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MPS Faculty Members Attend the 44th Annual National Alliance of Black School Educators Conference

During the week of November 14th, five faculty members from the district attended the 44th Annual National Alliance of Black School Educators Conference held in Tampa, Florida.  This year’s conference was entitled, “Our Students: Their Lives, Their Future, Their Education Matter.”  The MPS team joined 2, 500 other minority educators from across the country and beyond (Canada and USVI too) to attend workshops for educators Pre-K-16.  The workshops this year focused on strategies to assist educators and administrators in “embracing innovative teaching and management methods ensuring a quality and equitable education for all.”  The conference was kicked off with a powerful plenary urging teachers to recognize that they are needed more now than ever, and that the superheroes are not out there somewhere - the superheroes are the teachers reflected back at them in the mirror.  Keynote speaker, Michael Eric Dyson, delivered an incredible speech about education being more than just “schooling” - education lasts a lifetime and goes beyond standardized scores.

Vonetta Romeo-Rivers, Director of Performance, Evaluation &  Talent Development; Deryann King, 4th grade teacher at Martin; Anthony Brooks, Assistant Principal at Bowers; Stephanie Case, 3rd grade teacher at Robertson,  and Fellicia Ayers, 6th grade teacher at Bennet,  spent two full days attending breakout sessions on topics geared towards closing the achievement gap, supporting and growing new teachers, and creating culturally responsive learning environments.

Before arriving in Tampa, the group deliberated over which of the over 50 scheduled workshops to attend.  With several  that  spoke to them as educators and to their personal mission of growth in the  field, it was a tough choice.  There were twelve workshops ultimately selected, with the following as a sampling of the PD attended:

  • Best Leadership Practices in Cultivating Culturally Responsive  Instructional Methods
  • Empowering Teachers for Success: Strategies for Recruiting and Supporting African American Teachers
  • Conversation Techniques with Difficult Parents, Students, Teachers and Administrators
  • Building Confidence through Culturally-Responsive Content in a Mathematics Classroom
  • Increasing Cultural Awareness and Effective Communication with Black and Latino Male Students
  • Addressing Implicit Bias in Schools to Improve Educational Outcomes for Male Students
  • Culturally Responsive Academic Language for Reading and Writing - The Standards
  • Reading is FUN-but-MENTAL: How Bloomfield Public Schools Created a Blueprint to Eliminate the Achievement Gap

 

One of the highlights of the trip was the Manchester team getting to support the only other Connecticut team at the conference - Bloomfield Public Schools!  The Bloomfield leadership team, led by their Superintendent, Dr. James Thompson, put on an excellent workshop complete with model packets, giveaway texts and student improvement data to support their district-wide instructional practices.

The attendance of the conference is in line with the district’s mission to have “inclusive schools where equity is the norm and excellence is the goal.” The group returned to the district committed to sharing what they learned during their experience at the NABSE conference,  with a goal being the opportunity to present PD options at the  January PD Day.

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