Second Annual Teaching and Learning Conference

Depolarizing Our Classrooms and School Communities: A Gathering of Boston-Area Schools

A Free Workshop with Essential Partners

Saturday, March 2, 2024 from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

80 Gerry’s Landing Road, Cambridge MA

Registration Deadline: Friday, February 23, 2024

Students, teachers, and leaders face unprecedented division, conflict, and polarization in the classroom and across school communities. We need educational spaces today, more than ever, that will empower school community members to leverage compassion and curiosity, build authentic relationships, and resist the toxic influence of political polarization.

Greater Boston educators are invited to join Essential Partners and BB&N for a free and exclusive opportunity to develop the skills and confidence they need to engage differences in ways that create authentic connections, rich mutual understanding, and resilience to political polarization as we approach a divisive Presidential election.

This highly interactive workshop will anchor participants in the theory of communication across differences and provide a new framework to foster more constructive conversations. Participants will learn and practice tools that strengthen the skills of dialogic listening, inquiry, reflection, and speaking in order to promote healthier dynamics, encourage meaningful interpersonal connections, and halt the spread of polarization in their classroom or school. These interventions are adaptable for classroom learning, extracurricular activities, and the school culture at large.

Participating educators will receive a ten-lesson-plan curriculum that they can deploy immediately, and put what they just learned into practice in their classrooms.


– To identify patterns that can make communication difficult

– To gain a basic understanding of a framework for more constructive conversations

– To learn and practice tools for listening, inquiry, speaking and reflection that interrupt dysfunctional patterns and support more constructive conversations.


Nadiya Brock | Associate & Program Manager, Essential Partners

Winnie Rugamba | Associate and Research Project Manager, Essential Partners

Tentative Schedule

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. | Registration & Light Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. | Welcome & Framing of the Day

8:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Training with Essential Partners, Lunch, Closing

*This event is free of charge. All meals, including allergen-friendly options, will be provided.