A (Pandemic) Year in the Life of a Peace Teacher
Stories of Resilience from the American Classroom
Amid the COVID pandemic and national upheaval, four high school teachers from Alaska, Kentucky, Mississippi and Nebraska participated in USIP’s Peace Teachers Program and dedicated themselves to helping their students make sense of conflicts in the world and to showing them how peace can be achieved.
The Peace Teachers Program is rooted in the conviction that educators can be pivotal in bringing issues of international conflict and practical peacebuilding skills into their classrooms, schools and communities. Each school year, USIP selects a cohort of outstanding American middle and high school teachers from different U.S. states to receive education, resources and support to strengthen their teaching of international conflict and peace. Given the disruptions of the COVID pandemic, the 2019 cohort was extended — and the teachers persisted, despite the difficult context, in providing their students with opportunities to explore new perspectives, make global connections and develop critical skills to help them navigate a changed world.
On July 8, USIP hosted the 2019-2021 Peace Teachers as they shared their experiences, insights and strategies for engaging new generations in peacebuilding based on their time in the program — including how their own approaches to teaching conflict and peace evolved during this tumultuous period.
Continue the conversation on Twitter with #USIPPeaceTeachers.
Lise Grande, welcoming remarks
President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace
Greenup County High School, Greenup, KY
Ketchikan High School, Ketchikan, AK
O’Neill High School, O’Neill, NE
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Ridgeland, MS
Senior Outreach Officer, Public Education, U.S. Institute of Peace
Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, moderator
Novelist, Short Story Writer and Journalist; Member, International Advisory Council, U.S. Institute of Peace