Last summer I was lucky enough to spend a week in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian's Museum of American Art participating in an awesome workshop that showed middle and high school teachers of English/reading and Social Studies, how to incorporate art into the classroom. It was such an exhilarating experience. I learned so much, not just from the presenters at the museum, but from the incredible teachers that I met at the institute! I became fast friends with a woman from Florida (we actually met waiting on the bench outside the dorm where we were being housed for the week) and another woman from New York. I also met another wonderful woman from Florida who was embarking on a new teaching assignment working on a reservation in southern Florida. They taught me so much about what goes on outside my little world in the suburbs of Chicago. There were people from all over the country, as well as Korea and China. Our learning did not stop once the day came to an end. Being able to walk all over D.C. and experience the rich history that city provides was also an added bonus. I can't even begin to tell you how many miles my old feet clocked! And staying in a dorm room on the campus of George Washington University was another eye-opening experience, since it had been a long time since I spent time in a college dorm room!!!!
The Smithsonian is again offering this experience to middle and high school teachers of ELA and the humanities. The fee is small, the housing affordable and the experience a "once in a lifetime." If you are at all interested, please click on this link, Smithsonian Teacher Institute and apply. I guarantee that you won't regret a single minute! Application deadline is March 31, 2014!