Summer Opportunity

This summer, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History invites local educators with a passion for history and facilitating adult learning to join us for the Teach-it-Forward Institute. The program is free of cost with breakfast and lunch provided.

Participants will go behind-the-scenes, working closely with museum educators, curators, actors, librarians, and archivists to develop content knowledge, explore resources, and learn hands-on and multidisciplinary skill building activities that are immediately applicable to standards-based teaching. 

The two-day institute will take place on August 1 and 2 for elementary educators and August 3 and 4 for secondary educators. 

All educators are eligible to apply. Our last cohort included art teachers, literature teachers, media specialists, librarians, science teachers, coaches, and special education teachers.

Thank you for your interest in the Smithsonian’s Teach-it-Forward Institute. Our application cycle has closed for this year. Please check back in April 2017 when we will begin accepting applications for next year’s program. 

Image of group of Teach it Forward participants touring the Museum  

What Are Teachers Saying about It
An independent evaluation of the program—including survey responses from 1000+ teachers—found

  • 95% of the attendees said the workshops met their goals
  • 97% felt more confident in getting students excited about history
  • 98% felt more confident using objects and primary sources
  • 98% felt more energized about teaching history

Positive findings were consistent across grade levels, and included not just social studies teachers but also English, science, and art teachers, librarians, and other resource teachers.

A few comments from past participants: 

  • It was fun, engaging and well designed. It wasn’t just sit-and-get, but a mix of museum tours, drama, and lessons.
  • I’ve been able to engage in more meaningful conversations with my students about perspective and it has helped shift them from self-central ideas to a broader understanding of historic events.
  • I felt this program gave us not only resources but ideas on how to use them. In addition, we were given support and feedback to help us develop our lesson plans.
  • This was an amazing professional development. I am so invigorated to use the strategies I learned and to share them with my colleagues. It refreshed my passion for history education.
  • The opportunity to network with other teachers outside my district was highly beneficial.

Teachers in Spark!Lab

Please reach out to the National Museum of American History's Education & Outreach team with any questions: historyteachers@si.edu.