The 5th Annual Convening for Diversifying the Teacher Workforce

The 5th Annual Convening for Diversifying the Teacher Workforce took place over the course of three weeks during the month of October 2022. This year’s conference theme focused on C.A.R.E.Community-building And Radical Empathy. This three-week event examined how the Ethics of Care is being implemented throughout the teacher workforce. Speakers and their presentations addressed the ways in which educators are caring for themselves, for others and for students.

The Week 1 75-minute virtual session was held on October 4, 2022 from 4:00 pm to 5:15 pm and featured keynote speaker, Mrs. Tanisha Davis, Director of the Office of Recruitment, Preparation and Certification for the New Jersey Department of Education. Mrs. Davis provided an overview of the state’s initiative on diversifying the teacher workforce.

The Week 2 75-minute virtual Session was held on October 11, 2022 from 4:00 pm to 5:15 pm.  And featured Rutgers University, Newark alumnus and Executive Director of My Brother’s Keeper Newark, Mr. Mark Comesanas, who served as the moderator of the Voices from the Field. This panel of early educators included Monica Artiga of the John Greico Elementary School, Jessica Greene Camara of Donald M. Payne Sr. Tech, Nicholas Silva of Logan Township Elementary School, and Emmanuel Barchue of the Burlington County Institute of Technology. This session provided space for early educators of color to discuss and share their experiences, challenges, and hopes from the field, while also responding to questions from other educators who attended the event.

Each of the first two week’s virtual sessions were recorded for future viewing opportunities.

The week 3 culmination of this year’s convening was an in-person conference hosted by Rutgers University, Newark. This in-person session was held on October 18, 2022, from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. This half-day event featured a riveting keynote address by speaker, Dr. Lynn Gangone, President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. 

Following greetings from Dr. Lynnette Mawhinney, Urban Education Chairperson, and opening remarks from Chancellor, Dr. Nancy Cantor, Dr. Stacey Leftwich, NJACTE President and co-chairperson of the NJ Convening, introduced Dr. Gangon. Dr. Gangone’s keynote, Addressing the Teacher Shortage and Diversifying the Teacher Workforce: Two Challenges, One Solution, focused on some of the historical and current challenges to our educational institution while also offering insights on how to address these concerns.

Dr. Gangone’s keynote address was followed by multiple concurrent sessions on the convening’s theme. Sessions focused on recruitment and retention strategies, alternate route programs, grow-your-own programs, and nurturing culturally responsive and sustaining teachers.

With over 200 educators from around the state and beyond in attendance at this year’s conference, along with many more who attended virtually during the first two weeks, our collective commitment and focus to continue to diversify the teacher workforce throughout every region in the state of New Jersey has never been more clear and purposeful.

This year’s convening was co-chaired by Dr. LaChan Hannon, Director of Teacher Preparation and Innovation Faculty and Urban Education faculty at Rutgers-Newark, and Dr. Stacey Leftwich, NJACTE President and Executive Director of the Office of Educator Support and Partnerships at Rowan University.

For more information about this worthwhile event, click this link.   

Submitted by Daniel Tulino, Ph.D., Stockton University
on behalf of the Convening on Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Planning Committee