, this ItAG seeks to convene educators from schools and cultural institutions across Philadelphia to imagine strategies to leverage these community spaces and their assets to be useful for local organizers and global movements for freedom and justice.

Facilitators: Sarah Shaw has been a classroom teacher in Philadelphia public, charter, and independent schools, and is currently a member of the School and Teacher Programs team at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She coordinates the Education Resource Center at the Art Museum and leads tours and workshops for students and teachers.  sjs1975@gmail.com

Chris Rogers is a core member of Teacher Action Group Philadelphia, a former collaborator within PHL Assembled, and the Public Programs Director at the Paul Robeson House Museum. @justmaybechris

Time/Place: Wachovia Education Resource Center (Philadelphia Museum of Art);  Dates and times TBD.

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9) Social Justice in the Elementary Years

Description:     Students begin to understand race, gender, culture, and sexual identity from a young age. Elementary educators interested in exploring these topics are encouraged to join our ItAG as we learn together how to infuse social justice topics and themes in a developmentally appropriate way into the elementary classroom. Possible topics will include: How to facilitate/hold tough conversations with young students; diverse book choices and diverse libraries; the early elementary social justice history curriculum; celebrations and holidays in the culturally diverse elementary classroom.

Facilitator: Kati Rutkowski is an early literacy teacher coach in a Philadelphia public school. She has participated in ItAGs in the past and is interested in exploring this topic that is targeted to the elementary years.  Ktkowski@gmail.com.

Aileen Haggerty is a 2nd grade teacher in a Philadelphia charter school. She is working to implement a year-long social justice curriculum with her fellow teachers at her school. She is excited to work with other elementary teachers invested in social justice work.

Time/Place: TBD

Register NOW: Education for Liberation Conference on Saturday, May 6th

Crawl Spaces* for Liberation:
Educate to Transform

Saturday, May 6
9:30 — 4:00
Hosted by our Co-Sponsor Folk Arts and Cultural Treasures Charter School
1023 Callowhill St.


We see liberation as freedom, as control over our own lives balanced with the responsibility to a larger collective purpose. Crawl spaces* for liberation can exist everywhere, from daily interactions between educators and students to curriculum design to policy making. How can we identify and seize opportunities to create these crawl spaces? When the work of education is subject to competing agendas, how do we harness our power to build towards a movement for individual and collective transformation?

In this time of increasingly dangerous political shifting and uncertainty, it is urgent that we and our students engage in humanizing education to prepare us to take control, lead, imagine and create a better world.

Join us at TAG’s 8th annual Education for Liberation Conference!  The Conference’s panels, workshops, tablers, and lunchtime conversations will create space to witness, learn from and build on the crawl spaces that exist within our school communities. Be part of a day that brings people together to learn, create, grow, and push back to build the educational spaces all students deserve. Breakfast, lunch, and childcare provided. 

Click here to register!

*See Jay Gillen’s book “Educating for Insurgency” for more on “crawl spaces.”

Announcing TAG’s 2017 Inquiry to Action Groups

Teacher Action Group (TAG) is excited to bring ItAG’s back to Philadelphia for 2017!

Inquiry to Action Groups (ItAGs) are an opportunity to build community by learning together, developing as activists, and linking social justice issues with classroom practice.

Small groups will meet for six to eight sessions between February and April to share experiences, respond to readings, exchange ideas, and develop plans of action.

Below find the titles and descriptions of this year’s six ItAGs. To register, complete this form. And please plan to join us for our kick-off event on February 16 at 6pm at Science Leadership Academy-Center City (22nd and Arch).


2017 Inquiry to Action Groups

1. Creating Grassroots Curriculum, Part II

In this Part II to a previous ItAG, we will engage in a series of workshops that build upon the work we completed last year.  We will begin by reviewing last year’s work, which resulted in a curriculum outline, themes and primary foci for a 7-12 Philadelphia humanities curriculum.  We will also explore existing models of grassroots curriculum and continue to create grassroots curriculum to serve our immediate environments and communities.  We will examine what makes a curriculum grassroots and solicit input from the various stakeholders that are vital to producing a sound, viable curriculum that can be used both inside and outside the learning institutions of our communities.  We welcome you to join us whether or not you participated last year.

Stacy Hill is a 14 year veteran teacher who has worked toward educating youth of all ages within the context of community, youth and curriculum development. She is a founding member and active board member of the Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce.

2. Education to Govern: Exploring the Possibilities of Public Education

How are we preparing our students to be leaders who can push forward a more equitable, liberatory society? How can our classrooms and schools be practice spaces for building the skills and strategies of active democracy? Using the text “Education to Govern” by Grace Lee and Jimmy Boggs as an anchor, we will firm up a framework, assess our classrooms, and explore tools to prepare our students to develop the capacities needed in order to collectively govern, now and into the future. We will work with various protocols for engaging in critical dialogue in the classroom, as well as brainstorming pedagogical shifts toward the classroom as an organizing space.

Hanako Franz, Ismael Jimenez, Anissa Weinraub — Philadelphia educators and organizers. Members of the Caucus of Working Educators and Teacher Action Group.

3. Environmental Justice in the Urban Classroom

How do environmental justice issues affect our students, schools, and communities? Issues in our environment affect every breath we take (both figuratively and literally), but the concepts and language of environmental justice aren’t familiar to most educators, students, and families. What are the issues, and how can we contextualize and fight for them with our students and schools?

Environmental justice issues include sustainable food systems and food deserts, air pollution and fossil fuels, water contamination and oil transport, #NoDAPL and indigenous rights, global warming and globalization’s effects on the world and workers, to name a few.

The goal of this ItAG is to bring together educators interested in exploring environmental justice in their classrooms, schools, and in the city. There are no experts, only fellow learners. Some of us have been using environmental justice concepts in our teaching for years, others are still trying to figure out what it even means. We will also invite environmental organizers from around the area to discuss their work and campaigns.

We will discuss the issues, collect and develop resources, and explore best practices. We will develop the agenda and essential questions at our first meeting.  Educators are encouraged to bring any resources or ideas you have to share. We hope this will be a jumping-off point for future environmental justice teaching and practice in our city and beyond!

Max Rosen-Long teaches Spanish at SLA Beeber.  He is a member of the Environmental Justice Committee of the Caucus of Working Educators. He became interested in environmental justice while working on the campaign for PSERS to divest from the DAPL Pipeline and Fossil Fuels.

4. Immigrant Justice and the Fight for Sanctuary Schools

In the aftermath of the election, students and educators across the country are mobilizing to transform their schools into places of sanctuary to protect students of immigrant backgrounds from the violence perpetrated by the state, as well as interpersonal violence. In this ItAG, we will explore what such a project entails by considering the following questions: What does the idea of a “sanctuary school” mean to us? What are the historical precedents of this social movement? How can we expand the notion of sanctuary across various facets of our teaching practice? What would it mean for us to put it into practice with and for our students?

Jazmín Delgado is an interpreter for the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia. She is also pursuing a doctorate in American Literature with a special focus on U.S.-Central American relations.
Rosi Barbera teaches Social Work with a focus on human rights and social justice at La Salle University.  She has worked with various immigrant-focused organizations in Philadelphia.

5. Trauma and Resilience in Education

This ItAG will integrate an exploration of trauma informed practice and self care, and how both affect ALL of us in education.  To explore trauma, we will read articles and one very practical book about teachers’ and administrators’ roles in a developing a trauma informed space. We will also focus on the Sanctuary Model by Susan Bloom and look at the wider implications of trauma and how it affects everyone from classrooms to cities, to society as a whole. We will be joined by clinicians who have certifications in trauma treatment as well as other practitioners in the field. To explore resilience and self care, we will consider the following questions:  How do we keep the fire burning? How do we maintain our passion, energy, and commitment in the face of difficulties, frustrations, and traumas? What helps us bounce back after disappointments and failures? How do we creatively and realistically create change, without succumbing to cynicism, complacency, or despair? How do we balance patience and persistence with a sense of urgency? What habits and practices sustain our sanity and help us flourish and grow over the long term? How do we care for ourselves in order to care for others? How do we balance cycles of sacrifice and renewal? How do we, and how can we, support each other in this work?  
Our goal is for participants to feel empowered with strategies, information and be willing to act further to help push forward the movement of having trauma informed practice as the norm, and a clear sense of their own path towards resilience.  

Erika Dajevskis is a school counselor at W.C. Longstreth Elementary.
Ericka Morris is an EWS Case Manager at the Philadelphia Education Fund, as well as a part time educational consultant focusing in areas of trauma informed teaching practices, self care and best practices for urban educators in general.  Ericka taught at three Philadelphia schools and has one year of administrative experience.  Ericka has also been a certified trainer through Handle With Care, a crisis intervention and behavior management training organization.

6. White Educators and Race: Exploring Our Practice

According to 2012 data, Philadelphia’s teaching force is 69% white, while its student population is 59% black. It is essential for us to have conversations about race, whiteness, and implicit bias with our colleagues, especially white educators. Through this ItAG, we will interrogate the impact of systemic racism and implicit bias on our own practice as educators, review examples of whiteness and implicit bias trainings that already exist, and work to create a training module, specifically designed for Philly educators, to help Philly teachers explore the impact of race on our practice. While the goal of this ItAG is specifically to encourage educators to interrogate whiteness, this group welcomes participants from all backgrounds and professions who are interested in engaging in this work.

Essential Questions:
– How does systemic racism in the United States affect the thoughts and actions of white educators?
– How can we examine the impact of race and bias on our classroom practice?
– How can we engage in conversations about race and the classroom in constructive and critical ways?

Charlie McGeehan is a Humanities educator at The U School. He is involved in racial justice work through Teacher Action Group and the Caucus of Working Educators.  

Register NOW: Education for Liberation Conference on Saturday, April 30

Eventbrite - TAG's 7th Annual Education for Liberation Conference

tagphillyconf

At this year’s conference, we celebrate the vision, strength and resourcefulness of students, educators and community members exercising power and creativity in the face of abandonment and dispossession.  We stand firm in the conviction that the people and places in the Philadelphia school system are not disposable, but instead worth cultivating. Rather than disregard and erase our communities’ wisdom and knowledge, we strive to create a space that values this cultural wealth and uses it to ground our work for manifesting just communities and schools.  Drawing from the power within leads us towards limitless possibility and real transformation.

This year’s workshops include: 

  • African American History Curriculum Review Collaborative: non-negotiatiables and the importance of the counter narrative
  • The Benefits of Guided Inquiry Pedagogy for Students with Learning Disabilities
  • The School to Prison Pipeline
  • Reclaiming Assessment and Leadership of our Schools
  • Teaching Consent Through Youth Media (film screening and discussion)
  • Trauma Informed Teaching
  • Children with Incarcerated Family: From Silence to Collaboration
  • Creating Our Own Mythologies
  • Historytelling: Storytelling as a tool for continuity and resistance
  • THERE’S MORE TO OUR STORY: Counteracting The Tragedy of A Single Narrative
  • Being Poor is Expensive: Philly Students Use Math to Explore Social Justice
  • Mindfulness in the Classroom

Saturday, April 30  •  9:30 — 4:00
Folk Arts and Cultural Treasures Charter School
1023 Callowhill St. 

Eventbrite - TAG's 7th Annual Education for Liberation Conference

2016 Education for Liberation Conference – Call for Workshops, Tables, Student Work, and Volunteers

tagphillyconf

At this year’s conference, we celebrate the vision, strength and resourcefulness of students, educators and community members exercising power and creativity in the face of abandonment and dispossession.  We stand firm in the conviction that the people and places in the Philadelphia school system are not disposable, but instead worth cultivating. Rather than disregard and erase our communities’ wisdom and knowledge, we strive to create a space that values this cultural wealth and uses it to ground our work for manifesting just communities and schools.  Drawing from the power within leads us towards limitless possibility and real transformation.

Saturday, April 30  •  9:30 — 4:00
Folk Arts and Cultural Treasures Charter School
1023 Callowhill St. 

 

Eventbrite - TAG's 7th Annual Education for Liberation Conference


Call for workshop proposals

We invite you to share a workshop with the social justice education community in Philadelphia.  We welcome workshops that are focused on political education  (e.g. intersectional analyses of how institutional oppression affects our students, our schools, ourselves as educators) and deeper understanding of the current context, curricular ideas, instructional strategies and teaching practice, presentations of community work and student-led presentations.  We particularly encourage student-facilitated workshops.  We will offer three tracks of workshops.

  • Restorative Justice and Healing Trauma

  • Teaching and Learning

  • Organizing for Just Communities and Schools

Submit a workshop proposal here.


Call for student work

Please share examples of your students’ amazing work!  Participate in the student work gallery that showcases students’ expressiveness and skill, and also provides models of what education for liberation looks like in action.  Examples include visual art, memoir, poetry, digital media, student-led presentations/exhibitions

Sign up to display student work here.


Call for tabling and lunch conversation facilitators

Do you have resources or curriculum to share?  We will provide a table for you to display your work and offer it to others.  We also invite you to sign up to host an informal lunch conversation around a theme of your choice.

Sign up to table or facilitate a lunch conversation here.


Volunteer!

We need your help to make the conference run smoothly. Consider volunteering to help us in a number of different ways.

Add your name to a volunteer list here.

Announcing 2016’s Inquiry to Action Groups — Register now!

TAG is excited to present 2016’s Inquiry to Action Groups.  ItAGs bring together educators, parents, students, and community members to focus on topics related to social justice in education, and to take action connected to what they learned.  ItAGs create a space for us to explore, imagine, and work towards creating the schools our students deserve.

Listed here are descriptions of NINE ItAGs, which will convene across the city in the coming months:

  • African American History Curriculum
  • Countering Racial Capitalism for a Just City
  • Creating Grassroots Curriculum
  • Cultivating a Mindful Classroom
  • Feminism is for Everybody
  • History and Memory of the 1981 Teachers’ Strike
  • Math and Social Justice
  • Questioning the World
  • Reclaiming Assessment, Classrooms, and Leadership: Responding to High-Stakes Testing and the Future of Assessment Reforms

Register for ItAGs now!

Then join us at 6:00 on FEBRUARY 11 at SCIENCE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY (55 N. 22nd Street) for a PUBLIC LAUNCH and a chance to meet the facilitators.

Spread the word!  Share the ItAGs list and registration widely, and join the movement for educational equity and justice in Philadelphia: @TAGphilly; #ItAGs16; #PHLed; www.facebook.com/tagphilly.

For more information, reach out to us at tagphilly@gmail.com.

Support a Game Changer for Education in Philly

Early in 2016, there is an incredible opportunity to change the landscape of education in Philadelphia.  Imagine electing a teacher union leadership committed to actively struggling for social justice through strengthening democracy and empowering teachers across the city.

The Teacher Action Group stands in solidarity with the 
Caucus of Working Educators, a caucus within the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) organizing for transformation of our public schools.  The Caucus envisions a democratic and transparent member-driven teachers union.  They are running a slate of inspiring candidates in the upcoming PFT elections in winter of 2016.

Whether you are a member of the PFT or not, please join us to support the work of WE, especially in this critical time!

  • Become a member of the caucus and encouraging your colleagues to join (community allies who are not members of the PFT are also welcome to join).
  • Read and share WE’s platform and build relationships with people around you who connect to its vision.
  • Attend a WhoAreWE Session:                                                          
  • Host a #WhoAreWE session for your colleagues within and beyond your school (contact: kelleycollings@gmail.com for information).
  • #OccupyTheSRC on December 18, 2015 5:00 PM, 440 N. Broad.  Show your support for our schools, students, and teachers.
  • Fundraise and donate to support the election campaign.  Join us for one (or more!) of the following fundraising events:
    • Friday, December 18th: House Party, e-mail contact@workingeducators.org
    • Tuesday, December 22nd 5:00PM: “Meet the Slate Fundraiser”, Son’s of American Legion Squadron #366 Loudenslager, 7976 Oxford Ave.
    • Saturday, December 26th: Painting with a Twist, email contact@workingeducators.org
    • Wednesday, December 30th: “Party for your Right to Fight” (Host: Kelley Collings), 441 W. Earlham Terr.
  • Organize every PFT member to vote in the 2016 election.
  • Help flyer at every school in Philadelphia (contact kelleycollings@gmail.com for information about getting materials and locations)

Questions?  Want to join this effort at a deeper level? Contact Kelley Collings:      kelleycollings@gmail.com215-868-3089

 

Submit an ItAG Proposal by December 1st!

Interested in starting a conversation with colleagues about a social justice topic in education that relates to your practice?  Submit a proposal to facilitate an Inquiry to Action Group.  ItAGs are 6 — 8 week spaces for educators from across the city to learn and take action around a theme.  All are welcome to facilitate.  Complete this form by December 1st to propose an ItAG for 2016.  Questions? Contact us at tagphilly@gmail.com.

The WE Convention on Nov 14th: Organizing Skills, Union Lessons, and Announcing the 2016 Election Slate and Platform!

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Without a doubt, this is probably the most exciting time in WE’s brief history:

  • In September WE announced its Leadership Bid and Listening Campaign; and have been covered by most major papers in the city. (The Notebook here and hereThe Tribune here and hereThe Daily NewsCity PaperRaging Chicken Press here and here).
  • Through the listening campaign, the Caucus has heard from educators from every part of the city about what they love about their jobs, the obstacles they face, and their ideas for how we can strengthen our union.
  • All that data is currently being compiled into a platform that truly represents the democratic power of educators in Philadelphia.

And on November 14th, The Caucus of Working Educators will host its Annual Convention. Every educator and education advocate is invited to join us for a day of skill-building, workshops from education and union experts from across the country, and…kicking off the official 2016 election platform and slate!

The 2nd Annual WE Convention
November 14, 2015 at 9:30am – 3:30pm
Old First Reformed UCC
151 N 4 St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Lunch, childcare, and parking provided free of charge.

Please RSVP through the website or on facebook.

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WE are working to build a member-driven, democratic union that can defend and transform public education– but your ideas and passion are needed to make it possible. Join for the whole day or any part of it (make sure you get some lunch, too). Even if you can’t make it, please forward this info to a Philadelphia educator you know that might be interested.

 

Tentative Program:

9:30-10:00am- Breakfast and Registration

10:00-10:45am- Opening Plenary: “Race, class and the future of our union”, Brian Jones (NyCORE/MORE)

10:45-12:00pm- Workshop Session 1
  • Organizing to Win: How to Have Effective Conversations that Move People to Action
  • #WEarethePFT: Carrying our Message through Social Media and Beyond
  • Internal Union Elections: Know Your Rights

12:00-1:00pm: Lunch (catered by school employees from Taggart Elementary)

1:00-2:15pm- Workshop Session 2

  • Organizing to Win: How to Have Effective Conversations that Move People to Action
  • Lessons from Recent Labor Victories: Open Negotiations, Hunger Strikes, Charter Protests, and more
  • It Takes More Than a Strong Caucus: Grassroots Fundraising for Our Election Campaign

2:15-3:30pm- Closing Plenary: Announcing the 2016 Leadership Slate and Election Platform!