LOC- Teaching with Primary Sources

Are you ready, teachers?  

I will say the often-dreaded beginning of school years words – “Professional Development.” Yes, I know the purpose is to improve my instructional techniques and deepen my content knowledge as a teacher so I can help my students achieve more. Yet, those two words have either jettisoned my passion for learning into the abyss or elevated it to new heights where I can’t wait to get into the classroom and try new ideas. 

The difference between mediocre and extraordinary professional development often centers on a few essential questions.  

  • What pivotal role is the content going to hold in my teaching?  
  • Will it enrich learning in my students and help them become active, inquisitive, and thoughtful students? 
  • Will the learning be historically accurate?  
  • What will it cost me financially because, let’s be honest, costs matter and factor into decision making?  

Lastly, who is doing the teaching?  

Is it someone who hasn’t been in a classroom in years, or is it an experienced teacher who knows what educators are facing today in their classrooms? For these reasons, I am excited to promote NCCE’s amazing FREE professional learning offering, the Crossroads of History project, which is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Western Region Program, coordinated by the Metropolitan State University of Denver. This professional development is available for PreK-12 educators and community leaders in groups that influence children in our communities, such as: 

  • Faith-based groups 
  • Boys and Girls clubs 
  • After-school programs 
  • Adult education programs 
  • Pre-service teacher programs 
  • Local libraries 

You will use primary sources, social studies, and social justice standards to develop a lesson plan that examines a specific time period or events that impacted that community and how it relates to current events.  

[bctt tweet=”I know from experience that student and adult learning is amplified when using digital artifacts of the past. Participating in this project will make that happen for you.” username=”mrs_hembree”]

Julie Hembree, M.Ed. Teacher-Librarian NCCE PLS 

When asked about the value of the Library of Congress Crossroads of History project, participant Jim   Ekrut said: 

“Growing up in San Antonio during the era of my focused study, I was both surprised and impressed by how my community was strategically involved in the struggle for adequate education funding across marginalized populations. My own neighborhood was transitioning demographically to Latino, but I had no frame of reference to compare our resources with those from other areas,” stated Ekrut. 

Jim noted in his case study, Does Funding for Education Matter, that one Latino family from a nearby school district pursued school financing over decades all the way to the Supreme Court twice(!), and joined by other community support, were finally successful in forcing his state to reevaluate and restructure education financing. 

[bctt tweet=”I learned a great deal {by taking the NCCE Library of Congress Crossroads of History Program}, and having access to primary resources was invaluable. I highly recommend taking advantage of this enriching educational opportunity for yourself and ultimately for your students.” username=”edtechjim”]

This course has been written and developed by experienced teachers like Jim who understand what educators need and want in quality professional development. Even better? You don’t have to leave home to learn!  

We have designed the sessions using best practices in synchronous and asynchronous learning, work time, guidance, and reflection. Crossroads of History is a completely virtual professional learning experience for educators.  

The culmination of the Crossroads of History project is the creation of an activity plan to put into practice and share with other educators. Plus, you get more! Do you need university credit or Washington State Clock hours? Project participants who successfully complete the course activities and submit their lesson plan according to the course requirements will be eligible for university credit or clock hours.  

You’re beginning a new year with a new group of students. It’s the perfect time to choose quality professional development. Join our Crossroads of History Project, develop historical inquiry lessons, and inspire informed actions that give voice to marginalized students in your community. More information along with registration can be found here: Teaching with Primary Sources: Crossroads of History – NCCE

Attending TechFest? Join NCCE’s Director of E-Learning, Dr. Michael Higley as he presents on this amazing project!

Dr HigleyOctober 13, 2022
TITLE: Crossroads of History
TIME: 11:15 am to NOON
Use NCCE’s Crossroads of History Project to implement powerful lessons on social justice and civil rights issues. Free professional development for Teaching with Primary Sources (Eligible for WA State Credit)


Guest Blog written by Julie Hembree

Julie Hembree

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