Sitting here at BWI airport waiting for my flight home to Boston and thinking about the last ten days on the road with roughy forty teachers. I am both exhausted and overwhelmed by the sites I saw, but especially by the experiences I shared with these remarkable people. It was truly an honor for me to serve as the group’s historian and guide.
I am humbled by their passion and commitment to the teaching profession. Many of these teachers work under very challenging conditions that I have no context with which to understand. During our final debriefing last night I listened as teachers talked enthusiastically about the teaching resources picked up during the trip and preliminary ideas about how they hope to integrate their experiences into their classrooms.
Last night was also a sad occasion for the group. These teachers have been together for a number of years with the support of funds from Teaching American History Grant program. As many of you know, however, those funds are no longer available. Those funds created a vibrant community of teachers that encouraged one another and shared ideas. Shame on our federal government for discontinuing these funds. No doubt we’ve heard and will continue to hear from politicians moaning about how little our children know about history.
This morning the front page of the Washington Post features a story about another teacher scandal. I didn’t bother to read it. I am going to live with the experiences of the past ten day for a while longer to help push me into the new school year.
Thanks to all the teachers and staff who helped to make this #civwaroadtrip such an enjoyable experience that I will not soon forget.