Oakland Teacher Leadership on Display

On Saturday, May 5, Agency by Design Oakland concluded this year's Teacher Fellowship with 30 Oakland educators. Over 100 attendees came together to engage with fellows' inquiry work and leadership, through a morning of presentations, workshops, and documentation booths.

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"This was both the most applicable and inspiring teacher event I've ever been to." - Jane Lee, Instructional Coach & Math Teacher, Roots International Academy

  The event kicked off by welcoming Agency  by  Design Oakland’s new Fellowship Director, Paula Mitchell. Paula is a Teacher on Special Assignment at Grass Valley Elementary and has been an educator in Oakland for 25 years. She joined the Agency  by  Design Oakland community during the second phase of research, which commenced in 2016. Check out this  video  about Paula’s work at Grass Valley to learn more.

The event kicked off by welcoming Agency by Design Oakland’s new Fellowship Director, Paula Mitchell. Paula is a Teacher on Special Assignment at Grass Valley Elementary and has been an educator in Oakland for 25 years. She joined the Agency by Design Oakland community during the second phase of research, which commenced in 2016. Check out this video about Paula’s work at Grass Valley to learn more.

 Four powerful Ignite Talks from  Teacher Fellows Cicely Day, Roxanne Martínez, Reina Cabezas,  and  Ed Crandall  set the tone for the event, providing incisive research perspectives on the ways the fellows have demonstrated leadership in their maker-centered work. Look for full videos of the talks on our site soon!

Four powerful Ignite Talks from Teacher Fellows Cicely Day, Roxanne Martínez, Reina Cabezas, and Ed Crandall set the tone for the event, providing incisive research perspectives on the ways the fellows have demonstrated leadership in their maker-centered work. Look for full videos of the talks on our site soon!

  Teacher Fellow Reina Cabezas , a CTE Engineering Coach with OUSD, focused on decolonizing STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, & Making), and how she has experimented and explored this idea with students.

Teacher Fellow Reina Cabezas, a CTE Engineering Coach with OUSD, focused on decolonizing STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, & Making), and how she has experimented and explored this idea with students.

  Teacher Fellow Roxy Martínez , Resource Specialist at Grass Valley Elementary School, OUSD, in her talk entitled, "Students of Color Sustaining and Creating Identities in Maker Education," spoke to the importance of maker education not being another tool to oppress our students, and instead a means of liberation.  

Teacher Fellow Roxy Martínez, Resource Specialist at Grass Valley Elementary School, OUSD, in her talk entitled, "Students of Color Sustaining and Creating Identities in Maker Education," spoke to the importance of maker education not being another tool to oppress our students, and instead a means of liberation.  

"Using maker education, we can demonstrate how to question the systems we live in and show students that they wield the power to change inequities in these systems." - Roxy Martínez

  Teacher Fellow Ed Crandall , the Science, Making and Robotics Teacher from Lighthouse Community Charter School, spent his time in the fellowship focused on the Agency  by  Design thinking routines by consistently incorporating them into his classes. In his talk entitled, "Thinking Routines Work - If Used Routinely," he described thinking routines as a powerful tool for shifting the way our students engage with ideas. 

Teacher Fellow Ed Crandall, the Science, Making and Robotics Teacher from Lighthouse Community Charter School, spent his time in the fellowship focused on the Agency by Design thinking routines by consistently incorporating them into his classes. In his talk entitled, "Thinking Routines Work - If Used Routinely," he described thinking routines as a powerful tool for shifting the way our students engage with ideas. 

"Thinking routines are a strategy that will change your students forever." -  Ed Crandall

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 Images from  Teacher Fellow Amy Dobras'  workshop, "Agency  by  Design 101: Parts, Purposes, & Complexities," in which participants collaboratively took apart an object through the usage of a core Agency  by  Design thinking routine. Amy Dobras is the Middle School Making Teacher at Lighthouse Community Charter School. 

Images from Teacher Fellow Amy Dobras' workshop, "Agency by Design 101: Parts, Purposes, & Complexities," in which participants collaboratively took apart an object through the usage of a core Agency by Design thinking routine. Amy Dobras is the Middle School Making Teacher at Lighthouse Community Charter School. 

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On the left, Zaretta Hammond, author of "Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain," attending Teacher Fellow Tim Bremner's packed workshop titled "How are cognitive thinking routines a tool for culturally responsive teaching?" Participants used an Agency by Design thinking routine to become  familiar with Ms. Hammond's Ready for Rigor tool. Tim Bremner is a Pathway Coach at Castlemont High School, OUSD. 

"Yes, cognitive routines are social justice. Getting a kid on reading level—that's social justice." - Zaretta Hammond

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 Images above from  Teacher Fellow Aáron Heard's  workshop, "Think, Feel, Care: Using the TFC Thinking Routine to Gain Insight Into Your Students' Experiences." Ms. Heard is the Drama Teacher at Alliance Academy of Integrated Learning, OUSD.  

Images above from Teacher Fellow Aáron Heard's workshop, "Think, Feel, Care: Using the TFC Thinking Routine to Gain Insight Into Your Students' Experiences." Ms. Heard is the Drama Teacher at Alliance Academy of Integrated Learning, OUSD.  

"I thought Agency by Design was just about "maker" stuff and would have nothing to do with me, but it's about so much more. It's applicable to everything I do in the classroom and think about in my practice."  - Attendee

 Participants collaboratively building during a design challenge in "Building Collegiality around Maker-Centered Learning - BRING THE FUN BACK TO LEARNING," with  Teacher Fellows Clayton Evans , Physics and Engineering Teacher &  Leah Jensen , Teacher Librarian, McClymonds HIgh School, OUSD  

Participants collaboratively building during a design challenge in "Building Collegiality around Maker-Centered Learning - BRING THE FUN BACK TO LEARNING," with Teacher Fellows Clayton Evans, Physics and Engineering Teacher & Leah Jensen, Teacher Librarian, McClymonds HIgh School, OUSD  

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 In "Ancestral Tech/Making: Making as Ancestral Work," attendees learned how to make a medicinal skin salve while exploring the intersections of ancestral tech and health in modern times. This workshop was led by  Teacher Fellow Crystal Barajas Barr , Art and STE(A)M Teacher at Urban Promise Academy Middle School, OUSD. 

In "Ancestral Tech/Making: Making as Ancestral Work," attendees learned how to make a medicinal skin salve while exploring the intersections of ancestral tech and health in modern times. This workshop was led by Teacher Fellow Crystal Barajas Barr, Art and STE(A)M Teacher at Urban Promise Academy Middle School, OUSD. 

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Teacher Fellow Angelica Rubi, along with students, led a community making circle throughout the event, in which participants created Ojos de Dios, to represent the power of seeing. Rubi's inquiry in the fellowship focused on students' development of maker identity and empowerment. Angelica Rubi is a Work Based Learning Liaison, at Castlemont High School, OUSD 

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Teacher Fellow Susan Wolf designed and distributed zines titled "Making/Un-Making Memoir," for participants to fold and engage with. Susan is an Artist, Educator, and Integrated Learning Specialist with ACOE. She works with teachers at Roots International Academy and Alliance Academy of Integrated Learning to develop integrated interdisciplinary curriculum.  

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 Documentation Booths throughout the event invited viewers to learn about fellows' inquiry work. "Super Learners" tells the story of  Teacher Fellow Stephanie Taymuree , Special Education Teacher for Moderate/Severe students, at Redwood Heights Elementary School, OUSD. To read more about Stephanie's work in the fellowship this year check out her  blog posts . 

Documentation Booths throughout the event invited viewers to learn about fellows' inquiry work. "Super Learners" tells the story of Teacher Fellow Stephanie Taymuree, Special Education Teacher for Moderate/Severe students, at Redwood Heights Elementary School, OUSD. To read more about Stephanie's work in the fellowship this year check out her blog posts

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Thank you to everyone who attended and engaged in the day's activities, but a special thanks to the hardworking educators who shared their thinking and leadership at the event! 

Photos by Nabil Alwan, Carrie Hott, Brooke Toczylowski, Aaron Vanderwerff, Sarah Chung, & Angi Chau