Martin Luther King Jr. Day

MLKWhy do we study history?  Why have Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?  We study history so we can learn from the past,  right?  Perhaps, but are we actually learning from out past?  Do we actually learn from “mistakes” in history?  This then begs the question “learned what?”  Do we just learn about wars, injustices, famous people, inventions, immigration?  How does this learning help us today or is it just factual knowledge we should know in order to be ‘good’ citizens?

I used to truly hate history.  I found it boring and only did what I had to do in order to pass a ‘required’ history/ social studies class.  However, years ago, through my church, I took a class from Jack Batson, a high school history teacher.  His class forever changed the way I look at history.  He took historical events and wove together the fabric of life during the time period or event we were studying.  and put them into context creating an historical collage. Instead of studying an isolated event in history, we studied what was going on in the world and “why” this event happened.  Now, when I teach history, I want my students to feel and understand – as much as is possible – an event – not just regurgitate facts and dates.

Take the story of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Why study his life?  Why was his life important?  What was going on in the country that lead up to his assassination?  How did all this happen?  If we can get children – or adults – to understand why discrimination is wrong, do you think it would make a difference?  Have you even been discriminated against?  What type of discrimination or even segregation have they experienced, or have they?  Explore this type of thinking with your students this week and let me know what happens!

Check back this week for more on history and Martin Luther King, Jr.  Until then, take care!




About Lucy Salerno

I have been a resident of Fairfield for over 25 years and have 30 years’ teaching experience in California K – 6 schools. I have been a music teacher, band and choral director, elementary teacher in grades K – 6, a district level technology coordinator teaching, and an elementary school administrator. In 2011, my most recent school, Scandia Elementary, on Travis Air Force Base, was awarded the California Distinguished School Award for work and programs implemented under my watch. Because of my broad educational background, I know and understand what is needed in today's difficult educational environment. I have taught writing to children in numerous grades as a core subject as well as integrating writing into other curricula areas. I retired a few years ago from the Travis Unified School District, I love working with children, and am now dedicating my services and skills in support of your children. Through love and patience, I hope to understand a child's needs, meet them where they are, build self-confidence and develop a life-long love of learning.
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