I would like to extend a very special thank you to all who attended and presented at the STC Newark (STCN) Teacher to Teacher Peer Learning Conference on September 27 at BRICK Peshine Academy.  We are thrilled to have coordinated this event. All presenters were well prepared, engaging, and simply excellent at sharing their expertise with their colleagues. STCN’s work wouldn’t be possible without the humble and knowledgeable educators in our ecosystem.

Workshop Reflections and Takeaways

CREATING A CARING CLASSROOM CULTURE, Joanne Rutherford-Pastras (BRICK Peshine Academy)

  • Morning meeting is a powerful tool
  • Use different methods to reinforce positive behavior
  • We should never be afraid to be the biggest ‘kid’ in the class.
  • Routines, songs and hand signals make every scholar a part of the community and accountable


LOOKING AT STUDENT WORK ,  Dr. Irene Hall (Discovery Charter) and Melissa Wellikoff (SPARK Academy)

  • Dr. Hall and Mrs. Wellikoff share a twist on “Looking at Student Work” that not only pushes reflection and teacher practice, but also provides thoughtful and relevant feedback to challenge and advance students
  • This allows you to connect to your students in a way that a rubric can’t
  • A new way of connecting with students and their families through focusing on meaning, detail, the artistic side of student work rather than paying so much attention to form (errors)
  • It is important to meet students where they are.
  • Have students set their own learning goals 


INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM AND CURRICULA, Chancy Bhatt and Nicole Mulligan (The ROOTS Project, Inc)

  • Do not box in scholars based on gender
  • What we know/believe comes from what we learn
  • Think before you speak. Sometimes what you say can have an impact that you did not expect.
  • We have to be mindful of how the words we use may affect someone i.e. gender, culture, social class



  • Movement=Learning=Fun
  • Be creative on items to use with your students
  • Good ideas  for teaching quotations with macaroni noodles
  • Movement warms up your brain



  • Culture in a classroom moves students toward achievement
  • Make and establish expectations early and make them achievable
  • Limit the expectation to only 3
  • Your classroom reflects your values – be explicit about them


THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF LOVE AND LOGIC, Alison Laycock (People’s Prep Charter School)

  • Make empowerment statements that help the child change
  • Setting the tone makes a difference
  • Students treated with empathy will receive you better
  • Use empathetic responses 


THE BOY CRISIS IN AMERICA: REVERSING THE TREND, Lynnette Dortrait (Lady Liberty Academy Charter)

  • A Nerf ball is useful for boys who are moving around a lot
  • In helping boys to learn, use less verbal and more hands on activities
  • Our boys can and will learn, but PATIENCE and new strategies are essential
  • Every 20 minutes, incorporate movement

Thanks to Greg Shamie from The Leadership Program for leading the closing session.


Kudos to all presenters! Thank you to Brick Peshine AcademyStephany Lin, Phi Delta Kappa, Schools That Can NYC, Edison Properties, Newark Charter School Fund, Newark Trust for Education, and Victoria Foundation.