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Teaching History Through Troubled Times

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Tracy Barnett, who teaches U.S. History to 8th graders in Fremont, California, says the ideas behind history are more important than dates and battles--the things most people associate with this subject. Tracy embraces the challenge this poses since many of her students enter her class primarily concerned with earning high marks.

An unexpected letter from one of her students reminds Tracy that her approach to teaching history, at least for this student, has paid off. The student said she acquired a keen new interest in history and, just as importantly, came away from Ms. Barnett's class knowing that she cared about and believed in her students.  "It's the most affirming thing I have ever heard!" Tracy exclaimed.    

Tracy also speaks about the Black Lives Matter movement and how it impacts her teaching. "As a U.S. History teacher, it is an absolute privilege to be able to teach kids the connection between what our country has done in the past, and the foundations of our government, and our system and how that has led to what is going on today." 

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