As I look at the calendar at the
short endless stretch of cold gray days ahead, I catch myself wishing I was back in sunny and warm South Florida enjoying the Orange Bowl in Miami and doing my 5 mile beach walk each day looking for seaglass as I was over winter break. Did I mention warm??
|Wisconsin marching band during pregame.
|Hard Rock Stadium
Sometimes there are some fun shapes of glass
as evidenced by the heart shaped piece at the bottom of the picture. Students know this is my hobby and have given me pieces from coast to coast and other countries.
By the way, did you know seaglassing can provide hours of free calming therapy? I know it will be awhile before I can do that again BUT, I can plan ahead for a tuition free, stipend-based funtabulous summer workshop with locations from coast to coast!
You do not want to miss out on this! The National Endowment for the Humanities has this summer’s workshops now listed and available to apply for! Each year, NEH offers tuition-free opportunities for school educators to study a variety of humanities topics. Stipends of $1,200-$3,300 help cover expenses for these one- to four-week programs. NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities for School Teachers use historic sites to address central themes and issues in American history, government, literature, art, music, and related subjects in the humanities. Take a peek at the website below, keeping in mind the application deadline is March 1st.
I have experienced this amazing opportunity two different summers by participating in two different weeklong workshops. Each was packed full of historical sites and learning from experts! If you are someone who loves history and learning new things about other parts of the country, this is definitely for you! Any K-12 specialist or classroom teacher may apply.
I became interested in NEH after hearing about it through one of my district colleagues who has participated in several. Here’s what she has to say about the NEH program.
I have participated in many NEH workshops and seminars throughout the country. Each NEH program has been outstanding. The programs are well designed, providing a balance of visits to historic sites and presentations from expert professors. You have unique experiences that you couldn’t have on a personal vacation, like a hard-hat tour of the stabilized but not yet preserved hospital on Ellis Island and conducting research using Winston Churchill’s actual papers from World War II. In addition, it is great to spend time with other dedicated teachers from around the country. I encourage all teachers to apply. First-time applicants are given priority. In the past, it was beneficial to be a teacher from the Midwest because fewer teachers from our region apply. NEH programs are looking for diversity, including elementary school teachers, who apply less frequently.
Wausau West H.S., WI
During each workshop I met teachers I have kept in contact with…even exchanging pen pal letters between our students.
I have found that the NEH Landmarks Workshops provide me with background knowledge and experiences that make my instruction have more impact. Through learning from experts on specific topics and participating in the “lived” experiences of places where the workshops are held, I have gained professional development unlike anything I have ever experienced.
Dr. Rose Bulau, NBCT
4/5th grade looping specialist, GA
At NEH workshops and seminars, I get to recharge my soul in anticipation of the new school year. Studying and learning and having fun with colleagues from around the country reignites my passion that originally drew me to education.
High School English, OR
Philadelphia was the site of my first workshop in 2015 and it was Ah-May-Zing! Our group was given a special tour of Independence Hall bell tower. You know…where Nicholas Cage filmed National Treasure? I really got a feel for how old the building was when I walked the same stairway that was there in the 1700’s! The National Constitution Center was an incredible place as well as all of Ben Franklin’s sites, and of course the Liberty Bell!
Staircase from the 1700’s leading to the Bell Tower
Ben Franklin and I posing in the Constitution Center (2015)
Philly Cheesesteak!! A yummy cultural experience!
My second workshop took place in 2017 in Eatonville, Florida, the first entirely African American city to be established in 1887 after being settled by former slaves two decades after the Civil War ended. It was hometown to not only GreenBay Packer player Ha Ha Clinton Dix, but Zora Neale Hurston who is considered one of the best writers of Twentieth-century African-American literature. It was her literature and folk tales that I studied during this workshop and her formative years in Eatonville that influenced her writing. As a result of this workshop literature study, I developed a lesson plan based on using hyperbole that fits perfectly into my Tall Tale study for 4th graders.
|Among many of her great pieces of literature,
this novel is one of Zora’s most well known books.
I definitely recommend this as a good read for yourself.
Our Zora group with the fabulous Zora
impersonator front row second from the left.
Boat tour at Rollins College, Winter Park, FL
where Zora taught for awhile.
Zora spent her final decade in Fort Pierce, FL.
We all became ZoraHeads that week!
If you are anything like me, I want to know exactly what I’m getting into before I commit to something such as this. Here are some basics you can expect from any of the workshops. You will be with approximately 35 other educators from across the U.S. and you will take part in workshops from authors and those who specialize on the theme of the workshop. Tours also link to the theme.
You will be sent a list of readings prior to the workshop to help you get versed in the topic. Some of them will be sent electronically and others can be purchased secondhand via Amazon. Do as much as your time allows, but I found the more reading I did, the better understanding I had during the presentations. Walking to see the sites, getting to know other educators from across the country, and learning about a new area are all part of the experience. Most of the workshops ask you to create a lesson plan based on what you learned, to share with others, and use in your classroom.
Hopefully by now you are ready to check out the website. But if you still need another reason, a great plus about going on an NEH adventure is that you can use it in the following ways to support your Effective Educator plan for those that teach in Wisconsin:
Domain 1-Through the creating of a lesson plan based on new learning.
1a Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
1c Setting Instructional Outcomes
1d Demonstrating Knowledge of Resources
1e Designing Coherent Instruction
1f Designing Student Assessments
Domain 4-Through attending and participating in a weeklong workshop with other educators from around the U.S.
4a Reflecting on Teaching
4d Participating in a Professional Community
4e Growing and Developing Professionally
4f Showing Professionalism
Here is the link to check out all the fun places to apply for:
Be sure to look over the sites, lodging, and expectations. Lodgings vary by site. They usually suggest a specific place to stay such as hotel or a dorm if the presentations are on a campus. I have done both. However, you are free to stay elsewhere and make your own arrangements. You can email specific directors with any questions and in my experience they are very good about responding.
To apply, you will need to send an updated resume and answer short essay questions. You can apply for up to two different workshops but may only accept one. You will be notified the same day from both sites either way. The stipend will help cover costs of travel, lodging, and food. Consider making it a family vacation if lodging is at a hotel (however your family will not be able to attend any of the daytime tours or evening activities with you). If my kids had been grade school age, we would have traveled to the destination as a family and my hubby would have taken the kids all over the Philly area as well as Disney in Orlando. Something to consider.
If any of you have gone on an NEH adventure, please let us know about it in the comments. And I am happy to help guide with the essay aspect or any questions you might have.
Happy summer planning!