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On National Teacher Day, A Thank You From The National WWII Museum

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On this National Teacher Day, The National WWII Museum salutes all those teachers who work tirelessly in guiding our next generation. Education is at the heart of the Museum’s mission so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Without teachers bringing students to us, we could not have our intended impact.

Because of dedicated, hard working teachers the Museum has seen over 400,000 students come through the doors on field trips. We know that collecting permission slips, scheduling buses, and organizing students is not an easy task, yet it is one that we see hundreds of committed teachers do every year to help bring the lessons of World War II to their students.

History teachers make up the bulk of the teachers who visit us, but they are not the only ones. Math and science teachers have come through with student groups after booking STEM field trips. English teachers bring students through regularly to emphasize non-fiction works. We have had visits from art and theater classes as well.

Our recently completed essay contest received over 1,000 submissions from students across the country—because teachers made this opportunity to win scholarships available to their students. In developing the essay topic, the Museum has the easy job. Teachers play the greater role of explaining the topic and guiding students through the writing process. The winning essays show that teachers are definitely emphasizing clarity, persuasion, and tone in student writing.

On April 21, two Louisiana teachers were named Louisiana History Day Teachers of the Year for their work on behalf of students participating in National History Day in Louisiana. Carla DiStefano, a gifted teacher, and Amy Vines, an English teacher took home $500 each for their dedicated work in guiding students through a rigorous research program.

Tech-savvy teachers have responded to our Virtual Field Trips. Over 18,000 students have participated in our interactive lessons during this schoolyear. The years of work that we have put into the design and execution of these experiences would mean nothing if teachers were not willing to bring us into their classrooms and devote time to using our preparation materials with their students.

All of us at the Museum can remember a great teacher who influenced us. For many of us here, it was a history teacher who made us realize the power of studying history, of moving beyond memorization and searching for the lessons in history. We can remember the first project, or field trip, or experience that made us connect with history. We remember the time that a story moved us to want to know more, the first time that a history lesson inspired us to become independent learners.

Teachers, for all you do, Thank You!

This post by Louisiana History Day Coordinator Nathan Huegen

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