EdCamp for Science and Math

My fellow Minnesotans, we no longer have a formal Fall Conference in mathematics education.

You can either shed a tear or do something about it. (or both)

If you choose the latter, join me and a whole bunch of others at EdCamp Math and Science MN.

It is free. It takes place Friday, October 17 (during MEA weekend).

See you there.


5 responses to “EdCamp for Science and Math

  1. Christopher.

    Thanks for helping make this happen. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve attended 3 or 4 EdCamps and I’ve never been dissatisfied.

    Now – what about race?

    Race is a large topic right now – in our country and, hopefully, in our schools.

    The EdCamps I attended were very overwhelmingly white.

    How can we reach out and bring in non-white educators? This question goes to Christopher and to all reading this blog. Please share your ideas. Thanks.

  2. I will respond to your observation, Seth that The EdCamps I attended were very overwhelmingly white. But only with the caveat that I am white, and that I have never been to an EdCamp.

    The way I understand EdCamp is that it is about teacher voice. In being presented with the idea of such a thing, I think each of us has an instinct about how likely it will be that our voice, and the voices that speak most directly to our hearts and minds will be featured.

    So if teachers of color aren’t turning out for EdCamp, I would say that we need to look at this as a message to the larger profession. The first part of the message, of course, is that there aren’t enough teachers of color in the public school system. And the second part of the message may be that those who are in the system are less likely to feel that their voices are being heard.

    Examples of this latter phenomenon are widespread, but a current very public one is the Facebook photo of white New York teachers posing for a photo of themselves in NYPD shirts. Whatever you think of that act, you don’t have to read many Internet comments on the matter before bumping up against white teachers telling Black teachers that it’s not about race.

    If you’re a teacher of color, do you want to go hang out and try to have professional conversations with this group?

    So there’s my take, Seth. As a white teacher who has never been to EdCamp. Maybe there is a way to have this kind of conversation at EdCamp next month? I read Good White People this summer (which I will heartily recommend when I have time to write about it), and one important point I took away was that [especially liberal] white people often spend too much time trying to ask people of color about race, and not enough time talking about race among themselves.

    Thanks for raising the question. I would be curious to hear more from you and from others.

    • Christopher says,
      ” The first part of the message, of course, is that there aren’t enough teachers of color in the public school system. And the second part of the message may be that those who are in the system are less likely to feel that their voices are being heard.”

      Michael says,
      “This is either a “big question” or a “hard question.””

      Their responses are, essentially, the same. Which, I think, helps us narrow the issue at hand.

      In planning for the upcoming EdCamp, I think the issue is the second in both responses. How do we (who is we?) bring non-white educators to the event on October 17? Michael has some ideas. Please try to follow his suggestion. Personally invite people to come.

      Any other ideas? Please respond and add them.

      The beauty of the EdCamp structure that I’ve experienced is that the conference is truly built by those who are there. At EdCamp, I have participated in more than one emotional session where real issues were discussed. The discussions (every one of them) were respectful while being controversial and I think participants left the room having learned something. I know I have learned. I know my respect for my colleagues has grown as a result of these discussions. To me, this is a big deal.

      When the event happens, let us be courageous. Let us take some chances and talk about difficult things.

      I will be courageous. I will propose this session – “Do you feel respected by your colleagues in your building or in your district? Do you respect your colleagues?” I think this will be a session where people get to talk. But who knows? It’s EdCamp. I will not control the session. We’ll see what happens.

  3. How can we reach out and bring in non-white educators?

    This is either a “big question” or a “hard question.”

    If this is a “big question,” then it’s about a lot of major, problematic forces swimming around education today. It’s about the structural issues and racisms that exclude black people from entering education, for one. It’s about the racism of white teachers, and it’s about the tragedy of children not getting the teachers that they need. As Christopher mentioned, it’s going to be about voice, about the subtle ways that white people can signal who’s welcome and who isn’t, and it’s about how EdCamp’s whiteness is really emblematic of the thoroughly oppressing whiteness of education.

    That’s the “big question” version. The “hard question” goes like this: How do recruit more non-white educators to EdCamp?

    There’s value in both questions, and I think Seth would be the first to remind me that any attempts to remedy a situation need to be rooted in a firm, empathetic understanding of the issues. If you try to tackle the hard question without embracing the big questions, you’re going to run into trouble.

    Fine. But let’s make sure that we’re not only talking about the big questions, right? The big questions are, in their own way, easy questions. They’re academic. They can take place in our living rooms and are intellectually vigorous. The hard questions can be, well, harder.

    Let’s have a conversation about race and voice and education…yes! But let’s also pick up the phone and start making some calls. Let’s work our networks and actually invite people of color to speak at our conferences. And when that doesn’t work, let’s keep on calling. If we think that racial diversity is important, then rather than being selfish about our twitter usage let’s search for black teachers to follow and chat with. Let’s talk math with teachers of all stripes.

    The big questions are crucial, but let’s start asking some hard questions as well!

  4. Reblogged this on djpukka and commented:

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