Educators Attend Diversity Workshop

Educators Attend Diversity Workshop
Posted on 02/10/2022

The Staff and Curriculum Development team held a workshop on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for K-12 educators today.

The workshop follows NYSED’s efforts to incorporate Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education (CR-SE) into schools across New York.

In total, nine educators from five different school districts and Madison-Oneida BOCES attended the workshop. In the past, similar workshops have been held for school administrators as part of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) recertification process.

Educators that participated in the workshop were given the opportunity to explore their own biases and to think critically about topics that can be uncomfortable or difficult to discuss, like race, gender identity, sexual orientation and religion. In many discussions, educators explored how classroom procedures, as well as internal school processes, have the potential to negatively impact students with marginalized social identities.

Rebecca Ciotti, a Social Studies teacher at Rome Free Academy, attended the workshop for several reasons. Currently, Ciotti is working in an administrative internship and chose to attend the workshop to learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion in preparation for the school’s equity audit.

dei workshop

Ciotti also sees value in workshops like this as a teacher.

“I’m trying to work on changing things in my own classroom,” Ciotti said. “It’s very interesting, very eye-opening.”

Christy Suos, an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher at Oneida High School faces issues of diversity, equity and inclusion as a significant part of her job and found the workshop to be a tremendous help.

“It’s wonderful,” Suos said. “I learned a lot of terminology and the NYSED definitions of things like gender and race.”

The presenter of this workshop, Jonathan Cornue, feels that DEI training and awareness is important, especially in supporting students.

“It’s about all kids, all the time,” Cornue said. “Every kid comes with their own story.”