Susquehanna Valley High School teacher Laura Retzlaff recently shared details of an exciting and productive visit to our nation's capital:
I had a very successful week in Washington DC as the high school David M. Rubenstien Master Teacher for Week 1 (July 10-14) of the White House History Teacher Institute. I presented 3 professional development sessions on the position of the Chief White House Official Photographer, using Social Emotional Learning Check-Ins, and the Read Everyday Write Everyday model that was developed several years ago by Jody Butts and myself when we co-taught Global II and was adapted for grades 9 and 11 in summer PD done by the social studies department.
I was also able to participate in the other professional development that was part of the program, which included sessions from the elementary and middle school Master Teachers, White House Historical Association lectures, guest lectures, and site visits to St. John's Church on Lafayette Square, Cedar Hill - Fredrick Douglas' home in Washington DC, The Blair House - the White House residence for visiting foreign heads of state and dignitaries, the Washington Monument, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial - led by a National Park Service ranger and, of course, the White House.
In the evenings I was able to attend a session of the Senate and watch several full Senate votes from the gallery, attend a book talk on General Patton and tour the main reading room at the Library of Congress, and visit the newly renovated Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space. This was an amazing opportunity and I want to thank Superintendent Natalie Brubaker and SV High School Principal Sydelle Steward for their letters of recommendation in the application process to be a participant last year and a Master Teacher this year.
I would also like to take this opportunity to put in a plug for professional organizations. Without my involvement in the New York State Council for the Social Studies and the National Council for the Social Studies I would not have known this program even exists or have the resume to be accepted. I truly believe the value and professionalism that teachers and the district gain from being a part of these organizations is well worth the cost.
I have included some photos at the White House, the Blair House, presenting at the White House Historical Association's homebase at the Decatur House, and around DC.