A Message from Roger Brooks: Exciting New Resources for the New School Year

Roger Brooks, President and CEO of Facing History and Ourselves

Friend of Facing History,

Even after 35 years of teaching, the start of the school year remains my favorite time. I love the limitless opportunities our students will have to grow over the course of the school year.

But students are returning to school at a challenging time in our democracy. At Facing History and Ourselves, we share an unwavering commitment to values that we know you bring to the classroom – especially those values that promote reflective and safe learning experiences, anti-bigotry principles, and a student-centered learning process.   

Our students must learn the importance of civic participation, particularly vital for juniors and seniors preparing to register and vote in the upcoming 2018 and 2020 elections. You can help your students understand why they should refrain from dehumanizing and insulting others; why they should support a free and unconstrained press; and why they should avoid the challenges created by false moral equivalencies. Our classrooms should promote the inclusion of each and every student. Every voice should matter, across the full diversity of human experiences. Not least, students must become critical thinkers who can distinguish facts from misinformation.

These are dynamic times and we’re pleased to offer the new resources linked below. I hope you’ll explore new learning and teaching opportunities.

Thank you for your efforts, and best wishes for a successful school year.

Roger Brooks

President and CEO, Facing History and Ourselves

New Resources and Professional Learning Opportunities

Incorporating Current Events Into the Classroom:  We ask students to study history because it informs the present.  We encourage you to bring current events into the classroom, and are now providing new resources to help you connect current events to your curriculum with discussion strategies ensuring thoughtful conversations. Check out our new current events website, which we created after careful research with teachers like you. You’ll find tools to help navigate your way in a controversial 24/7 news cycle, as well as a form to sign up for email updates when new teaching ideas and lessons are posted.

Expanding How We Think About White Supremacy:  On September 24, Facing History will lead a webinar titled After Charlottesville: How Uncomfortable Conversations Can Overcome Hate  to discuss the aftermath of Charlottesville and the important influence tough conversations can have on fighting bigotry. Co-hosted with the American Federation of Teachers, the webinar will include Eli Saslow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist, being released in September.

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Schindler’s List:  To commemorate the anniversary of Schindler’s List, Facing History is updating its Guide to Teaching the movie, and partnering with USC Shoah to offer viewing and professional learning opportunities.  In addition, we released a new teaching tool for Holocaust and Human Behavior which offers educators 23 lessons in a digital framework for teaching the Holocaust in a way that is both engaging and emotionally appropriate for students. Check out the new resource here.

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