The William Friday Teacher Education Initiative
The North Caroliniana Society, due to their commitment to support our state’s K-12 teachers, partnered with Carolina K-12, a program of Carolina Public Humanities at UNC-Chapel Hill, to develop the William Friday Teacher Education Initiative. The goal of the initiative’s programs and offerings are to equally educate, appreciate and affirm North Carolina’s hardworking educators as the impactful and important professionals they are. The Friday Initiative sponsors free, high quality retreats and other professional development programs, as well as supports the development of ready to use curriculum for the K-12 classroom.
The William Friday Teachers Retreat
The William Friday retreats for teachers offer K-12 teachers from all regions of the state an opportunity to spend three dynamic days learning about North Carolina’s captivating history, literature, and culture in an academic and professional retreat atmosphere – where teachers are also celebrated and appreciated for the vital work they do. Each Friday Retreat agenda strategically integrates:
- Presentations on compelling topics in North Carolina history, literature, culture, music and current events from engaging scholars, authors & performers to deepen participants’ knowledge of our state
- Interactive explorations of innovative teaching strategies and lesson plans to help teachers translate what they learn to their K-12 students
- Immersive experiences (tours, museum visits, performances, etc.) that connect program themes with experiential learning
- Exploration of primary sources and online resources from UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries, such as Wilson Library’s North Carolina Collection
- Time for discussion and collaboration within a supportive community of teachers, a rarity in the hectic schedules of educators but crucial for forging a network of teacher support around the state
- Constant affirmation and appreciation for teachers as vital professionals, with supportive understanding of the challenges they face
Between 2016 – 2018, five Friday Retreats were held:
- The 2016 William Friday Teachers Retreat, July 17-19, 2016
- The 2017 William Friday Teachers Retreat, July 16-18, 2017, UNC-Chapel Hill
- The William Friday Teachers Retreat, in Honor of Elizabeth Vann Moore, November 9-11, 2017, Edenton, NC
- The William Friday Teachers Retreat, in Honor of Wilma Dykeman, July 25 – 27, 2018 Asheville, NC
- The 2018 William Friday Teachers Retreat, November 11-13, 2018, UNC-Chapel Hill & Hillsborough, NC
These five Retreats have served 161 teachers from 71 of North Carolina’s counties, who will in turn reach 22,540 students all around the state. For information about upcoming Friday Retreats, which are hosted twice each year in various locations across North Carolina, visit Carolina K-12’s Upcoming Trainings page or contact Christie Norris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding from the North Caroliniana Society makes the Friday Teachers Retreats possible by covering preparation of pedagogical materials, compensation for staff time for the development and facilitation of the programs, stipends for speakers (professors, authors, performers, etc.), teacher lodging and transportation costs, food for participants, and other costs that ensure any North Carolina teacher can experience a quality, educational and inspirational experience without having to reach into their own pocket.