Sessions

We are excited to share with you the breakout sessions for the 2018 Teacher-Powered Schools National Conference. We have four different strands of breakout sessions (some sessions fall into more than one strand).

Read on, or jump directly to one of the strands using the links below.

  1. New to Teacher-Powered? Start Here!
  2. Transforming Teaching and Leading
  3. Student-Centered Learning: Advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  4. Supporting Teacher-Powered through Districts, Unions, and Networks

Types of Sessions
This year we will have multiple types of sessions during the conference. Please choose the best option for your proposal.

  • Breakout Sessions: 60 minutes or 90 minutes
  • Panel of Experts: 60 minutes
  • Roundtable Discussions: 60 minutes
  • Workshops: 2.5 hours

STRAND: New to Teacher-Powered? Start Here!

Transform and Change: Converting to a Teacher-Powered Model

What does it take for teachers to transform a school? Educational innovators from NYC will share a series of challenges facing them at an “F-rated” unscreened district high school with 30% graduation. Participants will brainstorm solution ideas together, then the team will tell their story of transformation. 90 minutes.

Breakout Session D: Sunday, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Anita Babbitt, Aviva Shapiro, Heather Long, and Jacquelin Incorvaia; Teachers, Urban Assembly School for Green Careers

Reframing Leadership, Reshaping Schools: Cultivating Your Organizational Capacities for Change

Participants engage with a distributed leadership framework in this session, exploring the power of reframing to authentically engage educators in the process of school change and design. Participants will leave prepared to collaborate, develop, and leverage the strengths of their teams to bring about sustainable school transformation. 2.5 hours.

Breakout Session B: Saturday, 12:30–2:00 pm and Breakout Session C: Saturday, 2:30–3:30 pm

Presented by:

  • Diana Lebeaux and Gary Chapin, Center for Collaborative Education, Boston, MA

A Year of Exploration: How We Converted to Teacher-Powered Governance

Did you miss the tour? Learn how the team at Reiche Community School worked through an intentional Year of Exploration to figure out if converting to teacher-powered governance was right for them and how it drove the early decisions about how they would distribute leadership to get the best outcomes for their students. 60 minutes.

Breakout Session A: Saturday, 10:15–11:15 am

Presented by:

  • Lorraine Bobinsky, Co-lead teacher, Howard Reiche Community School, Portland, ME
  • Dave Briley, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Howard Reiche Community School, Portland, ME

Ignition/Booster Grant: How to Best Use $5000

In this session, we will introduce the Ignition/Booster Grant’s purpose and process. Learn from others about how $5000 can be best spent in order to ignite or boost your current teacher-powered practices. Grant application deadline is just around the corner- come gather ideas for your application! 60 minute roundtable.

Roundtable: Saturday, 4:00–5:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Nora Whalen, Teacher-Advisor, Avalon School, Saint Paul, MN
  • Gretchen Sage-Martinson, Teacher-Advisor, Avalon School, Saint Paul, MN

Design Choices for Teacher-Powered Schools

This session will focus on our school’s path towards design choices that empower student-centered learning and teacher-powered school functions. We will discuss our journey through teacher-powered school design, share ideas about ways schools can add design elements to promote both student-centered learning and teacher-powered design, and then give space for questions & idea-sharing among participants. 60 minute roundtable.

Roundtable: Saturday, 4:00–5:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Sarah Giddings, Teacher-Powered Ambassador, WAVE, Ypsilanti, MI
  • Melissa Denig, Teacher Advisors, WAVE, Ypsilanti, MI
  • Sean Fountain, Teacher Advisor, WAVE, Ypsilanti, MI

Creating the Dream: Collaborative Learning For All

Discuss how to take traditional schools and begin implementing change to empower teachers and students for better learning experiences and outcomes. 60 minute roundtable.

Roundtable: Saturday, 4:00–5:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Starr Sackstein, Director of Humanities, West Hempstead Union Free School District, NY
  • Dan Rehman, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction, West Hempstead Union Free School District, NY

STRAND: Transforming Teaching and Leading

Establishing Shared High Expectations for Instruction through Peer Observation & Feedback

All students deserve to be challenged and engaged with high-quality instruction. The quality of instruction a student receives should not be dependent upon the one teacher to whom they are assigned and the ability of busy school administrators to provide that teacher with feedback. By establishing clear, shared expectations of quality instruction, and supporting all teachers to engage in peer observation and feedback relative to those expectations, schools can leverage the power of all teachers as leaders who can help strengthen the quality of one another’s instruction. This belief has guided an urban elementary turnaround school to realize dramatic improvement in academic achievement, student engagement, and school culture. In this interactive workshop, learn how teacher leaders created, piloted, and refined tools for peer observation and feedback; engage in testing and adapting them to your own context; and benefit from facilitated, cross-school conversations that leverage the expertise in the room.

Breakout Session A: Saturday, 10:15–11:15 am

Presented by:

  • Emmanuel Fairley, Teacher, Henry Grew Elementary School, Boston, MA
  • Kara Lysy, Instructional Coach, Henry Grew Elementary School, Boston, MA

ReStorm, ReNorm, ReStore: Rebuilding Trust and Collaboration in Teacher-Powered Schools

Staff collaboration is the foundation of the teacher-powered model that supports student-centered learning, but what happens when that collaboration is compromised? This session is designed for established teacher-powered school teams that may need a reboot to restore the vision, trust, and collaboration once they move past the honeymoon phase. 90 minutes.

Breakout Session D: Sunday, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Carrie Bakken, Coordinator and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Avalon School, Saint Paul, MN
  • Tim Quealy, Teacher-Advisor, Avalon School, Saint Paul, MN
  • Deyonne Jackson, Woods Learning Center, Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Casper, WY
  • Jim Gaither, Woods Learning Center, Casper, WY
  • Jeff Austin, Social Justice Humanitas Academy, Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Los Angeles, CA

Supporting Support Staff in Teacher-Powered Schools

Support staff, including all adults who work with children in schools besides their lead teacher, are crucial to the development of school communities. We will explore helping teaching teams develop relationships, providing feedback to support staff, and creating safe spaces for difficult conversations and honest dialogue. 90 minutes.

Breakout Session D: Sunday, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Amina Michel-Lord, Teacher, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA

Your Story, Our Story: Democratic Principles in Action

We will be talking about how to set conditions for democratic principles to thrive in schools. We will discuss how to help students, teachers, family members, and community members to have voice, to implement and sustain school programs, and to actualize the statement of purpose of their schools. 90 minutes.

Breakout Session D: Sunday, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Ayla Gavins, Principal, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA

Shared Decision Making at Teacher Powered Schools

Facilitated by a veteran teacher at Mission Hill K-8 School, a democratic teacher-powered school in Boston, this roundtable focuses on how other teacher-powered teams make decisions. Bring your protocols and procedures for shared decision making to share with other educators and join in the conversation designed to lift up successes and brainstorm around challenges. 60 minute roundtable.

Roundtable: Saturday, 4:00–5:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin, Teacher, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA

Evolution of Shared Leadership

Join Another Course to College, Boston Teachers Union School, and Mission Hill K-8 School as they share about their strategies, successes, and challenges as teacher-powered pilot schools. They will discuss the formal and informal structures that facilitate teacher power on the district, school and classroom levels. 60 minute roundtable and panel discussion.

Breakout Session B: Saturday, 12:30–2:00 pm

Presented by Boston teachers from:

  • Mission Hill K-8 School
    • Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin
    • Jeanne Rachko
    • Jenerra Williams
  • BTU School
    • Laura Davila
    • Lesley Strang
    • David Weinstein
  • Another Course to College
    • Robert Comeau
    • Marina Gopie
    • Kate Gubata
    • Chris Mee

Helping Students Own Their Learning: Prioritizing Community and Engagement

Explore ways teachers of Impact Academy, Minnesota New Country School, and Mission Hill School have designed their learning programs to adapt to elementary students' academic and social/emotional needs through the lens of math. Small groups will look more closely at how to differentiate instruction, help students access a variety of math content, or implement competency based structures. This team of district and charter schools are sure to inspire your team to create an environment where all students own their learning 90 minutes.

Breakout Session D: Sunday, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Aaron Grimm, Teacher-Advisor and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Minnesota New Country School, Henderson, MN
  • Julene Oxton, Co-Founder of Impact Academy and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Lakeville Area Public Schools, Lakeville, MN
  • Michelle Johnson, Teacher, Impact Academy, Lakeville, MN
  • Danny Flannery, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA
  • Ashleigh L'Heureux, Teacher, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA
  • Kate Needham, Teacher, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA
  • Sirena Woyt, Teacher-Advisor, Minnesota New Country School, Henderson, MN
  • Stephanie Korba, Teacher, Impact Academy, Lakeville, MN

“Flipping” Your Classroom to Foster Student Engagement

As schools strive to personalize learning for all students, teachers must adapt their practices to put students at the center of their learning. In this “flipped” session, Charles Willis of Lexington High School in Lexington, MA will show how participants can change their own instruction to increase student engagement. 90 minutes.

Breakout Session B: Saturday, 12:30–2:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Charles Willis, Teacher, Lexington High School, Lexington, MA

Teacher-Powered Principals: Reimagining the Roles of Administrators at Teacher-Powered Schools

Learn from administrators at two successful teacher-powered schools, Chrysalis Charter School (CA) and Social Justice Humanitas Academy (CA), as they discuss the role administrators have in promoting, supporting, and implementing a model where teachers are leaders and true decision-makers. 90 minutes.

Breakout Session B: Saturday, 12:30–2:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Jeff Austin, Lead Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Social Justice Humanitas Academy, Los Angeles, CA
  • Paul Krafel, Co-founder (retired), Chrysalis Charter School, Palo Cedro, CA
  • Dr. Irene Salter, Principal, Chrysalis Charter School, Palo Cedro, CA

Sharing Our Power: How the Orientation Process Sets the Tone

This session will describe strategies for how to orient students, teachers, and parents to a teacher-powered & student-centered school model. Models for teacher training, student orientation, and onboarding processes for parents & students will also be shared. 90 minutes.

Breakout Session D: Sunday, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Sarah Giddings, Teacher-Powered Ambassador, WAVE, Ypsilanti, MI

Founder Transitions: A Critical Passage for Any Organization

Founder transitions in any organization are notoriously perilous. Success requires careful, sensitive and timely planning. Three veteran teacher-powered schools will share how they negotiated the tricky transition of founding visionaries letting go to empower the new leadership of the second generation. What worked? What mistakes were made that you can avoid. 60 minute roundtable.

Roundtable: Saturday, 4:00–5:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Taryn Snyder, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Boston Teachers Union School, Boston, MA
  • Alysia Krafel, Co-founder, Teacher, and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Chrysalis Charter School, Palo Cedro, CA
  • Liz Seubert, Co-Lead Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Wildlands School, Fall Creek, WI

Storytelling for Impact

Everybody remembers a good story. Powerful stories can be used to grow support for your concept for a school or your already-existing teacher-powered school. Come learn strategies for telling your teacher-powered story. 90 minutes.

Breakout Session B: Saturday, 12:30–2:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Lori Nazareno, Services Specialist at CTQ and Co-founder of Math and Science Leadership Academy, Denver, CO

Teacher-Powered Research: What the Data Tells Us

How much decisionmaking power do teachers have in schools, does it vary across different types of issues, does it vary across different types of schools, and does it make any difference for student achievement? Richard Ingersoll will summarize the results of a recent study of teacher empowerment in 25,000 elementary and secondary schools across 16 states. Sara Kemper will discuss findings from her mixed-methods study of teacher-powered schools in relation to 5 common threats to teachers’ professional vitality: uncertainty, exhaustion, isolation, deprofessionalization, and dehumanization. Implications for teacher satisfaction, retention, and ongoing professional learning will be discussed.

Breakout Session C: Saturday, 2:30–3:30 pm

Presented by:

  • Richard Ingersoll Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • Sara Kemper, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

STRAND: Student-Centered Learning: Advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Student-Driven Learning: Opportunities for Voice and Choice

Learn how to design instruction that engages and motivates students by providing opportunities for choice, reflection, live-event learning, and independent investigations. Our high-performing, teacher-powered school develops students’ sense of autonomy, mastery, and belonging. 60 minutes.

Breakout Session A: Saturday, 10:15–11:15 am

Presented by:

  • Julie Cook, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Souderton Charter School Collaborative, Souderton, PA
  • Jeannine Dunn, Teacher, Souderton Charter School Collaborative, Souderton, PA

Collaborative Support Model for Whole Child Learning

How educators in a Teacher Leadership Model provide equitable support for the whole child through a collaborative model of support. A team model may consist of a School Social Worker, Case Managers, School Psychologist, Advisors/Teachers and other related services. 60 minutes.

Breakout Session A: Saturday, 10:15–11:15 am

Presented by:

  • Quinnita Abraham, Teacher-Advisor, Avalon School, Saint Paul, MN
  • Monessa Newell, Teacher-Advisor, Avalon School, Saint Paul, MN

Creating Teacher-Powered Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices seeks to resolve conflict by enabling those affected to discuss issues, their impacts, and solutions. Teachers serving as restorative facilitators have unique perspectives and can leverage their role in schools to help restore relationships. This session will discuss how to implement and develop the role of the teacher as restorative practices coordinator. 60 minutes.

Breakout Session A: Saturday, 10:15–11:15 am

Presented by:

  • Daniel Giddings, IB Coordinator & Lead Teacher Washtenaw International High School (WIHI), Ypsilanti, MI
  • Jessica Garcia, Associate Principal, Washtenaw International High School (WIHI), Ypsilanti, MI

Moving from Involvement to Engagement with Families

We will discuss the difference between parent involvement and parent engagement in teacher-powered schools. We will be brainstorming how teachers can work with families to help empower the school community through increased engagement and investment in the whole school. 60 minutes.

Breakout Session A: Saturday, 10:15–11:15 am

Presented by:

  • Cleata Brown, Teacher, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA
  • Ayla Gavins, Principal, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA
  • Amina Michel-Lord, Teacher, Mission Hill K-8 School, Boston, MA

Decolonizing the Mind: Designing for The Beloved Community

Decolonizing-the-Mind is an action-oriented workshop that incorporates community perspectives and insights. Participants will explore two key questions: 1) How might we design learning environments able to interrogate and dismantle racist and oppressive systems of schooling? 2) How might we create empathetic, generative, reflective learning spaces where everyone can thrive? 90 minutes.

Breakout Session B: Saturday, 12:30–2:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Nick Kaczmarek, Teacher, Teacher-Powered Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Michelle King, Teacher, Teacher-Powered Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Lisa Simon, Teacher, Teacher-Powered Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Supporting Student Needs: The Formation of a New Teacher-Powered Team

Two years ago, with a new focus on student mental health and support, Minnesota New Country School hired a school social worker and behavior interventionist. Learn how these staff additions, and the newly formed intervention team, grew to support all students needing extra support in the areas of academics, social/emotional needs, and behavioral supports. 60 minute roundtable, part presentation and part discussion.

Breakout Session A: Saturday, 10:15–11:15 am

Presented by:

  • Aaron Grimm, Teacher-Advisor and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Minnesota New Country School, Henderson, MN
  • Kylie Kuhlman, School Social Worker, Minnesota New Country School, Henderson, MN

Student Engagement Strategies for Male Students of Color

Student-centered learning requires an environment of trust. In this round-table session we will share and discuss strategies that have worked to build trust in the classroom and to optimally engage male students of color. As a former teacher and current Director, Young Man with a Plan mentoring program, I will also share insights from students regarding learning environments that best engage them. 60 minute roundtable.

Roundtable: Saturday, 4:00–5:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Jaykyri Simpson, Young Man with a Plan (housed in New Mission School), Boston, MA
  • Desmond Kennard, Young Man with a Plan (housed in New Mission School), Boston, MA

Measure What Matters

If we don't measure what we value, we will end up valuing what we measure. At the Jane Goodall Environmental Sciences Academy, we value building relationships and life skills with our students beyond anything else. In this session, we will introduce you to the Skills Rubric we have implemented at our school that drives much of the work we do. 60 minutes.

Breakout Session C: Saturday, 2:30–3:30 pm

Presented by:

  • Anne Brakob, Teacher-Advisor, Jane Goodall Environmental Sciences Academy, MN
  • Craig Wignes, Teacher-Advisor, Jane Goodall Environmental Sciences Academy, MN

Know Thyself: Writing for Students and Teachers to Grow Together

Expressive, narrative and self-reflective writing can help adolescent students de-stress, reduce cognitive load, develop as self-regulated learners, and author counter-narratives to racist discourse. Teachers can deepen their relationships and knowledge of students, positioning them for more student-centered pedagogy around the whole adolescent. Teams of educators can write their own reflections in the teacher's edition of the text, and collaborate to support and challenge each other for growth. 90 minutes.

Breakout Session D: Sunday, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Robert Comeau, Teacher, Another Course to College, Boston, MA
  • Student Alumni, Another Course to College, Boston, MA

Student Democracy in Teacher-Powered Schools

In teacher-powered schools students are observing their teachers engage in collaborative leadership and democratic practices. At these student-centered schools, amplifying student voice is an important part of their culture. Learn how two schools, Escuela Verde (WI) and the Avalon School (MN), intentionally include students in decision making and offer students opportunities to experience democratic practices first hand. 60 minutes.

Breakout Session A: Saturday, 10:15–11:15 am

Presented by:

  • Carrie Bakken, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Avalon School, St. Paul, MN
  • Zaynab Baalbaki, Advisor and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Escuela Verde, Milwaukee, WI

Teacher-Powered Professional Learning

Teacher-powered schools demand ongoing learning for students and their teachers. Join us to think about the range of individual, team-based, and school-wide professional learning experiences that need to come together in order to support student-centered experiences at different stages of a school’s life. Take away a simple frame for considering needs at your school, and hear from colleagues at two schools that have evolved their professional learning systems over time.

Breakout Session D: Sunday, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Sonia Caus Gleason, Director, Strategic Learning and Evaluation at The Nellie Mae Education Foundation
  • Taryn Snyder, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Boston Teachers Union School, Boston, MA
  • Jennie Hallisey, Teacher Boston Day and Evening Academy, Boston, MA

STRAND: Supporting Teacher-Powered through Districts, Unions, and Networks

Busting Through Barriers: Teacher-Powered Within a District

What does it take to be a teacher-powered school within a district? Every school has a story we can learn from including lessons of courage, perseverance, diplomacy, and boldness. Join leaders from Impact Academy in Lakeville, MN, and Boston Public Schools to learn from those already on this journey.

Breakout Session C: Saturday, 2:30–3:30 pm

Presented by:

  • Erik Berg Betsy Drinan, Boston Teachers Union and the BTU School, Boston, MA
  • Julene Oxton, Edvisions, founding teacher of Impact Academy, Lakeville, MN

Innovating from Within: All We Have Is All We Need

Work with a Teacher led school design team, developing within Boston Public Schools, about co-constructing a learning environment which is a laboratory in which learning is an iterative process and where every community member is a teacher, a learner and a developing thought leader. 60 minute roundtable.

Roundtable: Saturday, 4:00–5:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Harry Gilliam, Co-Founder, Boston Collaboratory School, Boston, MA
  • Andrea So, Co-Founder, Boston Collaboratory School, Boston, MA

How to Build a Teacher-Powered, Open Way Learning School

Open Way Learning is a mindset that emphasizes collaboration, free knowledge exchange, and innovation. The practice and governance that emerges from this philosophy are teacher-powered and extraordinarily nimble, adaptive, and student-centered. Participants will learn how to put this methodology into practice. The workshop will include a visioning process, critical analysis of their governance framework, and an assessment of the level of collaboration, free knowledge exchange, and innovation currently happening in their schools. Attendees will participate in exercises that introduce them to SRI protocols, collaborative frameworks to implement at their schools, and innovative student-centered approaches. The workshop will end with an action plan for each participant's school to integrate more Open Way Learning into their practice and governance. 2.5 hours.

Breakout Session B: Saturday, 12:30–2:00 pm and Breakout Session C: Saturday, 2:30–3:30 pm

Presented by:

  • Adam Haigler, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Tri-County Early College, Murphy, NC
  • Ben Owens, Teacher, Tri-County Early College, Murphy, NC

Democracy at Three Levels: Our Classrooms, Our Schools, Our Unions

In this session, we will draw on the three contexts in which we work: student advisories at the Workshop School, teacher-led governance at the Workshop School, and democratic union-building within the Caucus of Working Educators. Our goal is to find common threads of democracy that can further guide our practice. 90 minutes.

Breakout Session B: Saturday, 12:30–2:00 pm

Presented by:

  • Katrina Clark, Teacher, Workshop School, Philadelphia, PA
  • Kathleen Melville, Teacher, Workshop School, Philadelphia, PA

Research-Practice Partnerships: Leveraging University Partnerships to Advance Teaching and Learning

Find out how colleges and universities are supporting teacher-powered schools and how those partnerships can be mutually beneficial over time. Participants will explore the potential university partnerships have to disrupt historical inequalities and reimagine schooling as a public good that prepares all students to succeed in college, careers, and civic life. As stable anchor institutions, universities and colleges play a unique role as K-12 community school partners. In this session, you will hear from UCLA Community School which partners with UCLA’s Center for Community Schooling and Boston Teachers Union School who works closely with Simmons College. Participants will leave with research-practice tools they can use to support the innovative work they are doing at their schools. 60 minutes.

Breakout Session C: Saturday, 2:30–3:30 pm

Presented by:

  • Rebekah Kang, Special Education Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, UCLA Community School, Los Angeles, CA
  • Marisa Saunders Ed.D., UCLA Center for Community Schooling, Los Angeles, CA
  • Taryn Snyder, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, Boston Teachers Union School, Boston, MA
  • Daren Graves Ed.D., Associate Professor, Liaison to BTU Pilot School, Simmons University

Lessons from NYC PROSE Schools: Collaboration by Design

Great ideas come along all the time in schools, and they come from all directions -- from teachers, from principals and other administrators, from teacher assistants, from students and their families. But unless a good idea lands within a school structure that allows it to be discussed, refined, and ultimately accepted, it very well might fail. In this workshop we will take a look at how NYC PROSE schools use a simple design protocol to address that challenge. This is hands-on, practical help for ensuring that new ideas are shaped by the people who will implement them, in order to greatly increase the chances for success.

Breakout Session C: Saturday, 2:30–3:30 pm

Presented by:

  • Jackie Bennett, Teacher, PROSE
  • Josef Donnelly, Teacher and Teacher-Powered Ambassador, PROSE