News Letter Spring/Summer Issue 2013 Teachers’ Reading & Writing Group:

News Letter Spring

News Letter Spring/Summer Issue 2013

Teachers’ Reading & Writing Group: Professional Development Off-Script

“We Practice What We Teach”

“Fortunately, some of the greatest teachers of all times like Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, and John Dewey have left behind a public record of their thoughts on teaching…. An hour with these thinkers is worth a week of what passes these days for professional development.”

-Sam Sheer

Burned In: Fueling the Fire to Teach (2011)

When do we meet?

The first Thursday of every month from October until June from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

What we’ve read:

1. The Education of a White Parent — Susan Naimark (guest speaker, 12/5/12)

2. “Rethinking Schools” magazine — (ongoing—group subscription)

3. Screen play, “Beautiful Date” — Gabriell Paye (former group member)

4. Chapter one, part of Playing Games with Other People’s Children —Junia Yearwood (group member) (draft of pending book)

5. Recommended articles and other reading materials (group members)

What we’ve written:

1. Written response and feedback on readings

2. Draft one of chapter for proposed book on Teacher Action Research —School of Education (University of San Diego)

3. Short essays on “Why I Joined the Group” — (possible publication)

4. Journaling (ongoing)

What else we’ve done:

1. Draft article for “Rethinking Schools” magazine and other education related publications — (in progress)

2. Brainstormed ideas for website

3. Planned and executed TAG Conference Workshop

Our group presented a workshop at The Boston Teacher Activist Group’s Third Annual Boston-area Educators for Social Justice Conference on May 18, 2013:

Teacher Professional Development Off-script:

Empowering Educators, Parents and Students

During this workshop, we expressed our interest in students, teachers and parents to document their experiences with school to counteract attacks on public school students and teachers. We presented our new website, “Boston Teachers Off-Script” as a forum for these stories. We shared what we have done to give voice to teachers through reading, writing and the website. We explained that we want teachers to make their school lives public, taking responsibility for their own professional growth and development. We asked participants to express their perspectives on schooling — as teacher, parent or student. We shared our work to date and strategized various ways to generate and publish our lived realities of schooling.

• TAG Conference 2013 Photographs (Roberta, Amika)

Here’s what our workshop participants had to say:

“Was just at TAG Boston’s Social Justice Conference. Feel re-energized about working in schools. One session on Teacher Professional Development was especially powerful…they talked about being an educator that reads and writes on their own to help them become better teachers.”

“The reading list you provided is like gold to me. I recently started to do similar readings on my own. I wish I had known about the group 6 months ago.”

“The workshop was great and very informative. I will visit your website today.”

“I loved hearing from many teachers.”

“Loved it!”

Here’s what participants had to say about the purpose of our developing website:

“To build unity and solidarity of purpose among educators with the goal of empowering the individual and building collective power to effect change”

“Develop critical awareness, share ideas, develop ways to cope with struggle. Giving teachers a place to share stories, create communal meaning, create stories around what we do; read and write ourselves into existence.”

“I am so excited to share your work with my beginning teachers.”

What we are doing this summer:

We are reading The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin.

Boston Teachers Off Script