James McCrobie (BMS) & Germaine Marshall (MMHS) Study at Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute
Williamsburg, Va. – James N. McCrobie, a 6th, 7th, and 8th -grade history teacher at Bennett Middle School in Fruitland, and Germaine Marshall, an 8th-grade
history teacher at Mardela Middle and High School, completed an
intense, six-day immersion in American history at the Colonial
Williamsburg Teacher Institute this summer.
Institute was created to encourage history education and make it
engaging for students. Now in its 27th year, the Teacher Institute helps
prepare teachers to help students meet national and state history
standards through hands-on immersion experiences in Colonial history.
the institute provided an outstanding opportunity to learn by doing. “I
have experienced too many workshops where the presenter is just standing
at the front of the room, presenting on PowerPoint. As adults, we tend
to like this style because it does not require much of us. However, just
like students, it does not mean we are learning anything. This week’s
experiences in combination have been amazing! Not only were we provided
with amazing lesson ideas, but we were out and about experiencing the
lessons. When we go back to the classroom, those experiences will allow
us to explain and design the best experiences as a result of actually
McCrobie has taught for six years at Bennett Middle School. He
holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science/ Secondary Education from
Frostburg State University and a master’s degree in Educational
Leadership from Towson University.
she enjoyed the opportunity to explore the development of America
through events at Williamsburg, to learn more about the back stories of
everyday early Americans, and to develop new ways to challenge students
to look beyond the lessons and texts to truly understand history. The
institute gave her the chance to consider what it means to be an
American, and the key role she plays as a teacher. “It hit me at
Yorktown. It’s our job to continue to build these future citizens. They
need to understand the past. People have to get involved now. The
founding fathers got involved, they were ordinary people who got
been a history teacher at Mardela Middle and High since 2014. Prior to
that she worked as a reading teacher or elementary teacher in a number
of Wicomico schools, including Wicomico Middle, Bennett Middle,
Pemberton Elementary, Pinehurst Elementary, Westside Intermediate and
Beaver Run Elementary. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary
Education from Salisbury University.
Williamsburg Teacher Institute provides participants with interactive
teaching techniques and skills to become mentor teachers who can assist
their peers and other educators to develop active learning classrooms
and make history exciting for their students.
sessions on location in Colonial Williamsburg and the surrounding area,
participants engage in an interdisciplinary approach to teaching social
studies with American history as the focus.
the opportunity to exchange ideas with historians, meet character
interpreters and become part of the story in The Revolutionary City.
Throughout each day, teachers work collaboratively with Colonial
Williamsburg staff and Master Teachers to examine interactive teaching
techniques and develop instructional materials that improve instruction,
raise literacy levels, enhance thinking skills, and bring history to
life in the classroom. Participating teachers agree to conduct
in-service training sessions following their attendance at Teacher
Institute in order to share their experience with other teachers.
Teachers also are required to develop lesson plans that to implement in
Williamsburg builds on a nearly 60-year educational outreach tradition
by exploring new technologies, expanding successful initiatives and
offering new ventures to fulfill its educational mission. Teacher
Institute was developed to improve the quality of American history
education in the nations’ schools and insure that every student gains an
understanding of the principles behind our system of government. The
program began in 1990 with 44 fifth-grade teachers from two southern
California school districts. Today, more than 8,500 teachers from all 50
states and three foreign countries have participated since the
inception of the Teacher Institute.
1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit
educational institution that preserves and operates the restored
18th-century revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living
history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s
founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings,
historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to
shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society
and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans. As Colonial
Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for
its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg
is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. To
learn more about Teacher Institute, visit www.history.org/history/teaching/tchsti.cfm.