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#IamCHSSP: Nancy Witt

created Jun 10, 2015 11:01 AM

 

Diane L Brooks Award recipient, curriculum coach, teacher specialist, and teacher leader, Nancy Witt, shares her history with CHSSP and some of the things she values most about her work with UCLAHGP.

Q: Please describe your connection with the Project.  When did you first get involved and what have you done?

A: I became involved with the UCLA History-Geography Project for the first time in 2005-when my school district, Glendale Unified, partnered [with UCLAGHP] and wrote a Department of Education Teaching American History Grant.  We were awarded that Grant and then another one in 2010.  I was part of both writing teams and I then served as the Curriculum Coach for the Grants.

Q: What is a favorite moment you've had in connection with the Project?

A: There were so many great moments, I would suppose a favorite moment was planning the many staff development opportunities and then visiting our teachers’ classrooms and seeing the implementation of not only the history content but also strategies for delivering the content.  I will always remember the excitement of one of our elementary teachers as she had her students complete a gallery walk on transportation-a lesson she wrote. She said she would have never thought of teaching the Westward Movement using a gallery walk before participating in our grant!

Q: If you were to recommend the History Project to a friend, what would you say?

A: I did a lot of recruiting of colleagues for our grant cohorts-I usually did not have to say too much!  Word of mouth usually brought them in!  A good example of this would be some of my teachers attended a staff development opportunity outside our district, and they sent me a selfie telling me they were so excited because this activity reminded me of the type of high quality educational experiences they used to have participating in the grant.

Q: What has the project meant to you, and what do you see as its role in the future of history education?

A: The project still means a lot to me-I check out each email to see if it is a topic and at a time I can attend.  It is a way to stay current, share strategies, and make connections with other teachers.  They provide an extremely valuable resource.  I am back in the classroom full-time and I love to hear from my teachers that they have attended some event at a museum or UCLA.  I cannot imagine teaching without the resources and instruction I have received from the Project. I used lessons from the both The Civil War (AP students) and the excellent Cold War [History Blueprint] resources for my classes this year as well!  My students were very engaged and learned a lot from those lessons-they liked them!

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

A: I cannot even begin to tell you how much Emma Hipolito and Mary Miller have meant to our teachers.  Their example was always so important and valuable to me-I still work with teachers in my district and many of the teachers who participated in the grant have now taken on leadership roles within our district as part of the shift to the Common Core State Standards.  The History Project was always our inspiration and provided us with the guidance, materials, and contact necessary to facilitate this shift. 

Nancy Witt

Teacher, Clark Magnet High School

UCLA History-Geography Project

 
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