Student 1: What were you reading?
Me: It’s a book about teaching. Pose, Wobble, Flow. Mrs. Kroon gave it to me.
Student 1: You know it’s almost summer, right? You’ve got to chill.
Student 2: Leave her alone. At least she’s found her people.
Student 2 was referring to Mrs. Kroon as “my people.” But after finishing Pose, Wobble, Flow, I also consider authors Antero Garcia and Cindy O’Donnell-Allen my people—or at least my kind of people. Their book provided respite from the inadequate professional development I have been offered this year.
It may be presumptuous to consider summer break when spring break hasn’t even made an entrance. But, on this day in February, I’m asking you to do just that. And I’m asking you to think teacher professional development.
I know! Don’t stop reading!
Every summer, the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) offers educators the opportunity to study with university professors at their respective institutions. The course offerings are extensive, relevant, and scintillating. This year, the available seminars and institutes cover topics such as “American Women at War,” “From Harlem to Hip-Hop: African-American History, Literature, and Song,” and “Muslim American Identities, Past and Present,” to name a few. Not your typical professional development...nor your typical summer.