Focus on Your Well-Being for You and Your Students

Posted by Zachary Herrmann on March 7, 2017

Educators often talk about “student well-being,” but we rarely define the term. We know we want more for our students than just academic achievement, but most of us struggle to articulate a vision for what that more looks like, and how to work toward it.

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Topics: Students, Teaching, Teachers, Social-Emotional Learning

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

Peeling Away Cultural Cataracts to Reveal Humanity’s Beauty

Posted by Alhassan Susso on October 12, 2016

An immigrant from West Africa, Alhassan Susso came from a long lineage of storytellers known as griots. He recently published his first memoir, The Light of Darkness - The Story of the Griots' Son, which traces his journey to America as a nearly blind teenager and the balance of becoming American while maintaining his deep African roots. On Facing Today, he shares how his own cultural perceptions - and the perceptions others had of him - helped him create a classroom of compassion, understanding, and tolerance as an American History Teacher.

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Topics: Immigration, Teaching, Race and Membership, Universe of Obligation

Facing History in an ELL Classroom

Posted by Julie Mann on March 29, 2016

 

My students are immigrants from over 40 different countries. Often, they have recently arrived to the United States, and are thrust into a new city, a new language, and a new culture. They live with caregivers they either have never met before or haven’t seen in years and live in less than ideal conditions. With this life experience, they bring a worldview that isoften wise beyond their years. Many of them know what it means to be a victim or live under an oppressive regime where they have no voice. And many are taking great risks and experience great loss.

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Topics: Teaching Strategies, Immigration, Teaching, Socratic Seminar, ELL

Broadening Teacher and Student Perspectives Through the Nanjing Atrocities

Posted by Stacey Perlman on March 14, 2016

As educators in the U.K., Victoria Mole and her colleagues, Jenna Adcock, and Katie Duce, wanted to teach their students more diverse and broad histories, such as the Nanjing Massacre in 1937. It’s an often-overlooked period of World War II when the Imperial Japanese Army forces brutally murdered hundreds of thousands of people–including both soldiers and civilians in the city of Nanjing, China.

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Topics: United Kingdom, Teaching, Twitter, The Nanjing Atrocities

Education Week Highlights Facing History: Watch How One Educator Addresses Islamophobia in the Classroom

Posted by Daniel Braunfeld on March 3, 2016

What does Facing History look like in action? Look into Calee Prindle’s classroom and you’ll see it come to life. Calee is an English Language Arts teacher and an advisor at the Facing History School (FHS) in New York City. FHS is a founding member of The Facing History Innovative Schools Network – a connected group of more than 80 schools that embrace Facing History's core themes as essential to their mission.

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Topics: Classrooms, New York, Teaching, Facing History and Ourselves, Paris

How I Faced My Identity When Teaching the Reconstruction Era

Posted by Brigid Rowlings on February 11, 2016

As an educator who has taught the Facing History Reconstruction unit several times, one thing has become clear: who we are and where we are shapes the way we teach our students about this critical period in history. I’ve heard my fellow educators grapple with some of the same questions I’ve considered. How do we approach the topic of race and racism? How can we talk about African American history with a predominantly white student body versus a predominantly African American one? Or, how can we talk about the legacy of slavery with a predominantly urban or rural student body?  

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Topics: Reconstruction, Teaching, Identity, American History, Lesson Plans, Racism

Changing Lives and Honoring the Leaders Working for Justice

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on November 4, 2015

What do Facing History and Ourselves classrooms really accomplish? Where do our students go after graduation? And how does our approach actually change their lives? We find one answer in the story of a Dominican teenager who immigrated to New York City less than a decade ago. Luis Santos—like so many youth today—fled violent rioting in the streets of the Dominican Republic after it took the life of one of his best friends. Santos found himself attending the Facing History School in Hell's Kitchen, NYC.

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Topics: Students, New York, Teaching, Facing History and Ourselves, Teachers, Bryan Stevenson

Can Empathy Be Hacked?

Posted by Elaine Guarnieri-Nunn on August 27, 2015

Recently, I drove from Facing History’s office in the East Bay to Silicon Valley to attend a youth civic hackathon. As I passed by the giant “like” sign at Facebook’s sprawling campus on One Hacker Way in Menlo Park, I found myself thinking about hacking, technology, social media status updates, and also about empathy.

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching, Schools, San Francisco Bay Area, Teachers, Empathy, STEM

Cecil the Lion, the Darfur Puppy, and Our Universe of Obligation

Posted by Wayde Grinstead on August 13, 2015

The killing of Cecil the Lion on July 1st attracted both heavy news coverage and a flurry of responses on social media. An interesting thread emerged from these responses: questions about how people can become so outraged over the death of a lion on the other side of the world, when there are larger scale, or more local, stories of individuals and groups of people suffering unspeakable violence and injustice. The underlying theme that unites many of these confrontations is “Which story about tragedy or injustice is more worthy of our attention?”

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Strategies, Choosing to Participate, Students, Facing History Resources, Teaching, News, Universe of Obligation

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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