It’s hard to believe that the 19th Annual National Teacher Institute has come and gone. The three and a half days that we spend each summer with some of the best K-12 educators in the world are both rewarding and invigorating. This gathering of nearly 200 educators from 35 states is a heartening experience. In a time when it seems that more-and-more schools are placing less of an emphasis on history and social studies, these teachers made their way to North Carolina for the love of the game. The love of history.
As one educator put it, “Unless one is a teacher, it is impossible to really know the challenges faced each day in a classroom. It is so important educators have the opportunity to meet together and discuss ideas, motivate one another, encourage each other, share lessons that work, and have a true professional learning community.”
The event was filled with lectures, workshops, and tours of battlefields and historic sites. We also named our 2019 Teacher of the Year awardee—Richard Houston
—from Monomoy High School in Harwich, Massachusetts.
Rather than me regaling you with my thoughts, please allow me to share the thoughts of some of our dedicated teachers. One of our attendees from Minnesota shared his thoughts about the importance of history education:
“It is so refreshing to come to an event like this… I can honestly say that I will be using many things that I learned from this institute in my classroom…I also came away with new books, maps, and videos as well as contacts with other like-minded history nerds! I am so thankful that we can partner together to keep history alive for our students and never forget the sacrifices that were made for our country.”
Perhaps one of our attendees from Missouri summed up the feelings of the majority of the attendees best:
“I have never felt like royalty until this week. For the first time in my career as a history teacher, I was assured that.. I actually matter. The amount of knowledge that I brought back to my professional learning community and students is unbelievable. I’ve already told my wife, who also teaches that she is coming along in 2020!!”
I could share dozens and dozens of these statements with you. As you can see, we are making a difference in the lives of these educators. Who, in turn, will make a difference in the lives of students around the country. Thanks so much for making this possible.