We’re winding down the month of February -- designated as Black History Month, first celebrated as Negro History Week in 1926 and expanded to a month in 1986 by the United States Congress. According to the Association for the Study of African American Life & History, the designation began in 1915 when University of Chicago alumnae Carter G. Woodson traveled from Washington, D.C. to Chicago to participate in a national celebration of the 50th anniversary of emancipation. And according to FFT Fellow Pratia Jordan, students need to remember that Black history didn’t start or end then, or with slavery.
I’m Carrie Caton and the goal of each episode is to elevate teachers as the inspiring architects of their careers, classrooms, and school communities.
Today we’re learning from Pratia Jordan, teacher at O’Donnell Middle School in Houston, Texas. Last summer with a Fund for Teachers grant, Pratia retraced the Transatlantic Slave Trade through historical sites in Europe, Africa and North America to create multi-modal, 3D virtual learning experiences that allow students to deepen content knowledge and make personal connections to the past and its continued relevance to our present. Pratia is active on social media, producing her own podcast, and also active as the mother of two young children with another on the way. Since her fellowship, Pratia has been named Teacher of the Year at her school, for her district, and a finalist for her region. We were able to catch up with her to learn more about her fellowship and its epiphanies, sharing both with eighth grade students who have a lot of questions about how we got to this point in history, literally and figuratively.