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Frequently Asked Questions: Youth Voice Advocates Educator Cohort

Did you know that The Practice Space coaches both speakers and facilitators, including educators? Through personalized coaching and experiential workshops we provide educators opportunities to learn and practice how to facilitate youth voice in the classroom. With a focus on facilitation strategies, we meet educators where they are and provide resources to implement inclusive public speaking opportunities that cultivate an equitable classroom environment where youth feel confident to express who they are and what they care about. After one of our workshops, educators will always be able to answer the question, “What does this look like in my classroom tomorrow?” 

Our Youth Voice Advocates educator cohort is an opportunity for educators to receive this individualized and community support to build authentic youth voice in the classroom! There’s still time to apply! Stipends available. Learn more about our educator coaching and professional development, provided by The Practice Space and please spread the word about our cohort with our flyerapplication deadline extended to October 22nd!

Q: What is the Youth Voice Advocates educator cohort?

A: This will be a small cohort of K-12 teachers who work directly with an expert coach to receive instructional coaching on how to increase youth voice and build oral literacy through integrating public speaking opportunities into lessons and routines. It’s a great way to get individualized support in planning, community building, problem-solving, and improving assessments. Cohort members participate in ongoing coaching and whole-cohort professional development that focuses on Expression-Driven Teaching and with a supportive community of educators. All coaching and professional development will be done virtually on Zoom.

Q: Who can apply?

A: Any K-12 educator who wants to increase youth voice in their classroom and who teaches in one of the following districts: San Leandro Unified, West Contra Costa Unified, or Pittsburg Unified. 

Q: This sounds great but what if I don’t have the time?

A: We understand how many demands there are of teachers, especially having returned to in-person learning amidst a pandemic. That’s why this cohort is all about supporting what you are already doing. We tailor our coaching sessions to meet your specific needs and support your goals (i.e. around lesson planning, increasing student engagement and participation, advancing equity). We also provide lots of resources specific to debate, storytelling, poetry, self-advocacy, and presentation. We have 2 workshops in the fall, and 3 in the spring (TBD), otherwise the time is coaching for planning purposes! See details below.

Q: What are the dates and time commitment? 

A: Cohort members commit to attending all whole-group professional development workshops and coaching sessions scheduled directly with your coach (min 2 hours/month, max 4 hours/month) for the duration of the program, October 28th, 2021 through May 27th, 2022. Workshop dates:

  • Cohort kick off: Thursday, October 28th, 4-5:30pm on Zoom. 
  • 2nd fall semester workshop: Thursday, December 9th, 4-5:30pm on Zoom.
  • 3 spring semester workshop times/dates to be determined

Q: Is there a stipend or can I get units in my district for participating?

A: Yes! We are able to offer a stipend for every teacher that completes the program (made possible by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation). Stipends will be received early June, 2022. Feel free to reach out directly for more information. We are also happy to provide a certificate to show hours of completion that you might use to apply for units through a university or to use in your district. However, you must check with your district first since each district’s policies are different. We do not currently have a way to award units directly.

Q: How does this cohort support other work or initiatives already happening at my school? 

A: The work of cultivating youth voice in your classroom doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Our tailored coaching approach is designed to mutually reinforce and deepen existing efforts that schools and teachers are prioritizing, especially Social and Emotional Learning, Project Based Learning, advancing literacy, and supporting multilingual learners.

Q: How do I get this to more teachers at my school?

A: We highly encourage teams or teachers from the same school site to join this cohort together, deepening impact on students and providing more collegial support and collaboration. Applications should still be submitted individually. Please download the cohort flyer to send to colleagues and link to this FAQ! We also partner directly with schools and districts. Learn more about how we can support your school and please reach out!

Q: What if I find out past the extended deadline of October 22nd, can I still apply?

A: Please reach out to us by emailing admin@practice-space.org. We might still have an opening or can work together to find other possible ways we can support the work you do! We do want all cohort members to start on October 28th with the important foundations of Expression-Driven Teaching.

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