The Minnesota Educator Academy is the largest annual gathering of Minnesota educators. It is held at the Saint Paul RiverCentre on the third Thursday and Friday of October each year. IRG participates in this conference with a booth to showcase its programs and talk to teachers directly. In addition, IRG offers workshops with a focus on teaching about Islam and Muslims and helping teachers connect better with Muslim students and parents.
IRG workshops have focused on topics such as “Teaching About Islam: Practical Advice for Educators” and “Connecting Islam to your Classroom and School.” The first workshop is meant to help educators better understand, interact with and support Muslim students and families. The second workshop guided by a panel of teachers who have incorporated Islamic Culture Studies in their curricula. Panelists teach world history, geography, world religions, and language arts in middle and high schools. Teachers illustrate how their students learn about the beliefs and practices of Muslims. Both workshops usually generate a lot of questions and attendees share their own experiences with teaching about Islam and providing an educational environment that is respectful of religious and cultural sensitivities of Muslim students.
IRG has conducted surveys among educators for three consecutive years at the conference. The results consistently show the need for more training and authentic resources.