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Schools Office holds 'cultural competence' training for teachers

Erick Herrmann speaks to Catholic school teachers about cultural competence. Pilot photo/courtesy Catholic Schools Office

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BRAINTREE -- The Catholic Schools Office (CSO) of the Archdiocese of Boston recently held a professional development workshop for teachers in the Archdiocese of Boston on the importance of cultural competence in the classroom.

As part of a growing number of offerings that the CSO has developed, this workshop focused on several key issues that teachers should be aware of in their classrooms. The presenter, Erick Herrmann, spoke at length about how to create culturally responsive classrooms and various strategies that validate students and increase academic achievement.

Mary Goslin, Director of Government Programs, organized the event. She opened the session by detailing the importance of creating welcoming spaces for all children.

"We realize the importance of teachers and students being responsive to one another. That responsiveness is at the essence of our mission," she said.

Throughout the workshop teachers shared stories from their own experiences, both in the classroom and their personal lives, regarding how they approach difficult topics such as race, ethnicity, inclusivity, and having difficult conversations. Participants left the session with a variety of tools they could utilize to begin reflecting on how they could be more inclusive within their classrooms.

Superintendent Kathy Mears commented, "I am excited that our office is able to provide quality professional development that is linked to our mission. We believe we are Catholic Schools for all children, welcoming places of evangelization, where we develop saints and scholars using just and equitable practices."

Throughout the summer, the Catholic Schools Office will be hosting several other professional development offerings for teachers and school leaders.

Teachers or school leaders who are interested in learning about upcoming professional development offerings are invited to contact the Schools Office at 617-779-3601.

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