I'm sure you've been asked the question many times, "why do you teach?" The tone of the question can reveal alot about what the questioner knows or thinks he/she knows about teaching. At Facing History workshops, we often use an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education by Alice H. Reich called "Why I Teach."
The article opens up a conversation about teachers' goals for their students, their passions, challenges and often, why they entered the profession. There are a few lines from the beginning of her article that resonate with many Facing History teachers:
"I wanted to make students active rather than passive members of their culture.
I wanted them to see that to be human is to be a creator as well as a creature
of the world. I wanted them to understand that the conditions of our own
humanity are the conditions of humanity as a whole, that we are essentially no
freer than the least free among us, that our well-being is dependent upon the
well-being of others."
And then next line is the kicker: "How does one teach that?"
Reich goes on to share she realized that of all the important ingredients that make good teaching, is that she does not teach "to" or "for" students. She teaches with students.
All of this makes me think of all the wonderful projects over the last several years Facing History has been able to support through the Margot Stern Strom Teaching Awards. The award is an opportunity for you to think about what you love about teaching. What makes you curious and sparks the curiousity in your students? What extra creativity in your classroom would you pursue if you had the resources and support?
**Brought Facing History to Russia--Santa Monica High School
**Launched a Boyle Heights community based project: Oral History, Local History, Contemporary Connections: How Europe in the 1930s Connects to Our Community in 1915 and Our City in 2012
**Created document based essay questions related to Facing History themes for each grade (great way to work with common core)
**Started a library of Facing History themed books for their school
Just to name a few.
The Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants recognize educators that are thinking outside-of-the-box to transform schools and impact student learning. Let Facing History and Ourselves help bring your ideas to life. Grants range from $500 to $3000, and winners will become part of an online community of thoughtful innovators in education that together will share resources and strategies for helping students to become active, caring citizens of the world.
Does this sound like you or an educator you know? Applications will be accepted online, either in written or in video format, beginning February 1, 2013. The final deadline for applications is March 15, 2013.
What would you do with an innovation grant? If you've already received a grant in the past, tell us how it worked. Share your ideas to inspire others!