You may have heard the National Teacher Leadership Conference hosted by NNSTOY and VOYA is sold out.

Fear not! Fear not!

There are more ways to engage in the conversations and work of the conference. In fact, those ways have already begun! Click on the "Ways to Engage" dropdown, even if you are not able to be with us face-to-face in Las Vegas.

You can also join the wait list, which will put you in line in case we have some attrition or cancellations.

The 2018 National Teacher Leadership Conference: Teaching Tomorrow's Leaders, hosted by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) and Voya will be unlike any other we have hosted or experienced. Educators from across the nation will unite to consider, discuss and make progress on four problems of practice selected for study by our members.

Conference Agenda 2018

1. TEACHER LEADERSHIP: How can we build our leadership skills and create and support teacher leadership structures that benefit all students?

2. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT: How can we create more engaging learning environments so that all students are motivated to grow?

3. EDUCATIONAL EQUITY: How can we examine our own biases and provide equitable learning environments for all students?

4. SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL LEARNING: How can we equip all educators to teach fundamental social and emotional competencies as part of their regular instruction?

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Section ArrowWays to Engage

Ways to engage with the National Teacher Leadership Conference:

  • Join our weekly Facebook Live series, focused on our conference problems of practice and supported by Walden University. The schedule includes:
    • On Sunday, July 8, Walden University will be hosting two panels on Facebook Live with Walden faculty and NNSTOY members: one on teacher leadership and one on educational equity. More details to come on our Teachers Leading Facebook page.
    • There will be more Facebook Lives coming on our Teachers Leading Facebook page that are focused on the skills and ideas teachers need to improve student learning through leadership (using our Teachers Leading courses), so be sure to stay tuned!
  • Follow #TeachersLeading on Twitter to join in conference happenings! We will be hosting a twitter chat on July 9 for the Day of Motivation and Inspiration, as well as a chat on July 11 capturing important ideas from the conference. There will also be live tweeters assigned to every presenter and session, so the #TeachersLeading hashtag will operate as your window to the conference.
  • Attend the 2018 Online National Teacher Leadership Conference! This will be a day-long virtual conference that you can attend in real-time from the comfort of your own computer, with many of the speakers, presenters, and topics from the face-to-face conference. Hosted in partnership with TeachingPartners, there are more details coming soon (including registration information).

Section ArrowJuly 8 - Day of Service

Join us on July 8 from 9 am-12 pm as we volunteer at Project 150. Please sign up so that we are able to estimate transportation needs.

There are over 14,598 homeless students in the Las Vegas Valley, over 3,347 of those are in high school. High school is tough enough without having to worry about where you are going to sleep at night. Project 150 was created out of our community’s desire to help these kids. Our mission is to offer support and services to these homeless, displaced and disadvantaged high school students so they have what they need to continue school and succeed in life.


Other Service Day Options

In addition to Project 150, we are partnering with schools in Las Vegas and St. Croix. Click on the text below to view school supply lists and ways to donate. You do not need to wait until July to start these service day options, donate today!


School Supply Lists

Donate to Teachers in St. Croix

Section ArrowFocus Groups

Our partners want to you share your expertise, opinions, and experiences with them on the afternoon of July 8. Focus groups will be 60 minutes long, from 2-3 pm and 3:15-4:15 pm.  You will be compensated for your time at the discretion of each organization. You will receive details on times and locations closer to the conference date. Participation is voluntary.


Unfortunately the sign-up window for focus groups has closed. You will be notified via email of your focus group organization, time, and location.


Section ArrowJuly 9 - Day of Motivation and Inspiration

James Ford

Keynote - Day of Motivation and Inspiration

Igniting a Radical Imagination in Educators

James will bring a message focused on developing radical imagination within educators. A concept that acknowledges the challenges of our social context, but utilizes education to disrupt and reach for new possibilities.

Chris Holmes, Teacher/Researcher

Student Engagement

Backtracking Apathy: Why Students Check Out & How We Can Check Them Back In

What can schools do to minimize academic disengagement and maximize student motivation and well-being? The answers reveal themselves every day; we need to ask, listen, and respond.

Allison Riddle, Utah 2014

Student Engagement

The Difficult and Satisfying Run of Teaching Defiant Students

Working with defiant students can feel like a difficult run. Teachers can be the adults in students’ lives who will help them make it to the next mile marker.

John Tierney, Nevada 2016

Student Engagement

Failure is the Key to Success

All of us are bass players.

Shelly Vroegh, Iowa 2017

Teacher Leadership

Using the Ordinary Moments to Inspire and Motivate

As a teacher leader, do you ever question your impact and your ability to motivate and inspire? Shelly Vroegh, the 2017 Iowa Teacher of the Year, has those thoughts all the time. In this talk, she’ll share how a stranger reminded her that ordinary words and actions have the power to make a profound difference.

Wendy Turner, Delaware 2017

Teacher Leadership

Social Emotional Learning: Not Just For Kids

Did you ever attend a staff meeting that immediately changed your thinking about one of your passions? Wendy Turner, the 2017 Delaware Teacher of the year, did just that. Come hear how some of her everyday experiences transformed her thinking around social-emotional learning.

Athanasia Kyriakakos, Maryland 2017

Social Emotional Learning

Teaching Through Our Humanity

Tapping in our experiences, acknowledging our vulnerabilities and teaching with our hearts.

At the end of the day kids are kids. They need the same things, love to nurture their spirits and souls, and kindness and compassion to feel safe, respected and appreciated. They also need to feel challenged. Pushed. Celebrated. And finally, they need to know that they are heard. “We give them the attention they need. And we do it with our hearts.” Through the Arts, we tap into our humanity.

Dorina Sackman-Ebuwa, Florida 2014

Social Emotional Learning

Breaking the Stigma of Mental Illnesss in Teaching

How EQ over IQ will save our profession.

Karen Vogelsang, Tennessee 2015


Putting Community Back in Schools: We'll Rise Together or Fall Apart

What would happen if faith based organizations and businesses came together in a purposeful way to support early childhood literacy in our school communities? Learn how ARISE2Read is doing just that to save a child, save a family, save a city.

Kelisa Wing - DoDea 2017


Metal Detectors and Clear Book Bags

The issue of the Belief Gap is very real in our schools across our nation. This talk will encourage educators to ensure that they are not exercising cultural deficit thinking and choose to believe in ALL students!

Nick Donohue, President & CEO, Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Keynote - Closing

The Coming of a New Age of Reason

Despite the current political and social divisiveness that characterizes our society, our communities have the power to change this self-destructive cycle. The good news is that there is an available remedy as it relates to our needs to rethink public schooling for our modern era. The social movements that we idealize – the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage, gay marriage – were driven by people who live these issues everyday. Who better than our professional educators to step forward and re-emerge as the valued partners and leaders we need for our society to move forward to a stronger, more compassionate, more productive and more just future?!

Section ArrowJuly 10 - Student Engagement

Dyane Smokorowski, Kansas 2013


Creating Magic for Students is Just a Dream Away

Every student has talents, passions, and curiosities that are often waiting to be shared, but how do we tap into those for epic engagement?We do so through the elevation of student voice and choice partnered with a bit of dreaming. In this keynote, Dyane will share how inventing, innovating, seeking global connections, and making a creating mess can influence learning and our hearts. We’ll tackle the essential question, “What do we want students to remember when they are 40, not just for the test on Friday?”

Sydney Chaffee, National Teacher of the Year 2017

"Action!" Using Theatre Techniques to Engage Students

Onstage,success isn’t measured by test scores. It’s about stirring the audience’s hearts, transforming into someone new, collaborating behind the scenes to make the whole show possible. When we introduce theater techniques into our classrooms, we can help students challenge their notions of what they are capable of achieving. At the same time, we can help them strengthen their literacy skills and develop social and emotional competencies. In this session, get hands-on experience with a variety of theater activities while thinking through how you might use these strategies to engage your students.

Drew Dooley

The iGen Goes to School

This session, The iGen Goes to School, will introduce the main characteristics of students born between 1996 and 2012, currently known as Generation Z. Unlike any generation before them, Generation Z was born into a fully digital world and are considered to be our first true Digital Natives. Technology growth and diversity have caused our current students to think, react, and develop in ways older generations struggle to understand and adapt to. After a brief overview of the 4 previous generations, we will discuss the ways in which Generation Z is distinctly different, how they perceive the world around and within them, and how they are transforming education, communication, and society. Participants will be asked to take a “PopQuiz” in which a variety of images, words, and questions will be presented on the screen. Attendees will use their responses to inform how they view their current practices and the manner in which student learning has shifted in the last decade. The workshop will conclude with an introduction to current best practices in reaching this new and innovative cohort of learners.

Karon Weber, Partner Director of the Education Workshop at Microsoft

Hacking STEM: Modernizing and Democratizing STEM Education, Part 1

Around the world, schools are modernizing curriculum by embedding creativity, computational and design thinking into project-based classroom activities. The Hacking STEM program provides inquiry-based science, technology, engineering and math lesson plans written by teachers for teachers. These free, interdisciplinary lesson plans support students building projects that range from anemometers, to tuned mass dampers, to robotic hands. Grounded in solving real- world problems, the activities also tuck 21st century technical skills like mechanical and electrical engineering into each project while bringing to life the world of data science. In this talk, Karon will share how Hacking STEM is modernizing and democratizing STEM education.

Karon Weber, Partner Director of the Education Workshop at Microsoft

Hacking STEM: Modernizing and Democratizing STEM Education, Part 2

A hands-on activity that brings the philosophy and concepts from the previous session to life.

Peter Ferris, Varkey Teachers Ambassador, Top 50 Teacher, Global Teachers Prize 2017, Speaker for the inaugural Aga Kahn Foundation (OXSCIE) at Oxford University (Teaching in a time of Uncertainty), Co-Founder of The Ring of Peace

Don't Shoot Someone and Go to Jail, Pretend to Shoot Someone and Go to Hollywood

The Teachers will be shown how to use Smartphones to allow their students to create and tell their own stories I work also with Veterans who suffer from PTSD and they have said that they said things in their stories/scripts on camera that they never told their family and it then brought their families together because they heard for the first time what was going on in their heads Here is a link to a BBC interview with me at the Cannes film festival where we took our films Cannes Interview under the Television Heading – https://www.ferrisentertainment.com/screenacting#aboutpeter This is the real world and we must be brave enough to discuss it with our students and “LISTEN” to their answers …..that is the only way to tackle extremism leading to Terrorism We must not be frightened to confront and discuss this. This is the world we live in If you are angry….write it …let people hear what you have to say but you then must be prepared for their replies even if they are the antithesis of yours because that is dialogue…that is talking When we keep talking we get peace, when we stop talking we get war

Bob Feurer, Nebraska 2010

Getting Smart with Habits of Mind

Anyone ever teach you how to be smart? Yeah, me neither. I discovered and integrated the 16 Habits of Mind into my 7-12 science classes and then taught a HOM class for 6th graders for a year. The HOM are like a toolbox for learners to use, helping them to be “smart” when the answer to a problem is not readily available. We will do a lesson on persistence and one on striving for accuracy to demonstrate the efficacy of the HOM in school and in life. These skills are “lifeworthy”, that is, they will extend into the learners’ lives far after their time in the classroom.

Section ArrowJULY 10 - Teacher Leadership

Jennifer Abrams, Communications Consultant and Author


Having Hard Conversations: Finding Your Voice Around What Matters

As educators, we often come up against situations in which difficult topics must be addressed. What do we know about the best strategies for those moments? Based on Jennifer’s work on conflict and her books on having hard conversations, this keynote will provide participants with support, a laugh, and resources to help them communicate in even more humane and growth producing ways.

The Changing Face of Teacher Leadership

Teacher strikes. Immigration reform. Student walkouts. Racial inequalities. LGBTQ issues. In this session, panelists will facilitate a whole group launch discussion and small group breakouts about ways for teachers to lead on the important issues of our time.

Richard Ognibene, National Teachers Hall of Fame

Jose Vilson, NBCT

Angela Jerabek; BARR

Stacey Dallas Johnston, Nevada Department of Education, Teacher Leader in Residence

Matthew Friedman

L. Juliana Urtubey, Special Education Intermediate Resource Teacher and Garden Team Lead

How We Should Prepare Teachers and Classrooms for STEM: Lessons Learned from the Voya STEM Fellowship

How can professional learning opportunities be transformed to empower STEM teachers with the skills they need to create robust learning environments? What changes could be made to teacher training and professional learning that would directly lead to increased interest of STEM careers among students? What are some activities or learning programs that would lead to those outcomes? This past year 15 Master STEM educators partnered with 15 Early Career STEM educators in an exploration of these questions and much more! Join us to engage in conversations about what we learned and next steps all K-12 educators can take to improve STEM teaching and learning.

Dyane Smokorowski, Kansas 2013

Kristen Record, Connecticut 2011, Physics Teacher

Steven Elza, Illinois 2015

LeAnn Morris, Ph.D, Nevada 2008

Patrice Dawkins-Jackson, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education

Improvement Science, Teacher Leadership and Student Engagement: Empowering teachers to bring empathy into the classroom as a mechanism to inform change

Improvement Science is a scientific methodology that values the expertise of practitioners and the research community equally. It is embodies six core principles to guide the work of improving outcomes within systems. Through this approach, practitioners are empowered to disrupt the status quo by understanding their user, accessing the expertise of those closest to the problem and utilizing disciplined inquiry and data in a manner that it is practical and job-embedded to facilitate change and improvement. The purpose of this session is to empower participants to see themselves as improvers by being exposed to an overview of Improvement Science. Additionally, a tool of improvement science will be introduced to strengthen the ability to understand a problem from other perspectives and use that data as a catalyst for fostering improvement. Participants will be challenged to take a critical look at how they can apply these tools to their local context and brainstorm possible next steps. The desire is for every participant to leave knowing that they have the power to be the change their classrooms, schools and communities.

• Participants will learn about the six core principles of Improvement to facilitate them seeing themselves as improvers.

• Participants will learn why and how to conduct empathy interviews as a mechanism to understand diverse perspectives.

Elevating the Profession through Board Certification

This interactive session will highlight the voices of STOY NBCTs who have served in teacher leadership roles. First, a representative of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will provide an overview of the National Board’s mission and the new certification process that is intended to be more flexible and more affordable. Second, STOY NBCTs will share their stories and how they drew on their combined recognitions to advance the profession. A Q&A period will be offered to engage with these STOY NBCTs. Finally, the National Board will provide an overview of an Advocacy Toolkit to provide an opportunity for participants to identify practical approaches to advocate for advancing the profession.

Ellen Sherratt, Vice-President for Policy and Research, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards

Sydney Chaffee, National Teacher of the Year 2017

Stacey Donaldson, Mississippi 2009, National Board Project Director, MDE

Kelly Elder, NBCT, Montana 2017

Advancing Teacher Leadership by Collaboratively Engaging with your State Education Agency

Rarely are teacher leaders invited to the decision-making table to contribute to discussion related to statewide education initiatives and reform efforts. Even more rare is for teacher leaders to be well-connected to their State Education Agency. At the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) teacher leaders have successfully partnered with the state to establish a coalition of educators (known as the Deputy Superintendent’s Advisory Council) who routinely engage with state education leaders to inform policy. In year three of its work, the Council is vested in effectively supporting and sustaining systems that strengthen and amplify teacher voice in order to improve outcomes for all students. This session aims to create a community of learning by posing critical questions, facilitating discussion, sharing resources, and empowering participants to consider their State Education Agency as a key lever for advancing teacher leadership. Through a series of hands-on activities, participants can expect to gain exposure to effective practices. They will engage in small group work to reflect on challenges and opportunities for elevating teacher voice in their state. Participants will come away with promising practices, new knowledge, and strategies for expanding teacher leadership in their state.

Nanette Lehman, Oregon 2013

Michael Lindblad, Oregon 2015

Meg Boyd, Oregon D.O.E.

Vipin Thekk Senior Director, Ashoka Innovators for the Public

Teachers as Powerful Change Makers

Through interactive games, self-reflection exercises and group conversations, the session will cover the following themes:
1)Self reflection and story telling exercises to identify moments in life that created change
2)identifying both internal and external resistance to being a changemaker
3)the inspirational stories of teachers who have led change within the district system
4) the connection between teachers being a changemaker and how that support enables their students to become powerful changemakers.

Section ArrowJuly 11 - Social Emotional Learning

Richard Roberts, Ph.D, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, Research and Assessment: Design Science Solution


Social and Emotional Learning Skills: Can they be Measured? Can they be Modified?

Over the past two decades, considerable time and resources has been spent developing social and emotional learning (SEL) programs. Such programs are variously touted as a panacea for school bullying; a means to prepare students for the coming workforce; and/or to instill individuals with the right mindsets to become responsible global citizens. Advocates of these programs often claim success absent of data, while critics of these programs often dismiss them purely on the grounds they take students away from the 3R’s. Whichever perspective one adopts, it seems these programs are here to stay, and the sheer number of programs and constructs supposedly targeted is mind-bogglingly large.

In this presentation I will argue that there are only five core constructs that these programs should target, and that they should not be measured as they are now. I also provide scientific evidence that they can be modified, though many programs fail to instill the importance of teachers as models for SEL skills or to provide students with declarative knowledge as to what these skills actually mean (and the benefits they would have in acquiring them). I conclude with a brief demonstration of a social and emotional learning system that bundles all of these features into a coherent whole.

How Learning Happens: Policy and Practice for Social, Emotional & Academic Development

Today’s youth must navigate a complex, economically competitive, and globally connected world. Yet the nation’s predominant approach to PreK-12 education fails to fully prepare students for this future. From the schoolhouse to the state house, we have emphasized the academic skills our students need. But overwhelming evidence demands that we complement the focus on academics with the development of the social and emotional skills and competencies that are equally essential for students to thrive in school, career, and life. The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development is uniting leaders to re-envision what constitutes success in our schools.

As the Commission approaches the release of its Report from the Nation at the end of 2018, members of the Commission are sharing draft recommendations with key partners to solicit their input and feedback. This session will provide an opportunity for attendees to hear and provide feedback on the draft practice change recommendations.

Leticia Guzman Ingram, Colorado 2017

Christopher Poulos, Connecticut 2007

Lyon Terry, Aspen Institute

Love Knows No Color: Using technology to desegregate your classroom

Have you noticed that classrooms are segregated? Do your students appear to interact with students that only resemble themselves? Do you want them to engage with students from a diverse population using technology? Have you ever wanted to take your students on a class trip that would help them build relationships with diverse students in order to help them combat prejudices and biases? Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice.” As teachers, we know that students bring unique qualities to the classroom due to their backgrounds. Therefore, It is imperative that we celebrate their differences and give students the opportunity to foster relationships with others. Two educators came together, one from the south and one from the north, to bring their all white and all black classrooms together using innovative methods that allowed their students to interact with each other. This session will offer some lessons learned from the project, the technology and strategies that were used in the classroom primary student perspectives regarding race and biases. The session will also provide interactive strategies (problem- solving map, brainstorm carousel, and gallery walk, to name a few) to interact with other participants, and to create an action plan for the upcoming school year. After this session, the conversation will continue with a follow-up webinar from these two educators.

Michael Dunlea, New Jersey 2012 Finalist

Melissa Collins, Tennessee 2014 Finalist

Heather Checky, Pro Trainer, Playworks

Integrating Safe and Healthy Play Strategies to Support Teaching and Social Emotional Learning

At Playworks, we believe in the power of play to bring out the best in every child and we support kids to feel included, be active, and build valuable social-emotional skills. In this session, we would share strategies we have used on the playground with teachers and administrators given the benefits this can yield in the classroom. We would first ask participants to share common classroom management challenges along with approaches they currently use to address these. We would then explore how a play-based approach might be helpful in these instances by introducing games that could diffuse a situation or decrease the chances of encountering that situation. In addition to demonstrating how play could be effectively used in the classroom at appropriate times, we would also discuss the specific social emotional skills that students (and teachers) could practice through these games. The goal would be for participants to move around and play together which would allow them to experience some of the group management / SEL skill building approaches we use with kids on the playground firsthand and leave with strategies and tactics that they can easily integrate and immediately apply in their classrooms.

Nicole Staubli, Strategic Partner Manager inspirED

Student-led Climate Change

inspirED is a program designed to engage and empower students to work together to create more inclusive, safe and connected schools and communities. This session will highlight the ways in which educators can support their students to elevate their voices to measure and build positive school climate, while developing core social and emotional learning skills. Participants will hear directly from a panel of inspirED student leaders about how to dream up and create a vision through the 4-step inspirED process for a kinder, more inclusive and empathetic school community. Through students sharing stories, examples, and experiences, we can unite our work and empower students and school professionals to advocate and develop data driven solutions for their needs.

Kerry Treichel M.A.E.d., NBCT, Erly/Mid Childhood ELA

CALM - Cultivating Awareness, Longevity, and Mindfulness in Education

Teaching is one of the most stressful occupations in the country so introducing organizational and individual interventions such as mindfulness practices can help minimize the negative effects of teacher stress. In this session, participants learn how mindfulness techniques can improve one’s health, concentration, focus, and ultimately improve teacher well-being for fostering strong student connections and engagement. Participants will identify their stress level, participate in a mindfulness practice, explore the CALM Toolbox website where users will find a plethora of resources available at their fingertips for creating a Teacher Health and Wellness Community at their schools, and a “takeaway” to practice on their own.

Getting to the Heart of Literacy: Integrating Social Emotional Learning into Literacy Instruction

Social Emotional Learning has become the latest educational “buzz word.” It is important to understand that the set of core principles on which Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is based is essential for our students, but is not an “add on” to an already overflowing agenda for our students and teachers. We posit that SEL is best integrated into literacy instruction and woven into the very fabric of how our students learn to read and write as well as how they respond to literature and each other. Literacy is, at its heart, both a social and an emotional transaction.

The very success of our literacy instruction hinges on students’ ability to work together, push each other’s thinking, respond in thoughtful ways to literature and expository text , and write with passion and voice. Research tells us that social and emotional competencies not only prepare students to be productive contributors to a literacy community, but also increase students’ capacity to learn (Dulak et al., 2011). Yoder (2014) suggests that teachers should help students understand the ways in which their emotions influence their classroom interactions.

This session builds on the SEL core competencies from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and links those competencies directly to specific best practices in literacy, including but not limited to student choice, classroom discussion, self-reflection and self-assessment, and competency building (Yoder, 2014).

Through the use of these teaching practices, specifically in literacy, teachers can intentionally focus on SEL while simultaneously providing rich literacy instruction.

Claire Riddell, Manager of School Districts and Partnerships

Marisa Ramirez Stukey, Ph.D. Regional Director

Section ArrowJuly 11 - Equity

John King, Education Trust President and CEO


Equity Focused Education: A Conversation with John King Jr.

Facilitated by Kelisa Wing, DoDEA 2017 and Dr. Toney McNair, Virginia 2017

The Breakfast Club, Starring No Kid Hungry and NNSTOY Fellows

You’ve heard breakfast is the most important part of the day. Why do some students skip breakfast? Breakfast After the Bell brings equity to school breakfast programs. Just as each school is different, each fellowship journey is different. Come learn about our successes, roadblocks, and lessons learned. You’ll leave with information on how to start a Breakfast After the Bell program.

Angela Homan, Pennsylvania 2011, Finalist

Michelle Pearson, Colorado 2007

Lisa Halloran, Fund for Teachers 2016 Fellow

Wendy Turner, Delaware 2017

Abdul Wright, Minnesota 2016

Brie Doyle, Ph.D, Senior Manager, National Partnerships, No Kid Hungry

Megan Allen, NBCT, Florida 2010, Director of Partnerships, NNSTOY

Michael Dunlea, New Jersey 2012 Finalist

Derek Voiles, Tennessee 2017

Estella Owoimaha-Church

Speak Truth to Power: Arts Integration and Student Social Action

Learners will be introduced to “Speak Truth to Power”, a human rights based curriculum provided by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFK), free of charge. This particular session will explore an arts-based modification not currently available online or via RFK. Teachers, as if they are student learners, will engage in the process of creating a verbatim performance piece. RFK has a play by the same title which will serve as an exemplar of verbatim theatre. This session will also share award-winning student examples of verbatim theatre. The process includes exploring bias, compiling data on chosen/relevant issues, conducting/transcribing interviews, and composing a performance piece. The session will also include theatre games that facilitate the project as well as improve classroom culture; these games engage students and improve listening and speaking skills. One game is called “Other People Stories”. During this game, learners will swap stories following verbal prompts froma facilitator. At some point, the facilitator will ask learners to recount the story they heard. As a whole group, learners will debrief the activity. Students will have gained a sense of a few concepts: what verbatim is, the difference between emulate and imitate/mockery, bias, and honoring another person’s voice/story. The session will end with small groups composing and performing short verbatim plays.

Girls, Ladies, and Strong Women

In an open cafe style, all participants will guide conversations based on women, the marches, social media, our students and gender equity. The current political climate for women is ablaze with possibility. What does that mean for us? This session will offer a venue to discuss current issues surrounding women, not exclusive to gender or feminism but inclusive for men to hear our concerns and address the current waves of awareness surrounding women.

Given that the education profession is female predominate, how are educators processing the recent waves of gender driven dialogues? In a safe place, although not a therapy session, presenters will share how to provide safe classes for students to express their concerns and share resources available in schools. Are those conversations guided by women in the workplace? Are ALL aspects of feminine and gender preference included, for teachers and for our students?

The session will share how contemporary artists are expressing through the visual arts, music, social media, and print.

Bring an image, poster or story to share about a personal experience at a Women’s March 2017 or 2018 and create a pink hat or scarf for each participant, as evidence of traditional arts in peaceful resistance.

Lisa Hirkaler, New Jersey 2015

Catherine Davis-Hayes, Rhode Island 2007

Required Reading Reconsidered

Educators who attend this session will examine the voids that may exist in their schools’ required literary canons. Session facilitators will engage participants in activities and discussion while also providing resources and practical solutions for creating more inclusive and richer literary experiences for students. Attendees will have an opportunity during the session to work with other educators applying the strategies that the presenters model.

Monica Washington, Texas 2014

Afrika Afeni Mills, BetterLesson

Cutting the School-to-Prison Pipeline through Restorative Justice and Positive Behavioral Supports

Suspension rates have dramatically increased, pushing students down the prison pipeline, greatly affecting students of color and students with disabilities. Research has proven that harsh disciplinary procedures around zero-tolerance policies are ineffective and increase the likelihood that suspended students disengage, drop-out, and/or enter the prison system. The Restorative Justice model shifts from a punitive system to one that is restorative. Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports, or PBIS, is a positive and proactive measure to discipline. Session attendees will learn about fundamental changes to cut the school-to-prison pipeline and support equity and justice for all students. They will be encouraged and challenged to discuss national trends and systemic barriers to students of color while also constructing ways of engaging with this problem within their local context. Session attendees will practice crafting messages for advocacy around Restorative Justice models and the need for urgent attention to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Brianna Crowley

Ellen Hartman

Heather Bennett

Moving from "No" to "Go"

The culture has changed over the last three years for a more open education system

• Low socio-economic disparity

• Lack of parental support

• Implementation without fidelity

• Teacher recommendation

Equity within our culture can change by educating students/parents/and teachers. Through small group discussion we wish to create a vision and a process for schools that addresses major hurdles (master scheduling, funding, teacher workload, district approval, progress monitoring/data).

Scott Schneider

L. Janine Crowden-Richardson


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