Category Archives: Upcoming Events

Announcing the 2014 Education for Liberation Conference!

We’re proud to announce

TAG’s 5th Annual Education for Liberation Conference! 

Featuring Keynote Speaker Lois Weiner
Saturday May 3rd, 2014
9:30AM – 3:30PM
Folk Arts and Cultural Treasures School
1023 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Register Today!
/ Volunteers, Tablers, Workshop Proposals: Click here!

This year’s conference will build the power and impact of on-the-ground educators across Philadelphia by creating space for you to learn, connect with each other and develop the skills necessary to transform education in our city, both within classrooms and beyond those walls.

Registration (9:30-10:00)

Keynote Address (10:00-10:45)

Social Justice in Classrooms and Schools: Why We Must Transform Teachers’ Unions

Lois Weiner, author of The Future of Our Schools, is a life-long teacher union activist and educator and has been an officer of three union locals. She is internationally known for her work on urban teacher education and is a powerful voice for the possibility of teacher unions to transform public education landscapes.

Tables with curriculum resources (10:45-11:15): These will also be available throughout the day.

Morning Workshops (11:15-12:45):

  • Black Music As Rebellion
  • Removing the Blindfold from the Elephant in the Box under the Rug:  Valuing Multicultural Identities in Schools
  • Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
  • Telling Untold Stories in the Fight for Public Education
  • Freak Ladies Fight Back: How art can help us liberate our souls and liberate our peoples
  • Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project

Lunch Time Meet-Ups (1:00-1:30):

  • Social Studies
  • ELL & Bilingual
  • Charter Accountability/Organizing
  • WE Caucus
  • TAG Future Leaders

Afternoon Workshops (1:45-3:15):

  • VISUAL THINKING:  think + draw + learn
  • History Making Productions: Learning Through Media
  • The Power of Student Voice
  • Teacher Facilitated Professional Inquiry Groups
  • Listen Up!: Youth-Produced Media in the Classroom
  • School Discipline 101: Know Your Rights!
  • Caucus 101:  What is the Caucus of Working Educators?

See you there!

 

ItAGs kick off on February 12th!

Inquiry to Action Groups (ItAGs) bring together educators from around the city to explore topics related to social justice in education, and then create an action connected to what they learned.  ItAGs take place over a six to eight week period in February and March.

Join us for our Kick-Off event!

Wednesday, Feb. 12th at Science Leadership Academy (55 N. 22nd Street) from 6-8 PM.

At the event, you will have a chance to:
  • Meet all of the facilitators for this year’s ItAGs
  • Give input on ItAG meeting times if you join their group
  • Network with other TAG members

You do not have to attend the kick-off to participate in an ItAG — the schedules and meeting times will also be posted after the event. However, we encourage you to attend, especially if you are thinking about participating in more than one group, or want to suggest a meeting time that works for you!

Check out the short descriptions of this year’s ItAGs below For longer descriptions, facilitator bios, and meeting times, download the full guide or go to our dedicated ItAGs page.

Black Music as Rebellion: The African American history curriculum woefully neglects the role of music in developing political and social consciousness. We will explore the intersections of Black music and social action with other teachers, and build a curriculum or lesson ideas to supplement our classrooms.

English Content Area Meet-Up: English teachers will meet up to discuss a common concept, idea, or challenge.  Topics may include project-based learning, non-canonical texts, skills instruction, real-world writing, and more.

Leveraging Student and Faculty Voice to Improve Your School: Participants will investigate a range of models that incorporate student/faculty voice into classroom and school decision-making structures.  We will all identify a specific school-based problem, design and implement a student/faculty voice project around it.

Locally Relevant Mathematics with the Community Based Mathematics Project: This ItAG will focus on how to make the learning of mathematics more relevant and engaging for students in our community.  We will use locally relevant contexts to increase students’ access to mathematical knowledge and skills for thinking critically about the world around them.

Partnering through Mentoring: In this ItAG, we will explore qualities and strategies for effective peer mentoring partnerships in teaching within schools and professional communities.  Topics will include sharing ideas for connecting mentors and mentees, areas of focus for mentoring, and building a mentoring community.

Philadelphia as Classroom: An Inquiry into Connected Learning Experiences: This ItAG will develop ways to partner local institutions and professional communities for student learning experiences beyond classroom walls.  We will use the Connected Learning framework, which pushes for more interdisciplinary problem solving, critical thinking, and communication in student learning to inform the dialogue.

Social Justice Educators on the Path to Cultural Relevancy: Participants will build on discussion of research as well as personal and classroom experiences to hone their abilities to make their classroom/context more relevant with respect to linguistic diversity, socioeconomic groups, ethnic heritage, and more.  We will work towards collaborative action that reaches beyond our ItAG.

Social Justice Unionism: Teachers will develop a greater understanding of what social justice unionism means and collectively figure out how it translates into our current reality, both as organized teachers in the PFT and largely unorganized charter school teachers.

Social Studies Content Meet-Up: This group is intended to serve as a space for a “meeting of the minds” among Social Studies educators.  Potential topics are thematic teaching, authentic assessment, teaching source analysis, student-centered inquiry, balancing content with skills, and more.

Using Teacher Research to Create Powerful Classrooms: Each participant will develop a personal research project aimed at strengthening classroom practice and generating knowledge for other educators.  Join us if you are an educator who asks questions aimed at improving your practice and are interested in seizing the opportunity to answer them.

Take Action in August: Door-Knocking Days

The TAG Summer of Action continues. You’ve done your reading, and now it’s time to reach out to your neighborhood to do some educating and organizing! As the recent Committee of 70 report put it, “this crisis is the worst we’ve ever seen” — and too many people are still in the dark about it.

If you’re a PFT Member, we encourage you to sign up for one of their Monday morning training sessions. (If you’re unsure about which week to pick, go for the training on August 19 – TAG leaders who are also PFT members will be running the training!)

Whether you train with the PFT or not — whether you’re a PFT Member or not — we invite you to participate in one (or more) of our Door-knocking Days this August. Check out the details below.

Get Organized on July 17th

You know what’s at stake:

•    The Doomsday Budget is still in effect — with thousands of our colleagues laid off from our schools and essential programs still cut.
•    The School District is pretending like we can open our schools in September, even as we all know it will be impossible and dangerous with our schools stripped down to such barebones.
•    The Governor, State Legislature, and top Philly CEO’s are taking aim at our profession, forcing deep concessions from the new PFT contract, and trying to break the strength and future of the teachers union.
•    A whole new set of schools will be on the chopping block next year.

THIS IS NOT TIME FOR BUSINESS AS USUAL. We must learn how to be stronger and more effective organizers if we are going to confront the massive attack on public education, wrestle back control, and create schools that are in line with our values.

Organizer Training: Getting Skills to Save our Schools
Wednesday, July 17th
1:30 – 4:30pm
4233 Chestnut St (Media Mobilizing Project offices)
Facilitated by lead organizers from the Philly Student Union
Register Here — it’s Free!

Come learn how to:

  • Be a more effective speaker on the issues we’re facing
  • Have intentional “organizing conversations” in order to move people to get involved and take greater action
  • Build more power at your school and in your community
  • Talk to coworkers, administrators, parents, students, politicians and community members

This will also get you ready for the summer doorknocking that TAG is doing with the PFT and PCAPS.

Announcing TAG’s Summer of Action!

IMG_4770Thousands of you joined us in Harrisburg to deliver a message to our state elected officials — Philadelphia won’t stand for anything other than #fullfairfunding.

Unfortunately, the PA budget has not provided us with what we need. Our politicians are choosing to abandon public schools. No one will save us except us — so we need to take charge as teachers and community leaders and remind the public that our schools belong to everybody.

Announcing TAG’s 2013 Summer of Action!

Take Action with these four easy steps:

1. Educate Yourself. Read up, if you haven’t yet:

“The Coming Revolution in Public Education” — national perspective from The Atlantic.

“Corbett Plan for Philly Falls Short of $180 Million” — detailed breakdown of what the state (hasn’t) pledged, via the Notebook.

“The Solution to US Public Schools is Not Corporate America” – Local journalist Dan Denvir connecting Philadelphia to larger trends.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more regular posts of this kind! We also recommend the Network for Public Education’s feed for the Northeast, as well as their Facebook page.

2. Be a perpetual megaphone. Too many folks in Philadelphia — and across the country — have no idea what’s going on in our schools, or what major forces are out to dismantle public education. Make sure that your family, friends, neighbors, and especially your school community knows what’s up! Share the above articles, show people the big picture and let them know that “austerity” and “shared sacrifice” are just a cover for a bigger, deliberate political agenda.

3. Get Trained. Now that you know what you’re talking about, you need some skills in getting the word out there! Mark your calendars for our organizer training on Wednesday, July 17th from 1:30 – 4:30 PM, hosted by the experts from the Philadelphia Student Union at the offices of the Media Mobilizing Project (4223 Chestnut Street.) Register here for the training!

4. Take it to the streets. Watch your e-mail for an invitation to canvassing days across Philadelphia, organized by PCAPS. Teachers, students, and parents will be working together to raise the consciousness of our city, one household at a time.

Time for TEACHER ACTION! From City Hall to 440 N.Broad!


Mass School Closings, Privatization of Public Education, the Proposed Teachers Contract

We are facing Austerity Measures like never before in Philadelphia.

If the School District passes their proposal to close our schools and hand more over to private contractors, then it will embolden them to push for even more egregious budget cuts in the next contract.  This will mean undercutting teachers and staff, destabilizing our schools, and jeopardizing the education and future opportunities of ALL of the children in our city.

Now, more than ever, teachers must show our collective force, as we stand with parents, students, and other workers across the city to say:

DON’T CLOSE OUR SCHOOLS.

INVEST IN PUBLIC EDUCATION.

GIVE OUR COMMUNITIES WHAT WE DESERVE.

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This week — Take Action!

Keep Our Schools Open!

Where’s Mayor Nutter?

Tuesday, March 5th

 Rally at City Hall – NE corner

4:45 p.m.

Mayor Nutter has refused to fight for our schools. He has two appointees on the School Reform Commission, and could affect the vote on closing public schools. He has yet to lift a finger to fight for the funding we desperately need. In fact, he has chosen not to enforce laws that could raise money for the schools. Enough is enough. 

Mayor Nutter, you need to be the LEADER we voted for and fight for your city!

RSVP at http://www.facebook.com/events/420588414692500/

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Thursday, March 7th

440 N. Broad Street

Anytime after 3:30pm

Stand Up For Our Schools!

 

 

 

Peer Professional Development — Join an Inquiry to Action Group (ItAG)

Courtesy of Teachers for Social Justice

ItAG Kickoff!

Thursday, February 7th

6-7:30pm

Science Leadership Academy  (55 N. 22nd St)

 

Teacher Action Group is pleased to offer an opportunity for teachers to build community, engage as learners, and develop as activists.

ITAGs bring together educators from around the city to discuss and study topics related to social justice in education, and then create an action connected to what they learned. They are an opportunity for educators to come together in a meaningful professional development setting, and to build community with others who are also concerned with how education and social justice intersect. ITAGS will take place this year over a six to eight week period in February and March.

For the listing of ItAGs —> ItAGs for 2013

To register —>  Registration for ItAGs