What do we do in the summer?

Whether we’re meeting virtually or in person, we always center teacher agency, autonomy, and community. Small group collaboration, panels with local leaders, book clubs, processing salons, social events, and more! Check out the information below for a look at just some of the things we do in the EdCo Summer Workshop.

Don’t just take our word for it! Previous participants have shared some great quotes about their experience.  

“Connecting with so many amazing people – reflecting and learning – this is different than any other workshop I’ve done – I feel energized and recharged!

“I’m more aware of what I need as a human in order to be the best teacher I can be than I ever was before and I’m not going back.”

“I had so many moments where I made connections between book club, the panel, and my own previous experience that it felt like everything was being woven together so nicely!”

I am floored by the amount of empowerment, connection, and support that has flooded into both me and my teaching practice over the course of the last week. EdCo Summer Workshop reminded me time and time again that this work is worth doing, and that education, but nature, is ever-evolving!”

Beyond the Buzzwords – SEL, ACEs, Trauma-Informed, Mindfulness & our Classrooms
Local leaders and experienced practitioners discuss their experience and insights into these powerful perspectives in the classroom. Using a radical, democratizing 19 Questions Protocol to shape our time together, the panelists and teachers engaged in a conversation about not only why instructing students how to practice mindfulness is important to teaching the whole child, but also how to begin the process in the wide variety of settings and classrooms all over the city, public, private, and charter.

Critical Friends Tuning Protocol
Seeking constructive feedback from your peers can be daunting. So much is exposed in the asking that, without assurances that the feedback will be constructive and objective, it can be easier sometimes not to ask, to instead keep instructional dilemmas to yourself, hope that they’ll work better next year with a different classroom of students and a little more experience under your belt. The National School Reform Center’s Tuning Protocol provides the structure for a generative, problem-solving conversation that seeks to support the teacher presenting a dilemma and asks the participants to examine their own instructional practice in manner that often leads to many discoveries flowing from the conversation. EdCo Alumni volunteer to revisit the Summer Workshop to sit in ‘the fishbowl’ and practice the use of the Tuning Protocol in front of an audience. After some Q & A and review of the protocol, the teachers spend the rest of the week practicing the use of the protocol in small groups, giving every teacher in the cooperative an opportunity to present and to facilitate.

With so many amazing teachers in one place at the same time, there must be things they want to share and about which they want to ask questions or get more information from one another. How can we do that in a constructive manner without chaos or reliance on a power structure that makes sharing difficult? It’s called an unconference. It’s fun and engaging and often leads to some of the best conversations of the conference. This year we covered such wide-ranging topics as “Providing Effective Feedback to Our Students”, “Education Policy: Vouchers, Charters, Independents, and Zoned-Schools: What do we think, what do we do?”, “Generating Meaningful Conversations in our Classrooms”, “Equity, Social Justice, Multicultural Teaching”, “Creating Family Connections and Relationships”, and more. The conversations were electric and could have gone on for far longer than the time we had. Our monthly coffees will give us a chance to keep sharing, listening, and learning.


Design Thinking
It’s tough to describe the process of using empathy-driven design thinking to solve problems, which is why we were very lucky to be led through the experience by local leaders in design thinking, stoke.d. Brent Taylor and Barbara Patchen visited USN for an afternoon tour-de-force through an entire design thinking model, complete with brainstorming music, role-playing, pipe cleaners, glue, tin foil, and a laser-sharp focus on guiding us through a new way of thinking through seemingly intractable problems. This may have been the most fun of the entire week. Stoke.d helped plant many seeds and we are eager to see how, when, and where green shoots pop up in classroom, faculty meetings, and team planning time in schools all over the city.