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My Brother's Keeper

TOC II Spotlight Virtual Summit

We featured this TOC II spotlight in our Summer 2020 newsletter

On June 10, 2020, NYSMBK held a virtual summit entitled "MBK Teacher Opportunity Corps II - All Eyes on Equity During COVID-19." The event was held in partnership with Queens College and Partnership for Afterschool Education (PASE). Hosted by Dr. Anael Alston, Assistant Commissioner, the summit began with opening remarks from Alison Overseth, Executive Director of PASE, and Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, CUNY Chancellor. New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and Regent Lester Young also gave words of encouragement to the TOC II students. Their remarks were followed by a TOC II graduate turned author and teacher, Dennis Richmond, Jr., who spoke to the students about his experience with equity in the classroom.

Distinguished professor and author Dr. Pedro Noguera gave an engaging keynote presentation. Dr. Noguera's keynote entitled "Equity in the Classroom: Theory Meets Practice" challenged pre-service and in-service teachers to create the conditions to help students thrive. During the address, Dr. Noguera focused on ways to create equitable learning environments that work to eliminate social, emotional, and economic barriers. He also addressed the importance of building relationships with parents and students, encouraging teachers to build those relationshipss, because these relationships will fortify them.

During his keynote, Dr. Noguera told a story about when he started teaching, stating "I saw the power and potential of teaching. It is a beautiful thing to be a teacher. When you can see students come to life." He shared a story about a student who gave him a hard time, and once he learned about the trauma in this student's life, he then changed the way he looked at the student, and as a result, he made a greater effort to engage the student. He couldn't change what was happening outside the school environment, but he changed what happened in the classroom.

Following the keynote, TOC II students were able to ask Dr. Noguera questions and discuss their experiences during the pandemic. NYSED program manager, Doris Waiters, shared inspiring words of support and encouragement closing out the event.