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P.S. ARTS hosted our annual two-day Professional Development (PD) training for our Teaching Artists in preparation for the new school year. This summer, the PD focused on applying a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) lens to our curriculum, development, and instruction.

Teaching Artists explored our 22-23 program theme Community Garden: Yours, Mine, Ours, and expressed their interpretations of the theme through music, dance, theatre, and visual arts.

Day one of the PD introduced our faculty to a Culturally Responsive Teaching mindset. At P.S. ARTS we define this as designing and implementing lessons through an equity and inclusion lens and ensuring our students and the multiple communities they identify with are represented, affirmed, and uplifted. The first step was for the faculty to compose their own Personal Equity Stance using an “I am, I believe, I will” model. In addition to training sessions led by our Educator Development department, we welcomed guest facilitators from two partner organizations. Everyday Arts led our faculty in discipline-specific, hands-on workshops to provide tangible strategies for creating an inclusive classroom based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

On Day two, we were joined by facilitators from the Transgender Training Institute (TTI) who led a “Trans 101 for K-5 Educators” workshop for our faculty and staff. TTI is a trans and non-binary educator-run organization that provides trainings and consultations to uplift trans and non-binary voices and contribute to a more affirming world. The dialogue that followed highlighted the importance of trans and non-binary representation, the correct use of language, and our commitment to creating gender-inclusive and affirming learning environments for our school communities. This is an area of ongoing training for our staff and faculty. We continued with an exploration of our 2022-23 program theme, Community Garden: Yours, Mine, Ours and accompanying Anchorworks. Teaching Artists created collaborative performances inspired by the theme before moving into discipline groups where they began to design and craft their curricula.

As we gear up for the coming school year, we are energized and inspired by our Teaching Artists’ excitement, thoughtfulness, and dedication to life-long learning. They are a direct reflection of P.S. ARTS values. Thank you to all the Teaching Artists who participated this year. We can’t wait to see how our faculty will incorporate their learning into their classrooms. To read more about P.S. ARTS programs, click here.

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