During each of the six breakout sessions throughout the weekend, a large number of conversations will take place. This site will help you organize your plan for the weekend and provide the relevant information for each conversation. After signing in, search through the conversations below and mark the sessions you are interested in to populate your personal schedule on the right (or below if on your mobile phone).

How to Guard Against Biased Grading

Session 1
Marc Ottaviani and Tricia Stanley

Unless we actively guard against implicit bias in our grading practices, assessment outcomes become inauthentic as they can promote racial inequity. It is only through transparent assessment systems and culturally relevant pedagogy, that we can better prepare our students to be independent learners and assess them fairly. In this session, participants will be guided through a series of interactions around assessment and bias.

Learning IRL

Session 1
Cathleen Collazo, Bangali Doumbia, Gaylene Alexis, Olave Sebastien, Jeanette Bautista, Bernard Bazemore, John Clemente

With few authentic experiences and limited technology, school is increasingly detached from the real world (technology is everywhere - except schools and airplanes). At SBC, our Deeper Learning challenges position students to deliver for authentic audiences. Come see how we design original Boogie Down productions.

Learning through parallel Contextual and Curricular based Environments

Session 1
Dr. Liza Bearman, Matt Lucas & Joe Wise

In this conversation, participants, with us, will compare and contrast the roles of curricular and contextual learning to hopefully gain a better understanding of how to leverage both types of learning to integrate content with experience. We will introduce folks to our (Wildwood's) developing educational model that, unlike other approaches that we are aware of, situates experiences in a broader context and encourages transfer between experiential learning and content knowledge.

Teaching for a Living Democracy

Session 1
Joshua Block, SLA Students

Join a SLA teacher and SLA students as we explore ways to change the experience of school for students. We will discuss opportunities for students to use inquiry and project-based learning to produce complex work, reconfiguring understandings of themselves, their capabilities, and their roles in the world. Ideas in this session relate to the book Teaching for a Living Democracy, forthcoming from Teachers College Press.

Welcoming Authenticity: A student perspective

Session 1
Swetha Narasimhan, Hannah Gann

A conversation with students representing the Women of the Workshop School, female-identifying students from The Workshop School (Philadelphia, PA) talking about how they bring their race, class, gender, and other parts of their identities into the classroom.

Empowering Teachers through Authentic, Choice-Based PD

Session 2
Jared Colley; Michelle Vaughn; Kymberly Ayodeji

Let’s talk about making PD more human-centered to give participants ideas for plans that are personalized, choice-based, and equitable for everyone. By introducing attendees to Oakridge’s pathways-based approach, we’ll facilitate conversation about designing learning opportunities that mirror what’s demanded of students: to make choices, take risks, reiterate, and own the learning.

Should There be a Redemption Road?

Session 2
Robert Dillon

In an era of public mistakes that are amplified by shaming culture, many ideas and voices are being left on the sideline without hope to return to the conversation. How can we, in our spheres of influence, help to craft a path that brings individuals back from mistakes, errors, and lapses in judgment into the greater conversation for the great good.

Supporting LGBTQ Students as their Authentic Selves

Session 2
Sabia Prescott

This action-oriented conversation aims to provide educators who wish to better engage with and support their LGBTQ students with the tools, knowledge, and resources to do so. Participants will have the chance to explore and challenge best practices for navigating queerness and allyship in the classroom.

Teaching Climate Change through Action

Session 2
John Kamal, Patrick Colgan

Educators are becoming increasingly aware of their central role in addressing the impact of climate change. How can this call-to-action be married with expectations in the Next Generation Science Standards? Join two engineering teachers and their students to look at their active project that aims to address this real world problem through action.

Against Reinvention: Adjusting the Wheel: An inquiry into re-teaching, shared reflection, and manageable improvement

Session 3
Hilary Hamilton, Elizabeth Houwen, Dan Symonds

What are best practices for improving the things you’ll teach again? What’s the role of student feedback for re-teaching? What happens when we shift our time to intentionally improving our curriculum and practice as opposed to building new, again. What happens when students engage meaningfully in the design of curriculum and practice? How can shared reflection of past and upcoming curriculum foster student ownership of their learning? How does if foster collaboration?

Authentic Engagement Using Gameful Learning in HS English

Session 3
Jared Colley; Nick Dresseler

As HS instructors, our challenge is not distracted students, nor is it getting them motivated; our challenge is cultivating authentic engagement in curriculum. Students are focused and motivated - the evidence being their gaming practices, meaning the principles of good game design have lots to teach us as educators.

Building an Authentic Love of Reading

Session 3
Kaitlyn Cronin

In our classroom, reading becomes an expression of our authentic self. What books we choose to read can help us work through challenges or highlight interests. What books we choose to share with others can become a sincere and meaningful form of communication and community building between sometimes awkward pre-adolescents. We emphasize self-direction and self-actualization in our book choices and our reading styles.

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Strategies for the K-12 Classroom

Session 3
Jessy Molina and Toni Woodlon

This workshop will provide the space for educators to reflect on their own identities and how those identities show up in the classroom, impacting teaching and learning. Participants will gain valuable tools and strategies for curriculum development, classroom management, and family engagement with a culturally responsive lens. This conversation will be engaging, interactive, hands-on and fun!

Developing Best Practices for Budget-Conscious, Non-Proprietary Physical Computing & Robotics Courses

Session 3
Chris D. Odom, Brian Patton, Howard M. Glasser

This hands-on conversation centers on our 18-year development of low-cost, non-proprietary Physical Computing & Robotics courses. Ideal for new and experienced tech educators, successes and failures will be discussed. You’ll have access to all our curricular materials – including textbooks developed for the course – and have time to code Arduino-compatible robotics platforms.

Emancipating Design and Thinking: School as Home of Opportunity

Session 3
Ira Socol, Dina Sorensen, Pam Moran

Children dream big. Adults dream small, narrowing bandwidths of opportunity in front of children. Learning should widen bandwidth. Let’s talk children’s’ hands-to-mind learning, adolescents’ social learning, and the affirmation learning of teens transitioning to adulthood. Rad the room with imagination, inspiration, and insight. Push thinking. Let’s emancipate thinking and design.

If it is authentic I learn and teach better - Passion and authenticity based motivation for students and teachers

Session 3
Nitzan Resnick

Passion based STEAM projects revolving around global and timely problems proved as a huge motivation factor, which brought authenticity into learning, and drove students’ curiosity in directions we never anticipated. Similarly, focusing on teachers’ passion and strength, resulted in a unique interdisciplinary science course taught by 3 different science teachers.

Stories Behind the Stories: A Student Created Textbook

Session 3
Karen Falcon, Jamila Carter

In this workshop, students and graduates from Jubilee School will present stories and illustrations from the textbook they have written, called "Journey to the Core of the Twentieth Century". They will discuss the learning process behind their work, and for the alumni, what it means to them years later. Workshop participants will discuss paths to discover under-told stories from their local and global communities, and will work together to find ways to make the stories known through writing and the arts.

Building School Community: Implementing Restorative Practices

Session 4
Brian Kulak, Anna Muessig

Building an authentic community in your classroom or school is challenging, especially when members of that community have differing backgrounds, beliefs, and social-emotional skills. Further, traditional disciplinary methods often do not teach students about how their behavior impacts the learning and social-emotional health of the community. Let’s discuss how Restorative Practices address these pertinent issues.


Session 4
Laura Deisley

Frustrated with the standard high school curriculum and siloed disciplines? Wondering how to connect your students more authentically to their city, challenge them to really engage with its history and people, unleash their voices and ignite their problem-solving and leadership skills? Want to get kids out of their bubbles and expose them to opportunities and others beyond their zip code or school zone?

Student Visibility

Session 4
Nancy Ironside, Sarah Bower-Grieco

How can teachers and schools reflect on their practices on recognizing and seeing students for what they are doing and who they are? Join a conversation that provides opportunities to share these practices and recognize how to make this visibility more frequent, authentic, and sustainable.

Supporting Our Evolving Student Population

Session 4
Melissa Moran

Gain awareness and understanding of our LGBTQ+ Community that will enable you to better support our students. Geared towards expanding our minds and increasing our knowledge through experiences and advice. Walk away with various resources to continue your pursuit for knowledgeable strategies on; Culture and Community, Preferred Pronouns and Trauma.

When Things Get Real: Exploring the Social and Emotional Demands of Student-Centered Learning

Session 4
Zachary Herrmann, Taylor Hausburg, Matthew Riggan

A key element of authentic teaching and learning is supporting students in making connections between academic content, their personal lives, and the world. When that happens, things can get real. What are the social and emotional demands of student-centered learning, and what can educators do to support students in meeting those demands?

Exploring a Broader Context for Developing Authentic Learning Experiences

Session 5
David Jakes

Schools have always searched for relevance and the authentic connections that make learning meaningful. In this conversation, we’ll discuss a set of critical questions that can lead to a broader understanding of the challenges associated with developing authentic landscapes for learning. Our goal for the session will be to catalyze thinking by challenging the assumptions and reality of school while uncovering potential solutions that lead to a future-focused school experience grounded by authenticity.

For Teachers, By Teachers: Making Professional Learning Authentic through Teacher-Led Professional Learning Communities

Session 5
Andrew Knips

When teachers lead professional learning communities (PLCs), their learning experience is more authentic, relevant, and impactful. This session will share resources from work in five School District of Philadelphia schools that empower teachers to run PLCs, and then facilitate a discussion for participants to explore teacher leadership in their contexts.

Living in the Digital World

Session 5
Mary Beth Hertz

NOW IN ROOM 1169 Our students are living in a world that many of us did not grow up in. Learn from SLA Beeber students about their experiences growing up in a digital world and using social media while also discussing the bright and dark sides of social media.

Following your North Star as a journeying educator

Session 6
Lior Schenk

Does your vision for courageous teaching match the reality that you face day to day? What stands in the way? In this conversation, we will discuss the complex personal and environmental challenges facing educators, and craft the tools with which to navigate them. Join us to map your guiding star: defining the tactics, practices, and supports that will lead you to thrive amidst struggle.

Future Ready: Are We?

Session 6
Dr. Margery Covello, Dr. Casey Cohen

School leaders from urban and suburban, charter and public networks will lead a discussion on finding a balance among school systems often stuck in the past, the pressures of present day leadership, and authentically supporting future-ready initiatives coupled with the ever-increasing realities of school dependency.

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