Black Teacher Leadership & Sustainability Institute

The Black Teacher Leadership and Sustainability Institute is an experiential institute providing opportunities for Black teachers to share, reflect and set intentions for how to lead from the classroom. Teachers deepen their commitment, relationships and agency while developing strategies for leadership and sustainability. Participants receive caring guidance and facilitation to collaboratively explore the personal and professional challenges they face as Black teachers in the United States.

Participants learn, examine, and discover:

  • the effects of racism and other bias on education policies and practices

  • the implicit and explicit work of Black teachers in the United States

  • individual and organizational dynamics that impede the development and sustainability of Black teachers

  • concrete skills for health and wellness in challenging contexts

  • the importance of emotional intelligence and wellness in being a Black teacher in schools

  • research, tools and other resources to support the leadership and sustainability of Black teachers in an oppressive system

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Inquiry Groups

BTP Inquiry Groups provide time for Black teachers to come together, offer support and create sustainability with each other. Through the use of equity-based protocols and culturally relevant practices, participants will explore issues in their teaching practice with support from a racial affinity-based professional learning community. 

At each meeting, participants work on defining a problem in their practice and using protocols and thought partnership from other Black teachers to address those challenges. These meetings are for Black teachers to come together, provide support, and create sustainability with each other. Stipends are provided to teachers who attend at least 3 meetings a semester. 

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Book Study Groups

BTP Book Study groups aim to deepen participants’ practice and enrich their teaching toolkit in fellowship with other Black teachers. This group reads and discusses a different piece of literature each semester to support teachers’ professional development. Books that have been analyzed in the past include Young, Gifted, and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African-American Students, and Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. In order to compensate participants for their time and professional development efforts, BTP provide stipends to those that attend the required number of meetings and complete a final project.

Fellows Program

BTP launched our Fellows program with 13 Black teachers in 2017-18. Fellows meet as a group four times per semester to explore how to lead from the classroom. Over the year, each fellow focuses on a goal, either about leadership or pedagogy. Examples of goals are: 1) development of a hip-hop math curriculum, 2) development of an environmentally focused curriculum, and 3) increasing meetings with parents. By the end of our first Fellows year, all of our teachers achieved their goals. We were excited to launch our next cohort of 14 BTP Fellows in January 2019!

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Sustainability Programming

We offer sustainability events throughout the school year for our teachers to create community with one another, practice self care, and know that we appreciate them. Some recurring events that we offer are happy hours, karaoke nights, yoga and hiking experiences, and an annual end of the year celebration. In order to view the sustainability event we have coming up, please visit our events page.