To the members of STEMteachersNYC,
This moment of anger and pain in our national consciousness – the latest in a centuries-long history of racism and oppression against Black Americans – underscores the need for all of us to work in every way possible and without ceasing to understand our own biases and make our teaching relevant to all students. We can only strengthen our community by strengthening our support for our Black, Indigenous, and POC colleagues.
As a professional learning community for teachers and by teachers, STEMteachersNYC recognizes that a supportive community of learning must begin with understanding. We serve the country’s largest school system, and one of the most segregated, and three years ago we established a Culturally Relevant STEM Teaching task force, following the voices of our teachers.
The CRT team has worked to grow a framework that has already helped transform our approach. With a critical lens, workshop leaders examine and present content and experiences that acknowledge inequities in the education system, and how knowledge is created, for whom and why. We are moving toward integrating CRT frameworks across all workshops.
With the advent of virtual PD workshops, we are now in a position to more deeply involve the national STEM teaching community in our work – and to increase the diversity of voices contributing to the work. Through our teacher-led working group, which we have nurtured in multiple ways with a focus on awareness, on shifting consciousness, on growing the team, and now with the beginnings of an open consortium. Our response now as in the past, is not only words but continued and more work.
Our immediate actions are to make our summer Dimensions of Cultural Responsiveness in STEM workshop free for all, and extending that collaborative work into the coming school year. (Join us here, workshop runs Aug 5-7.)
Additionally, we commit to:
- > Incorporating personal narratives appropriate for the virtual space, into the pre-work of all our workshops.
- > Growing and continuing to support our culturally responsive teaching team.
- > Continuing to bring a critical lens to content and pedagogies through an open consortium around Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education & the NGSS.