How Facing History Helps Change the World | Facing History & Ourselves
A Facing History educator sits at a table speaking with their hand on their chin.

How Facing History Helps Change the World

Veteran Facing History educator Eran DeSilva shares her story and talks about how Facing History transformed her teaching practice and sparks community and change.

Many educators go into education because the work they do can make a positive impact on students and communities.

Every year at Back to School Night I tell parents that I started teaching because I wanted to change the world. Cheesy, I know. But it’s true. Even today after many years in the classroom I believe education is the cornerstone of change — that it empowers students and equips them with knowledge and skills and then they can go make the change you're hoping to see.

I’ve also learned that the organizations you partner with as an educator, those you look to for resources, training, and support — they have to be aligned with whatever your core values as a professional are. And since my core has always been about changing the world, I have always looked to Facing History.

When I first took the Holocaust & Human Behavior seminar, it was like looking at history in a way I had not ever thought of, in a way where it puts a person in the context of history, and then understanding historical legacy. But it was really the Race and Membership workshop that transformed my teaching. I was learning history that I never even been taught. And I'm a social studies teacher.

I’ve been turning to Facing History for over ten years now and they continue to give me tools that really help me. Their content is at the center of a lot of my lessons. It gives me rich history, hard history, and really untold stories that help my classroom discussions become better, go deeper. That allows students to engage more, and my curriculum becomes more inclusive to reach a diverse amount of students. Second, Facing History also gives me sound strategies to actually engage students in a really meaningful way. I can intellectually engage their mind, emotionally engage their heart, and then I connect the two to help them connect that with a sense of equity and justice and fairness. 

But maybe the most important thing Facing History provides for me is connection to other teachers who, like me, want to change the world. Through Facing History, I've met other teachers — both locally and from across the country — who are kindred spirits. They are really concerned about students. They truly want to change the world and they're passionate about social justice. And, because of that kinship we're able to share ideas, collaborate with each other, create new connections for our students, and inspire them to build the world they want to live in. 

Facing History has helped me break down the walls of my classroom to create a good community that can make a better tomorrow.

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