Connect and Engage: Making History

To teach happiness, be happy. Teachers, in particular, need support to be passionate and content in a challenging profession. The Center for Courage and Renewal's "Courage to Teach" supports this belief with essays, articles, and a retreat program.
snapshot of January 2009 Newsletter

Great Resources for Teaching

from the January 2009 YES! Education Connection Newsletter

Read the newsletter: Happy Teachers, Happy Students?

You can’t just teach happiness. Your own happiness influences your students’ contentment, and Courage to Teach supports this belief with essays, articles, and a retreat program. We also offer resources to commemorate and deepen understanding of the inauguration of President Barack Obama and Women’s History Month.

:: Beyond the Inauguration
:: Women's History Month
:: Courage to Teach


Teaching Tolerance logo
Cover of the Spring issue of Teaching Tolerance Magazine, illustration by Ana Juan
Cover of the Spring 09 issue of Teaching Tolerance Magazine, illustration by Ana Juan

Beyond the Inauguration

SEE WEBSITE :: Teaching Tolerance

Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, once again provides teachers with brilliant materials, this time to illuminate the magnitude of electing the country’s first African American president, Barack Obama.

We have selected three lesson plans that will promote greater comprehension of the inauguration itself, how this milestone was reached, and how the struggle for racial justice continues. Teaching Tolerance is the recipient of Oscar and Emmy awards for its education publications and is dedicated to reducing prejudice and providing equitable school experiences for our nation’s children.

See the lesson plans: What Makes a Civil Rights Leader? :: Racial Disparities Jigsaw Unit :: Inaugural Prayers in History

Also check out the Presidential Inauguration Council’s lesson plans for grades 6-12 (adapted for K-5), co-authored by NEA (National Education Association) and AFT (American Federation of Teachers).
Click here to download the lesson plans (pdf) Two Presidents from Illinois :: The Inaugural Address of Barack Obama



Smithsonian logo
Women’s History Month with the Smithsonian

Women’s History Month with the Smithsonian

SEE WEBSITE :: Smithsonian

Each year, the Smithsonian honors and celebrates Women’s History Month with a host of activities and resources. From portraits of 70 influential American women to profiles of women in aviation and space, to exploring the accomplishments of inventors and artists, the Smithsonian’s Center for Education and Museum Studies brings the world’s largest museum and its treasures to your classroom.

See Women’s History Month resources here, and related resources about women here.



Center for Courage and Renewal logo
Circle of Trust retreat, photo courtesy Cernter for Courage and Renewal

Courage to Teach

SEE WEBSITE :: Center for Courage and Renewal

You are in a profession that asks much of you, and unfortunately, it and the outside world don’t provide enough to sustain your teaching, energy, and passion. Teaching is hard work.

The Center for Courage and Renewal was established to help people in the serving professions renew their vocational vitality. It offers programs to help teachers, physicians, clergy, and others “rejoin soul and role,” renewing their passion for their work, reclaiming its basic values, and deepening their service to others. See if there is a retreat program available near you. Also, check out the website’s essays and articles, and books, writings, and speeches by founder and author Parker Palmer.

See resources here.

For more on teacher happiness, take a look at London-based Infed, a small group of educators with big ideas. Infed’s accessible education encyclopedia of key ideas, thinkers, and practices is a treasure for those who want to explore the theory and practice of “informal education, lifelong learning, and social action.” An article on happiness and education declares: "Clearly, if children are to be happy in schools, their teachers should also be happy."

Click here to read more.


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