For each of my thirty years in education, I have never questioned my WHY. I have always been laser focused on realizing the aspiration that every student has access to high-quality, meaningful, engaging, life-changing educational opportunities, both in and out of the classroom. Equity in education has always been—and will always be—the single most important value that drives me and my career.
As I reflect on my WHY, I am also deeply concerned about a related, complicating challenge: our democracy—and the ideal of a truly inclusive, equitable, thriving democracy—is under threat. What gives me hope? I find hope in knowing that Facing History’s work is in direct service of the ideal of a thriving democracy. At Facing History, we believe that when students have the historical understanding, critical thinking skills, social-emotional tools, and a sense of their power as civic participants, we are best positioned to ensure our democracy will endure. And our belief is backed by research.
As an organization, recommitting to our WHY enables us to enter a new school year, full of possibility, and inspired by you and our shared goals.
And in order to serve you better, we have been hard at work. We are celebrating a busy summer of professional learning offerings, beginning the second year of a new whole school model pilot, continuing to evolve our classroom content to easier-to-use formats for our educator community, and pulling together a line-up of top-of-their-field scholars for a new speaker series called We Are Facing History. All of this—and so much more—has the express purpose of supporting you, our educators, as you head back to classrooms for another year of being there for students in a very complicated time.
We have a lot in front of us, but I have never been more confident of the importance of Facing History’s work and the partnership we have with each of you. You are, every day, on the front lines with students – listening, leading, supporting, teaching, and caring. And we hope that you know that we are here to support you, learn from you, and do our best to provide you with resources that are meeting this moment.
We are grateful for the important work you do. We know that together we can ensure that all students feel confident in a hopeful future.