I love teaching.
Teaching was a second career for me. Today, not many people know that I came to teaching with a bit of kicking and screaming. I'd considered it for all of about five minutes while in college, quickly discarding it as "not my thing." Instead, I decided to serve the community and make my difference by going into local government.
A few years into it, after rising through the ranks and getting a Masters in Public Administration, I decided I wanted to explore other activities again and started volunteering all over the place. One of those places was the LA Commission on Assaults Against Women. They ran a "Teen Abuse Prevention Program" for which I facilitated student discussions. You can imagine my surprise when I realized that consistently, every time I was going into a classroom to facilitate these incredibly tough conversations, I was so excited I could hardly sleep the night before. I was becoming a teacher.
Fast forward through eight wonderful years in the classroom and another eight working for Facing History and Ourselves and I still get the "first day of school" excitement as our seminars approach. We have four seminars coming up this summer, and I can't wait to set up our "classroom" - even if only for a few days - and to delve into learning with an amazing group of students: fellow educators.
Want to join us? Know an educator who might want to join us? Here's what we have going on:
HOLOCAUST AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR
Participants will investigate the complexities of human behavior, judgment, memory, and how we as individuals and members of groups can make a difference in the world today. Particularly relevant for World History, World Literature, and Biology teachers, and 10th grade interdisciplinary teams.
- Dr. Michael Berenbaum, American Jewish University, former director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC and prominent scholar on the Holocaust.
- Rita Lurie and Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, Holocaust Survivor and author of Bending Toward the Sun.
- Claudia Sobral, director of the film, "Ghosts of the Third Reich" will join us for a film screening during the week. "Ghosts of the Third Reich" documents the poignant and anguished stories of descendants of the Nazis, who confront their family's past and communicate their most profound feelings of guilt by inheritance.
ARMENIAN GENOCIDE AND INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE
Prepare for the 100-year anniversary of this event (in 2015) by spending two days exploring the history and legacies of the Armenian genocide. Recommended for 6-12th grade U.S. history, world history, English language arts, or humanities teachers.
- Dr. Richard Hovannisian, UCLA, prominent scholar on the Armenian genocide.
June 30-July 2
IDENTITY, HISTORY, AND ADOLESCENT CHOICES IN LITERATURE
This seminar will use Red Scarf Girl, The Diary of Anne Frank and The Giver, as well as other resources to examine ways to teach about adolescent choices, adolescent choices, responsibility, and the impact of history on individuals. Recommended for Language Arts and interdisciplinary teams at the middle school level.
RACE AND MEMBERSHIP IN AMERICAN HISTORY: THE EUGENICS MOVEMENT
How did ideas about race and racism become part of the American social and political fabric? This seminar will explore the ideas and practices that emerged from the ‘race science’ of the Eugenics Movement, its impact and legacies in Los Angeles historically and today. Recommended for US History, Biology, Language Arts and Government teachers and interdisciplinary teams at both 8th grade and 11th grade levels.
- Dr. George Lipsitz, UC Santa Barbara, studies social movements, urban culture, and inequality. His research has drawn extensively on Los Angeles and he will speak about the racialization of space and the unique example of Johnny Otis in crossing racial divides in Los Angeles.
- Lyn Goldfarb and Alison Sotomayor, producers of the upcoming documentary "Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race," will join us for a film screening and discussion of this new film.
More information and registration/scholarship applications are available for these and all of Facing History's seminars worldwide at: facinghistory.org/seminars.