This spring, Humanities Texas will offer online teacher professional development programs on teaching the speeches of Barbara Jordan (March 29) and examining the theme of patriotism in American poetry (April 4). An in-person workshop on teaching poetry will be held in Austin on April 6.

All programs will emphasize close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources and texts, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities.

Teaching the Speeches of Barbara Jordan (Webinar)

"Teaching the Speeches of Barbara Jordan" will take place over Zoom from 5–6:15 p.m. on March 29. The webinar will offer specific suggestions for teaching Jordan's most significant oratorical works, focusing on their historical context and the rhetorical strategies deployed. The program will consider these speeches' role in Jordan's legacy and highlight the most important takeaways for middle and high school students. Karen Kossie-Chernyshev (Texas Southern University) will lead the webinar.

"I Hear America Singing": Poetry, Patriotism, and These United States (Webinar)

"'I Hear America Singing': Poetry, Patriotism, and These United States" will take place over Zoom from 5–6:15 p.m. on April 4. The webinar, scheduled to coincide with the beginning of National Poetry Month, will offer ways of understanding and teaching a diverse set of patriotic poems. During the program, attendees will discuss the definition, form, and occasion of patriotic poetry; read poems by such writers as Walt Whitman, Emma Lazarus, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, E. E. Cummings, and Julia Alvarez; consider the inaugural verses of Robert Frost and Amanda Gorman; and highlight the most important takeaways for middle and high school students. Coleman Hutchison (The University of Texas at Austin) will lead the webinar.

Teaching Poetry (In-Person Workshop)

"Teaching Poetry" will take place in Austin on April 6. The workshop, open to English language arts teachers, will focus on strategies for teaching poetry at the secondary level. The workshop will provide multiple approaches for generating student interest in and understanding of poetry. Program faculty will include former Texas Poet Laureate Emmy Pérez (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) and Evan Carton, Coleman Hutchison, and Roger Reeves of The University of Texas at Austin.

The webinars and one-day workshop are open to all middle and high school social studies, language arts, and humanities teachers but will focus on topics and skills central to the state's secondary-level U.S. history, Texas history, and language arts curricula. Priority consideration will be given to early-career teachers in low-performing schools and districts.

More information about each program is available in the Education section of the Humanities Texas website. Teachers interested in attending should submit an application as soon as possible, as admissions are rolling and space is limited.

Participants will receive CPE credit and a wealth of curricular materials. CPE hours will be based on attendance and adjusted if a participant misses any portion of the program.

Please note that due to space limitations, you must be a registered participant to attend the in-person workshop.

These programs are made possible with major funding from the State of Texas with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Meeting with civil rights leaders, February 13, 1967. (From l to r:) Andy Biemillier (Legislative Director, AFL-CIO); Texas State Senator Barbara Jordan; and John Doar (Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice). LBJ Presidential Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto.
Portrait of Langston Hughes as a young man, 1931. Photo by James L. Allen. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, New York Public Library.
Emmy Pérez, former Texas Poet Laureate and chair of the creative writing department at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, leads a critical reading seminar at the 2018 "Teaching and Understanding Poetry" workshop held in El Paso.