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Courageous Schools Conference: Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

Courageous Schools Conference: Fulfilling the Promise...

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Courageous Schools: Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

Join hundreds of educators, parents, and others for an inspirational day of discussion, skills-building and networking at Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility's 4th annual conference on social & emotional learning! The conference takes place at NYC's Bank Street College on Saturday, May 18. See our event flyer.

Our keynote speaker will be DIANE RAVITCH, one of the nation's leading advocates for public education, and an outspoken critic of the current focus on high-stakes testing and charter schools. She has just helped launch a new national organization, the Network for Public Education, whose mission is to "protect, preserve, promote and strengthen public schools." Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. 

The day also includes a performance by PETER YARROW (of Peter, Paul & Mary fame), who is a founder of Operation Respect and part of the movement to educate the whole child.  

5/8/13 update: Some workshops have been filled to capacity; many still have some seats available.


2012 Courageous Schools
8:00-9:00    Registration & Breakfast
9:00-9:30    Gathering & Welcome
9:45-11:15  Workshop A
11:30-12:30 KEYNOTE: Diane Ravitch
12:30-1:30   Lunch
1:30-2:00    Gathering 
2:15-3:45    Workshop B
4:00-4:45    Performance: Peter Yarrow
4:45-5:00    Closing Remarks


Conference registration fee: $35 in advance; $40 at the door. For more information on the conference, contact Marieke van Woerkom at hvanwoerkom@morningsidecenter.org or 212-870-3318 x72.

We are grateful to the Tiger Foundation for helping to make this conference possible. 

Photos: Diane Ravitch © Jack Miller, 2012 Courageous Schools ©Christopher Smith


Workshops designated as "A" (e.g, 5 A) are in the morning; workshops designated as "B" (eg, 5 B) are in the afternoon. In most cases, the same workshop is offered in both morning and afternoon, with the designation "A&B" - for instance, workshop 1A&B on Renewing our Sense of Calling as Educators is offered in both morning and afternoon. However, workshops 3A&B and 8A&B are intended to be 2-part workshops; participants are encouraged to attend both morning and afternoon sessions.  

Please decide on which single morning workshop (A) and single afternoon workshop (B) you'd like to attend based on the information below. You'll be asked to make this selection (by workshop title only) as part of the online registration process. Seats for each workshop are limited.

1A&B Renewing Our Sense of Calling as Educators (PreK-12). 

For many of us as educators, our professional lives started with a deep inner calling.  We became educators because our occupation was also our vocation.  As we teach and lead, staying connected to this calling and  a sense of inner purpose can sometimes be challenging.  In turn, what we offer our colleagues and students remains directly related to this condition of our own inner lives.  This workshop will explore our identity and integrity as educators and give us a chance to reclaim a sense of purpose and passion that brought us into the field of education in the first place. Facilitator: Linda Lantieri, Director, Inner Resilience Program


2A&B  SEL and the Common Core: Exploring the Links (PreK-5). 

Educators across the country are scrambling to align their curricula to the Common Core Standards. Although the Common Core seems to put almost exclusive emphasis on academics, students clearly need social and emotional skills to be "career and college ready," the stated goal of the standards. In this interactive workshop, participants will identify openings for SEL in the Common Core and share school and classroom activities in which SEL and the Common Core go hand-in-hand. Facilitators: Katrina Liebst, AP, and Lenox Small and Joseph DiSilvio, teachers, PS 309


3A&B Circles: The Road to Building Community 2-part workshop (grades 3-12)

We recommend that participants attend both the morning and afternoon parts of this workshop; the afternoon workshop supposes some familiarity with Circles.

Talking circles aim to build and maintain a positive teaching and learning environment where all voices are heard and behavioral problems are addressed peacefully and collaboratively.  Circle processes empower people to take responsibility for their actions and their communities.  Students practice social and emotional skills as they share of themselves and strengthen their community.  Eventually Circles enable students and teachers to tackle challenging issues such as absenteeism, disruptive and disrespectful behaviors, and conflict. Participants in this two part interactive Circle will experience in the morning (Part A) a Circle to explore the ways Circles can foster community and address challenging issues. In the afternoon (Part B), participants will experience a Circle in response to the ideas brought up in Diane Ravitch’s key note address, showing how Circles can be used to respond to teachable moments and challenges in and beyond the school community. Facilitator: Edwin Figueroa, Morningside Center staff developer


4A&B Being Patient, Present and Persevering With Children 2-part workshop (PreK-12) We recommend that participants attend both the morning and afternoon parts of this workshop. 

Parenting has never been easy but today's parents and those who interact with them are under an inordinate amount of stress. This highly interactive workshop geared toward parents and educators will address three questions. How do we learn to be patient with ourselves as parents and educators during stressful moments with children? How do we work to be fully present while parenting or working with parents around challenging issues ? How do we persevere during the tough conflicts that can arise between parents and their children or parents and the school? Participants will learn and practice skills that help parents and educators engage cooperatively and constructively in ways that benefit the whole school community. Facilitator: Lynne Hurdle Price, Morningside Center staff developer


5A Holistic Discipline (PreK-12).

In the field of education, the word “discipline” often carries with it particular assumptions and references.  In this interactive workshop, participants will explore Morningside Center’s approach to discipline, an approach aligned with Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).  Participants will unpack their assumptions about what discipline means, begin to challenge and reshape these assumptions, and learn new skills for integrating self-awareness, conflict resolution and personal responsibility into their working concept of discipline. Facilitator: Kristin Page Stuart, Morningside Center staff developer


5B Infusing SEL Throughout the Curriculum in Middle and High School (6-12).

How can middle and high school teachers foster SEL in any subject they teach?  Lots of ways!  This workshop will introduce participants to a framework for creating a positive classroom climate (developed by Morningside Center in collaboration with the University of Virginia) and to a wealth of practical “one-minute” strategies for fostering SEL and enhancing academic learning throughout the curriculum. Facilitator: Kristin Page Stuart, Morningside Center staff developer


6A&B Cyberbullying in Real Time: What is It?  What Can We Do? (6-12). 

This interactive workshop will provide educators an opportunity to become more familiar with cyberbullying and better versed in social media terminology.   The real time impact it has on our young people and their emotional wellness and strategies for intervening and addressing it in communities and schools will also be explored. Facilitator: Monroe France, Director, Center for Multicultural Education and Programs

7A&B Using Art to Foster Social and Emotional Learning (PreK-12).  

Research shows that social and emotional learning is essential in promoting a student’s sense of well-being, learning and growth. Creativity is a key part of that process. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn fun and engaging art practices to help elementary and middle school students use their creativity, build peer connections, and collaborate on a project that helps develop their social & emotional skills. Facilitator: Emily Feinstein, Morningside Center staff developer


8A&B Cultural Competencies for the Global Classroom 2-part workshop (grades PreK-12). We recommend that participants attend both the morning and afternoon parts of this workshop. 

This workshop offers participants a concrete set of tools to interact effectively in a diverse classroom (as well as at home and in society at large). The morning session (Part A) is designed to help participants understand how they can work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, creating a sense of inclusion and community while retaining their own cultural identity and integrity.  Building on concepts from the morning, the afternoon session (Part B) will explore how some current education ideas and practices rely on teaching/learning styles that may be culturally challenging for the teacher, the student, or both. We will look at how SEL and Restorative Circle approaches can bridge this cultural divide.  Facilitator: Liz Young, Morningside Center staff developer


9A&B Developing & Running a Successful Advisory Program (grades 6-12).  

In this interactive workshop, participants will explore the key components of a successful advisory program. Whether buildng an advisory program from scratch or strengthening an existing program, it is important to consider how the various components fit together and fit within the school day. Through case studies, a puzzle activity and small-group discussions, participants will have the opportunity to assess where their own school stands and what next steps to take. Facilitators: Xioel Terrero and Melissa Maehara, SEL advisory committee, MS 214X


10A&B Leading with Social and Emotional Intelligence (PreK-12).  

Effective leadership of schools requires that every member of the school community not only shares a common vision, but participates in creating a social, emotional and academic learning environment in which young people thrive.  In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore the links between social and emotional intelligence, systems thinking  and effective leadership. Whether you’re a teacher, administrator,  parent or student organizer, you will participate in reflective practices that will help you to create a climate and culture that supports teaching and learning in your school or organization. Facilitator: Janet Patti, Professor of Administration and Supervision, Hunter School of Education


11A&B SEL & Inclusive Education: Creating Environments that Promote Success (PreK-12).

With the adoption of special education reform, educators have been challenged to think of special education not as a placement but rather as a service that aims to provide flexible instructional programs in the least restrictive environment possible. In this workshop, we’ll look at how we can use social & emotional learning to promote student engagement and learning, regardless of students’ cognitive abilities or academic strengths and weaknesses. Facilitator: Tami Brown, IEP/ICT Coordinator, PS/IS 89, Cyprus Hills Community School


12A&B Class Meetings: Building Community through Joint Problem-Solving (K-5). In this workshop, participants will experience class meetings that give K-5 students a chance to apply their social & emotional skills to real-life problems. Through videos and role plays, we will explore how class meetings have transformed classrooms by empowering students, enabling them to take responsibility for themselves and their community in new and exciting ways. Facilitator: Emma Gonzalez, Morningside Center staff developer


13A&B Stories of Educational Courage (PreK-12).

Educators who have shown courage resisting current profit-driven educational policies will share their stories and strategies of hope. These contributors to the book Educational Courage: Resisting the Ambush of Public Education and its website will describe how they’ve crafted inspired learning for students despite dehumanizing educational policies, as well as how they’ve collectively organized to reclaim public education for the public good. Workshop participants will share their own stories of resistance and hope. All will engage in a dialogue about ways we can build on these initiatives to work together to audaciously and creatively win back democratic public education. Educators include: Ujju Aggarwal, Center for Immigrant Families (afternoon workshop only); Lee Ann Bell, Barnard College Teacher Education Program; Sam Coleman, dual-language teacher at PS 24K and Movement of Rank and File Educators (morning only); Brian Jones, CUNY Graduate Center and Movement of Rank and File Educators; Jessica Klonsky, English teacher at International High School; Edwin Mayorga, CUNY Graduate Center (afternoon only); Brett Murphy, history teacher at Sunset Park HS; Donna Nevel, community psychologist and educator (morning only); Nancy Schniedewind, co-editor, Educational Courage: Resisting the Ambush of Public Education, Humanistic/Multicultural Education Program, SUNY New Paltz

Have questions about Courageous Schools Conference: Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education? Contact Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

When & Where

Bank Street College of Education
610 W. 112th St.
New York, NY

Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

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Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility works hand in hand with educators to help young people develop the values, personal qualities, and skills they need to thrive and contribute to their communities—from the classroom to the world.

For over 30 years, Morningside Center has been the leading provider of programs to foster students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) in the New York City public schools, the nation’s largest school system. 

Two major scientific studies have found that our programs markedly improve student behavior and social-emotional competency; reduce discipline incidents and suspensions; improve classroom climate for learning; improve attendance; and improve academic outcomes.  Our 4Rs and Resolving Conflict Creatively Programs are among 23 SELect programs identified by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning as best in the country.  Morningside Center is now bringing our research-validated approaches to school systems nationally.

Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 550, New York, NY 10115; 212-870-3318. www.morningsidecenter.org

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Courageous Schools Conference: Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education
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