Written by Greg O’Loughlin, high school educator and founder of The Educators’ Cooperative.
Our annual Summer Workshop is the place that nurtures and grows a community of educators in Nashville on behalf of all students. It takes time to build a strong community. It also takes commitment, shared goals, effort, and experience. A strong, complex community creates not only the types of connections that are generative and abundant, but the types of relationships that are imbued with accountability and care.
That’s really lofty language for a Summer Workshop for teachers, but it is precisely the work we do every summer.
Through a series of workshops, panels, protocols, and guided conversations, we foster the types of curiosity and resource sharing that lead to authentic community.
It’s the way teachers can create for themselves the supports, resources, connections, and bonds needed to face competing, increasing, high-stakes, demands for which solutions are under-resourced and contradictory.
This year taught us that we’re all we’ve got. Expectations, modalities, scopes-and-sequences — they are all subject to change. We’ve lived that reality. What isn’t subject to change is the way that professional, supported, reliable, community is essential to effective teaching and learning. The systemic stress test we experienced this year highlighted many ways in which strong community is the antidote to unpredictability and crisis. That professional community starts for members of The Educators’ Cooperative in our Summer Workshop.
Over the course of the week-long workshop, teachers from schools across the region practice protocols designed to solve classroom problems while nurturing beyond-school ties.
This year’s cohort includes extraordinary teachers from all school types and classrooms, and a wide variety of disciplines and grade levels. We are eager for some rejuvenation and connection, and crafted an experience that will provide that and more.
We needed to make plans for our work this summer many months ago, and that means we’re online for both of our workshops. The benefits of an online workshop are many, and full of opportunities to connect with teachers from all over in ways both spontaneous and planned. A team of EdCo teachers worked collaboratively to ensure that we can dig in and learn together, create, collaborate, and stay connected with the joyful parts of the work.
Be sure to follow us on all the social media accounts so you can see for yourself not only the work we’re doing, but the community we’re creating.
The Educators’ Cooperative is a non-profit organization that provides a professional learning community for K-12 teachers. Created for teachers by teachers in 2016, EdCo provides professional development and support for educators to collaborate across sectors, disciplines, and career stages. EdCo aims to revolutionize teacher development and leadership by focusing on the essential agency, autonomy, and common ground all teachers share. EdCo is based in Nashville, Tennessee with a reach far beyond that physical location and potential for replication in communities throughout the nation. When educators collaborate, the future of education is greater than the sum of its parts.
Please visit educatorscooperative.com for more information and to sign up for our newsletter.