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In Their Own Words: A Summer of Learning for Teachers at the Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institutes

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The following is a guest post by Michael Apfeldorf, a member of the Library’s education team.

Summer Teacher Institute Participants
Summer Teacher Institute Participants

Last year, more than 100 educators attended one of the five Summer Teacher Institutes at the Library of Congress, where they spent an intensive week immersing themselves in primary sources and exploring how to use them in their classrooms. At the end of each week, we asked the participants to write a note to those who would be attending the next session.

Read a few of the things that teachers wrote last year about what to expect from the experience and consider applying to attend a 2016 Summer Teacher Institute yourself!

“You are going to LOVE this institute so much you won’t want it to end.”

“You’ll learn how to find the perfect primary sources for your classes…and you’ll be amazed by how much the Library has to offer no matter what grade/subject you work with.”

“You will see outstanding modeling of great practices, including the Making Thinking Visible work and Sam Wineburg’s work using historical sources. It is a hands-on week, though you get plenty of time to collaborate with other participants and reflect on your own. Each activity is carefully crafted and tons of thought has been put into the construction of the course.”

“You should expect to make great networking connections with amazingly talented educators from around the U.S.”

“There is something great about spending a week in a room with people who love what they do as much as you do! Be prepared to leave here as an educator instead of a teacher, ready to bring so much back to your students.”

“You’ll encounter new things and old things, and you should make use of them both! The new things – new techniques, new perspectives – grab ‘em and take ‘em. The old things – old texts, old architecture – do not grab them, but take lots of photos! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!”

“There are so many amazing staff members here wanting to be asked for help! Meet them, ask questions.”

“This will be a chance for you to really feel respected as a teacher.”

“Even if you think you have a lot of knowledge on primary sources, you will be amazed at what else you can do and how you can tweak what you already do.”

“This week is a great way to get re-energized for the next school year.”

“You should expect to experience the best professional development you have ever attended. You will learn a lot!”

Go here to learn more and apply for the 2016 Summer Teacher Institute. Applications are due February 29.

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