ALBA Institutes draw more than 80 teachers
More than 80 high school teachers from New York City and New Jersey participated in back-to-back ALBA institutes during the first week of November. As in most ALBA classrooms, the majority of teachers work in Social Studies—including US History, World History, and Government—but these groups also had significant numbers of Spanish teachers. Brooklyn’s Abraham Lincoln High School sent its entire Social Studies department.
The tightly-packed programs included presentations by Peter N. Carroll, James D. Fernández, and Sebastiaan Faber; video clips; and a workshop segment in which teachers engaged with the more than 20 organized lesson plans (Social Studies, Spanish, English) on ALBA’s new teachers’ website, pre-aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
“We want you to leave with something ready to use,” said Faber, “so that you could teach this tomorrow if you had to.” Participants appreciated the wealth of materials made available to them. “This was the best professional development day I have been to in eighteen years,” one Social Studies teacher remarked. “I am using these lessons next week,” said a Spanish teacher.
On November 4, New York teachers filled the auditorium of NYU’s King Juan Carlos Center, with NYU Steinhardt School’s Lee Frissell providing logistical support. The next day ALBA returned for the fifth time to Bergen County Academies, a New Jersey magnet school. Former institute participants Sergei Alschen and Gabriela Calandra shared their experience designing a semester-long unit on the Spanish Civil War. During the lunch break, the teachers got a sneak peek at an impressive student remake of Picasso’s Guernica, a project led by artist and Spanish teacher Irma Seltzer. Seltzer is a 2008 ALBA institute alumna whose grand uncle, Harry Freed, fought in the Lincoln Brigade.
ALBA’s teachers education program is made possible by the generous support of the Puffin Foundation, Neal Rosenberg, Paul Friedlander, Ralph Czitrom, and donors like you.
Photos by Rodolfo Graziano.