This school year is rife with uncertainty and change—adding another layer of complexity to the challenging task of teaching. Educators’ remarkable flexibility and skill is palpable in this moment. They’re learning, adapting, and reinventing their practice to reach students in the classroom and online.

Likewise, WriteBoston is adapting to support educators in new and creative ways. With that in mind, we’re offering a revamped version of the summer workshop series to educators in Gateway city school districts. This new series is free for teachers, and includes four workshops, plus a set of follow-up workshops tailored to teachers’ needs. The series also includes individual coaching support and the chance to join a professional learning community with teachers from across districts.

The cohort: Teachers from across districts and content areas

Though the remote workshop model certainly poses challenges, it provides one exciting new opportunity: the ability to bring together educators from across districts—no travel required.

Teachers, coaches, and school administrators are logging on from across Massachusetts. They represent:

  • 6 school districts: Chelsea, Everett, Revere, Springfield, Worcester, and Abby Kelley (Regional Charter School District)
  • A range of content areas: English language arts, social studies and history, math, science, special education, and English language learners
  • Classrooms with 4th to 12th grade students
  • A vast amount of knowledge and experience. Every attending teacher has at least 2 years’ experience in the classroom; and 43% have more than 10 years of teaching under their belts.

The content: Helping teachers navigate remote and hybrid classrooms

This offering is a continuation and expansion of WriteBoston’s free summer workshop series for educators. (You can read coach’s reflections on those workshops here.) The first four sessions cover:

  1. Kicking off the School Year
    Much of teachers’ success this school year relies on starting strong. In this first workshop, the coaches talk about: building community in person and online, ensuring that students have practice with the necessary tech, establishing clear expectations and routines, and creating structures that set the class up for year-long success.
  2. Tools to Facilitate Learning On or Offline
    In this workshop, the coaches talk about ways to translate in-class strategies to remote and hybrid contexts. They discuss combining synchronous and asynchronous activities and dig into high-quality tech tools that improve the student experience.
  3. Planning in the Midst of Uncertainty
    The only constant of 2020 is change—which makes planning lessons incredibly difficult. This workshop helps teachers devise flexible mini-units or weekly structures that keep students engaged and learning.
  4. Balancing Compassion and Content
    Teachers and students have dealt with a lot over the last several months. This workshop covers: what to keep in mind about trauma and its impacts, how to integrate social-emotional learning into teaching practices, and how to balance empathy with high expectations.

Follow-up workshops will be crafted later in the fall and customized to address specific content areas, age groups, and challenges named by the attending teachers. So far, the feedback from educators is promising . . .

92%

of educators said the workshops would help increase their effectiveness

94%

of educators said they were leaving the workshop with actionable strategies to use

“This [workshop] very much felt based on what teachers needed out of the experience and not just about hitting buzz words.”

-A Gateway city educator

Teachers, thank you.

We’re inspired by our teachers’ dedication, perseverance, and dexterity during these exceptionally challenging circumstances. WriteBoston is proud to partner with educators as they do everything they can to give their students the high-quality education they deserve.