About the Grant

A Teaching American History Project of
the Oakland Unified School District

Why Apply ?
Excerpts from Participant Applications

New Teachers

  • I would like to participate in the project to increase my knowledge of U.S. History as well as to learn new ways of effectively teaching history&Students often come into history class with a negative opinion. If I am able to use a plethora of ideas and activities, then my students may realize that history is not only interesting, but very important.
    - 11th grade teacher

  • I am constantly seeking innovative ways to share American History with my students in an engaging, historically accurate way. One of the ways I have been able to enliven my classroom is by simultaneously furthering my own American History education and subject matter knowledge, and sharing ideas and methodologies with American History colleagues.
    -8th grade teacher

Collaboration to Improve Instruction

  • I have always been an avid student of history and Im constantly trying to find ways to transmit my excitement about the past to my students. There has been a tremendous devaluation of social studies in schools recently, and I am eager to counter that trend by developing my expertise and sharing it with other teachers. I want to get good ideas, collaborate with my colleagues, and disseminate our ideas to others.
    - 5th grade teacher

  • As a school librarian, I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with teachers. Our 8th grade American History teacher, is a member of this group. My participation in this project will allow time for us to collaborate. I can support him by providing the resources available in our library&The American History Grant Project will provide an opportunity for me to improve my knowledge in American history and an opportunity to work together with teachers (from different grade levels) to share ideas and strategies.
    -Middle School librarian

Continue Learning Content and the Focus on the Theme of Democracy

  • This opportunity will allow me to enhance my own practice as a teacher of U.S. History. Paramount to teaching the facts related to historical events is helping students communicate through written work and discussions. Currently, I teach AP US History and I know I am still an evolving educator. I would like to collaborate with other teachers and have the opportunity craft lessons. I have strong interests in the history of people of color and this experience will help me to design lessons that will enrich the educational experience of my students.
    - 11th grade teacher
  • This is my first year teaching American History, and it is the subject I've always wanted to teach. I have always had a personal interest in history, and I'm planning on working on a masters in history over the next five years. The two greatest challenges I have faced so far have been the difficulty of engaging students who aren't very self-motivated and modeling democratic values in a school system that isn't based on democratic principles.

Other Comments

  • It is difficult to convince the student that history is relevant to them when he or she has difficulty relating to school as a whole&Students often don't buy into the system because the system doesn't serve their needs. How can they be taught democracy if there are few examples where they can see it working for them? It is this question that I would most like to raise and perhaps find some answers to while attending the workshops offered as a part of this grant.
    -8th grade teacher

  • I am newly CLAD credentialed, from CSUH, and understand the need to develop lessons that are easily accessable, and, yet, deeply relevant to students' lives. My focus has been to bring students to a critical assessment of the unique experiment democracy in America has been, and continues to be from the varied perspectives involved in historical events. I am especially interested in women's rights and roles in our history. In teaching history, I try to help students put events into perspective by asking them to categorize them into areas of liberty and equality, justice and global interdependency. This project sounds like it would be a wonderful opportunity to develop and refine my skills with other
    - 8th grade teacher

  • I believe by participating in the Teaching American History Project I would be in even a better position to assist teachers as the project builds in unique opportunities for teacher and librarian collaboration.
    - high school librarian

  • I enjoy learning about the past and the powerful implications it has upon our present society. As an educator, I want to impart this enthusiasm and zest for knowledge to my own students. I encourage them to analyze, expolore, and question.
    - 5th grade teacher

  • The Teaching American History grant project will offer a great opportunity to focus on history. Having worked in Oakland for 8_ years now, we have never had this opportunity before. The chance to build lasting relationships and an arsenal of lessons, strategies and methods is intriguing. I look forward to making contributions based on my ethnic identity and cultural perspective. Also further exploring ideas in American History that focus on our unknown cultural contributions.
    - 8th grade teacher

  • The thematic topic interests me. Democracy as a topic, a cultural and political ideal is thematically stressed without equivocation in our texts. However, there is an equivocal aspect which has to become part of our narrative. Working with peers in a collegial atmosphere could contribute to making this subject part of our scholastic agenda.
    - 8th grade teacher

  • I think I would benefit a lot form collaborating with other teachers from my grade level and the chance to work with historians. Most of all I am excited to plan my lessons and strategies with a partner, or two, especially since I am the only 5th grade teacher at my school.
    -5th grade teacher

  • I feel participating in this experience would afford me a greater depth and breadth of knowledge in teaching this curriculum area. It would also be a valuable sequel to the work I began at Williamsburg last summer&I have bbeen supportive of teachers at my school in this teaching endeavor. The more knowledgeable and enthusiastic I am, the more I can help support others. The end result is a new, or renewed energy in this area. Id like to help ignite the fire in other teachers and watch it grow!
    - 5th grade teacher

  • I want to participate in the Teaching American History Grant because I am painfully aware that history is, and has always been, my weakest subject. I know that my weakness in this subject is reflected in my teaching practice, and I desperately want to change this!&I find myself having to learn US History along with my students, and while this new knowledge is exciting for me, it does not allow for variation and experimentation with my pedagogy&My experience and excitement with teaching math, science, art, language arts, and technology shines through and reaches my students - I know this- and I want that in Social Studies!!
    -5th grade teacher