Empowering Black Secondary Math Educators

photo of attendees at the podium
photo of attendees at the podium

The Empowering Black Secondary Math Educators (EBSME) event on June 4, 2024, featured Dr. Toya Frank and was a remarkable success. Organized by SSC School Success Specialists Nicole Draper, Jonathan Dinkins, and Crystal Collier, this event was designed to spread awareness of the inequities facing Black teachers in Delaware. 

The EBSME event aimed to engage and support teachers of color, particularly Black math educators, who often face unique challenges and feelings of isolation within the educational system. Our ultimate goal is to extend these supportive spaces to other Black teachers and leaders, including those in the state’s elementary, middle, and specialty subject areas.

The team expressed that they strive to create a supportive community that acknowledges and addresses the educational system’s specific struggles and racialized experiences. Research indicates that racial affinity professional development can help sustain Black teachers in the classroom and enhance their capacity to effect systemic change.

Dr. Toya Frank’s expertise and unwavering dedication have furnished us with invaluable insights into the inequities facing Black mathematics teachers. You can learn more about Dr. Frank’s work here.

This event was made possible by a generous Delaware Department of Education grant. 

photo of Black Math Educators Attendees and SSC staff

Here are some actionable ways to support Black math teachers in the classroom:

  1. Advocate for Inclusive Policies
  2. Foster Mentorship and Networking Opportunities
  3. Facilitate Professional Development
  4. Cultivate Safe Spaces
  5. Engage in Active Listening and Learning
  6. Support access to professional development 
  7. Provide Accessible Resources
  8. Recognize and Celebrate Contributions
  9. Champion Student Support Initiatives

Through the collective pursuit of these initiatives, we can foster a more supportive and equitable environment for Black math teachers, enriching their capacity to educate and inspire future generations.

Women Leading Delaware Education Conference

UD SSC hosts professional learning conference for nearly 300 Delaware educators on Newark campus

The University of Delaware College of Education and Human Development (CEHD)’s School Success Center (SSC) hosted the sixth annual Women Leading Delaware Education Conference on UD’s Newark campus. On Wednesday, March 13, the SSC welcomed nearly 300 Delaware educators to Clayton Hall Conference Center for an engaging and inspiring day of professional learning.

The Women Leading Delaware Education Conference is a networking and professional learning event for teachers and administrators in elementary, secondary and higher education settings. The event addresses issues specific to women and education leadership and provides a powerful opportunity for current and aspiring leaders to convene for an impactful day of connection, reflection and inspiration. The conference aligns with CEHD’s commitment to diversifying the education workforce, supporting educational leaders throughout their careers and helping Delaware schools address the regional school leader shortages.

“Delaware schools have many strong women leaders who use this annual event as an opportunity to rejuvenate, make connections and learn from one another,” said Faith Muirhead, director of the SSC. “This year’s conference brought almost 300 participants together to support their individual leadership development and work together to find answers to the problems that confront our schools and to develop solutions.”

The theme of this year’s event was “Celebrating Our Resilience,” and the keynote speaker, sponsored by the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), was Jane Kise, founder of Differentiated Coaching Associates. Kise’s address focused on the concepts of brain energy and bandwidth, moving beyond self care to help women leaders and their colleagues stay energized and passionate about their work.

Jane Kise, founder of Differentiated Coaching Associates, delivers the event’s keynote address, titled “Tools for Leading and Thriving in Challenging Times.”J

Jane Kise, founder of Differentiated Coaching Associates, delivers the event’s keynote address, titled “Tools for Leading and Thriving in Challenging Times.”

“The resounding message from social media is that burnout is the price of leadership, especially for women,” Kise said. “Yet it isn’t inevitable. I love sharing our research that highlights all the areas that go beyond selfcare that let us reclaim our time, our focus, our purpose and our passion. And facilitating these discussions with a group of motivated leaders means they’ll take this information back to their staff and improve everyone’s wellbeing.”

The event also featured whole-group and breakout sessions facilitated by national and local leaders who led thoughtful discussion on topics such as personal and organizational resilience, gender equality, diversity and inclusion, school and district leadership, education policy and overcoming barriers specific to women.

“Intentionally including networking time and opportunities for connection within the conference agenda were priorities for our team,” said Alison Travers, assistant director of SSC’s Delaware Academy for School Leadership (DASL). “We have received feedback from multiple participants of the March 13 conference stating that they appreciated time to connect with colleagues, to network and make new connections and to feel celebrated for their role in education.”

Angela Socorso, education associate in the DDOE, also emphasized the importance of the event and expressed gratitude for the opportunities it offered.

“The conference serves as an invaluable platform for fostering connections, networking and deepening our understanding of leadership dynamics,” Socorso said. “It not only provides an opportunity to reflect on our personal journeys but also encourages us to critically examine our leadership styles and approaches, empowering us to make meaningful impacts for those we lead and support. This conference is a testament to the collective strength and potential of women in leadership, and I’m grateful for the enriching experience it offers.”

The event also included panel sessions on topics such as personal and organizational resilience, gender equality, diversity and inclusion, school and district leadership and more.

The event also included panel sessions on topics such as personal and organizational resilience, gender equality, diversity and inclusion, school and district leadership and more.

About the School Success Center

Launched in 2022, the SSC partners with teachers and administrators in public, charter and independent schools and offers a systemic approach to improving student and school outcomes. The SSC is unique in partnering with both teachers and administrators on the same improvement strategies to ensure that teachers, schools and districts grow together.

In addition to providing differentiated coaching services for school and district leaders, the SSC offers expert-facilitated professional learning programs in literacy instruction, math instruction and multi-tiered systems of support, focusing on student screening, diagnostic assessment, intervention design, progress monitoring and more.

To partner with the SSC, visit its website.

Read this story on UDaily.

Article by Jessica Henderson. Photos by Maria Errico.