1. I would like to attend the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute to experience a part America's story has fascinated me as a child, and I can't get enough of it today.
2. I was accepted to the 2020 CWTI, which was postponed to 2021 and then canceled. After writing extensively about the upcoming visit and preparing for the experience, I was devastated when I was notified of the cancelation.
3. As I approach retirement, I am seeking ways to continue sharing professional development opportunities with teachers - methods of interpreting material culture, primary sources, places, and art. My passion for education will continue after my retirement. I hope to work with new teachers and student teachers and help them establish patterns for teaching history and culture in their classrooms. I will even contact our local regional professional development office and pursue a relationship with them to present workshops in their facility and for districts in a four-state area.
4. This year, I was named the Missouri History Teacher of the Year through the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Through that connection, I have also been accepted as a Master Teacher with GLI, and I plan to present professional development on their behalf, as well as develop projects and lessons. A closer knowledge of Colonial Williamsburg and its neighbors will enhance my ability to share with anybody who will listen.
5. I possess an enthusiasm for creative lesson planning. I will continue to search for any chance I can find to help teachers find their niche in doing the same. I would like to assist educators to fill holes in their history programming that will be filled with the knowledge and strategies acquired at the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute. This is specifically important in the elementary setting where history specialists are few and far between.
6. Missouri's newest Social Studies standards have placed the founding era into the fourth grade for the first time, and I have since sought to nurture and satisfy my own interests in the material. My students and I spend the entire school year in the second half of the 18th century.
7. As educators in the Midwest, we have few local options for experiencing the Colonial and Revolutionary Era. To fully comprehend this pivotal era, I must explore the streets and alleys of Colonial Williamsburg, cast my gaze upon the waters at Jamestown, and transport back in time to the pivotal battle at Yorktown.
8. Students and members of the community have lost civil discourse and direction. I desperately wish to resurrect history - especially American history - in our classrooms. The same has occurred with Government and Economics at the elementary level. History education has been marginalized for far too long, and one of my goals in retirement is to advocate for its importance to our civilized society.
9. I long to meet and collaborate with dedicated educators from different regions of our nation.
10. I look forward to being in the presence of authentic objects and primary documents and to be allowed to interact with them and appreciate them in person.
11. It is difficult to imagine the hardships of the founding era by scanning photos online.
12. Speaking of photos, I want to take about a thousand of them to share with peers, students, family, and friends.
13. I am awed by history scholars who can communicate well and relate to people who are not history scholars, but who still have a rich interest in the subject.
14. Mount Vernon introduced me to the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, and I met French soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga, but at Colonial Williamsburg I will walk with regular people. Non-gentrified folks, and people from varying cultures called the area home. I need to sweat alongside those people, look into their tired eyes, and wonder at how they survived the tumultuous birth of our free nation. What a rich opportunity - to walk in the footsteps of our founders, to stand in the presence of the common person, and to envision the lifestyles of the natives and the enslaved! As I understand the sample schedule, the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute includes more than just a history of warfare, but will also focus on the typical lives of real, everyday people.
15. I am prepared to be surprised and awed by anything the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute throws at me.
16. I am already packed and eager to "get my hands dirty", and I am ready to partner with Colonial Williamsburg for this quest.
When the teacher institute at Colonial Williamsburg asked for "AT LEAST three reasons you would like to attend..." in 2019, I took that as a challenge. This year, with retirement on the horizon, I needed to change some of my reasons to reflect the new circumstances. My efforts here are to show the decision-makers at Colonial Williamsburg that I will still be able to use the experience they provide for the betterment of education.
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