Mary Hendra

As Program Director for Los Angeles and Organizational Innovation for Facing History and Ourselves, Mary leads workshops, seminars, and professional development in the greater Los Angeles area, works with individual teachers and faculty teams implementing Facing History in their classrooms, pilots new uses of digital tools and resources for education, and collaborates with formal and informal education organizations across Southern California.

Recent Posts

Listenwise and Facing History LA

Posted by Mary Hendra on September 19, 2018

How is your listening these days? What do you enjoy listening to?

I love listening to podcasts and audio books, though I can't say I'm always the most attentive listener. Sometimes I listen while "multi-tasking," occasionally perking up for an interesting point. Other times I find myself so engrossed in the listen, I can't help but stop everything else. Years ago I started listening to Tony Morrison read Beloved as background to doing housework - 5 hours later I was sitting on the couch still listening, as the sun set and my house remained a total mess.

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2018 Upstanders from LA Partnership Schools

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 27, 2018

Each year, Los Angeles Facing History Partnership Schools are invited to nominate upstanders in their school community - individuals and groups whose actions have made a difference in the lives of others. In 2018, we are pleased to recognize the following upstanders, each described in the words of their nominator

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Topics: Upstanders, Los Angeles, Upstander

CA Social Studies Educators Conference

Posted by Mary Hendra on March 17, 2018

Looking for inspiration? The California Council for the Social Studies holds its annual conference next week in San Diego and we have many activities to share! Not yet registered? There is still time to register. In addition to all of the sessions below where you can find Facing History, Sunday includes a live Gubernatorial Candidates Forum and administrators with one or more teachers registered for the conference can attend the Administrator's Colloquim for free!

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CA English Teachers Conference

Posted by Mary Hendra on March 16, 2018

We were proud to be part of two sessions at the California Association of Teachers of English conference March 9-11. Thanks to all who joined us, and for those who could not come in person, here’s a taste of what we shared.

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Topics: Memoir, Literature

The Breadwinner: Using Facing History to Extend the Film Discussions

Posted by Mary Hendra on October 30, 2017

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis has inspired a beautifully-animated film soon-to-be released to theaters. Both highlight a role in the world today not often discussed: children of war who must take on the role of provider or "breadwinner" for themselves and/or their family. This role is further complicated in the setting of Afghanistan, where tightly-controlled gender expectations limit what women or girls can do.

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Literature Series for Educators

Posted by Mary Hendra on October 28, 2017

Is literature one of your entry points for talking about challenging issues in the world today? Join Facing History and other educators for a unique event series which bridges literature and non-fiction to open new discussions on critical current issues.

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Topics: Literature

Hope Through Despair

Posted by Mary Hendra on August 18, 2017

On social media and in previous posts on this blog, a number of teachers have identified a video, "The Legacies of Reconstruction" as providing a helpful voice this week. In addition to the opportunity to explore the history that is relevant for understanding today's world, there is a message of hope. For those not as familiar with the history of Reconstruction or this video in particular, we wanted to share an excerpt. We hope it is encouragement through tough conversations, whether at school or in our communities.

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Topics: Reconstruction, current events, hope

More Teachers Share Their First Days

Posted by Mary Hendra on August 18, 2017

 

Earlier this week, we shared how three teachers interwove setting up their classes during the first days of school with creating space to grapple with current events. (Click here for that initial post.) We've continued to hear from teachers, including one who said poignantly, “basically, we need to teach Reconstruction as thoroughly/often as we teach the Bill of Rights, the writing of the Constitution."

Here are two more examples, one for a student classroom and one for bringing adults into conversation before they create discussion spaces with young people.

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Topics: Back-To-School, current events

3 Teachers Share their First Days Back to School

Posted by Mary Hendra on August 16, 2017

When significant current events occur right as students come back to school, teachers' jobs get even trickier.  Any first days back include getting to know students' names, setting up class structures, and laying a foundation for the community and learning that will happen all year long.  Add on top of that an immediate need to address heightened emotional levels and critical understanding of complicated events, and it can feel overwhelming.

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Topics: Back-To-School, current events

Giving Space for Student Voices, Questions, and Dialogue

Posted by Mary Hendra on August 15, 2017

This week, many schools in the Southern California area are welcoming students back for the school year. So, the news from Charlottesville this weekend, the imagery and violence which students may have seen, will likely be weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of educators. It is weighing on our hearts and minds as well.

What happens when you give space over to questions and dialogue? How do you make sure that space is constructive for learning, and one in which multiple perspectives can be heard and understood?

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Topics: Classrooms, Back-To-School, Events

Welcome to Learn+Teach+Share

This blog helps Southern California teachers connect directly with each other, share ideas, and learn about new resources and opportunities for those interested in or already implementing Facing History.

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