EDxEDNYC CONFERENCE SESSIONS
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Dr. Ebony Green
Communicating With Self About
What is Right and Just
In this session, participants will learn how to be in communication with themselves as they move towards cultural proficiency. Centered around ethical considerations of right and just, participants will engage in an interactive process to explore their belief systems related to teaching and learning. Participants will also examine how their belief systems evolved over time and served as opportunities for or barriers to innovation. By the end of the session, participants will have strategies to further align their beliefs and words to actions, as an integral part of cultivating equitable principles in themselves and their school communities.
Dr. Ebony I. Green is a pioneer in creating systemic equitable outcomes for underrepresented students. Dr. Green currently leads the equity work at the Institute for Student Achievement (ISA), where she supports school district nationally to ensure equitable outcomes for all students. Prior to that, Dr. Green lead the Department of Equity and Access for a school district in Orange County, NY to oversee both the equity as well as the social and emotional needs of 10,000+ students. In that role, she was instrumental in developing an Equity Report Card and Fair Student Funding Formula which provided a baseline and leveraged resources to support the needs of students who have systemically been marginalized within educational and greater society. Maintaining a firm commitment to teach and train the next generation of leaders, Dr. Ebony Green has taught as an adjunct professor at Mercy College, Pace University, and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Bank Street College and Fordham University. She is nationally recognized as a leader in the field of equity and has authored numerous blogs relating to equity as a pillar of civil rights and how integrating equity within complex organizations must be in the forefront of impacting global change in education. Dr. Ebony Green, a teacher, principal, district leader and now nationally recognized champion for Equity, stands firm in her conviction even in the face of adversity to ensure that all children have a fighting chance to receive an equitable education. Most importantly, Dr. Green prefers to be considered an ordinary person trying to do extraordinary things.
Mindfulness Emerging in the Western Model of Education: “You Must Change Your Life”
Health Crisis. Social Crisis. Global and Local - GLOCAL - Crisis. We must change our lives, no? Rainer Maria Rilke ends his famous poem, "Archaic Torso of Apollo", with the words, "You Must Change Your Life". How can we use mindfulness as a form of inquiry and investigation to excavate and/or make meaning out of a poem to help illuminate the change yearning to be realized and embodied in the Western Model of Education? In the “new normal”? In the dismantling of white supremacist structures? We know that mindfulness supports stress management. What do we know, understand and do with mindfulness as an individual, collective public process for translating personal, private struggle into common, public issues that require the taking of action for our greater good? We will learn and practice mindfulness. We will share and make connections. We will continue to breathe, think, feel, heal into our increasingly complex and ever-changing world.
Barnaby Spring is a Director of Student Services in the Division of the First Deputy Chancellor in the NYCDOE. As the Director of Mindfulness in Education he has been leading and supporting the cultivation of mindfulness throughout the NYCDOE and nationally as an emerging and engaging field of study and practice.
Song of Myself: Exploring the Language of Protest with OER
What do Walt Whitman, the Arab Spring, and pop music have in common? As America continues to fracture, the humanities offer the language of shared identity and experiences. Drawing from scholarly and instructional resources developed by the National Humanities Center, this session will explore interdisciplinary approaches to finding common ground through literature, art, and music in the English Language Arts classroom. From the beautiful vignettes of Whitman, Alabama to the graffiti of social movements in the Middle East, we will discover and discuss OER best practices in the context of culture, identity, and history.
Andy Mink is the vice president for education programs at the National Center for the Humanities. He designs and leads professional development programs for K-12 and collegiate educators, using hands-on instructional models and drawing on his leadership experiences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at the University of Virginia. This work bridges between the scholarly world and the working classroom, addressing classic and contemporary aspects of the humanities in order to better understand our world. Fundamental to this work is the support of teacher leadership and curriculum design through Open Education Resources (OER). He currently serves on Boards of Directors of National Council for the Social Studies, National Council for History Education, and the North Carolina Outward Bound School.
Minaz Fazal + Robert Feirsen, Kristen Shaefer
Ripples on the Pond: Revisioning Educator Preparation
Extended school closures for fully in-person classes has made it difficult for teacher and school leadership candidates to participate in clinical experiences required by the State Education Department (SED). Last spring, SED issued guidance that provides flexibility: candidates are now allowed to complete virtual and other alternatives to on-site experiences in order to satisfy program and state certification requirements. How have these alternatives impacted the pre-service teachers' and school leaders' feeling of preparedness in their areas of certification? What are the strengths and limitations of these alternative forms of preparation? What are the implications for professional learning in general? We will present findings of our study that aimed to address these questions.
I have a Ph. D. In Educational Psychology and Technology and am a faculty in the teacher education program at NYIT. I have received a NSF grant for scholarships to prepare STEM educators - if interested, check out the application process at https://www.nyit.edu/arts_and_sciences/robert_noyce_teacher_scholarship. I have several years experience in working and collaborating with P–12 public and charter schools, supporting teachers in developing and implementing differentiated blended learning strategies. Seeing how the pandemic has impacted schools, my biggest concern is around ethical issues with using learning technologies.
What is Common between Baking Cupcakes and Teaching in the Pandemic?
The pandemic unveiled multiple issues in education systems all over the world. Administrators are struggling to keep a hold on everything; parents are trying their best to stay sane. Students refuse to participate in online sessions even more than before to have received access to magic "mute" and "turn-off the cam" buttons. Teachers in Turkey are puzzled with the crucial question: How to engage your class into learning if half of the students are offline in front of you and half of them online, looking at you through the glass camera? In a friendly, open conversation, I am offering to discuss the difficulties that the teachers have faced and, presumably, will have to work with for the next few years.
I am a dedicated language teacher with more than 10 years of teaching experience in Russia, Turkey, both in state and private institutions. For the last few years, following my intuition, I have actively developed online teaching skills, gradually moving to virtual classrooms. I have more than 20 students online from different countries of different ages and gender. I have started a free-of-charge kids club to entertain and teach basic language skills to young children ages 5 to 7. To support networking and communication, I have organized a reading club for adult learners where people share their views on a chosen book. I aspire to continue my career in the academic environment and actively preparing for Ph.D. admission.
Teaching Finance as an Act of Social Justice
Where we spend our money is a representation of what we value. This holds true for individuals and communities. Teaching our youth about finance impacts much more than wallets, it’s critical to self-advocacy, promoting social justice, and addressing educational equity. Together we’ll look at the transformative power of having money conversations to enrich learning and equip diverse learners with tools to create change.
Andrea Ferrero is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of Pockets Change building financial resilience through Hip Hop pedagogy. She became an educator sixteen years ago in the Navajo Nation where she grew up. Innovation-driven by necessity led her to the world of financial literacy and ed-tech. She received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University and two Master’s in Educational Leadership and Curriculum & Instruction with Multicultural Contexts from Azusa Pacific University. She's always happy to share coffee and a conversation about changing the world through the development of financial capability and innovative teaching practices.
Latisha Gee Torres
Finding Calm in the Chaos: Mindfulness as a Tool for Resilience
Participants will engage in an experiential session that defines mindfulness, explains the benefits of mindfulness on the brain and why access to stress reduction techniques is an equity issue. During the session participants will gain a brief explanation of mindfulness and how it helps us navigate our daily lives. Our practice will start with seated breath work, followed by a guided visualization/metta meditation practice. This practice will set the tone for the self inquiry work to follow. Self inquiry will allow participants to create spaces of equity where they can be honest and true about the way they show up for themselves and others. Participants will be provided with an experiential opportunity to honor their past to ensure they have a sustainable future.
Latisha Gee Torres creates social emotional learning opportunities for students to gracefully grow into their highest possibility. For over 19 years Latisha has served the mental health community as a Special Education classroom teacher, School Social Worker, Therapist in private practice, yoga teacher, University professor and speaker. Latisha acknowledges that racism is a mental health issue and seeks to provide a space for students, families and staff to grow, heal and challenge negative thoughts that lead to problematic behavior. Latisha teaches her students to notice reactive tendencies when life challenges come their way, pay attention to how they are relating to others and explore ways to claim their power. Latisha center's her work on being trauma informed and sensitive to varied experiences of the black and brown students and families that she supports at PS18 and PS 31. Latisha understands the psychological liberation is found in the healing practices of mindfulness, breath work and yoga and her work focuses on highlighting the vast experiences of black lives and our right to exist in spaces. Latisha's focus is holistic and encourages the integration of mind, body and spirit. Sessions with Latisha focus on breathing techniques, gentle movement to reduce physical tension, meditation, self inquiry and supportive counseling.
Podcasting Power: Fostering Student Conversations at Home, in Class, and Worldwide
Student-created podcasts have the potential to hone communication skills, provide an outlet for expressing passion, and spark creativity. In this session, Tim will facilitate a discussion regarding the benefits and challenges of student podcast creation. The whole process will be outlined including planning, recording, editing, and publishing, with a focus on the student perspective including testimonials from high-school learners that created podcasts during the pandemic. Digital tools for recording audio, generating title graphics, and sharing with the world will be explored in a hands-on session. Finally, bring your own questions and experiences for an open discussion regarding the future of podcasting and how educators can better amplify student voice well after the pandemic ends.
Tim Belmont is a high school Language Arts Teacher and Technology Specialist in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. In 2018, he received an M.A. in Educational Technology from New Jersey City University. He is an ISTE Certified Educator and Google Certified Educator, Levels 1 & 2. In his free time, he enjoys coding and baking homemade bread.
A Conversation with the Author of “The Educator’s Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion: A Practical Resource for K-12 Teachers, Administrators, and School Support Staff
The rates of bullying, truancy due to lack of safety in schools, and subsequent suicidality for LGBT+ youth are exponentially higher than for non-LGBT+ youth. As a result, many American K-12 students are suffering needlessly and many school leaders are unsure of what to do. This book solves that problem. Join us for a conversation with the author, including FAQs and sharing thoughts!
With over 25 years of experience guiding the world’s top leaders in business, education and community via individual, small group and full-staff trainings, Kryss Shane MS, MSW, LSW, LMSW (she/her) has been featured as America’s go-to Leading LGBT+ Expert in The New York Times, ABC News, Yahoo!, and CNN. Her writing has also appeared in the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, Huffington Post, International Council of Professors of Educational Leadership, The New Social Worker Magazine, and many more. Shane is known for helping schools address their unique Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion needs in an approachable, manageable and actionable way. This includes alterations to physical spaces, updating hiring practices, re-drafting policies and procedures and more. Shane holds two master’s degrees, two licenses to practice mental healthcare, and she is currently working toward her PhD in Leadership, specializing in Education, while serving as a Lecturer at Columbia University and an Adjunct Professor at Brandman University and National Louis University. She is the author of The Educator's Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion (2020), the first book of its kind to guide educators, administrators, and school staff to become able and empowered to make their schools more LGBT+ inclusive. She also is the author of Creating an LGBT+ Inclusive Workplace: The Practical Resource Guide for Business Leaders (2021), which provides best practices and professional guidance for creating LGBT+ inclusive workplaces, including creating safer working environments, updating company policies, enhancing continuing education and training, and better supporting LGBT+ people in the workplace training and other tangible ways to support LGBT+ people in the workplace.
Maris Del Valle Brin, Lauren DeLago
Music and the Movement
Protest music has grown out of our rich American Culture. Spirituals, Freedom Songs, Jazz, the Blues and Hip Hop have been used in different movements throughout history to unify the movement and give an opportunity to express messages of hope and freedom. We will learn how to lead a song writing project where students will rewrite lyrics of the song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" to include lyrics about the change they would like to see in the world and how to write a Blues Song in ABA form. Session attendees will receive a list of musical selections and artists to explore in the classroom.
Hi! My name is Maria Del Valle. I am an activist, mother, musician, teacher, consultant, and social entrepreneur. I am originally from Puerto Rico and based in New York City. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Florida, and Master’s Degree in Childhood Education from Brooklyn College. I am a flute player and I have 10 years of teaching experience founding music programs in international schools, charter schools and El Sistema Programs throughout New York City and abroad. I am the Founder of Project Shine International, an arts consulting and international exchange program, and Shine on Kids Arts Initiative, a community based arts program for children and families based in Uptown Manhattan. In 2020, I was named a quarter finalist by the RECORDING ACADEMY© and THE GRAMMY FOUNDATION© Music Educator Award and am a winner of the Excellence in Teaching Award. I love to travel, read, make music and I am dedicated to decolonizing the music curriculum, creating culturally responsive lessons, and making arts accessible for all children.
Lauren DeLago grew up outside of NYC in Edison, NJ. She attended Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University where she studied music education with a concentration in french horn. Since graduating from Rutgers, Lauren has been teaching music in urban schools in the NYC metro area for the past 11 years. She was the founding music teacher at the i-Prep Academy, an innovative technology forward public school. While there she taught k-8 general music, was the director of an iPad jazz ensemble, an award winning concert band, and choir. She adapted the curriculum to include music technology for all grade levels. Lauren currently teaches at The Equity Project Charter School in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. Through her work there, she helps her students foster their curiosity through singing, playing recorder, dancing, and building partnerships with musical institutions such as Carnegie Hall. Since 2011, Lauren has been a member of the Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra’s French horn section. What Lauren loves the most about playing in the orchestra is the community outreach through playing family concerts. She loves spending her time playing piano, going on hikes her dog, Rosie, and reading.