Take Action Now with Change Projects
The Western Regional Educator Network (WREN) is offering professional development, coaching, and funding to support educators in every stage of their career.
The WREN's projects, or Change Ideas, are the concepts and ideas from local educators which improve the processes and systems that enhance the teaching experience. By initially testing a small change, and studying the impact, local improvement teams will work to improve the design before implementing it across the region.
Change ideas will be led by a team of local district/school/community stakeholders referred to as an improvement team. The improvement team will implement the change idea at the local level, and since we believe those closest to the issue are the best suited to inform the improvement, design teams should be composed of at least 51% certified teachers.
The WREN will assign a coach who will help you navigate the continuous improvement process to make your change idea come to life!
Design-Your-Own Change Project
The WREN will support existing and aspiring teacher-led teams with the design, implementation, and funding of a change project that will support educator empowerment, teacher leadership, and communities of care and connection. Funds are available between $15,000 - $75,000, depending on the size and duration of the change. WREN funding is not intended for pre-existing programs.
Project ideas will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Contact Tracy Conaghan for more information.
Equitable Hiring Practices
The WREN has created an engaging multi-media training module to assist district teams with mitigating implicit bias in the hiring process. The training is intended for application screening and interview committee members and consists of both an asynchronous section as well as an in-person/virtual training and discussion component. We are seeking districts willing to test our training module and provide feedback on the process.
Please submit an Interest Form to be reviewed on a rolling basis. Contact Erin Ellis for more information.
Centering Equity in Human Resources
In partnership with Future Work Design, the WREN is offering a collaborative design process to identify strategies, define work-plans, and pursue interventions in the region to increase recruitment and maintain retention of diverse staff. To accomplish this goal, the project cohort will work through a sequence of virtual workshops to create shared understanding, identify existing barriers to recruiting and retaining staff of color, and identify resources, policies, and practices that could inspire future interventions. Participants will be required to attend a minimum of 9.5 hours of collaborative design sessions, with the option to participate in a small focused work group.
Supporting the Social Emotional Needs of Teachers
Creating more inclusive and empowering school cultures is critical for educator and student success. The WREN is partnering with district/school teams to design change ideas to meet the social and emotional needs of teachers with diverse cultural, racial, and linguistic backgrounds. After a quick assessment of the staff’s unique needs, a WREN Continuous Improvement Coach will work with your team to select specific and actionable plans to create an environment of acceptance and belonging.
Interest Forms will be reviewed on a rolling basis. contact Aly Nestler for more information.
Affinity Groups for Teachers of Color
The overall goal for the WREN’s Regional Affinity Group, Teachers of Color Unite!, is for those identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC) educators to come together for care, connection, networking, and to advocate for systemic change. Minoritized educators and professionals of color have been requesting spaces where authentic dialogue can be held to discuss the issues impacting many of us in our respective institutions. This is an opportunity to engage with one another as we navigate the most complicated of times in our profession, in our community, as a region, and as a country. This group meets monthly throughout the school year. We will also be hosting a couple of casual summer convenings that are open to all BIPoC teachers in the region.
Teachers of Color Unite! is sponsoring an interest group for BIPoC educators to come together to learn about culturally responsive classroom practices. Presenters will share ideas for engaging lesson plans, as well as facilitate a conversation for colleagues to dialogue about application ideas. This is an opportunity to learn, but also share all of the wonderful lessons you are using in your classroom with colleagues!
Focus Group Opportunities
BIPoC Leadership Cadre
A space for those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC) Educators to advance leadership skills and increase confidence in facilitating groups, both in-person and virtually. Participants will collaborate, connect, and strengthen skills in small teams with opportunities to practice at a local, regional, and cross-regional network level.
Classified Support for 4j, Springfield, & Bethel
We are looking to establish a small team of classified educators to participate in a focus group with an opportunity to co-design supports tailored to the unique needs of instructional assistants and classified staff. This is a paid ongoing project, the scheduling is somewhat flexible and we anticipate at least 1 or 2 hour-long focus group interviews and 2-5 planning/design meetings. Some of this may be in the summer if schedules allow.
Mentors of Novice Teachers
The WREN is seeking information about how to support mentors of novice teachers. We are hosting a focus group and listening to mentoring stories in order to provide resources and support tailored for the specific strengths and needs of mentors in our region.
The WREN seeks to understand the specific needs of novice educators in order to provide resources and support. We will be hosting a focus group and reaching out to novice educators to help guide our work.
Restricted Teacher License
Do you have teachers on a restricted license? Do you have teachers who’ve recently received a preliminary license after working with a restricted license? The WREN is looking to understand the specific needs of educators on restricted licenses in order to provide better resources and support.