Spring Updates 2021
March, April, May Updates
Educators of Color Resource Group
A Stand in Solidarity
The Educators of Color Resource Group stands in solidarity with our Asian brothers and sisters. As we have seen a rise in crime against Asian and Asian Americans, please know that we will continue to protect and support each other. Please find some resources below to help us all process these hate crimes. If you or someone you know needs extra support, please reach out using the contact form linked below.
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”
There you will find information about becoming a member, a communication form, and mentorship information
World Language Teachers
Minnesota World Languages Update
Dear Minnesota Languages Educators,
I hope this message finds you well. March means that we are a little bit closer to spring. The anticipation of spring makes me feel upbeat and lifts my spirit. Many educators are receiving vaccinations. Many schools are returning to in-person learning. The sight of a yellow school bus in my neighborhood the other day suddenly brought back the memory of “school noises” that are filled with excitement, laughter, passionate discussions and friendly greetings. There is a lot to be hopeful and optimistic about. In April, I will be entering into my second year of this role as the World Languages Education Specialist. I am hopeful that I can continue to develop some effective ways to be connected and grounded with the daily experiences of languages educators and languages learners. One of the projects I am introducing this month is the Minnesota Bilingual Seals Advisory Committee. Please read the section below to learn more and apply to participate. I hope to hear from many of you. I am committed to making connections and building relationships; to learn from you so that we can collectively advance equitable language education for all.
MDE is seeking volunteers who will serve on the Minnesota Bilingual Seals Advisory Committee. The purpose of the committee is to make recommendations and to inform decision-making regarding the implementation of the Minnesota bilingual seals program that ensures access to seals assessments which are grounded in equity. The committee will meet three to five times a year, in spring or summer, fall and winter. The anticipated time commitment is 10 to 15 hours. The membership is open to school districts and charter schools from all 11 regions as defined by Regional Service Cooperatives, post-secondary institutions, as well as community stakeholders. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please apply by submitting a brief statement that includes the following information.
- Your name, organization, your role
- Your experience with the bilingual seals program
- A reason for your desire to serve on the committee
- Any other things you would like to share.
The submission should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31, 2021.
Apr 6, 2021, 6:00 PM – Apr 27, 2021, 7:00 PM CDT Becoming Antiracist: A Learning Series for Educators
About this Event
This is a professional learning series and community for educators who see ourselves as “liberal” or “progressive,” but who know that’s not enough. We want to do better when it comes to racial justice.
The series includes four 60-minute webinars and discussions with educator-activists of color about stepping up racial justice efforts, which will meet Tuesday evenings, 7-8:00pm Eastern Time, throughout April 2021. (Sessions will be recorded for people who register but aren’t able to view them live, so if you can't make it live, don't worry! Note that recordings will be available for 48 hours, then taken down, so you must watch the recording in that time block.)
Our amazing guests:
- April 6: Cheryl Matias
- April 13: Eddie Moore, Jr.
- April 20: Gloria Ladson-Billings
- April 27: Kike Ojo-Thompson
See fuller description below for more details of what is included in your registration.
The series is hosted by Paul Gorski in conjunction with the Equity Literacy Institute.
April 6 at 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm CDT: Rhythm and Resistance: A Conversation About Teaching and Writing Poetry (Free)
Join award-winning author, Renée Watson, and Rethinking Schools editor, Linda Christensen, for a conversation about teaching and writing poetry. They will discuss creating generative spaces for students to take risks as writers, finding poetry models that move students into writing, as well as tough questions about revising and grading poetry. Dyan Watson, Rethinking Schools editor, will introduce the evening.
This event is hosted by Rethinking Schools. Participants will need access to Zoom. The event is 75 minutes. ASL Interpretation is available.
Tuesday, April 6 at 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET.
REGISTER for the Zoom link and a 25% Rethinking Schools book and magazine discount code.
This event is free to attend. To make events like this available to more teachers, we would greatly appreciate your solidarity donation.
May 10 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm CDT: How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America with Clint Smith
May 10, 2021: How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America | Clint Smith is a poet, staff writer at The Atlantic, and teaches writing and literature in the D.C. Central Detention Facility. Smith, in conversation with Cierra Kaler-Jones, will talk about his new book, How the Word Is Passed, an examination of how monuments and landmarks tell myths or truths about the central role of slavery in U.S. history and its legacy today.
EoCRG General Meeting
Friday, May 14th, 4-6pm
This is an online event.
We hope to see you there!
Here's the Google Meet Link!
RSVPs are enabled for this event.
Tuesdays in October, 3-5:30PM Racial Equity Facilitator Training
About this Event
This training is designed for teachers, instructional coaches, professional development specialists, equity specialists, and anyone else who wants to lead the sorts of professional learning the Equity Literacy Institute leads.
We will meet Tuesdays in October 2021, 4:00 - 6:30 PM east coast time (with a break built in). We also will provide particpiants with a virtual toolbox of the exercies, short readings, case scenarios, and handouts we use in our workshops. Participants will be given a 12-hour professional learning certificate at the end of the series.
The. morning of each of the four sessions participants will receive an email with login instructions for that week's session.
All sessions will be recorded and distributed to registrants the day after each session. So, if you have to miss all or part of any session, you will still be able to see it. Note that recordings will be available for one week, then taken down.
What Registration Includes
Participants will receive:
- a collection of the exercises and activities the Equity Literacy Institute uses in workshops and faciitations,
- four 2.5-hour workshops led by Paul Gorski and Marceline DuBose plus ongoing access to videorecordings of the workshops,
- a modifiable PowerPoint template with basic equity literacy components and exercises built in,
- a vetted collection of short readings to use in professional learning contexts, and
- a 12-hour certificate of completion for participating in the online sessions and doing the between-sessions exercises.
About the Equity Literacy Framework
To learn more about our framework, please visit http://equityliteracy.org.
Member Highlight-Thang Nyugen
- What brought you to Minnesota?
We escaped out of our country (Vietnam) in the middle of the night to board a boat that takes us to a refugee island/camp and we were sponsored over to the U.S in June 1978 when I was 10 years old. We came straight to Rochester from the island.
- What is your professional background?
I am a Rochester Schools product (Gage, Sunset Terrace, JA, and JM alum). Earned my AA degree at RCC (RCTC now), my BS degree at University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, my Masters degree at Winona State, my Ed. Specialist/ADmin. at Winona State and U of M.
I’ve been teaching Health Education in the district for 26 years. Coached football for 23 years, Girls basketball for 16 years, and Girls Softball for 26 years.
- What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
We are a very active family, so our free time is spent doing something outdoors(bike rides, walks/hikes at State Parks) or involves some sort of physical fitness routine. And just curling up to a good book. We love to travel also.
- Who are the important people in your life?
My family: Wife, Sarah (teaches at Century), oldest son Marcus (17 yrs old), Maximus (14 yrs old), and Mason (12 yrs old)
- What was a memorable moment while working with students?
After 26 years of teaching and coaching, there are so many satisfying, memorable moments that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and makes our profession so worth doing...from a light bulb that turns on in a student/athlete’s face that says “I Got It!!” To relationships built from an 8th grader that you taught who is now a grown person who is in their 40s. But one of the most memorable moments happened last week when an ex-student (41 years old) to me he is what he is today (a great husband and father of 2 daughters) is because of me and that I’m responsible for how he turned out, gave me a big hug and told me he loves me. WOW!!!
- Any words of advice?
- Favorite quote: I have a couple:
“As long as you’re green, try to be ripe. But as soon as you’re ripe, you’re rotten”
“A setback is nothing but a set up for a comeback” and “Every master was once a disaster”.
- What is your involvement with the union? What advice do you give to others that are new in the union or have not engaged with the union yet?
I try to help out with Mentorship and provide feedback about teaching, teaching in the district as a person of color,or anything people want to know about our district since I have 26 years of experience under my belt. I’d like to do more within the union and District, but the time restraint from teaching to coaching makes it so hard to be committed to other things.
Some advice I would give to people is Get involved! Within your building or district wide. You will learn a lot and grow tremendously as a person as well as a staff. Reach out to others for help. Seek wisdom/wise counsel from others who have been there and done that. Remember, every master was once a disaster. The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. So keep seeking and keep growing. And you keep doing it and doing it, because wealth grows where we exert energy and with consistency, your Burden becomes your Blessing.
Member Highlight-Alexis Wash
What brought you to Minnesota?
What is your professional background?
How long have you been in the district, and what is your current position?
What do you do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
Who are the important people in your life?
What was a memorable moment while working with students?
Any words of advice?
What is your involvement with the union? What advice do you give to others that are new in the union or have not engaged with the union yet?
Natalia Benjamin (Multilingual Teacher, Century): Congratulations Natalia for being a semifinalist for 2021 Minnesota Teach of the Year Award!
Ben Thorton (Head Start (The Place)/Mighty Oaks Early Childhood Special Education Teacher): Ben has been celebrating Black History Month by including the teaching of Black Icons in his preschool lessons.
Thang Nyugen (Health Teacher, JM): Thang was the first person to sign up and record his part for the EoCRG promotional video. Thanks Thang!
Crystal Smith (DCD-MM ,Riverside): Crystal's work was highlighter in the Post Bulletin! Congratualtions, Crystal!! https://www.postbulletin.com/rochester-in-color/6905631-Crystal-Smith-has-tried-to-make-their-road-a-little-easier
National Networks to Follow
Opportunities in Minnesota
Growing your Toolbox!
Classroom Resources featuring BIPOC Authors and Characters
Equity Focused sites to Follow on Social Media
National Networks to Follow
Opportunities in Minnesota
- Educators of Color Forums for EdMN: *Information on how to join *Follow Social Media accounts *Get involved in events and opportunities
- Education for Liberation NetworkIf you are interested in Ethnic Studies and its integration in schools, it is super important that you join this network and support their efforts.
- League of Latinx Educators is offering tutoring for Tier I teachers studying to pass their MTLE general exams. Visit their initiatives page for more information.
- Follow the PELSB board as they work through the process of rulemaking and licensure discussions. Your perspective is important. There are public meetings you can attend to voice your concerns and suggestions. Check out the News and Updates section.
- Join The Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in Minnesota and their efforts to address legislation that supports Educators of Color.
Growing your Toolbox!
Equity Focused sites to Follow on Social Media
free 30 day course called #DoTheWork
Check Your Privilege
Teachandtransform (Liz KLienrock)
Brittney Packnett Cunningham
Teachingoutsidethebinary (Ace Scwartz)
Antiracist Education Now
The Conscious Kid
Racial Equity Tools
Ibram X. Kendi (on Instagram too)
Dr. Bettina L. Love
Nice White Parents
Truth Be Told
Get the professional development you need from the comfort of your home or classroom through trainings on our online learning platform MEA Online (formerly known as LearnUpon)!
Improve your professional practice, earn CEU credits for relicensure or build your union understanding and power -- with MEA Online!
The majority of courses will be pre-recorded. Some will be offered live via webinar and some will be a combination of both.
The best part? These courses are FREE to active Education Minnesota members.
How to sign up
Education Minnesota sent email invitations to access MEA Online in July, September and November to all member email addresses we have on file.
1. Please check your email to find an invitation that says, “You are invited to the MEA Online learning portal.” The invite will come from Education Minnesota’s MEA Online Team at email@example.com and contain a link special to each member to access the site.
2. If you did not receive an email invitation from firstname.lastname@example.org, please email email@example.com. (Remember to check your junk/spam folders!) The MEA Online team will respond to your email promptly and send you an automated email invitation as described in step one.
No account creation is required. That's all been done already on the back end of the platform.
Paid Mentorship Program
EdMN PD Grants-DUE APRIL 2nd, 2021
Please visit https://edmnfoundation.org/overview/ for more information.
The Sunshine Funds are monetary donations given by EoCRG members. These funds will be distributed to the EoCRG members to acknowledge special occasions or to provide support during unfortunate events. Sunshine Funds can be collected at John Adams contact person Ramona Norwood school #507-328-5700 and cell #312-513-9360 . You will receive a receipt for any donations for tax purposes. Thank you!
"It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving"