In the spring of 2017 a cohort of ten Baltimore City Public Schools educators completed our Implementing a Culturally Responsive Practice Training. The three training sessions were held on Saturdays between March and May. The cohort was made up of educators from a variety of backgrounds and instructional levels. The level of experience of the participants ranged from five years to over twenty. There were elementary, middle and high school teachers, including a mentor teacher. Throughout the workshop participants were exposed to new understandings of how to use their student’s lived experiences to improve student outcomes. One of the key tenets of our training is that the collective knowledge of the group is much greater than that of any one individual. Based on that philosophy, through practice and observation of participant’s classroom instruction everyone’s pedagogical skills improved. We analyzed images and video of each other’s instruction as well as conducted demonstration lessons. Members of the cohort engaged in open, professional dialogue on some of the more challenging topics that impact teaching and learning. One survey respondent had this to say about what they thought was the greatest takeaway from the workshop: “The creativity of the last day’s lessons; how much room I have to grow as an educator to make my lessons more culturally responsive.” Another had this to say about what they saw as the greatest takeaway: “Turning any lesson into becoming more culturally responsive.” That is one of the main goals of our training; to help teachers make their instruction more relevant to the student’s world and thereby making the instruction more engaging and meaningful, leading to greater learning and understanding.
Look out for information on our fall training schedule.