(The following was written by Stephen Wesson, Educational Resource Specialist at the Library of Congress.)
This June and July, teachers and school librarians from more than 40 states have gathered in Washington for the Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institutes. These intensive, week-long professional development sessions, which are organized by the Library’s Educational Outreach division, immerse K-12 educators in the practice of teaching with primary sources from the Library’s collections.
Primary sources like the artifacts in the Library’s collections are powerful teaching tools, and the Summer Teacher Institutes provide educators with opportunities to learn and apply strategies for integrating them into their classroom practice. In addition to hands-on activities facilitated by the Library’s Educational Outreach staff, participants consult with experts from across the Library and collaborate with their fellow educators to develop new resources for use with their own students.
This year’s Summer Teacher Institutes will run through the end of July, and applications for next year’s sessions will become available early in 2017. If you’re an educator or know an educator, watch the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog to find out more. One teacher, when asked what next year’s Institute participants should expect, said, “You should expect to experience the best professional development you have ever attended.”