Ralston Middle School Social Studies teacher Mindy Podraza was selected as one of only 98 teachers for a National History Day summer professional development program.
The new course highlights and explores digital resources available at the Library of Congress to develop and support historical argumentation.
The course was online.
“I haven’t done anything online in ages and I appreciate how invested all of the participants are in the course and we still gave great feedback to one another,” Podraza said.
Podraza said she was excited for this development opportunity because it would help her on how to teach students on how to form a historical argument.
“I’ve been involved with national history day for five years and they offer a ton of professional development opportunities,” Podraza said.
She was offered a scholarship and did not have to pay for the summer course.
“It’s probably not something that I would have pursued if I had to have covered the costs on my own,” Podraza said, “So the fact that national history day pays the tuition and offers a scholarship ,it’s just amazing, it shows how dedicated they are to providing awesome opportunities for teachers.”
She said the skill of being able to analyze a primary source document is one a student will be able to transfer to other classes.
“If you are in a language arts class, you have to analyze the text to find its meaning, if you’re in a science class, you have to analyze your data,” Podraza said, “So I think analyzing a source in a history class gives them an opportunity to actually have an artifact or an object or songs right in front of them.”
She said her biggest takeaway from the summer course was how hard it was to write a good historical argument.