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2011 – Program

Rethinking our Classrooms,
Organizing for Better Schools

Saturday, October 1, 2011 8am-4:30pm
Chief Sealth Int’l High School – Seattle, WA

2011 Keynote: Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union

2011 Special Guest: Stan Karp
Rethinking Schools editor Coordinator of ‘Not Waiting for Superman’ project

Sponsored by: Puget Sound Rethinking Schools, Portland Area Rethinking Schools, Olympia Educators for Social Justice, Tacoma Coalition X, and Rethinking Schools magazine

Teaching for Social Justice in the Pacific Northwest:
The folks who created this conference

Several groups in the Pacific Northwest meet regularly and organize around progressive education issues.
Here’s how you can get involved:

Portland/Vancouver Area: Portland Area Rethinking Schools (PARS)

For over 20 years, Portland Area Rethinking Schools has worked to support public education and social justice teaching. PARS includes teachers, parents, students, community activists, and teacher educators who believe excellent and equitable public schools are essential for all students to reach their potential and for the creation of a just and democratic society. For more information and to sign up for updates on events and meetings, go to our website: www.portlandrethinkingschools.org. 

Olympia/Tacoma Area: Olympia Area Educators for Social Justice.

Olympia Educators for Social Justice meet on the third Friday of each month during the school year at Traditions Cafe on Water St. in downtown Olympia. We structure our meetings as follows:

1. Check-in; 2. Choose a focus or two for conversation/problem-solving/resource sharing;

3. Announcements. Generally, we have over an hour for the discussion portion of our meeting. Meetings run from 4:30 until about 6:00. For more information, email Jana Dean at jdean@reachone.com. 

Seattle Area: Puget Sound Rethinking Schools (PSRS)

Puget Sound Rethinking Schools is a group of educators, parents, and concerned community members. We embrace the principles embodied in Rethinking Schools magazine. We have been working since 1997 to promote the education of the whole child, organize against high stakes testing, support social justice and anti-racist/multicultural education, and to share resources and provide support to one another. Contact PSRS by emailing either Sarah Heller McFarlane—shmcfar@earthlink.net—or Ken Rubin— rubinken@yahoo.com.

Tacoma Area: Tacoma Coalition X

Tacoma Coalition X meets every other Friday in Tacoma to discuss issues of social importance in education. Meetings run from around 4:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Hope Teague at hope.teague@gmail.com or Nathan Gibbs-Bowling at nathan.bowling@gmail.com. 

What is Rethinking Schools?

Since its founding in 1986, Rethinking Schools has grown into a nationally prominent publisher of educational materials—books like Teaching for Joy and Justice and Rethinking Columbus, as well as the quarterly magazine, Rethinking Schools. It is committed to equity and the vision that public education is central to the creation of a humane, caring, multiracial democracy. Throughout its history, Rethinking Schools has tried to balance classroom practice and social policy. It is an activist publication, with articles written by and for teachers, parents, and students. Rethinking Schools articles and books also address key policy issues, such as the role of teachers’ unions, marketplace-oriented reforms, funding equity, and charter schools. See www.rethinkingschools.org for more information. Please subscribe.

Welcome to the Fourth Annual Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice:
“Rethinking Our Classrooms; Organizing for Change”
Saturday October 1, 2011 

Check-in, workshop sign up, Resource Fair, food & drink               8:00-9:00
 Opening and Welcome:                                                                          9:00-10:00

Keynote Speaker: Karen Lewis
“Moving Toward Social Justice in these Hostile Times”

Workshop Session #1                                                                    10:15-11:45
Lunch/Regional Meetings (if interested), Resource Fair                  11:45-12:30
Workshop Session #2                                                                    12:45-2:15
Workshop Session #3                                                                    2:30-4:00

 Featured presentation during Session #3
Stan Karp: “Challenging Corporate School Reform”  

Education Activism: Where Do We Go from Here?          4:00-4:30
Clean up party for all                                                                              4:30 +

Please help us leave Chief Sealth International High School in beautiful condition, and move the classroom back to its original seating arrangement at the end of the day. The map of the classroom should be taped to the classroom wall near the door. Please consider staying a few minutes after the conference to help us with general cleanup. Thank you!  

Session #1  10:15-11:45
Please sign up for the workshops and attend only those workshops.
Refer to the separate handout to determine where workshops will take place 

¡A colaborar! Taller para crear un colectivo de traducción y creación de currículo en Español

Este taller tiene como objetivo establecer sistemas sostenibles de colaboración entre maestros bilingües y de inmersión para traducir y desarrollar materiales en Español que tengan un enfoque en la justicia social. Para lograr esto, los asistentes tendrán la oportunidad de compartir recursos en Español y sugerir como establecer redes para colaborar en la traducción, desarrollo, e intercambio de materiales pedagógicos en Español.

This workshop will aim to establish sustainable systems through which immersion and bilingual teachers can work collaboratively to translate and develop a body of Spanish-language teaching materials with a social justice perspective. To accomplish this, participants will have the opportunity to share Spanish-language resources and brainstorm how to establish networks to collaboratively translate, develop, and share Spanish-language teaching materials. This workshop will be held in Spanish. General

Andreina Velasco is an elementary Spanish-Immersion teacher in Portland Public Schools and a contributing translator for Rethinking Schools. She is co-founder of Konsonante (www.konsonante.com), an educational service company dedicated to developing teaching material and professional development opportunities in Spanish.


The Arts as Tools for Social Justice: Sharing the Stories of Somali and Iraqi Middle School Students

Recent refugees from the war-ravaged countries of Iraq and Somalia may be culturally and linguistically cut off from the classroom and the greater community. The arts provide a powerful social justice tool that helps these students share their stories and regain their voices. This session explores how the arts, movement, and storyboards, in particular, can be used in an ESL classroom to help traumatized refugee students become vibrant and powerful participants in their own learning. Grades 6-12

Brynna Hurwitz has taught Language Arts, French, and Movement to middle and high school students in the Portland and Seattle areas for over 20 years. She currently teaches at Lewis and Clark College where she is the instructor and coordinator of the undergraduate education program.

Closeted Silence: LGBTQ Educators and Students in Secondary Schools

Being an LGBTQ educator or ally can be difficult for many teachers. This workshop begins with an examination of our own bias and privilege, moves to information about what LGBTQ students face everyday in our schools, then offers resources to educate staff and students about LGBTQ issues. Finally, teachers look at how to address the statement, “That’s so gay,” and make a personal action plan to effect change in their schools. Secondary

Sarah Nainby is a high school ESL teacher in Lakewood, Wash. She has a degree in Sociology and is completing a master’s thesis on critical literacy in the ESL classroom.

Contemporary Issues that Inspire Historical Fiction

Stories live in texts all around us. There are stories that are told, whispered, and silenced. This workshop demonstrates ways to invite students to consider the stories that are not told in the news—to read or listen to a story, a snippet, and elicit their question and imagination: What is happening behind the scenes? Whose story is not told? We’ll examine how students can learn that authors use research strategies to write historical fiction and then give voice to hidden stories. General

Jennifer Walloch is a Language Arts teacher at Early College High School in Salem, Ore. and Oregon Writing Project Teacher Consultant. Haley Harkema is a Language Arts Teacher at Hood River Valley High School, in Hood River, Ore. and Oregon Writing Project Teacher Consultant.

Critical Media Literacy for Social Justice Education

Because critical media literacy is concerned with an ideological and structural analysis of media and pop culture texts, it holds immense potential as an entry point for understanding challenging social justice concepts (such as privilege and internalized oppression). In this session, we introduce critical media literacy, practice analyzing kid texts (toys and tween magazines), and examine their use for developing social justice understanding. Grades 6-12 and teacher educators

Özlem Sensoy is a professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. She has facilitated critical media literacy and social justice with students in elementary, and secondary schools, as well as undergraduate, graduate, and teacher education students. She is the co-editor of the Rethinking Schools book, Rethinking Popular Culture and Media. Paulina Semenec-Michalak is a graduate student in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Her research is in the field of media literacy with youth, and she utilizes visual methods in her research.

Cultural Cues for Working with African Americans

When we understand differences, we can truly honor and embrace diversity and let go of the anxiety and discomfort that dynamics of differences generates. Based on research, this session provides knowledge of African American group cultural norms, values, beliefs and behaviors as well as best practices for working with families, colleagues and middle/high school students. This model will serve as a great tool for thinking about how to work effectively with other culturally diverse groups.

Caprice Hollins is co-owner of Cross Cultural Connections. She served four years as the Director of Equity and Race Relations for Seattle Public Schools and has over 15 years experience working with ethnically diverse populations, providing mental health services, facilitating workshops, and teaching graduate courses. 

Do Your Students Know Enough to Go to War? War, Militarism and Military Recruiting in High Schools

The No Child Left behind Act mandates the presence of military recruiters in high schools. Aggressive military recruiting is a contradiction to the stated goals of education that stress individual responsibility, non-violent solutions to conflict, and respect for differing points of view. This workshop will encourage teachers to recognize militarism and its effect on students, focusing on giving students and teachers information about war and military recruitment to balance the one-sided presentations by military recruiters and many classroom history textbooks. Secondary

Kathy Barker is a scientist/writer, parent of three in Seattle Public Schools, and an antiwar activist. She is a board member of Washington Truth in Recruiting, and is the Garfield High School PTSA Military Recruiting Monitor. Mike Dedrick is a Vietnam veteran active with Veterans for Peace, a board member of Washington Truth in Recruiting, married, and a remodeling contractor. 

Examining the Inequalitites of Cancer Incidence and Treatment

Participants in this workshop will take on the role of a person with cancer and will then consider the environmental and socioeconomic factors that are associated with a cancer diagnosis. We will then examine how risk factors, medical treatment, and survival relate to demographics. Finally, participants will discuss their insights and questions in a Socratic seminar. Secondary

Amy Lindahl has taught high school science in Portland Public Schools for eight years. She currently teaches biology and ecology courses at Grant High School. 

Hidden Agender: Improving Gender Equity in Your Elementary Mathematics Classroom

In this workshop, we will explore the data around gender inequity in our math classes. Using research data, as well as participants’ observations and experience, we will explore how students are perceived differently based on gender, our expectations based on gender, how students are labeled, and how we respond to students because of their gender. Participants will develop goals and strategies to interrupt gender bias in their mathematics classrooms. Elementary

Frances Partridge is an Instructional Coach with Seattle Public Schools. She has been an advocate for anti-bias teaching for 27 years as a teacher, administrator, and instructional leader. She has facilitated equity professional development for instructional coaches, teachers, and child care providers.  

If the World Were 100 People: Using Mathematical Literacy to Read the World

How can math be a means to deeper discussions about inequality and injustice in the world? This session is designed to inspire teachers to help their students read the world through math. As we examine and graph powerful statistics, we will further our own understanding of injustices in the world and reflect on the implications of those statistics on our own lives. Elementary and Middle

Margot Hackman teaches 4th/ 5th grade in a two-way bilingual program in Woodburn, OR. 

The Politics of Naming

This session explores the stories behind naming and its importance within one’s identity within a society. Participants will look at examples of name/nickname stories to trigger memories of their own experiences with naming and the connection to their students’ lives. Elementary/Middle/Secondary

Sarah Yee teaches at Creston School in Portland Public Schools. Abby Rose teaches 6 – 8 grade at Woodlawn in Portland Public Schools.

Recognizing and Addressing Micro-Aggressions in a School Setting

In this workshop, participants will enact scenarios to practice recognizing multiple perspectives and micro-aggressions in given situations and identify ways to keep communication open across cultural and racial lines. Micro-aggressions are the recurrent and consistent slights, insults, and dismissals that people of color endure, living in this society. They are often perpetrated without intention or malice, but serve to shut people of color down and create feelings of being unwelcome and/or unheard. When this happens in a school setting it is detrimental to the school community and to students’ success. General

Linea King has been an ESL teacher in Portland Public Schools for 15 years. She is a certified speaker in damali ayo’s “I Can Fix It” Speakers Corps and is a facilitator for Portland Public Schools’ Courageous Conversations about Race: Beyond Diversity Seminar. Donna Maxey is a Portland teacher and a member of the Beacon Schools Courageous Conversations About Race cadre, while serving on the Portland Human Rights Commission. She has over 40 years experience in education, community action agencies, and government.

Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State Online Curriculum Project

For decades, textbooks have either gotten tribal history wrong or left it out altogether. Even if a teacher wanted to teach tribal history accurately, there were few or no resources. Until now. Since Time Immemorial (STI): Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State is a new, online curriculum developed through the OSPI Indian Education Office. Discover how to access and use this free depository of current, reliable, authentic, and locally based materials designed to support educators as they teach about tribal history, culture, and sovereignty. Includes lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school; and much more. Recognize the value of this resource and explore lesson plans and other tools available through the STI website. General

Shana Brown is currently teaching at Broadview-Thompson Elementary School, Seattle School District, and is an enrolled Yakama. Shana has been the lead writer of and contributor to the STI curriculum and website since its beginning in 2007. Denny Hurtado, Indian Education Program Supervisor, has been with OSPI for over 10 years and has been in the field of education for about 30 years. He also serves as a Board member of the National Indian Education Association. 

Teaching and Learning About the Climate Crisis Through Story

The world’s indigenous people are the least responsible for climate change yet are suffering the most from its consequences. How can they respond—and how are they responding—to this injustice? This workshop will introduce participants to a classroom-tested role play that focuses on how indigenous peoples around the world are being affected by and are responding to the climate crisis — recently updated after the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, in Bolivia in April 2010. Grades 6-12

Tim Swinehart teaches Social Studies at Lincoln High School in Portland. He is a convener of the Portland Area Rethinking Schools “Earth in Crisis” curriculum workgroup and co-wrote the article “Don’t Take Our Voices Away,” for Rethinking Schools magazine. 

Unearthing the Voices Silenced by History

In this workshop, participants will use primary source documents to resurrect the history of the Tulsa Race Riots in 1921, but will also take away a framework for exploring the marginalized voices often silenced by traditional textbooks. Participants will examine historic photographs, eyewitness accounts of aerial bombing, internment camps, and truckloads of corpses dumped into unmarked mass graves. Participants will construct a persuasive essay about whether or not the survivors of the looting and burning should be awarded reparations. Middle/High School

Linda Christensen is the Director of the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark College, and an editor of Rethinking Schools magazine. She taught high school language arts in Portland Public Schools for 30 years and has published many books and articles. 

Union Power Can Save Our Schools: Building Resistance to the Education Shock Doctrine

When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tried to sneak through a provision in his “budget repair bill” to strip collective bargaining rights for public employees, teachers there led one of the biggest labor struggles in a generation—joining with tens of thousands of parents, students, and other unionists to occupy the state capitol. From “Race to the Top” to the firing of every teacher in Detroit, the attacks on teachers and their unions have accelerated with breathtaking speed. Yet as the recent “Save Our Schools” rally in Washington, D.C. shows, our side is ready to build a formidable resistance. Join a discussion on the next steps toward organizing that struggle. General

Jesse Hagopian is a public high school teacher in Seattle and a founding member of the progressive union caucus, Social Equality Educators (SEE). He is a contributing author to the forthcoming book, Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation. 

Unpacking the Ode

Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and politician, made the ode a political act by praising the common instead of the elite. Join us as we explore how odes help children from K-college appreciate the beauty of everyday, ordinary things in contrast to the current era of consumerism. Although this workshop spans the grade levels, we will demonstrate how to make writing work by using realia and building language skills that provide access to young children, English Language Learners, and Special Education students. Elementary

Mimi Tang is a 1st-grade teacher at Catlin Gabel. She has 16 years of early childhood experience in both the public and private sectors in Seattle and Portland. Katy Mayo-Hudson is an instructional coach at Jason Lee (K-8) in Portland Public Schools. She has 11 years of experience teaching early childhood, primary and literacy coaching in public schools.

What You Need to Know about Helping Your Undocumented Students Go to College

Would you know what to say if one of your undocumented students asked for advice about going to college? Unfortunately, most educators are uninformed about the process that undocumented students must go through to access post-secondary education. This workshop will provide practical information about how to mentor and assist undocumented students to gain college access. We will also explore the challenges undocumented students face and areas to advocate for systemic change. Grades 6-12

Corrie Rosasharn teaches Humanities at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, Wash. She also taught at Barbara Jordan High School for Careers in Houston, Tex. and with high school drop-outs and homeless youth. 

World Water Week – How To Create A School-Wide Festival

World Water Week took place in March 2011 at Chief Sealth International High School in Seattle. Teacher Noah Zeichner along with student leaders will take workshop participants through some of the activities that the C.S.I.H.S. community experienced during World Water Week. You will learn how to conduct a personal water audit and try to taste the difference between tap water and bottled water. We will talk about how you and your students can create a festival for your own school. Middle/Secondary

Noah Zeichner teaches social studies at Chief Sealth International High School in Seattle.

Writing Our Lives to Develop Cross-Cultural Understanding


What does it feel like to be a stranger in a new country? A newcomer in an established classroom or school? A parent visiting school? In this hands-on workshop, participants will engage in reading and writing strategies for ELL students that help all students develop literacy skills as well as cross-cultural understanding. General

Elizabeth Schlessman teaches bilingual 4th grade in Woodburn, Ore.

Writing What Should Not Be Forgotten

This workshop engages writing’s role as a keeper of memory as well as a vehicle for lending voice to the most vulnerable members of society. We will use art and writing to explore two mentor texts, Victor Jara’s “Te Recuerdo, Amanda” and Sandra Cisneros’ “The Monkey Garden” and investigate the role of sensory imagery in creating compelling scenes that should not be forgotten. Finally, we will document vivid and unforgettable moments from our own lives. Middle/Secondary

Cresslyn Clay teaches language arts and literacy at Rex Putnam High School in Milwaukie, Ore. Chris Hawking teaches language arts at Rex Putnam High School in Milwaukie.


Session #2   12:45-2:15

Bringing Current Events to Life: Role Playing the Arizona Immigration Debate

This workshop explores the current debate over the Arizona immigration laws. Participants will take part in a role-play about the SB 1070 legislation, and offer testimony at a simulated subcommittee hearing of the Arizona senate. The purpose of this activity is to help students build a persuasive argument using multiple perspectives. Secondary

Amy Schuff teaches Social Studies at the International School of Beaverton.


Building Social Justice Bridges

According to Nikki Giovanni, “Empathy enables us to collapse the dualistic structures that polarize our world into ‘us’ and ‘them.’” As teachers, part of our social justice duty is to complicate students’ understanding of the other. Participants will be challenged to take risks and write first-person poems from the perspective of another. This will illuminate the responsibility all writers have to the individuals and the communities that are being written about while building empathy, compassion, and affinity through poetry. Grades K-9

Bryan Wai-Ming Chu is a teacher of 8th Grade Social Studies at Lane Middle School in Southeast Portland. Charles Sanderson teaches at St. Helens Middle School in St. Helens, Ore.


Countering Stereotypes with the Vignette Essay

This workshop borrows Chimamanda Adichie’s idea of looking for multiple stories to counter stereotype. It provides a way to empower students by using their lives as material for vignette essays that encourage different ways of seeing, and by offering them tools to use in their daily lives to counter-storytell. Secondary

Kelly J. Gomes teaches high school English at Madison High School in Portland.


Creating Change: Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust

Through the study of the Holocaust we can learn the importance of standing up to intolerance, social and individual responsibility, and the difference one person can make. While this subject can often be overwhelming for educators, we will provide some sample activities and lessons for various age groups and learning styles. The Holocaust Center offers many free resources and programs that will be introduced at this session. Curriculum materials provided. Middle/Secondary/Adult

Ilana Cone Kennedy is the Director of Education at the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center. For the past eight years she has worked with thousands of teachers in the Pacific Northwest on topics related to the Holocaust and genocide.

 Gender and Sexuality 101

This workshop is meant to help educators develop an awareness of the issues facing LGBTTQQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Asexual) people in schools. Educators will learn concepts, vocabulary, and skills that may help them address the needs of all students, as well as provide a safe space for problem-solving around these issues. General

Em Winokur has worked as a 6th grade teacher in Oregon and Massachusetts, and spent the last year at Portland State University developing and teaching “Queer Ideas,” a curriculum for faculty, staff, and student leaders around issues of gender and sexuality in higher education.


Graphic Content: Using Graphic Novels to Foment Change

Tired of using the same novels and reading strategies? Annoyed by grading things without pictures? Bored with your black and white curriculums? Get a crash course in graphic novels as literature, how to use this genre to cultivate discussions around social justice topics, and how to get students to create their own graphic novels. Grades 6-12

Hope Teague is a 2006 Evergreen Master’s in Teaching graduate, member of Tacoma Coalition X, and a community activist. She teaches at Crossroads Prep Freshmen Academy at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, Wash. sweet pea Flaherty has been a bookseller for 10 years and is the manager of King’s Books in Tacoma, Wash. He is the coordinator of the Graphic Novel Book Club in Tacoma.


Gulf Oil Spill on Trial

The recent Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill is an egregious example of environmental and social injustice. It is important for students to think critically about this catastrophe beyond the notion that it is just another “disaster” to befall the unfortunate people of the Gulf states. In this role play, the people, corporations, elected officials, and institutions that caused this crime are on trial for causing the devastation. Participants take on the role of a group directly or indirectly responsible for the spill as they work to defend their innocence. Secondary

Brady Bennon teaches Social Studies and is a literacy coach at Madison High School in Portland.


Immigration Attitudes: Then and Now

This workshop explores the past and current debate over immigration laws and their effect on society. Participants will explore visual and primary texts in the initial activity that further illustrates the oppressive culture that permeated Southern society, specifically, but also found on the national level during the 1890s to the 1920s. Participants will then read a contemporary first-person account about an undocumented person living in today’s society. Students will write an interior monologue, perform a scenario, and then write about a moral dilemma. Middle/Secondary

Therese Cooper teaches English at Grant High School in Portland. Marta Repollet teaches social studies at Grant High School in Portland.


Latino Bridges: How Service Can Create Positive Change

Students from Burlington Edison High School’s Latino Bridges (formerly Latinos in Action) class will lead audience members through an activity designed to bring about a discussion surrounding the power of diversity and recklessness of assumption. While tutoring at local elementary schools during the school day, Latino Bridges students become role models and demonstrate the power of being both bilingual and Latino. At the end of the session, the audience will have an opportunity to talk with the students about the program.  General

Michael Sampson has taught ELL and English at Burlington Edison High School for six years, working on creating a positive relationship between the bilingual Latino community, the high school, and school district.


The Most Dangerous Man in America: Teaching the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg, and the Pentagon Papers

The Most Dangerous Man in America is the Emmy- and Academy Award-nominated documentary film about Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. In this workshop we will participate in a “Reception” designed so that students can meet characters included in the film who played instrumental roles in shaping the Vietnam War era. A short piece of the film will be shared following the Reception. Feedback, comments, and suggestions will be welcomed during a final discussion. Middle/High School/Teacher Ed

Tom McKenna teaches writing and humanities at the Portland Youth Builders School in Portland. He retired from the Portland Public Schools in 2005 after 30 years in the district has published a number of articles about teaching, testing, and social justice issues, primarily in Rethinking Schools magazine.


Nature and Labor: from Disposability to Sustainability

This workshop will provide participants with information, lesson plans, and resources to teach about the historic roots and lasting legacies of our consumer-driven society. Exploitation of natural resources and people, from colonization to the present dangers of consumerism and climate change, can be the central narrative. When resources are treated as disposable, people often are too. For a sustainable world, both must be valued. Middle/Secondary

Wendy Ewbank teaches 7th grade social studies at the Seattle Girls’ School. She is past president of the Washington State Council for Social Studies. Ben Wheeler teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade social studies at Explorer West. He is the author of a high school textbook, articles, and an on-line course for teachers on sustainability.


Power Play: Exploring Ideas of Power through Interactive Theatre

Through interactive theatre games and exercises, this session offers participants the opportunity to access and explore experiential understandings of power, privilege, and oppression. Participants will deepen their awareness of different kinds of power, and learn simple theatre games to use in the classroom to increase awareness of power. Techniques are based on the work of Augusto Boal, Brazilian activist and theatre director/educator, author of Theatre of the Oppressed. Secondary

Tamara Lynne is founder of Living Stages, a Portland-based theatre company committed to the use of interactive theatre as a process for community dialogue, action, and empowerment. www.livingstages.org


Self-Portraits: Inner and Outer Worlds

This is a community-building art and poetry activity, which honors individual and cultural identities by bringing students’ home languages and families into the classroom. Students create a self-portrait, combining art and text, to represent their inner and outer worlds. This low-risk art experience incorporates personal symbols, develops a deeper understanding of grammatical and metaphorical elements, and sets the stage for writing a short narrative as well as an “Outside/Inside” poem. K-12

Ann Truax is a retired teacher with 30 years experience teaching Language Arts and ESL in Kindergarten through community college. Currently, she is doing literacy support work and professional development with the Oregon Writing Project.


Sharing the Power of Practice: Writing About Teaching for Social Justice for Rethinking Schools

Participants in this workshop will work with Rethinking Schools editors and authors, Wayne Au and Bill Bigelow, on how to share the power of their teaching practices by writing for Rethinking Schools magazine. Through an analysis of Rethinking Schools articles, participants will develop a better understanding of the magazine’s expectations regarding tone, style, audience, evidence, and politics. The goal of this workshop is for participants to not only come away with a better understanding of Rethinking Schools, but also to have several ideas for potential articles to write and submit for consideration for publication in the magazine. General

Wayne Au is an editor of Rethinking Schools magazine. He has published numerous academic and popular articles and is an Assistant Professor of Secondary Social Studies at University of Washington—Bothell Campus. Bill Bigelow taught high school social studies in Portland for almost 30 years. He is the curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools magazine and author or editor of numerous books.


Show Me the Evidence: Social Justice and Data

Institutions use data to justify decisions. Through the analysis of data, students experience that numbers may make issues more complex, and possibly less clear than text. Participants will explore enrollment data to answer the question, “Which school should close?” Sometimes the information needed to make thoughtful, equitable decisions is in the numbers, not the text, which is always an interpretation of someone else’s analysis of the data. 9-12

Susan Pfohman teaches high school math at Jefferson High School in Portland and collaborates across content areas to introduce numeracy to language arts and social studies teachers.


Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice in Content Courses for Preservice K-8 Teachers

This session is intended as a discussion about using social justice-oriented mathematics activities in content courses for preservice K-8 teachers. We will look at some activities currently being used; share experiences and resources; discuss the place of social justice topics in courses for preservice teachers; develop ideas for new lessons; and discuss successes and challenges associated with this approach to teaching future teachers.

K-8/Teacher Educators

Ksenija Simic-Muller teaches content and methods courses for preservice teachers in the Mathematics Department at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.


Toward Social Justice Unionism: Transforming Teachers’ Unions

In this session we will discuss how to bring an activist focus into our teachers’ unions as well as methods for defending public education and expanding progressive teaching practices. Participants will discuss challenges in their districts and begin planning next steps to organize in their locals. General

Dan Trocolli is a Seattle teacher and founding member of the Social Equality Educators, a rank-and-file organization in the Seattle Education Association. Matt Carter teaches 4/5 at Orca K-8 in Seattle and is a leading member of SEE and a Rep in SEA.


Using Food Webs to Teach Social Justice in the Science Classroom

Poetry can transform how students experience complex and controversial issues. In this lesson, participants will consider the heated debate surrounding the renewed presence of wolves in Oregon. The two voice poem is introduced as an effective poetry model for deepening student empathy and insight into multiple perspectives. This workshop will demonstrate how teachers can use writing and poetry to enrich their students’ perspectives on challenging ecological issues. Middle/Secondary

Sarah Hall has taught middle school science for eight years and teaches in the Canby, Ore. schools. Amy Lindahl has taught high school science for eight years in Portland Public Schools.


Using Real Talk (About Race, Class, and Culture) To Create and Maintain an Inclusive School Culture that Supports High Achievement!

To engage in dialogue about “root causes, racism, poverty, alienation, privilege, resistance, and push-outs” in schools takes knowledge, skill, and courage…and healing. Through the use of activities and protocols, strengthen your ability to engage in and stay in the “real talk” necessary to create an inclusive and elevating culture in your school or program. General

Keisha Edwards has been an educator, facilitator, and writer for over 20 years.


Utilizing Community Assets and Voices to Support Students

This workshop is ideal for educators who work with significant numbers of students of color, immigrants, and English Learners. Topics include culturally-responsive approaches, the achievement gap, access to post-secondary options, and professional journeys. This workshop is intended to help you: 1. Focus on diverse students’ assets; 2. Develop culturally responsive strategies; 3. Learn about important resources and allies in to support underserved students and families. General

Alejandra Favela was a bilingual teacher and researcher and is currently a professor at Lewis & Clark College where she directs the ESOL/Bilingual Endorsement Program. Danielle Torres is a counselor and researcher with experience in a variety of educational settings. She is a professor at Lewis & Clark College in the School Counseling Program.


Writing for Change

In this session, participants will experience a writing unit around the simple techniques of debate and persuasion. I will model the process of moving from a whole-group discussion around contentious issues, through a smaller-group collaboration on expressing a common belief, to the individual work of identifying core beliefs and backing them up with personal experience. Elementary

Mark Hansen is a 4th grade teacher in Portland Public Schools. He is co-director of the Oregon Writing Project and the father of a Kindergarten student.


Session #3   2:30-4:00


Act-Out—a Mini Theatre Forum on Bullying

Through storytelling and theatre, participants will create a forum theatre dialogue about bullying based on the real-life experiences of those in the room. Participants are invited to observe, reflect, and act out different responses to an issue, with the intention of transforming the situation. Secondary

Tamara Lynne is founder of Living Stages, a Portland-based theatre company committed to the use of interactive theatre as a process for community dialogue, action, and empowerment. Avery Welkin, Sarah Peters, and Eden Eisenstein are members of Living Stages’ performance troupe.  www.livingstages.org


Are We Doing Enough to Keep our Girls Strong and Safe? Let’s Empower Middle School Girls to Be Strong and Confident!

This session will explore some of the safety concerns and self-defense strategies covered in the GirlStrength program. Participants will engage in discussions surrounding facts and myths, participate in GirlStrength activities and role play healthy and unhealthy behaviors in relationship to sexual assault and dating violence. Middle

Carolyne Haycraft is the Coordinator for the GirlStrength program, a free violence prevention program for girls 10-14 years of age, operated through the Family Services Division of the Portland Police Bureau. She has an MFA in Directing from UW-Madison, and has used drama as a tool to engage students in social justice issues. Also presenting will be Caryn (Indigo) Corwin, a new GirlStrength instructor, who teaches at Sunnyside Environmental School in Portland. Also presenting are three girls who recently participated in the GirlStrength program: Madison Hope McDermott, Esme Zodrow, McKenzie Potter-Moen.


Building a Popular Education School With Its Students: an Experience from Brazil

In this session, we will share the experience of a popular education program, started in 1986, at a Brazilian university. It has been a successful attempt to highlight transdisciplinary curriculum. Students develop projects based upon specific issues, normally related to aspects of their own lives, choose different lessons to take and discuss topics about citizenship and workers’ rights. All teachers and students work together on planning, implementation and evaluation in a collective, participatory manner. Adult/Popular Education

Júlio Emílio Diniz-Pereira is an Associate Professor at Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), in Brazil, and has been involved with adult/popular education for more than 20 years.


Challenging Corporate School Reform

Its been a year from Hell for many teachers; but a year of pushback too. From “Not Waiting for Superman” to the Wisconsin rebellion to the Save Our Schools march, resistance to corporate ed reform has been growing in response to attacks on public education. Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp will discuss progress and setbacks in countering the agenda of testing, teacher-bashing and privatization and prospects for building the effort in the year ahead.  General

Stan Karp is an editor and frequent contributor for Rethinking Schools magazine and past co-chair of the National Coalition of Education Activists. He taught English and journalism to high school students for 30 years and is currently Director of the Secondary Reform Project for the Education Law Center in Newark, NJ.


Complicating Race Through Historical Fiction and Writing

Participants will engage in lessons that elementary, middle and high school teachers developed around the novel, Alligator Bayou by Donna Jo Napoli, which tells the story of a group of Sicilian immigrants trying to make their way in a late 19th century Louisiana ravaged by Jim Crow. The lessons complicate students’ ideas about race and racism in U.S. history by learning the stories of immigrants and African Americans. This session will fuel teachers with examples of how to introduce students to stories from history while also honoring the experiences of their students. Middle/Secondary

Katharine Johnson is the co-director of the Oregon Writing Project and a writing coach for Portland Public Schools.


Co-opting the Hidden Curriculum to Improve Social Justice in Elementary Math

Focusing on models of differentiation, this workshop will examine hidden ways we teach, such as what content is taught to which students and whose voices are heard in word problems. In small groups, participants will develop plans for positively using hidden curriculum to promote more social justice in math so that historically marginalized students are more equitably taught. Elementary

Jacque Ensign is an instructional coach with Seattle Public Schools. She has taught in university teacher education programs in Washington, Connecticut, and Virginia, and has numerous publications on culturally relevant teaching.


Cultural Crossroads: Anthropology in the 21st Century Classroom

This workshop offers a basic introduction to Anthropology as an interdisciplinary course, deconstructs classic and modern notions of Anthropology, and provides an interdisciplinary example from one case study—Haitian Vodou—to use in the 21st century high school classroom. Anthropology’s relevance in a high school curriculum addresses themes such as Construction of Identity; Belief Systems; Adaptations to Environment; Globalization; Race, Class and Gender; and the Challenges of Peace, War, and Reconciliation. Secondary/General

Mike Sweeney retired after 32 years teaching social studies and language arts, as well as Social and Cultural Anthropology, in Portland Public Schools. Lynne Gardner-Allers has taught courses in Language Arts and Social Studies at all grade levels for 13 years at Cleveland High School in Portland, Ore. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in Critical and Sociocultural Studies in Education at the University of Oregon.


Culturally Responsive Mathematics: A Lesson Planning Tool for Teachers

As math teachers, we try to be culturally responsive and to incorporate social justice into our classrooms. However, sometimes competing forces (e.g., curriculum constraints, testing pressures, etc.) prevent our ideas from making it into our lessons. And we often don’t have the tools to reflect on how a lesson went, and what we could do differently. In this workshop, we will present a lesson planning tool for teachers to evaluate our own planning and talk about what teaching mathematics for social justice means to each of us. The tool along with additional lesson planning resources will be provided. General

Julia Aguirre is an assistant professor at the University of Washington Tacoma. Her work focuses on the roles race, class, culture, and language play in mathematics teaching and learning. She has taught K-12 mathematics in formal and informal settings. Maria Zavala is a doctoral candidate in the Learning Sciences at the University of Washington Seattle.  She spent many years in kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms as a literacy and (later) mathematics assistant teacher before returning to mathematics education and teacher support. 


Exploring Asia: Access to Food as a Human Right

In the West, we often conceive of human rights as meaning only civil and political freedoms. Yet, for many in the so-called developing world, and particularly India, home to more than 200 million undernourished, those rights cannot be fully utilized without the most basic of human needs—such as food—being met first. This workshop will explore the idea of access to food as a human right by examining India’s hunger problem and potential solutions to it. Middle/Secondary

Jacob Bolotin received his M.A. in comparative politics and international relations from Oregon State University. During the 2010-11 school year at the World Affairs Council in Seattle, he developed resource packets and curriculum for K-12 teachers on human rights, climate change, national security, and other topics. 


Exploring Sustainability Education and Imagining a Better Future with Students—a Facilitated Presentation, Discussion and Skill-Share

How does sustainability apply to our teaching? How have you integrated concepts of sustainability into your teaching? How can we better motivate and inspire students to take action on sustainability, while also adhering to state standards? Join this workshop and come ready to share. We will explore why teaching sustainability issues is vital, and have a facilitated discussion on how we can better integrate this study into our curriculums. Middle/Secondary

Noam Gundle has been working in Sustainability issues in the Seattle area for over 10 years. He does work in the community with alternative fuels and transportation, DIY home projects, gardening and permaculture, food preservation, natural building, and more. He often hosts workshops on sustainability skills for adults.


The Gulf Coast Oil Spill: How Video, Art and Essays Can Promote Awareness, Understanding, Personal Responsibility and Change

How video documentary, essay-based curriculum with a personal reflection and action component, and a graphic novel can stimulate understanding, inquiry and social action related to the BP oil spill. Secondary/General

Mike Rosen has a Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering and currently manages the Watershed Division for the City of Portland. In August of 2010 he led 22 Oregonians (teachers, artists, students, activists, organizers and scientists) to “bear witness” to and document the impacts of the BP oil spill. A video documentary, a curriculum and a graphic novel were created as a result.


Honoring Our Ancestors: Bringing Students’ Lives into the Classroom

Students need many opportunities to practice their literacy skills; every task, even ones that build community and connections, must also develop reading and writing habits. This workshop demonstrates how to help students learn the craft of writing a vignette essay as they bring their “ancestors”—moral or physical—into the classroom, honoring students’ heritages as part of the curriculum. General

Dianne Leahy teaches at Jefferson High School in Portland, and has taught high school Language Arts for more than 10 years.


Long-term English Learners: GLAD Strategies for Addressing the Gap

Long-term English Learners (LTEL) are a unique population of students. Like other learners of English here, there is a large achievement gap that LTEL struggle against. However, characteristics of LTEL, among others, are that they can be born in the U.S., have a false perception of their true academic skills, and may identify with the majority culture rather than their own. Teachers must understand the specific academic challenges in teaching LTEL and learn strategies to address those challenges to help LTEL succeed. Along with basic information about this population, a research-based strategy will be modeled for participants, a strategy you can use right away in your own practice to improve the success of LTEL. Middle/Secondary/General

Sarah Nainby is an ELL teacher in Lakewood, Wash. She earned her master of arts in teaching from Hamline University in Minnesota. Tamar Krames is an ELL teacher and department coordinator in Lakewood, Wash. She is also a Visual Arts teacher who earned her masters in teaching from The Evergreen State College.


Mapping Students and Courses: An Exercise in Visualizing a More Democratic Curriculum

This workshop explores the ways that high school students and courses become integrated and segregated even in the absence of formal “tracking.” We will confront questions concerning who has—and who should have—access to “high-status” courses, and the impact this has on students and knowledge. Participants will construct visual representations of the students and courses at their schools in order to provide the workshop with multiple points of reference to confront these issues. Secondary/General

Joe Ferrare is an Instructor at the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University, and a Researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Stories of Subversion: Mathematics in Action

Mathematics collaborators working at the high school, community college, and university level share stories about subverting mainstream mathematics curriculum to include explorations of social justice issues. Participants will be asked to share their own stories of subversion. We will discuss ways in which educators can advocate for themselves and their lessons to administrators and other stakeholders. The goal of the workshop is to develop strategies for continuing the work. General

Jessica Hopson is a mathematics teacher at Portland YouthBuilders, an alternative high school. She has taught for five years. Ann Sitomer has taught mathematics at Portland Community College for 15 years. Megan Vosk is a humanities teacher at Portland YouthBuilders, an alternative high school. She has taught for six years.


Unpacking White Privilege in the Classroom

Do you talk with students about racism but find yourself stopping short of addressing White privilege? In this interactive workshop we will critically examine the ways White privilege shows up and is reinforced in classrooms. We’ll also explore ways teachers can discuss White privilege with students. Participants will engage in conversation with one another where they can share successes, challenges, and questions. General

Ilsa Govan has more than 15 years experience as a classroom teacher and anti-racist community organizer, including co-coordinating the group WEACT (The Work of European Americans as Cultural Teachers), which encourages White educators to challenge and support each other with cross-cultural interactions. She co-founded Cross Cultural Connections, after working as an Equity and Race Specialist for Seattle Public Schools. 


4:00 – 4:30 in the library

Education Activism: Where do we go from here?
This is a critical time to organize and have our voices heard in the debate to shape the future of education. There are pockets of teacher and educational activism popping up in all corners of the country, and the struggles over the direction of public education are becoming more intense. In this closing session, after some brief remarks, Rethinking Schools editor Wayne Au will convene a conversation to focus on key questions: What are the key challenges facing education in the region? How can we concretely support one another’s work? What kind of regional cooperation and organization makes the most sense?




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Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

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