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#IamCHSSP: Raymond Lopez

created Jun 10, 2015 10:00 AM

In this interview, teacher leader Raymond Lopez shares what he appreciates most about the project. Help us thank teacher leaders like Ray for their work at our 25th Anniversary celebration this November at UCLA.

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

A: I am a teacher leader with the UCLA History Geography Project. I first became involved in 2000 and was asked the following year to come back as a teacher leader when the Project ran a two-week long summer institute on the UCLA campus. Since then, I have had the opportunity to present model lessons and various teaching strategies at numerous conferences, symposiums, and workshops. My most recent work has been with the Places and Time Summer Institute held yearly in partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California where I get the opportunity to help teachers develop lessons using the Auto Club Archives.

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

A: Although I’ve experienced many wonderful moments with the Project, certainly one of my favorites was getting the opportunity to present a lesson with UCLA geographer Denis Cosgrove on war mapping in twentieth-century Los Angeles. Not only did I get to hear a preeminent scholar on a fascinating subject, I was able to piggyback on his presentation and present a complementary lesson entitled “Making Memorable Maps.”

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

A: I have recommended the program to colleagues many times with the hope that they can experience the collegial atmosphere of the institute. In addition, I tell them about the opportunity to listen to a multitude of some of the finest professors in Southern California, have the time and opportunity to experience true historical research in an archival setting, and perhaps most importantly, feel like a professional working to master one’s craft.

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

A: The program has opened up many doors to me. I have had the opportunity to meet a multitude of wonderful teachers and grow as a professional. The Project plays a key role in the future of history education by offering opportunities for teachers to expand their historical knowledge and develop quality lesson plans to engage student learning.

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

A: Just that I feel so fortunate to work with so many wonderful people each year through the [UCLA] History Geography Project. Emma Hipolito, Mary Miller, and Krystal Cheek, among others, have been instrumental in my development as a teacher, and have constantly challenged me to grow as a professional.

-            Raymond Lopez

Teacher, La Hambra High School

UCLA History-Geography Project