In this work-embedded professional development experienced teachers and administrators focus on the diverse cultural, socioeconomic, racial, religious and ethnic experiences and backgrounds students bring to the classroom. With the goal of improving student outcomes, the Teachers21 coach facilitates a variety of activities to meet the needs of districts and schools concerned with opportunity and achievement gaps. Teachers and administrators engage in the following types of activities:
- Reading and discussion groups that focus on professional literature, including classics like The Dreamkeepers by Gloria Ladsen-Billings, “High Performance in High Poverty Schools: 90/90/90 and Beyond” by Douglas B. Reeves, and “Funds of Knowledge for Teaching: Using a Qualitative Approach to Connect Homes and Classrooms” by Luis C. Moll, et. al., as well as workshop-length articles from the book Everyday Anti-Racism edited by Mica Pollock. This reading serves as a foundation for tackling comparable issues in the participating district or school.
- Curriculum development teams research culturally relevant resources to deepen and broaden existing materials in the current curriculum. These teams also learn and test ways to differentiate classroom experiences, taking cultural diversity into account; they practice using data to determine the specific needs of their particular community of students.
- Depending on the wishes of the participants, the Teachers21 coach also works with the parent community to plan and coordinate parent outreach events like those described in the book Beyond the Bake Sale by Anne T. Henderson, et. al., with the goal of creating a rich sense of community in the school. This outreach effort also includes bringing in occasional expert speakers on relevant equity topics.