For the Education of Its Citizens

Part of my adventures in school librarianship is participating in professional development, such as attending the Maryland Association of School Librarians annual conference,  SLJ Leadership Summit, the MCPL Diversity in Children’s Literature Symposium, and the Enoch Pratt Free Library Storytelling Conference.  I have also become involved in my local, state, and national teachers’ unions, and am proud to be a delegate at the 2017 National Education Association Annual Meeting and Representative’s Assembly in Boston, Massachusetts.   As luck would have it, the hotel my state delegation is staying at is directly across the street from the Boston Public Library, and I was able to take their Art & Architecture Tour of this beautiful (and magnificent) set of buildings that comprise their central library.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The original cornerstone of the Boston Public Library’s McKim Building was laid in 1888, and was completed in 1895. From the rose granite and the beautiful courtyard to the stunning two-dimensional murals and the mosaic vaulted ceilings, this building is a masterpiece of art – inside and out.  Restoration of the building began in 1980, and continues today – it is a must see for library lovers of all ages!

The McKim Building houses the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, one of America’s top 10 map collections.  The map center’s current exhibit is entitled Regions and Seasons – Mapping Climate through History, and the website includes a virtual tour of the map center.   Also on exhibit is  Who We Are: Boston Immigration Then and Now – a celebration of Boston’s diversity.  Boston Public Library (8)   The map center’s Walk to the Sea provides a great virtual tour of the transformation of Boston.   In addition, they offer educational programs for students, as well as professional development for teachers, and there are many tools for teachers available, too.

The addition to the central library, the Johnson Building, opened in 1972 and  houses the BPL Children’s Library , the Kirstein Business Library and Innovation Center and Boston Public Library Studio.  The bright and open design of this building is stunning, and I plan to bring back to my school library some of the wonderful ideas that I gathered there!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Huzzah for Martha Washington & 18th Century Women!

Summers are the perfect time to immerse oneself in  professional development, and I have taken full  advantage opportunities presented to me this summer.

I am grateful and thankful to have been selected a second year in a row to participate in the George Washington Summer Teacher Institute at Mount Vernon – this one with a focus on Martha Washington & 18th Century Women.

We experienced the Revolutionary Period from the women’s point-of-view, from enslaved women to Piscataway Indians to fashionable ladies to female Army soldiers.  In addition to the women themselves, we learned about their clothing, artwork, needlepoint, food preparation, farming, gardening, and music through examination of primary and secondary sources. We learned that “history is made, and the past happens”, meaning that we add our biases and past experiences when we interpret historical documents and artifacts.

As participants of the institute, we stayed in the Mount Vernon Ladies Association quarters, and were treated as if we were special guests of the Washingtons, eating most dinners in the Mount Vernon Inn, and being allowed to stroll the property early in the morning, and later in the evening.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(Want to see more pictures?  Click here)

Professors, authors, and other scholars that immersed us in outstanding 18th Century life and culture presentations included:

  • Carol Berkin (Martha Washington & Women’s History Methodology, MW & Republican Motherhood, Navtive American Women)
  • Patricia Brady (Martha Washington’s Early Life, MW & the American Revolution)
  • Cynthia Chin (The Communicative Power of Women’s Clothing in 18th Century America)
  • Amy Hudson Henderson (Gender and Material Culture)
  • Kathryn Silva (Enslaved Women in the 18th Century)
  • Jennifer Van Horn (The Coming of the Revolution)
  • Holly Mayer (Women and the American Revolution)
  • Piscataway Tribe (Matriarchal Culture)
  • Cynthia A. Kierner (Women in Contested Spaces in Revolutionary Virginia)
  • Lydia Brandt (Mount Vernon Ladies Association & the Legacy of the Washingtons)

Mount Vernon staff & other experts:

  • Jessie McCleod (Oney Judge & Oral HIstory)
  • Jackie Jecha (Teaching with Documents, Teaching with Place, Teaching with Objects, Republican Motherhood & the 21st Century)
  • Dean Norton (Strolling the Pleasure Grounds and Gardens)
  • Susan Schoelwer (Women’s Work: Needlework & Education)
  • Michelle Lee (Tour of Library)
  • Mary Thompson (Republican Motherhood & the 21st Century)
  • Lynn Price (George Washington and Women, Republican Motherhood & the 21st Century, The First, First Lady – Martha & the Presidency)
  • Deborah Colburn (Tour of Pioneer Farm)
  • Brenda Parker (Defining the Women’s Sphere)
  • Neal Millikan (George Washington’s Correspondence with Women, Republican Motherhood & the 21st Century)

Living Interpreters:

  • David and Ginger Hildebrand (Music of George and Martha Washington’s Time)
  • Darci Tucker (Loyalist women, Deborah Sampson & Teaching with Biography)
  • Brenda Parker (Enslaved Servant Caroline)

Martha Washington and the Women of the 18th Century resources

I cannot speak highly enough of this summer residential institute, and I encourage every K-12 educator with an interest in Colonial America to apply for the program.  Your experiences will far exceed your expectations!

There are many summer teacher institutes offered around the country and around the world. Some that have been recommended to me are:

Huzzah for life-long learning!

Walking with the Washingtons

 

As a  lifelong learner, I think it is important for educators to continually challenge themselves by seeking out new (and unique) learning  opportunities.

WP_20151006_16_24_01_Pro
I have just returned from a wonderful week at Mount Vernon, where I was accepted into their fabulous George Washington Teachers Institute Summer Residential Program.  In addition to being treated like guests of Mr. and Lady Washington, we participated in an exceptional week of multimodal education.

WP_20150729_10_42_34_Pro

WP_20150730_13_19_59_Pro

 

 

 

 

 

Each day had a theme:

  • Welcome to the History of the Washingtons
  • George Washington’s Early Years
  • Washington and the American Revolution
  • Washington and the Exemplary Farm
  • Setting Forth a Nation:  The Constitution and Presidency
  • Washington’s Legacy

WP_20150727_09_32_25_Pro

and the agenda was packed full of hands-on activities, lectures from early American history experts, field trips,private tours, and living historical interpretations. We were immersed in the colonial time perioFB_20150914_08_33_31_Saved_Pictured, and it was completely A-W-E-S-O-M-E (can you tell I am excited?). I mean, how cool is it to have full access to  the grounds of Mount Vernon, and sit on the mansion’s piazza with amazing educators watching the sunrise (or the moon rise) over the Potomac, speculating what the Washingtons thought about as they enjoyed the natural beauty?

 

WP_20150728_17_50_51_ProWP_20150727_18_24_19_Pro

I attended week 3, and dedicated educators from Arkansas, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Ohio were the invited guests.  Each of our trips was paid for by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association Regent from that state, and we stayed in the ladies’ quarters. One requirement of participation was that we must present the program to other educators, which I plan to do at my MCPS School Library Media Program professional day on August 19, 2015, and again at the Maryland Association of School Librarians annual conference on October 16, 2015.

WP_20150731_19_42_14_ProWhether you apply to this summer program, or one of the many others around the United States, I highly recommend taking advantage of your extended break by participating in a summer residential program!

 

 

To view pictures from the week, click here.

To view resources and my MASL presentation, click here.