The William Friday Teacher Education Initiative
“I am on my 31st year. Naturally retirement is on my mind. This experience has reminded me why I became a teacher and why I continue to teach.Thank you for reminding me what my life’s calling has been and will continue to be.” ~2017 Carolina Voices participant, Lenoir County
In 2016, Carolina K-12 began a partnership with the North Caroliniana Society, a private nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of increased knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina’s heritage. Committed to supporting our state’s K-12 teachers, the Society developed the William Friday Teacher Education Initiative, with the goal of equally educating and appreciating our state’s hard working educators through free, quality professional development events and resources. Aspects of this initiative include:
Carolina Voices: The William Friday Virtual Education Series
Understanding that educators still need access to quality continuing education in North Carolina history, even during the time of COVID-19, the North Caroliniana Society and Carolina K-12 launched a virtual education series in the fall of 2020. These 1-2 hour online events elevate aspects of North Carolina’s history, people, events, culture, and more, while featuring prominent scholars, artists, authors, educators, and other professionals. To learn more, view recordings of past offerings, and access accompanying resources, click here. For information on future programs, visit Upcoming Educator Events.
Annual William Friday Teacher Retreats
This unique three-day event explores the diverse tapestry, distinctive people & events, and rich cultures of North Carolina. From learning about the ways enslaved people resisted oppression and sought freedom throughout the state, to exploring the dramatic history of textile mills and labor strikes in rural North Carolina towns, to learning how the state’s unique dialects tell the story of our varied histories, teachers enjoy an intellectual tour of North Carolina’s most captivating events and people through presentations by top scholars, authors, performers, and more.
A flagship retreat is held annually on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, with additional events held in other special locations around the state. Teachers are provided with beautiful single-occupancy accommodations, delicious meals, engaging extra-curricular activities to provide a flavor of the locale selected, and other special surprises to ensure teachers enjoy the high quality, scholarly, and rejuvenating retreat atmosphere they deserve.
To date, eight Friday Retreats have served 257 teachers representing 77 counties. These teachers will reach a minimum of 35,980 students across the state each school year due to the support of the North Caroliniana Society.
Additional information and registration instructions for future Retreats will be posted on our Upcoming Trainings page.
ANCHOR (A North Carolina History Online Resource) covers North Carolina history, from the arrival of the first people some 12,000 years ago to the 21st century, and is meant to serve as a free, quality online resource for primary sources, historical content, lesson plans, etc., all to support North Carolina’s teachers and students. It is sustained by the North Caroliniana Society in their support both of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to maintain updated text, and of Carolina K-12 to provide accompanying curriculum materials.
The Society also supports various special projects that they believe can further impact and support our state’s incredible educators. For instance, as UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries works to complete and make available an inventory of Jim Crow laws in North Carolina in its project On the Books: Jim Crow and Algorithms of Resistance, the North Caroliniana Soceity is also supporting the project by engaging Carolina K-12 to work with the project team and tailor a section of the website specifically for middle and high school teachers. Educators will be empowered to utilize On the Books responsibly as they teach their students an accurate history of Jim Crow laws via lesson plans and pedagogical resources for teaching about difficult history in effective ways.
Special events are also commonly provided by the Society, in addition to the William Friday Teacher Retreats. In summer of 2021, for instance, the Society has commissioned Carolina K-12 to host a three-day event at UNC-W’s Watson School of Education that focuses on the 1898 coup in Wilmington, NC.
To learn more about the North Caroliniana Society, visit their website by clicking here. To learn about upcoming William Friday Teacher Education Initiatives, visit our Upcoming Trainings page or contact Christie Norris at firstname.lastname@example.org.