Laura Tavares

Laura Tavares is a Senior Program Associate at Facing History and Ourselves, where she consults with schools, leads professional development seminars for teachers, and develops resources for classrooms around the world. Before joining Facing History, Laura spent several years teaching humanities in independent schools.

Recent Posts

Asking Big Questions with the 2017 Student Essay Contest

Posted by Laura Tavares on February 6, 2017

I came to the teaching profession with big ambitions. Like many readers of this blog, I imagine, I’ve always loved learning, and I enjoy the effervescent and unpredictable company of kids. As a first-generation college graduate, I know firsthand how education can transform an individual’s life. But I also entered the classroom with the conviction that schools have a communal and civic purpose, too—that they are the root and heart of democratic societies.

Read More

Topics: Contests, Student Voices, Writing, Holocaust

3 Ways to Address the Latest News on Immigration With Your Students

Posted by Laura Tavares on January 30, 2017

This week, President Donald Trump announced several measures to limit immigration to the United States. His administration shared plans to build a wall on the Mexican border and to more aggressively deport undocumented immigrants. He also announced an order barring Syrians and other refugees from entering the country and suspended immigration from seven primarily Muslim nations.

Read More

Topics: Immigration, Universe of Obligation, Refugees, In the news

Standing Up to Hate

Posted by Laura Tavares on December 1, 2016

 

In the days following the presidential election on November 8, incidents of slurs, threats, and harassment—racist, anti-immigrant, antisemitic, homophobic, and sexist in nature—have spiked across the United States. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate crimes, received more than 700 such reports as of November 18.  

Read More

Topics: Choosing to Participate, voting, difficult conversations

Understanding Mockingbird and Watchman in Today’s World

Posted by Laura Tavares on January 7, 2016

In January and February, Barnes & Noble Booksellers is partnering with Facing History and Ourselves to promote our resources for teaching To Kill A Mockingbird to educators across the United States. Facing History’s Senior Program Associate, Laura Tavares, reflects on why Mockingbird is more relevant today than at any time since it’s original publication at the dawn of the American Civil Rights Era.

Six months ago, Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman revealed a different side of the beloved Atticus Finch. Lovers of Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, were left confused as he is rendered a segregationist who clashes with his daughter over his racist beliefs. My colleagues and I saw this as an opportunity to explore Mockingbird even further. Since the book’s release, we immersed ourselves in this text to develop resources that can inform the way you read and teach Mockingbird in your classroom. 

Read More

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman, Reading, Racism

Why A More Complicated Atticus Could Be A New Learning Opportunity

Posted by Laura Tavares on July 15, 2015

Like so many literature lovers, I’d been eagerly anticipating yesterday's release of Go Set a Watchman. For nearly two years, I’ve been thinking about the world of Maycomb as I worked with colleagues to create Facing History and Ourselves’ resource Teaching Mockingbird. I couldn’t wait to read Watchman, which has been described as a first draft or “parent” of To Kill a Mockingbird, to learn more about how Harper Lee first imagined beloved characters like Atticus, Scout, and Jem, and to see how she depicts Maycomb in the 1950s.

Read More

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, Reconstruction, News, History, Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

WELCOME

Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all