August 22, 2017, Issue #19
Upcoming Workshops!
Sept 26, Nov 9, Jan 18, Mar 22, May 18
Oct 20-21, Dec 8, Jan 26, Apr 20
Oct 23, Dec 5, Jan 24, Mar 12, Apr 23
Oct 24, Nov 28, Jan 23, Mar 13
Sept 27, Oct 25, Jan 22, Mar 13
Sept 28, Nov 1, Jan 10, Mar 21, Apr 24
Oct 5, Nov 2, Feb 8, Mar 15, Apr 19
Oct 24, Feb 6, Apr 17
Oct 4, Dec 6, TBD, TBD
Oct 8-9, Nov 30, Jan 19, Mar 1, Apr 27
Oct 13, Nov 16, Jan 12, Feb 11-12, 
Mar 23
What is the CATDC?


The California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC), is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing professional growth opportunities for teachers and administrators from independent schools. Its member schools represent the diverse range of small and large elementary, middle, and high schools from all over the greater San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas.

What is the mission of the organization?

The aim of the CATDC is to: 1) Promote enriching professional development opportunities.

2) Support collegiality and cooperation among teachers and schools.

3) Inspire teachers to become educational leaders.

How can I take part in the CATDC's offerings?

1) If your school isn't already a member, encourage them to join here

2) Register for our upcoming events, and keep an eye out for our spring schedule of workshops.

3) Get in touch and let us know what kind of professional development opportunities you're looking for.

4) Have expertise to share? Contact us about writing a blog post or leading a workshop.

5) Join our mailing list to stay up to date on all our future workshops and events.

A Message from the Executive Director,  Lisa Haney
As the new Executive Director of the California Teacher Development Collaborative, I want to offer you a warm welcome to the 2017-18 school year. I hope you had a rejuvenating summer and are enjoying the exuberance of your returning students and the creative chaos that the opening of school can bring.
The excitement I usually feel this time of year has taken on a different quality as I step more fully into my new role; rather than leading opening faculty meetings and student orientations at The Athenian School, I spent some time in Los Angeles with independent school heads and visited several schools across the county; instead of prepping my classes, I have been calendaring CATDC events.  
Also impacting my transition has been a great sense of urgency brought on by the tragic consequences of racism and hate in Charlottesville and Barcelona as well as other events unfolding on the national and global stage. I believe more strongly than ever that teachers can and should be powerful agents of change, and that our schools should be models of kind, compassionate, and inclusive communities. I am grateful to be leading an organization that supports teachers to grow and do their best work, not only fostering excellence in education, but also helping to build a more just and equitable society.
My own summer has been full of learning more about the CATDC, engaging in a careful study of the nuts and bolts of the operation and the joyful endeavor of getting to know the people who keep the wheels turning. Thanks to the dedication of Janet McGarvey, founding executive director, and Elaine Cocuzzo, outgoing business manager, the CATDC is in fine fettle. Over 200 educators from across the state took part in our Summer Institutes due to Janet's efforts combined with those of Tracy Gallagher, our communications director and events coordinator; Eryn Hoffman, our director of programs in Los Angeles; and an extremely talented group of facilitators. As a participant observer in these programs--Teaching Foundations, Equity as Excellence, Mastering Group Facilitation, and the Social and Emotional Learning Institute--I can enthusiastically attest to their outstanding value. It was a joy to witness teachers and leaders develop new skills, knowledge, and awareness so directly applicable to their work with students, as well as build relationships with other educators. 
As Michael Fullan writes in "Leading in a Culture of Change," one of the readings for Equity as Excellence:
"It is one of life's great ironies: schools are in the business of teaching and learning, yet they are terrible at learning from each other.  If they ever discover how to do this, their future is assured." 

Providing opportunities for independent schools to connect and teachers to collaborate, to learn with and from each other was at the heart of Janet's purpose in founding this organization. In setting our theme for the year-- building community within, between, and beyond our schools -- we are both returning to our roots and extending our reach. 
As you will see on our website , the CATDC will continue to offer programs uniquely designed for and led by independent school educators with a particularly strong emphasis this year on developing leadership capacity and creating the kind of resilient and responsive school communities that support students to thrive. Given the current climate and the rapid pace of change in education, we should also attend to what we can give to and gain from the larger educational community.
In this vein, we are delighted that Elena Aguilar, who worked for over 20 years in the Oakland Unified School District as a teacher and a coach, will be our keynote speaker at the Women in Leadership Conferences in both Los Angeles and San Francisco coming up in January. We are also happy to welcome to our line-up of facilitators Olivia Higgens, who will draw from the experience she has gained in over 15 years of work with the Oakland, Alameda, and San Francisco Unified School Districts, as the leader of a new Gender-Sexuality Professional Alliance Group (SF)  as well as a one-day intensive on 
Creating Gender Inclusive Schools (SF)
The following articles by two of our fantastic facilitators, Lori Cohen and Elizabeth Denevi, should also prove useful as you navigate these turbulent times. I look forward to seeing you at one of offerings this fall. Meanwhile, I wish you all the best as you get your schools and your classes underway. 

Lean Into Discomfort: Developing Better Skills to Really Talk about Race in Schools

By Elizabeth Denevi, Mid West Educational Collaborative

A s we post this, events are unfolding in Charlottesville and across the nation that bring a new urgency to our need to increase our racial literacy. Yet, even as some of our school leaders denounce the white supremacy on display, there remain critical gaps and omissions in our words, our actions, and our understandings. Schools have a critical role in helping to develop young people who can speak to our racial legacies and identities. And they need teachers and school leaders to step up like never before.
As school people, we often value being kind and nice above all else - meaning that sometimes our "niceness" may be really acting as a buffer or a barricade. There is nothing wrong with being nice unless it prevents us from addressing real issues. Along the way, "niceness" has become a means for avoiding difficult conversations, especially conversations about race in the US. While looking at racial identity in our schools, researchers Arrington, Hall, and Stevenson noted the following:
In independent schools, we discovered a systematic 'niceness' that masked the hesitance of the schools to fully engage with the research. It took a long time for us to read through this niceness and understand that, while many of the people we encountered in the schools were pleasant to us and spoke encouragingly about our work, we were still not making the progress we had hoped. This same niceness manifests itself in a desire not to discuss the hard issues of race and racism in many schools.
One "hard" issue, in particular, is how white teachers will, despite their best intentions, participate in promoting racial stereotypes, implicit bias, and systemic racism. Oftentimes when an issue around race comes up, the adults get nervous, the discomfort is palpable, and we veer off course into a ditch of white denial and defensiveness of our "good" intentions. Peggy McIntosh, co-founder of SEED, may have said it best:
About six years earlier, black women in the Boston area had written essays to the effect that white women were oppressive to work with. I remember back to what it had been like to read those essays. My first response was to say, "I don't see how they can say that about us - I think we're nice!" And my second response was deeply racist, but this is where I was in 1980. I thought I especially think we're nice if we work with them.
To help white educators be more willing to "lean into discomfort," to use Randolph Carter's term, perhaps we need to focus on what our "niceness" can do to our students. For white students, we simply replicate the pattern of avoidance, showing them that when racial tension comes up, we just side-step the issue to avoid our own feelings that may be hard to manage. And for students of color, researchers Arrington, Hall, and Stevenson observed that, "without understanding and examining how the contexts of whiteness and 'niceness' surround and silence race dialogue, school programming for students of color is likely to fall short of reducing the emotional distress they experience in their schools."

By Lori Cohen, The Bay School of San Francisco
Anyone who has been following the news this past summer has noticed much tumult in the world and in our nation. The marches and counter-protests in Charlottesville and Boston ring alarm bells for anyone who believes in a socially just world. It's a chilling time to be a member of this nation, and as educators, we have an even more noble cause to take up: the act of making our classroom and school spaces safe, equitable, and inclusive for all our students-especially as we begin this school year.
This summer I had the honor of co-facilitating Teaching Foundations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and in that program, we do work with teachers around identity and cultural responsiveness with the ultimate aim of knowing who our students are so we can best provide them access to success in our classrooms. We invited participants to consider ways they can co-create classroom spaces that allow students to have multiple ways into our curricula. It was powerful to hear our participants share their own cultural stories, and in turn, consider ways they can help their students to feel safe, loved, challenged.
On top of the myriad responsibilities of being a teacher, it can feel daunting to determine ways to be culturally responsive and ensure we know how students' identities and backgrounds impact who they are in our classroom spaces. And yet, we can't teach well without this crucial approach-to know our students as human beings so we can provide them pathways for making the world better for all.
And even more importantly, we educators are not alone in these turbulent times. We're part of a greater community of those who have chosen this profession, to engage in the act of raising human beings together. When asking the question, "What can I do to create equity in my school community?" consider the following resources to get you started:
Here's to the start of another school year. May your schools and classroom spaces be safe and inclusive for all, and may you have the resources you need to promote equity for all.

Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain

This book by Zaretta Hammond draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to offer an innovative approach for designing and implementing brain-compatible culturally responsive instruction and is appropriate for all teachers at any experience level who strive to make their classrooms a safe and rigorous place for all their students. In clear and accessible prose, Hammond prompts valuable self-reflection and offers the neuroscience behind important classroom dynamics like trust, student-teacher relationships, and our students' stress levels.

Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making

As inevitable as the start of the school year, so is our presence in weekly and monthly meetings. Every year David Barkan, facilitator of Mastering Group Facilitation, recommends this valuable resource by Sam Kaner, now in its third edition. This book acknowledges the struggle many facilitators have to model and cultivate participatory practices. Learn concrete skills that will lead to truly collaborative meetings. Prepare agendas, draw your faculty out, and strive for full participation.

Teaching to Transgress

This book by bell hooks continues to be a must-have resource on all educators' bookshelves. Teaching students to "transgress" against racial, sexual, and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom is, for hooks, the teacher's most important goal. Furthermore, education as the practice of freedom is an important mindset and powerful defense in our current political climate. If you need some extra inspiration, or more reasons to read this book, in hooks's own words: "But learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress."

Thanks for the Feedback

How do we learn to hear challenging feedback and how can we use it to better navigate our professional and personal spheres? This resource by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen offers a framework and powerful tools to help us metabolize feedback, while acknowledging why it is so difficult to hear. Developing your skills to give and receive feedback will continue to benefit your teaching practice as you work with colleagues, coaches, parents, and students.