Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird Through a New Lens After 35 Years

Posted by Deborah Hibbitt on May 15, 2018

I have spent my whole life living in the south but often find conflict between my roots as a southerner and the complicated history of racism. As a teacher for 35 years, I’ve tried to use literature to develop empathy and understanding to combat bigotry and hatred. To Kill a Mockingbird has long been one of the novels I’ve used to attempt this.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Professional Development, Teaching Resources, workshop, race

Use These Four Guiding Principles in Difficult Conversations

Posted by Tanya Huelett on July 19, 2017

Difficult conversations are a big part of my life. For almost nine years I’ve helped educators learn and teach about atrocities and injustices in the past and present. I should have felt prepared last year when asked to facilitate a webinar on "navigating difficult conversations" for classrooms in Baltimore City Public Schools. Instead I felt overwhelmed and hesitant.  

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Topics: Webinar, Professional Development, Webinars

Power up Your Summer Learning with a Facing History Online Course

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on June 1, 2017

You love to learn. That's part of why you became a teacher—to spark that same love of learning in your students.  So this summer, in between chapters of that latest beach novel, power up your learning with an online course from Facing History.
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Topics: Professional Development

Teaching Genocide and World War II Through the Lens of East Asia

Posted by Addie Male on April 19, 2017

I have long wanted to develop and teach a unit on the Nanjing Atrocities for my students at Millennium Brooklyn High School. As a high school history teacher with an undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies, I see it as an important history that we seldom teach in the United States.

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Topics: Professional Development, Online Workshop, Genocide/Collective Violence, The Nanjing Atrocities, genocide

Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird Through a New Lens After 35 Years

Posted by Deborah Hibbitt on April 11, 2017

I have spent my whole life living in the south but often find conflict between my roots as a southerner and the complicated history of racism. As a teacher for 35 years, I’ve tried to use literature to develop empathy and understanding to combat bigotry and hatred. To Kill a Mockingbird has long been one of the novels I’ve used to attempt this.

I am always ready to learn something new so when I learned about Facing History’s workshop, “A New Approach to Teaching Mockingbird,” I was intrigued. It turns out I found deeper connections to the novel than I had ever anticipated—some that took me all the way back to my childhood in the south.  

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Professional Development, Teaching Resources, workshop, race

Breaking Off the Beaten Path to Challenge Students

Posted by Brittany Burns on January 23, 2017

I’ve spent the last 10 years teaching at Algonquin Regional High School—a large, suburban school about 35 miles outside of Boston—and I serve as the social studies department chair as well. But years ago, when I’d just finished student teaching, I wasn’t sure I was on the right path. I was struggling to find a foundation that would guide my teaching and looking for something to confirm I was headed in the right direction.

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Topics: Professional Development, Teaching Strategies, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Summer Seminar, Lesson Plan

Questions Matter

Posted by Dana Pattison on December 5, 2016

So often my best teaching comes when I don’t give any information. A well-crafted question can provide far more information than the best slideshow presentation in the world. This is something that drew me to Facing History and Ourselves one fateful summer three and a half years ago when I went to a Holocaust and Human Behavior seminar. I liked that the session I attended often raised more questions than it answered and challenged me to complicate my thinking. When offered an opportunity to join the Facing History Leadership Academy, a group of educational leaders who have an in-depth understanding of the organization’s teaching framework and resources, I jumped at the chance. I was excited to expand my ability to question.

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Topics: Professional Development, Teaching, Teachers, Holocaust and Human Behavior, workshop

Learning Across Borders at the Advanced International Seminar

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on September 26, 2016


In this increasingly globalized world, we can learn a lot from each other. That's why in July, Facing History facilitated a weeklong Advanced International Seminar hosted by North Shore Country Day School. Teachers from Northern Ireland, South Africa, England, Mexico, France, and the United States gathered in Winnetka, Illinois to discuss the issues and challenges educators struggle with and to exchange best practices. 

Karen Murphy, Facing History's international director, recently shared her experience on the Global Learning blog, hosted by Education Week and the Asia Society. Read about the eight lessons she learned from facilitating the Advanced International Seminar.

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Topics: Professional Development, International, Teachers, Europe

Connecting to Online Learning

Posted by Stacey Perlman on August 25, 2016

Summer schedules quickly fill up and before you know it, fall is here. Those workshops you planned on signing up for or those seminars you meant to attend in advance of the new school year - they might not have happened. But that's okay. Facing History and Ourselves is gearing up to offer some great professional development opportunities this fall to help educators add to their teaching toolbox, gain new perspectives, and connect with their peers about different teaching strategies. 

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Topics: Professional Development, Online Learning

Four Ways to Bring Mockingbird into the Classroom

Posted by Lindsay Gutierrez on August 17, 2016

As a high school English teacher, my goal is to produce globally aware students who see the larger context of the curricula we are studying. Texts, such as Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, are valuable lenses to educate my students about what it means to be humane, active participants in their classroom and the world. Before attending Facing History’s Teaching Mockingbird seminar, I thought about how to approach the novel in a way that would encourage my pupils to explore the complexity of human behavior and decision-making. But I was also looking to be inspired about how to most effectively end my semester-long unit on Race and Membership using the novel. Now, I have a plethora of strategies to discuss the dilemmas that develop when conscience comes into conflict with societal rules of behavior.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Professional Development

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.

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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.

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