June 24, 2020
NCTR and Partner News

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is one of NCTR’s core values.  This week our staff attended a two-day retreat that, although virtual due to COVID, offered a space for us to deepen both our relationships and our commitment to racial equity.  We engaged in dialogue about our personal identities and beliefs, and articulated equity stances for how each of us will commit to promote DEI in our day-to-day work and interactions.  Through continually strengthening our internal equity stance, we believe we will be better positioned to advance teacher residencies’ work of preparing diverse and effective educators. 

Program Spotlight: Featuring this Year's Residents and Mentors

Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR) is a faith-based, non-profit organization founded in 2009 to recruit, train, and support effective teachers in a Christian context.  MTR accomplishes this goal through three programs: a teacher residency training program and two summer academic enrichment camps.  Residents are college graduates invited to train with a mentor, receive coaching, and participate in Master of Urban Education coursework through Union University.  In addition, residents receive housing and a living stipend.  During the residency year, participants earn their master’s degree and teach for a full academic year in a mentor’s classroom.  While some residents do have undergraduate teacher training prior to the residency, others do not and become a certified teacher at the end of the residency year. 
Mentor of the Year Nominee

The colleagues of 7th Grade science teacher and MTR Mentor Brian Leaks said it is hard to articulate just how special he is to the program.  His commitment to his resident, Sam, and to his students is unwavering.  His passion in seeing Sam grow is like watching a father with a son.  He is patient, consistent, kind, thoughtful, honest, and a true thought partner.  From day to day, he models excellence to Sam through his inquiry teaching practices to his strong, authentic relationships with students from all backgrounds.  
Resident of the Year Nominee

When you walk into the 5th grade classroom of MTR teaching resident Cory Jones, you see a deep, authentic love for math, a community that dialogues about their thinking in challenging yet encouraging ways, and students who are all willing to take risks.   This incredible classroom culture stems from his unique leadership skills, his deep holistic care for all students, and his unwavering commitment to student growth. Even in a year filled with unimaginable personal loss and grief, Cory has been an exemplary NCTR Resident!
Resources and Connections

How will COVID-19 impact schools, students, and teachers in the coming school year?  What can schools do to best address student learning, student and teacher mental health, and the social and emotional learning needs of students during a pandemic?  Teach Plus invites teachers to share their perspectives and recommendations in an hour-long virtual focus group (spots limited), by signing up online.  This research will help inform school leaders and policymakers as they make decisions about the 2020-21 school year.  Please also share this opportunity with your colleagues and other teachers in your network by forwarding this email or this link:  For general questions about this research, email Teach Plus at

Chalkbeat’s simple but powerful Student Takeover project reveals six-word stories, original art and music expressing the current sentiments of young people related to the fight for Black lives. 

In an EdWeek Teacher five-video series, Teaching in the Time of Coronavirus, educators of different subjects and geographic regions share unique perspectives but also “many commonalities in the highs and lows of their new normal.” For EdSource, a 3rd Grade teacher at a Title I California school offers tips for Getting to 100% student engagement in distance learning.  

Courageous Conversation and Pacific Educational Group has launched Courageous Conversation Academy, a virtual learning platform to examine “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion through the lens of racial equity, and broaden the path of entry for leadership and staff at all levels of experience.”   Explore Academy training options here to “grow the knowledge, skill, will and capacity to transform organizational culture, climate and structures.”

In The News
From Juneteenth to Tulsa Massacre: What isn’t taught in school has a profound impact
NBC News

Reporting and interviews with scholars reveals what is clear to many across the country: our education systems vary wildly in their coverage of Black history and events that have marked the ongoing struggle for equal rights and protections, often skipping from slavery to the Civil Rights era to present tense, and/or sugar-coating the treatment of African Americans to fit a clean narrative.  “Really the overarching theme is, ‘Yes, we made mistakes, but we overcame because we are the United States of America,'” said LaGarrett King, a social studies education professor and founding director of the Carter Center for K-12 Black History Education at the University of Missouri.
High School Students and Alumni Are Using Social Media to Expose Racism
NY Times

On prep school “call-out” Instagram accounts, and in personal Snapchats and tweets aiming to go viral, young people are making public the discriminatory and/or derogatory racialized speech and actions of their classmates.  The intention is not solely to shame peers but to allow opportunities for education and transformation, they say, and prevent further harm. “People [like that] who go to college end up becoming racist lawyers and doctors,” remarked one teenager. 
20% of NYC teachers might work from home because of health concerns, according to education department estimates
Chalkbeat New York

New York education department officials told principals on a recent call that they should make accommodations for high-risk educators that don’t feel safe returning to school buildings in the fall, allowing for as many as 15,000 NYC teachers to work from home.

When coronavirus closed schools, some Detroit students went missing from class. These educators had to find them.
NBC News

Principals and other school leaders in Detroit—where it's estimated one-third of students have lost someone to COVID-19—have taken to door-knocking and other investigative moves to locate kids that have not connected remotely since school closures.

Please note that the articles and events in the NCTR E-Blast do not reflect the opinions of our organization, but rather represent information that we believe will be relevant to you and your programs.

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