by Zerah Jakub, Manager of Education Communication and Outreach
One of the focuses of the Mount Vernon Education Department is finding ways to bring George Washington into classrooms around the country. We do this by providing teachers with professional development training opportunities, with classroom resources, and through our digital presence. Our ultimate goal is to support teachers in their classrooms and to provide quality content aligned with best practices for teaching that will help today’s students become good citizens in the future.
Each year the Education Department at Mount Vernon hosts eight George Washington Teacher Institute (GWTI) Residential Programs for K-12 teachers from across the country. This program offers educators a chance to explore different aspects of George Washington’s life and the 18th-century world he lived in. Participants dive into themes such as George Washington and the Founding of the U.S. Government, Slavery in Washington’s World, the Women of the 18th Century, and Washington’s Leadership and Legacy. Teachers attending these programs return to their schools ready to share what they learned with other teachers in their districts and at state and national Social Studies conferences. In 2018, our 150 GWTI alumni presented professional development sessions to an estimated 6,300 teachers and returned to their classrooms to share new ways of thinking about George Washington with nearly 19,000 students.
Members of the Education Department also travel around the United States to host daylong Regional Workshops in order to bring George Washington resources to teachers a little closer to their homes. Teachers in California, Florida, New York, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wisconsin were able to attend these one-day workshops in 2018, and our staff presented at two national Education and History conferences. These programs prepare teachers to return to their classrooms with new resources and skill-based learning strategies that are essential to 21st-century learning.
Our Education team also works throughout the year to create robust resources that teachers can access from the mountvernon.org website. In 2018, teachers downloaded nearly 15,000 educational resources, including lesson plans and primary sources, from Mount Vernon’s website.
From curriculum associated with Mount Vernon’s new interactive game Be Washington to online quizzes, interactive timelines, and classroom resources for teaching the Constitution, the Education Department looks to ensure that teacher needs are being met. Our Teaching with Mount Vernon pages look at the different methodologies we focus on during our face-to-face programming and highlight the resources available on mountvernon.org that teachers can easily use in their classrooms.