2020 Massachusetts Teachers Association Summer Conference
Massachusetts Teachers Association
The Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) is seeking proposals for the 2020 MTA Summer Conference. The conference is scheduled to run August 2-5, 2020, on the campus of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Our conference provides workshops related to union skills and leadership, racial and social justice, instructional practice and other areas of professional interest. It attracts a variety of MTA members from public schools, colleges and universities, including teachers, faculty, professional staff, education support professionals and retirees.
This request for proposals is for all Summer Conference workshops—both professional practice and union skills and leadership. We are particularly interested in proposals in the following areas:
Professional Practice [PP]
- Classroom Instruction and Student Engagement
- Includes teaching methodologies, frameworks and theories for working with diverse student populations, understanding root causes for why students are acting out and how to respond.
- Meeting the Needs of All Learners
- Includes ELL, Special Education, LGBTQ and victims of trauma, with a particular focus on the whole child, shifting away from a deficit model to one that recognizes and teaches to the strengths students bring from their families, cultures and communities to their schools and classrooms.
- Making Connections
- Includes advocacy for and with students, families and communities; social media networking; and strategies for improving communication with colleagues and administrators.
- Anti-Racist Critical Pedagogy and Social Justice
- Includes topics related to diversity, creating inclusive spaces, combating racism, sexism, economic inequality and injustice and understanding white privilege in our union, schools, and communities, especially looking at how each of these inequalities and injustices cause, shape, exacerbate and intersect with the others to reinforce injustice at all levels of society.
- Practical Skills, Tools, and Techniques
- Includes functional technology use, stress relief, mindfulness, and workflow management.
Union Skills and Leadership [USL]
- Includes topics related to member to member/internal organizing, issue organizing, new member organizing, campaign planning, organizing around contracts and grievances.
- Bargaining and Advocacy
- Includes topics related to negotiation skills, building bargaining power through member engagement, bargaining for the common good, legal issues, and contract enforcement and advocacy.
- Leadership Skills and Development
- Includes topics related to models of leadership, leadership styles, culturally-fluent leadership, organizational development, planning, union administration, conflict management and resolution and communications.
- Anti-Racist Critical Pedagogy and Social Justice
- Includes topics related to diversity, creating inclusive spaces, combating racism, sexism, economic inequality and injustice and understanding white privilege in our union, schools, and communities, especially looking at how each of these inequalities and injustices cause, shape, exacerbate and intersect with the others to reinforce injustice at all levels of society
- Topical sessions
- Includes sessions on subjects of interest and relevance to MTA members such as school and public higher education funding, local campaigns and victories, environmental health and safety, student behavior, college affordability and student debt, economic justice, and more.
The deadline for this Request for Proposals is Sunday, March 8, 2020, at 11:59PM. Conference offerings will be promoted in the spring and will be posted on the MTA’s website at massteacher.org/summer. Presenters will be notified by April 1, 2019, whether their proposal will be included in the conference schedule.
We are seeking proposals of the following lengths:
- 90 minutes - These spaces will be limited.
- 3 hours - To take place in the morning and afternoon.
- 12+ hours - Programs that happen over 2-3 days, especially PDP-eligible programs. Please note: We may be in contact to schedule these workshops at a different time/location during the Summer.
Proposals will be evaluated based on the strength of their descriptions (250 words or less) including the following information:
- Interactive teaching strategies that model strong pedagogy aligned to the content of the workshop, including critical pedagogy, popular education methods, project/problem-based learning, make and takes, interactive demonstrations and facilitated discussions.
- Goals/objectives that ensure educators leave the workshops with practical skills, tools, and techniques they can apply to their work and/or union; and/or a deeper understanding of structural issues, such as race, gender, and class, that affect our union, schools and communities.
- A clear explanation of the workshop’s intended audience (grade levels, skill levels, union role, etc.).
Tips for a stronger proposal:
- The title: If you need to choose between cleverness and clarity, always choose clarity. People will read descriptions for workshops that sound relevant to their needs. They won’t have time to read every single description in the catalogue.
- Please be clear about the content of your workshop. Explain aconyms and avoid jargon when possible.
- It’s about the participants, not you. Don’t use the pronouns “I” or “me.” Instead use “we” or “you.” Refer to the people in your workshop as “participants”.
- Be clear with the expectations people should have going into the workshop.
- Write your proposal as a narrative, not simply a list of bullet points.
- Please use spellcheck.
- If copying and pasting your proposal into the form, please be sure that it includes everything. You are limited to 250 words.
- For this conference, we find that more successful workshops tend to have a broader audience appeal. Think of topics that can be attended by different kinds of audience members.
- Space is limited for 90-minute workshops. Increase your chances of acceptance by planning a 3-hour workshop. 12-Hour workshops may be invited to present at other times throughout the Summer.
MTA Summer Conference Payment, Housing, Meals and Transportation
- Based on a rate of $100-125 per instructional hour, subject to budget
- No payment for planning and preparation time.
- Up to two paid presenters per workshop. Exceptions may be made for multiday presentations.
- Presenters willl receive on-campus housing for each day they attend the conference
- On campus housing is a twin bed in four-bedroom suites with two shared baths (air conditioned)
- Presenters will be given a prepaid meal card for on-campus dining
- There is no reimbursement for restaurant meals
- Presenters will receive mileage at the prevailing rate
- Airfare and ground transportation, if needed, must be approved and arranged by MTA
- Housing, meals and travel costs for companions are the responsibility of the presenter
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