Today’s post comes from Missy McNatt, education specialist at the National Archives in Washington, DC, and DC National History Day Coordinator.
Congratulations to Barrie Moorman, teacher at EL Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, DC, for being named the Patricia Behring Senior Division Teacher of the Year at the National History Day (NHD) Awards Ceremony today!
Ms. Moorman won the DC Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award at the DC NHD competition at the end of April. She then competed against affiliate winners from across the nation to win the national title for 2015. Along with the honor of being selected as the teacher of the year, as the national winner, Ms. Moorman receives $10,000.
Why is Ms. Moorman an outstanding teacher? First and foremost, she cares about her students. And she believes in her students.
National History Day at EL Haynes is not reserved for the advanced students. Rather it a program for the students who failed a year of history, scored in the bottom 50% of their class, and had learning differences. Ms. Moorman believes that high expectations and requiring high-level products from all students is the way to make a difference. The students receive support from start to finish with their NHD projects.
When the students shared their projects at their school and city competitions, the pride in their work was palpable. For many students, this was the first time they had completed a major project working over months rather than just a few days.
According to Ms. Moorman: “During the quarter in which we focused on NHD, we had our highest course grades of the year and lowest rates of failure. Students started to mentor their peers on other research projects, and for many of them, taking on leadership roles was atypical; they were proud to show off their new knowledge and able to help others to catch up. It was a transformative experience for the students and for our school.”
The National Archives supports the National History Day program nationwide in a variety of ways. Thousands of students from across the nation use primary sources from the National Archives in their research. The National Archives at Philadelphia manages the Philadelphia city competition; and the National Archives in Washington, DC, facilitates the year-long DC National History Day program. Other National Archives locations offer NHD student and teacher workshops and host competitions. And many National Archives employees serve as judges, from the local level to the national NHD competition in College Park, MD, in June each year.
National Archives’ History Day activities are made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the support of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.