Staff Resources

New Trier provides faculty and staff members with numerous and ongoing professional development opportunities each year on issues around identity, bias, and race. For more information about current professional development offerings, contact Chimille Dillard, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, at dillardc@nths.net . Examples of recent seminars, workshops, and lunch and learns include:

Beyond Diversity  
This is a two-day seminar designed to help teachers, administrators, support staff, students, and parents understand the impact of race on student learning and investigate the role that racism plays in institutionalized academic achievement disparities.  Participants will engage in a thoughtful, compassionate exploration of race and racism and grapple with how each influences the culture and climate of our school. 

Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity I (SEED I)
Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity! The purpose of SEED I is to create a circle of staff and faculty who will come together to learn, listen, think, debate, and build a stronger more equitable community. SEED provides opportunities for New Trier staff and faculty to become grounded in their own beliefs about the purpose of an equitable community and to start thinking more critically about policies, structures, and practices that are damaging to the goal of educational equity from birth to young adult.  We will journey together to deepen our understanding of ourselves, expand our knowledge of the world, and become leaders in making our educational community more equitable for all people. 

Uncovering Unconscious Bias: Opening the Door to Understanding Differences between Us
This series of workshops is designed to develop understanding and self-awareness of bias and its role in our relationships with others, especially those different from us.  Participants will examine bias with respect to race, religion, culture, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.  The first workshop will focus on unconscious bias in the morning and racial bias in the afternoon.  The second workshop will focus on religious and cultural bias, the third on gender and sexual orientation bias.  In order to build a community of trust in which participants can be open and honest in expressing themselves, participants must attend all four workshops . Enrollment is limited to the first 40 people that register. 

Power of One (Only open to 2018-2019 Uncovering Unconscious Bias participants.)
This workshop is designed for those who participated in the 2018-19 Uncovering Unconscious Bias series and want to come back to talk about implementation of what they learned last year into their current practice. We will gather for a check-in and to learn about the power of one. Using our spheres of influence participants will be asked to hold each other in loving accountability for the sake of our shared humanity and to support each other in building a more socially just and racially conscious school community. The better we understand ourselves, the better we can understand each other and prepare our students for a world that is far from race neutral. 2018-2019 Uncovering Unconscious Bias participants received an Outlook appointment. 

Understanding Islam
According to a 2017 Pew Research Center article, "there were 1.8 billion Muslims in the world as of 2015 - roughly 24% of the world's population -  and Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. The migration of Muslims from conflict zones combined with the ongoing impact of extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries.  Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans…have said they know little or nothing about Islam…at the same time, Muslim students are subject to negative perceptions nationwide. The rise in bullying and threats on the lives of Muslim students is a reflection of the increasing Islamophobia in the United States since 9/11. Reports of discrimination against U.S. Muslims are on the rise by a rate of 76 percent." 

This professional development workshop will be divided into four parts:

  • Part 1: basic tenets and practices of Islam
  • Part 2: colonial and post-colonial effects on Muslim majority nations
  • Part 3: portrayal of Muslims in the media and Islamophobia
  • Part 4: research about the struggles Muslim American adolescents experience navigating between their faith, ethnic culture, American culture, and the current socio-political climate; current struggles and divides within the Muslim American community.

There will be opportunities for Q&A and reflection throughout the workshop.  The workshop will also include readings, videos, and resources that educators can use to facilitate conversations with students, to supplement their curriculum, and to support Muslim American students at New Trier.

The N-Word
New Trier students of color report a rise in the use of racial slurs and derogatory language, specifically the N-word. When white students use the N-word, they are knowingly or unknowingly drawing on a history of white violence and injustice toward people of color, specifically black people in America. When students of color hear white students use the N-word, they feel unsafe. Students at New Trier will receive a lesson is to help them make more thoughtful choices about language, specifically the use of the N-word and racial slurs.