The Teaching American History Testimonials

The following testimonials were written by Teaching American History Project teachers representing 15 school districts in northeastern Connecticut and graduate students from The University of Connecticut at the conclusion of the 2012 Summer Institute.

“This is an incredible program. I will miss it so much. It has truly made me the teacher I am.”

“A great week as a culmination of a tremendous program. I am so grateful to have been a part of this program since the beginning. I have grown so much as a teacher, a historian and a man throughout this process. I have made so many great contacts and been provided so many amazing resources which have expanded the way I think about my profession. This program was tax dollars well-spent as these improvements will surely have a positive effect on my students for years to come.”

“This was an extraordinary week. The friendships and networking will not be forgotten. The information from the past three years will be used forever in my teaching and after.”

“The opportunity to work with colleagues from other districts has been a great experience – what a wealth of ideas. Participation in the grant has prompted me to consider for every unit: What primary documents can I use?”

“The program as a whole reminds me of why I love history, its importance to our future (understanding where we came from) and why I truly enjoy teaching as much as I do. This program has made me a better teacher, I thank you for that.”

Teachers investigate primary source images at workshop.
Teachers investigate primary source images at workshop.
Teachers participate in a workshop simulation renegotiating the Constitution
Teachers participate in a workshop simulation renegotiating the Constitution.

“The TAH Program has been a wholly enriching experience. “

“Words can’t express my gratitude to this program in terms of influencing my teaching. I started this program as a beginning teacher and I have taken so much of these informative sessions about using primary sources and where to access and use the primary sources. My classroom usage of primary sources and local history has easily increased over the course of the years involved to about 75%. Thank you for this golden opportunity to enrich the lives of my students.”

“What a fabulous week for us! Especially being a non-social studies undergrad – every piece of information and place visited was invaluable to me and to my students. You really brought history to life for us – this should be a national model for all educators.”

“Thank you so much for one of the best professional development opportunities I have had in 22 years! I will miss these workshops and all of the people.”

“This has been without a doubt the most important professional development experience of my career. With already more than a decade of teaching experience (14), my depth of content knowledge and pedagogy increased substantially. I so appreciate having access to top quality historians/other professionals, museums and programs. This project has opened so many doors to new learning it will take me many more years to fully explore all the ideas that have ignited new interest in local and U. S. history."

“My participation in this program has made me a better teacher and a more educated citizen. I know that my better understanding of content will help me flush out important themes and perspectives that create the layers of history.”

“I have been teaching for 42 years, and in every year of the TAH program I have learned new things, changed some lessons to reflect higher level thinking activities and use of good primary sources, and interacted with many other teachers. The community of learners this program has fostered has been phenomenal; this group of hard working, generous professionals has been a joy to work with."

“I will always remember the many great places we visited and interesting speakers we’ve heard during our years in TAH. This will be missed. Hopefully, some day there will be a TAH reunion.”

Problem solving as part of a Connecticut inventions workshop
Problem solving as part of a Connecticut inventions workshop.
Discussing an early Connecticut bicyc
Discussing an early Connecticut bicycle.

“This week has been incredible! There is no better means to best teach American history than through primary documents and first hand experiences of visiting historical places. Every TAH program has made me a better teacher and enabled me to best teach our students."

“What a wonderful week and a wonderful story and experience to be a part of TAH. The ability to work with top scholars and have access to AAS and Brown University is unmatched. This week had me reflecting a lot about my journey as a novice teacher (3 years ago) and beginning to experience life as a professional. I have learned so much… I recall being quite the listener and somewhat out of my comfort zone during my first year in TAH…I joined late and felt that I had much scholarship to do to catch up to the level of these master teachers and professors (who were now my colleagues)…yikes! But I gained experience, I learned both laterally (to catch up on topics) but also vertically, so to speak. We are never done learning, questions will always be asked/need to be , and education (and educating children) is a paramount honor to have. Whether you are retired or 28 with four years of experience. I recognize the true honor of education. Thank you so much.”

“This week and during all the meetings this school year, I have learned a wealth of information that I feel is invaluable and will “play our” well in my classroom. To get paid to learn, and in such a dynamic environment of scholarly individuals, is more than any educator can expect! This has been my first year with TAH and as a history teacher. I am sold on the use of primary documents in the social studies classroom. With the TAH website of lessons and the knowledge of how to access these documents more easily, I intend to increase the number of lessons taught this way each year. It has been such a pleasure. I cannot adequately express how much I have learned and appreciate you and the TAH program.”

“TAH has been the most beneficial professional development of my career. Working with colleagues from different districts has improved my own teaching. Dan, Tim, Bob and Lynn have been such great role models for me and sources of inspiration. This program has made me so proud to be a social studies teacher.”

TAH teacher models a Revolutionary War soldier’s uniform during a workshop at the Revolutionary War Office in Lebanon
TAH teacher models a Revolutionary War soldier’s uniform during a workshop at the Revolutionary War Office in Lebanon.

Teachers experience railroad history at the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum
Teachers experience railroad history at the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum.

Teachers learn about the history of Connecticut agriculture during workshop fieldtrip
Teachers learn about the history of Connecticut agriculture during workshop fieldtrip.

“This has been such an enriching experience. All of the TAH institutes have been memorable but this summer, for so many reasons, especially the field trips we took, were informative, helpful and most of all useful. I have been thinking of going back to school to pursue something beyond my masters, but this week really confirmed it for me. You have helped remind me why it is such an awesome job to be a teacher. Thank you is not enough to show my appreciation.”

“Getting resources and gaining knowledge is so helpful to my teaching, but it is more than that – the opportunity to work with others – to expand my thinking about different activities with kids really improves my teaching.”

“This year as in the past was the best thing I have ever done to enhance my knowledge of primary sources and ideas for lessons to use in my classroom. This program has made me a better teacher and it is unfortunate that it is ending.”

“The professional development provided in this TAH grant was the most meaningful and relevant professional development that I have ever been provided in my 19 year career. The presenters were of the highest caliber, the coordinators of the program all consummate professionals with a depth of knowledge in both content and pedagogy. The collegial environment provided by this project was invaluable to me, expanding my arsenal of teaching strategies and challenging me to incorporate more primary sources in my classroom for student analysis. The exposure to local resources was phenomenal!”

“TAH has made me a better teacher and I thank you and TAH for that. I now use primary source docs all the time and in a variety of different ways. I also feel my lessons and planning have improved because of TAH. I will miss it.”

“The TAH project has been invaluable in adding primary resources into my social studies instruction and I will continue to grow as an educator because of this experience.”

“In talking about professional development, inevitably the emphasis within a school is on the refining instruction on the testable skills or data collection. The TAH program in general and this week in particular was both about the skills (testable and life) such as critical thinking as well as new knowledge of the social studies. This knowledge was all the more meaningful because it was developed and presented by experienced and committed social studies educators to a group of truly interested and committed practitioners of social studies. Visits to historical locations and institutions this week and throughout TAH have clearly demonstrated the need for such a comprehensive program that can’t be recreated in an afternoon’s PD at an individual school. Likewise the sense of community engendered by the TAHP and the cross-flow of ideas between different schools and individual grade levels can’t be replicated very easily and will be sorely missed by all involved and the schools from which they come.”