Facing History From Day One: An Interview with New Haven Academy

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on September 30, 2021

I recently had an opportunity to sit down with Greg Baldwin and Meredith Gavrin, the husband-wife team who co-founded the Connecticut school New Haven Academy in 2003. 

Recently profiled in The Wall Street Journal as an excellent example of purpose-driven schools, New Haven Academy is a highly innovative public high school that serves a diverse student population in a state where disrupting school segregation has remained a challenge into the 21st century. 

In this interview, Baldwin and Gavrin discuss their path to founding the school, the challenges they faced, and the vital role that Facing History’s targeted support, professional development, and classroom resources have played in shaping their distinctive school culture, curriculum, and pedagogy since their inception.

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Topics: Social and Emotional Learning, Explorations, Whole School Work

What is Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on July 28, 2020

Amid the traumas and upheavals sweeping our communities over the last many months, education leaders everywhere have been urging schools to center social-emotional learning (SEL) this fall. Whether one’s coursework will be conducted online, in person, or through a hybrid format, SEL is a foundation of effective teaching in the best of times and a vital lifeline in times of difficulty. In these times, it is crucial that educators come equipped with an educational plan that begins with nurturing adolescents’ sense of community and connection at school. And it is also crucial that educators come prepared to acknowledge the diverse array of experiences that community members are bringing back into the classroom. The demands of teaching don’t always allow educators to take a deep dive into the how’s and why’s of SEL but there’s never been a better time to do so. Here’s what educators need to know about this essential framework this year.

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Topics: Back-To-School, SEL, Social and Emotional Learning

Facing History and Finding Destiny in the South Bronx

Posted by Gregory Jones on February 8, 2019


New York State's Teacher of the Year, high school history teacher Alhassan Susso, wants us to let go: “If we hold on to our history, we do it at the expense of our destiny.”

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Topics: Teaching, Social and Emotional Learning

Why Our Kids Need Social Emotional Learning

Posted by Jennifer and Peter Buffett on October 17, 2017

These are deeply troubling times. Every day, the rights of marginalized people face renewed attack. Hate crimes have surged. Our national dialogue continues to spiral further into destructive narratives of us vs. them.

Many of us are struggling to process these assaults on our values; to stand up for our friends and neighbors; to lift up the compassion, empathy, and care that bind us together. But while recent events have been difficult to understand for adults, they are even more difficult to explain to our children.  

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Topics: Social and Emotional Learning

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.


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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