Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

Have we mentioned lately how much we think you guys ROCK? Being buried in the day to day trenches of your classroom – dealing with all sorts of personalities and happenings that most folks would barely believe – it can be easy to get REAL TIRED. At the end of a long day, when “that one student” (or that one parent!) has been at it again, or there’s yet another faculty meeting to schlep to, it can be hard to remember that YOU MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE every single day. So, from the deepest parts of our educator-loving hearts, Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! And THANK YOU, for more than we could possibly list here (and besides, you are likely too busy to read it anyway.)

And while we can’t give you the 53% raise you totally deserve, we do remain committed to providing free, practical and high-quality professional development and resources for North Carolina’s true super heroes. Please take a look at our current opportunities and we hope to see you there so that we can echo this sincere thanks in person.

Featured Curriculum 

Doing Democracy: Civic Education and Engagement at the Public Library

If the 2016 election cycle taught us anything, it is that our country is deeply divided. From politicians on all sides at all levels refusing to cooperate, to the day-to-day divisive arguments on social media, many have grown disillusioned and are left with the powerless feeling that our democracy is broken. Where better to reengage in the important work of practicing democracy and civic engagement than at the public library?

Elementary Lesson Plans

Middle & High School Lesson Plans

This program is a collaboration of the Chapel Hill Public Library and Carolina K-12 at UNC-Chapel Hill, with assistance from Engaging Local Government Leaders. Funding is provided by the NC City & County Managers AssociationThis program is also made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-17-0034-17).

More free lessons and PowerPoints are available in our Database of K-12 Lessons.

Upcoming Workshops

Exploring Local Voices of Slavery and Freedom
Saturday, June 16, 2018 | Hillsborough, NC

Space is limited to 30 teachers – register HERE today!

“Slavery is hard history. It is hard to comprehend the inhumanity that defined it. It is hard to discuss the violence that sustained it. It is hard to teach the ideology of white supremacy that justified it. And it is hard to learn about those who abided it…But the saga of slavery is not exclusively a story of despair; hard history is not hopeless history. Finding the promise and possibility within this history requires us to consider the lives of the enslaved on their own terms. Trapped in an unimaginable hell, enslaved people forged unbreakable bonds with one another. Indeed, no one knew better the meaning and importance of family and community than the enslaved. They fought back too, in the field and in the house, pushing back against enslavers in ways that ranged from feigned ignorance to flight and armed rebellion. There is no greater hope to be found in American history than in African Americans’ resistance to slavery.” Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Preface to Teaching Hard History

According to Teaching Tolerance’s 2018 “Teaching Hard History” report, we are not adequately teaching or learning about the history of American slavery. And while the report acknowledges what educators all know – that this is difficult work – it also reminds us that we can find empowering “promise and possibility within this history” by considering the individual lives and voices of the enslaved, who despite great adversity, resisted in a myriad of ways. K-12 teachers are invited to join Carolina K-12 for a day in historic Hillsborough as we explore local voices of slavery and freedom on Saturday, June 16, 2018 – only two days away from the anniversary of the historic “Juneteenth.”

This special program will focus on local, North Carolina people, places and primary sources, helping teachers remind students that history happens here. Participants will learn about incredible individuals such as Elizabeth Keckly, who though enslaved for 30 years (6 of them in Hillsborough), went on to purchase her and her son’s freedom and became a celebrity dress designer for political elites such as Mary Todd Lincoln. We will explore the impact of freedom and how it was actually experienced by the people who had been enslaved throughout North Carolina until 1865. And addressing Teaching Hard History’s call for educators to “expand their repertoire of historical documents beyond the usual narratives to represent the diverse voices and experiences of enslaved persons,” we will explore and provide primary sources throughout the day that can be used in the classroom to provide students with a powerful sense of history and the complexity of the past, guiding them toward better critical thinking and analytical skills. Check out the exciting agenda here.

This dynamic day will mix discussions with scholars, pedagogical exploration on using primary sources in the classroom, tours of historic sites in Hillsborough, and in conclusion, an awe inspiring public performance* by the incredible Mary D. Williams, in which she will highlight the way in which spirituals emerged from a mix of the brutal institution of slavery, African culture and Christian influences through her powerful voice, and yours!

This event is open to any pre-service or currently practicing K-12 public, private or charter school teacher who teaches about issues of slavery in their course. Teachers must be able to participate in the entire day to register. Participating teachers will receive breakfast, lunch, and 1.0 CEUs (includes pre-readings.) Please note that funding is not available for hotel accommodations for out of town participants, but those in need of lodging recommendations can contact Carolina K-12 for nearby hotels. Space is limited to 30 teachers.

SPECIAL JUNE 9 ADD-ON FOR INTERESTED TEACHERS: Related to this teacher event, Carolina Public Humanities will be hosting a day-long seminar on Saturday, June 9 with related and more detailed academic content: “Politics, Women, and Race in Antebellum North Carolina” (9:15am-5:30pm at UNC-Chapel Hill.) While this program is designed for the general public and will be lecture-based (and does not include K-12 pedagogy), teachers who would like to participate as a pre-cursor to our June 16th teacher program in Hillsborough may do so for FREE (a $140 value)! Please note on the registration form for Carolina K-12 whether you would also like to patriciate on Sat., June 9. Teachers who also participate in Politics, Women, and Race in Antebellum North Carolina will receive lunch that day and an additional 1.0 CEUs (includes pre-readings.)

Registration Process: If your application is accepted, Paul Bonnici will contact you to request a credit card number to hold your space. YOUR CARD WILL NOT BE CHARGED to participate in this free event (either June 9 and/or June 16) as long as you participate or provide notice of cancellation by June 8, 2018. Failure to attend or cancel your participation, which results in food waste and prevents other teachers from attending, will result in a $50 cancellation fee applied to your card. This charge is ONLY applied for a registrant who does not cancel their registration. We take your privacy very seriously; all credit card information is kept in a locked safe and then shredded after the training date. If you have any questions, contact Paul Bonnici at bonnici@unc.edu or 919.962.1544.

Space is limited to 30 teachers – register HERE today!

(Please note that funding is not available for hotel accommodations for this event.)

*Feel free to invite your family, friends and colleagues to join us for the public performance by Mary D. Williams, “From Slavery to Freedom,” to be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church from 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM on Saturday, June 16, 2018. St. Matthew’s is located at 210 St Mary’s Rd, Hillsborough, 27278; parking is available in the church’s lot. Mrs. Williams’s CD, “Blood Done Sign My Name,” will be available for purchase for $10.

Opportunities for Teachers from Carolina Public Humanities 

Enter for a Chance to Win a Free Great Books Reading Group

Great Books Reading Groups feature a robust discussion of classic books, old and new, led by UNC faculty member. Carolina Public Humanities would like to invite four lucky K-12 teachers (2 for each reading group) to attend one of the summer groups, either Chinua Achebe’s, “Things Fall Apart” or Ernest Hemingway’s, “The Old Man & the Sea.”

To be eligible for a chance to win one of the free seats, please complete this form by Friday, May 18 at 11:59PM. We will draw applicants names out of a hat to fill the seats on Monday, May 21st and winners will be notified the same day.

Please note that you will not receive a copy of the book and will need to supply your own version. All Great Books Reading Groups take place at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill from 10am-12pm on the dates listed.

For more information about Great Books Reading groups, visit the Carolina Public Humanities site.

Complete this Entry Form for a Chance to Win!

If you have any questions, please contact Paul Bonnici at bonnici@unc.edu

Attend an Adventures in Ideas Seminar this Summer and Receive a $75 Stipend!

Carolina K-12’s parent program, Carolina Public Humanities, loves educators as much as we do. To prove it, they offer a 50% tuition discount, 1.0 CEU credits, AND a $75 stipend for attending one of their Adventures in Ideas weekend seminars. Although these events don’t offer pedagogical training, they’re a great way to expand your content knowledge while listening to some of UNC-Chapel Hill’s best professors.  Here’s a list of this semester’s Adventures in Ideas seminars:

Visit register.humanities.unc.edu to sign up or call us at 919.962.1544. 

Please note that this offer does not apply to Dialogues seminars and only one $75 stipend can be claimed per semester. Stipends are provided by the Daisy Edmister Teacher Support Fund.

Opportunities from Our Friends

Outstanding Teacher of North Carolina History Award

The Historical Society of North Carolina recognizes outstanding teaching of North Carolina state history with an annual award. Each recipient will be awarded $150 and a plaque and will be recognized at the fall meeting of the society.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the award, a teacher must make a practice of integrating the teaching of North Carolina’s history into his or her curriculum. Teachers of all grade levels from any public, charter or private school in the state are eligible.

Development and use of creative teaching methods that interest students in North Carolina’s history and help them understand the state’s role in national and world history. Examples could include:

  • Innovative use of primary sources that include North Carolina sources;
    Integrated communication technology in history research and classroom learning directing students to North Carolina sources;
  • Teaching methods which link history to students’ broader interests (e.g., using interdisciplinary approaches to historical topics or by developing projects which link history to current events, debates, and issues within the state);
  • The use of teaching methods which build a range of skills in students as they study history; or
  • Use of role-playing or oral debates incorporating a North Carolina perspective.

Exemplary commitment to helping students develop their interest in history and recognize their achievements. Examples could include:

  • Assistance in helping students showcase their history projects within the community and/or publish their material;
  • Overall commitment to the intellectual development of individual students; or
  • Encouragement of students to use their understanding of history to become engaged, informed citizens in their community and beyond.

Nomination Procedures

1. Teachers may self-nominate for the award or may be nominated by other teachers, administrators, or a member of the society. However, all nominations will require a written testimony from the nominee.

2. Nominations and all supporting materials should be submitted electronically via this form.

3. A complete nomination packet should include:

  • The completed form with contact information
  • A current resume of the nominee
    A testimonial submitted by the nominee describing the impact of the teaching of state history on a class or an individual student. This testimonial should address aspects such as the teacher’s role and the immediate and long term impact on the student(s)’ understanding or appreciation of the state’s history.
  • A minimum of two (2) letters of recommendation in support of the nomination. The letters should address the criteria provided above and be written by those who know the nominee well and can give specific examples of excellence in history teaching.
    A committee from the Historical Society of North Carolina as appointed by the president will decide the recipient. After the first year the recipient will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee.

Nominations are due by August 20th each year. Click here to submit a nomination.

Guns and School Safety: What’s the Best Way Forward? from the Constitutional Rights Foundation

The February 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was the 9th largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. In the wake of this traumatic event and the large-scale protest by many students and their supporters, national debate has erupted over how to prevent future mass shootings at schools.

In this new classroom lesson, students read a balanced article on the background to the current crisis posed by mass shootings at schools, as well as proposed solutions from across the political spectrum. Next, students participate in a simulation activity in which they act as state legislators trying to design the most effective policy for reduction of gun-violence in their state. (Grades 9-12)

Download the lesson: Guns and School Safety: What Is the Best Way Forward?  


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