Teacher Institutes

Teacher Testimonials

Over 4,000 Texas teachers have participated in Humanities Texas's teacher professional development programs. Teachers consistently praise our institutes and workshops as rich in content, engaging, inspiring, and relevant.

Rich in content

"Other professional developments focus on activities and strategies. Humanities Texas focuses on the knowledge history teachers need. These institutes refresh my passion for history and reinvigorate my desire to teach history. This is what makes it special and unique. . . . No other professional development focuses on the content of the subject area." — Diana Brister, Andrews Middle School, Andrews, 2016

"I'm confident that my students will respond to the content I garnered from these sessions, in particular new ideas about teaching the immigrant story, civil rights, and Latino literature. Finding and presenting materials that engage them will assist with close reading and analyzing texts, which no doubt will help improve their state assessment scores." —Teresa Bogar, Del Valle High School, 2016

"The breadth of materials covered was much greater than at most professional development programs I have attended. Because of the wide range of speakers and subject matter, I came away feeling overwhelmed by the volume of new curriculum possibilities. This institute really put the "professional" in "professional development" because we teachers were treated as trained, informed educators who can adapt and use the information presented to us most effectively." — Charis Weiss, L.D. Bell High School, Hurst, 2016

"I feel I have a better, deeper understanding of my content area, which will boost my confidence and increase my effectiveness in communicating the content. My strengths are in pedagogy and curriculum and not the content, so the training from this summer has had a huge impact on my confidence. I already know I will approach my content differently next year and I certainly feel like I am going to be a better teacher for it. I also have found links between what I've wanted to do and the resources to do them."  — Janice Fischbach, Rancier Middle School, Killeen, 2016

"I think my greatest takeaway from this institute will be my ability to better teach the context of the events and people students need to know for their state assessments. With the use of primary sources, including text, images, and video, I think students can better grasp the importance and relevance of our nation's history. I already focus a lot on process skills in my classroom, but now I have additional material for students to investigate and get them thinking on a higher level."  — Kristine Teresa Guzman, LBJ Early College High School, Austin, 2016


"There is absolutely no comparison. Humanities Texas was the best and most engaging workshop that I have attended. Every speaker was unique and gave us the most interesting topics to think about. I loved that each speaker, even though they were university professors, was interested and invested in how our high school and lower-level students would respond to certain topics and pedagogies. The program was unique because the whole four days focused on literature and how to best present it to our students. Loved it!"—Eva Marie Guerrero, Flour Bluff High School, Corpus Christi, 2016

"Humanities Texas is much more meaningful and useful than the majority of other professional development programs I have attended because it provides a number of useful resources to take back to the classroom but also because teachers get to become students and engage in intellectual conversations, learning from the presenters, sharing ideas with one another, and becoming re-energized with regards to teaching after having just finished the long (often challenging) school year. It's educational, and it is fun, interactive, and gets me excited to plan for another school year." — Ashley Robinson, Cedar Creek High School, Cedar Creek, 2016

"I really liked the formatting of lecture in the morning followed by in-depth mini-sessions in the afternoon. It allowed for additional follow-up and the chance to explore other questions and interests. As such, this was one of the best professional development experiences I have ever had."— John James McCusker III, STEM Academy @ Robert E. Lee High School, San Antonio, 2016

"This institute compared to others is top notch. The Humanities Texas Institute goes beyond "sit-and-listen" format by allowing the participants to interact, ask questions, and learn more from the presenters and professors who are knowledgeable within their own individual fields." — Philip Jenkins, Forney High School, Forney, 2016


"This program was better than ANY OTHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. Seriously, this program went above and beyond my expectations. Other PD sessions always miss the mark because they don't engage teachers. Here, I was actually learning so much myself, and that made me EXCITED to share these readings with my kids. Humanities Texas really seemed to trust the intelligence and professionalism of its participants; the program got us excited, gave us fantastic resources, and inspired us to go back to our classrooms and construct lessons based on what we learned. I loved every moment of the workshop, and I think my students will benefit as well." — Drue Harris, Westside High School, Houston, 2016

"I think the program gave me insight into what it was like to be a student again. Even the most experienced teachers need to feel that, so that we can recall what it is like to feel like we know little to nothing about a subject and to sit in a classroom and learn it for the first time. It helps us to empathize with out students and reminds us to keep learning." — Rachel Catherine Rhodes, Ryan High School, Denton, 2016


"I really enjoyed the program. It's helpful to have professors give you suggested resources to incorporate into the classroom. I'm really big on giving my kids meaningful material, and if I use something they might see again when they get to college, I feel like they will have confidence to tackle their college material without hesitation." — Stephanie Marie Gorner, Bradley Middle School, San Antonio, 2016

"My students love when I get in front of my classroom and tell them a story. When I do that, more than anything, they immediately engage in what we are discussing on the day. The amount of knowledge that I gained from these history professors is so valuable! Students want to know details, they want to know the things that aren't commonly discussed about history. That is what grasps their attention. When you give them more information that is interesting . . . you grab their attention. This was a wonderful workshop to attend." — Holly Harris, Brackett ISD, Brackettville, 2016

"The information I learned during these three days gives me not just great primary sources, but a depth of learning to take my students to a new level of understanding. The professors did an awesome job of helping us dig deep in the material, a depth that will I hope to pass on to my students. As educators, we look for ways to help our students "get it." This seminar has given me knowledge, stories, primary sources, etc."— Jeff Alan Harris, Sulphur Springs Middle School, Sulphur Springs, 2016

"One of the many things the institute did for me was help me to see history from a different perspective and to think outside the box. This is exactly how the Social Studies STAAR exam tests our students—with questions that force our students to think outside the box. I will do my best to use what the institute has taught me to get my students to take their heads out of their electronic devices and look at the world from all sides." — Elizabeth Noriega, Longfellow Middle School, San Antonio, 2016

"Everything Humanities Texas provides is information I can use to benefit my students. When I learn, they learn. It puts information in my 'toolkit' to bring out at the right moment. . . . Allowing me to be a better informed teacher gives me the ability to teach my students at a deeper level of understanding. Helping them to see the past not as list of names and dates, but real people who made real decisions. I took 46 pages of notes I can go back to in each unit of the course." — Nonie Philips, McMath Middle School, Denton, 2016

"As a 7th-grade Texas history teacher, I am confident that these workshops have provided me with the ability to begin preparing my students for the 8th-grade STAAR test during their 7th-grade academic year. The content that was provided by these outstanding scholars will give me the tools to help my department better align our 7th-grade curriculum with the 8th-grade curriculum, standards, and state assessment. This, in turn, will give our students more confidence as they prepare for and take these high-stakes exams during their 8th-grade year." — Timothy Shelton Smith, T.W. Browne Middle School, Dallas, 2016

Questions about Teacher Institutes

Call 512.440.1991 or email institutes@humanitiestexas.org.

H. W. Brands (left), Dickson, Allen, Anderson Centennial Professor at The University of Texas at Austin, leads a workshop on Ulysses S. Grant and the Civil War at our 2013 summer institute in Austin.
Stephen M. Duffy (right) of Texas A&M International University leads a workshop on World War I at our 2013 summer institute in El Paso.
Kimberly Pena of Kyle's Wallace Middle School asks a question at our 2013 summer institute in Austin.
Patrick J. Kelly of The University of Texas at San Antonio engages teachers in discussion during a workshop on American foreign policy at our 2013 summer institute in San Antonio.
At our 2013 summer institute in Austin, Arnold Krammer of Texas A&M University reviews historical documents with Nancy Cooper (left) of Veribest High School in Veribest and Patricia Hay of Alex W. Spence TAG Academy in Dallas. Cooper is a 2012 recipient of the Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award.
Participants in our 2013 summer institute in San Antonio exchange ideas during a workshop on Latino participation in World War II.

Heather Cox Richardson of Boston College (facing away) examines historical documents related to Manifest Destiny and westward expansion at our 2013 summer institute in Austin.

Jesús F. de la Teja of Texas State University engages teachers in a discussion of the Pueblo Wars during our 2013 summer institute in Houston.