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Current Opportunities

Educator Empowerment Academy

Be one of the ten teams selected from across Oregon to participate in this amazing opportunity!

The Educator Empowerment Academy is designed to build participant teams’ collective knowledge and skills as they tackle a specific problem of practice in their own context. Academy teams will:

  • Deepen their understanding of the principles and mindsets of the OEA Empowerment Process and learn ways to operationalize equity while they work to solve their own problem of practice
  • Learn how to effectively use tools and processes of the OEA Empowerment Process, which centers on human-centered design, continuous improvement, & community-based organizing.
  • Increase facilitation, coaching, and leadership skills to work with diverse groups of adults

Why the OEA Educator Empowerment Academy?

  • Provides resources and support for participant teams to take action on a problem of practice they have identified as important to solve (like disrupted learning, chronic absenteeism, lack of culturally sustaining practices, educator burnout, etc.).
  • Empowers teams to take action on the things that matter to them in collaboration and co-creation with other people experiencing a similar issue.
  • Uses engagement strategies that build coalitions with students, families, and communities.

What does this look like in action?

OEA will recruit teams of 3-5 people to attend seven learning sessions (some in-person, some virtual). Teams can be composed of members from one school, one local/district, or across a region/UniServ. Teams identify a specific problem of practice they would like to solve; they get a coach to help them apply the OEA Empowerment Process learning from the sessions, and to create and implement a plan of action back at home.

  • OEA pays travel expenses (mileage, hotels, some meals, subs, etc.) for each team to attend in-person sessions in Portland
  • OEA grants each team up to $4000 to use toward solving their identified problem
  • Participants will be eligible for CPDUs and/or graduate credit.
  • Participants’ Commitment: attend all learning sessions, participate in monthly team calls with your coach, and follow through with your action plan in between meetings.

When/where are the sessions?

  • Session 1: Oct. 13th & 14th, 9a-4p (at OEA HQ office - 6900 SW Atlanta St., Portland, OR 97223)
  • Session 2: Nov. 18th, 9a-4p (in-person, at OEA HQ office)
  • Session 3: Dec. 9th, 9a-2p (virtual)
  • Session 4: Jan. 20th, 9a-2p (virtual)
  • Session 5: Feb. 17th, 9a-2p (virtual)
  • Session 6: Mar. 16th, 9a-2p (virtual)
  • Session 7: Apr. 6th, 9a-4p (in-person, at OEA HQ office)
  • Session 8: May 4th, 9a-4p (in-person, at OEA HQ office)
  • Session 9: Jun. 1st, 9a-4p (in-person, at OEA HQ office) +Celebration 5-8p

Next steps:

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Year 2 Educator Empowerment Academy: Coming Soon!

For teams who have already completed a full year of Educator Empowerment Academy.

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Coaching for Empowerment Academy

You have the opportunity to participate in our third annual Coaching for Empowerment Academy. Twenty OEA members from around the state will be chosen to participate in this exciting opportunity from August 2023 - May 2024.

If you are interested in learning more, please let us know via this form.

If you are ready to apply, there is a short application for you to fill out if you would like to join us. Applications are due July 12, 2023.

What is the Coaching for Empowerment Academy?

The Academy is designed to build participants’ knowledge and skills to support union, school, or district teams as they tackle specific problems in their own context. Using OEA’s Empowerment Process, Academy participants will:

  • Deepen their understanding of the principles and mindsets of continuous improvement, community-based organizing, and human-centered design, while learning ways to operationalize and center equity, attending to dynamics of race, culture, class, and power.
  • Learn how to effectively coach others to:
    • Frequently and authentically collect and design with a human-centered approach
    • See the system that is causing problems and to find system-based improvement ideas
    • Implement continuous improvement cycles that start with high quality improvement ideas and follow a meaningful plan-do-study-act cycle
    • Use the collective tools and processes of OEA’s Empowerment Process
  • Increase facilitation, coaching, and leadership skills to work with diverse groups of adults
  • Be prepared to facilitate teams through an entire OEA Empowerment journey

Who should participate?

You! OEA’s Coaching for Empowerment Academy encourages members looking for additional leadership opportunities and ways to get active in their local and state unions to apply. You have been nominated because you showed potential as a leader through an OEA event or program (e.g., Educator Empowerment Academy, Equity SPARKS, other Center for Great Public Schools professional learning opportunities, etc.) and OEA member leaders and/or an OEA staff person nominated you.

What are the participation requirements?

Attend and fully participate in all learning sessions (dates/times still drafts - will firm up soon!)

  • Full-day in-person learning sessions held on each of the following dates (these will be in-person if safe to do so, and in the Portland metro area - 9a-4p each day):
    • Tue., August 8, & Wed., August 9 2023;
    • Sat., September 23, 2023;
    • Sat., October 28, 2023;
    • Sat., April 13, 2024; &
    • Sat., May 11, 2024
  • Virtual learning sessions held on each of the following dates (9a-3p unless otherwise specified): Tue., Nov. 14 & Thu. Nov. 16, both 5-8p; Dec. 2, 2023; Sat., Jan. 13, 2024; Sat., Feb. 10, 2024; Sat., March 9, 2024;
  • Complete action items between sessions such as:
    • readings, facilitation practice, self-reflection, monthly calls with your “EmpowerMentor” (thought partner coach), planning/facilitating your Empowerment Team meetings, etc. (approximately 8-10 hours per month)
  • Recruit a team of 2-4 people with a common union-, school-, or district-level problem of practice, and which you can coach throughout the Academy. For example: discipline disproportionality, lack of a supportive work environment for BIPOC educators, chronic absenteeism, ineffective professional learning, high rates of middle school bullying, etc. This team will be your “Empowerment Team.” If you cannot find a team, we may be able to assign you a team to co-coach with a support coach. However, this assignment is not guaranteed and not having a team may lead to not being accepted into the Academy.

What knowledge of OEA’s Empowerment Process do I need to participate?

Participants must have at least an introductory knowledge of the principles and tools of a continuous improvement model. Here are examples of experiences that meet this requirement:

  • Participated in the OEA’s Educator Empowerment Academy as a team member, or in the OEA’s Networked Improvement Community as a team member.
  • Participated on a school or district design/improvement team or committee that used improvement methods, or a Regional Educator Network team.
  • Read Learning to Improve, attended the Carnegie Summit or a Carnegie workshop, attended OEA’s Summer Conference all-day courses on “Creating Positive Change for Students”, or took an introductory course on improvement (such as the University of Michigan online course)
  • Participated in activities such as: empathy data collection, root cause analysis, systems mapping, theory of improvement development, Plan-do-study-act cycles, etc.
  • Participated in leadership with your local union in leading an organizing campaign built on principles of community-based organizing (relational, issue-based, etc.)

What’s the cost?

Because you are an OEA member, the cost is free! OEA will cover your travel costs to and from any in-person events, including hotel lodging and mileage reimbursement, as well as provide meals during sessions. Additionally, participants will receive an action grant worth up to $1000 to be paid out at the end of the course if they meet all coaching requirements.

How do I apply?

Participants must submit a quick application online by July 12, 2023.

Who will be accepted?

Up to twenty OEA members will be selected from qualified applicants and notified of participation by July 17. We will be looking for a diverse cohort of candidates that collectively will represent a wide array of lived experiences. To qualify, participants must complete the application and meet the requirements outlined in this invitation. Other qualified applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

Can I receive PDUs and/or graduate credits for participating?

Yes! More information will be available during the year, but in general this Academy earns 60+ PDUs/6 semester credits (undergraduate or graduate).

What if I have questions? Please sign up for more information here.