Upcoming Teacher Professional Development

All professional development align with Common Core State Standards.

Skokie Revisited: Hate Groups and The First Amendment

Wednesday, July 26| 9:00am – 3:00pm

7th – 9th grade educators

Join the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago and Illinois Holocaust Museum for a full-day workshop as we examine the landmark Supreme Court case of the National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie (1977). This case tested the limits of the First Amendment, demonstrated the United States’ commitment to freedom of speech, and inspired Holocaust survivors to become activists to fight hatred with education.

Through collaborative discussion, textual analysis, and testimony from eyewitnesses, Mayor of Skokie, George Van Dusen, and former State Senator, Howard Carroll, participants will be provided with a toolkit of strategies that promotes critical thinking to explore the implications of First Amendment issues and challenges we are currently facing, and reflect on the legacy of this important case on Holocaust memory and education. Senior Counsel for ACLU of Illinois Rebecca Glenberg will also join us to discuss the First Amendment as it relates to this case and current events.

Workshop includes:

  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Classroom Resources and Materials
  • 5 (Clock Hours) CPDUs
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Difficult Conversations: Teaching the Lessons of an Imperfect Past and Present

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

In partnership with Facing History and Ourselves

Understanding history and it lessons is integral to an understanding of the condition of being human and to our students’ role as engaged and civically minded citizens. But over a century of multiple genocides and human rights atrocities on multiple continents offers a bleak verdict; sometimes even current events can leave us despairing. What insights can the humanities and the social sciences bring to the table? How might the lessons of the 1930s and 1940s inform and instruct us today? How can other historical examples and today’s headlines offer “teachable moments” in the classroom and community? How might we engage our students in difficult conversation about racism, dangerous speech, targeting of minorities, and rising antisemitism? Join IHMEC and Dr. Mary Johnson, Senior Historian at Facing History and Ourselves, as together we engage in personal reflection, explore strategies for facilitating difficult conversations, and receive a toolkit of strategies that promote critical thinking to address the sometimes challenging learning of history in today’s 21st century classroom.

Workshop includes:

  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Classroom Resources and Materials
  • 5 (Clock Hours) CPDUs



Teaching the Holocaust: Empowering Students

Friday, November 3, 2017 | 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

How do we create impactful and thoughtful learning of the Holocaust with students?  Through delivery of the valuable Echoes and Reflections program participants will join IHMEC and  Sheryl Silver Ochayon from the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, to explore and gain access to a range of classroom content and consider instructional enhancements to support students’ study and reflection of the history of the Holocaust. Educators will enhance their own knowledge about the Holocaust, including the history of antisemitism, and build confidence and capacity to teach this complex subject, and its ongoing meaning in the world today.

Echoes and Reflections is for both experienced Holocaust educators who are supplementing their curricula and for teachers new to Holocaust education.

  • Promotes an interdisciplinary approach to teaching about the Holocaust to today’s students.
  • Addresses academic standards—including Common Core State Standards—using informational texts and primary source documents.
  • Incorporates compelling visual history testimony into ten multipart and modular lessons to engage students in the lives of survivors, rescuers, liberators, and other witnesses of the Holocaust.
  • Combines the experience and resources of three world leaders in education: the Anti-Defamation League, USC Shoah Foundation, and Yad Vashem.


Workshop Includes:

  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Classroom Resources and Materials
  • 5 Clock Hours/CPDUs



Origins of the “Final Solution”: The Psychology of Perpetrators

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | 9:00am – 2:30pm

7th-12th grades

Approximately, 5.4 million Eastern European Jews died under Nazi occupation. Nearly half of them were murdered in eastern Poland and the former Soviet Union, usually by bullets, sometimes by gas. What changed the attitude of the Nazis in regards to the Eastern European Jews between 1941 and 1942? Join us as we explore the origins of the Final Solution and the role of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads) in eastern Poland and the former Soviet Union. Learn what made the mass murder of Jews in the East different from Nazi occupied territories in West. Uncover the history and put into context the overall destruction which led to a more efficient method of killing. Through textual analysis, educators will examine motivations and choices of those who participated in the killings and collaborated with the Nazis. Come away with resources and implementation strategies that promote critical thinking about individual choice and aspects of human behavior.

Workshop Includes:

  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Classroom Resources and Materials
  • 5 Clock Hours/CPDUs




Changing the Narrative: Creating Healthy Relationships in Schools and Communities

Thursday, February 1, 2018 | 9:00am-3:00pm

6th-12th grade teachers, social workers, administrators, school board members, school resource officers and staff.

 In partnership with the Marquette University Center For Peacemaking, College of Lake County Center for NonViolence and Peace Exchange of Chicago, Illinois.

Serious concerns about breaking the school to prison pipeline and creating a supportive and nurturing school climate have led to the recognized need to better prepare educators to respond to the social and emotional needs of each student. To assist in meeting that need, join IHMEC and its workshop partners for a full-day workshop which will provide educators with the tools to further develop the skills consistent with the mandate of Illinois Senate Bill 100. The mandate requires that teachers be provided ongoing professional training on classroom management strategies, culturally responsive discipline and developmentally appropriate disciplinary methods that promote positive and healthy school climates. A highly experienced group of educators will focus on the following in their presentations:

  • The role of empathic discipline, and helping educators understand the way adolescents make sense of the world.
  • The interpretation of SB100 and the data relating to its implementation.
  • The definition and application of culturally responsive discipline
  • The use of restorative practices in the prevention of behavioral issues and in conflict resolution
  • The importance of connectedness between schools, students and the community.

Workshop includes:

  • 5 CPDUs
  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Substitute Teacher reimbursement




Teaching the Holocaust in Jewish Day Schools & Supplemental Jewish Educational Programs

Sunday, February 4, 2018 | 4:00pm9:15pm

In partnership with Yad Vashem

Join us for a special evening designed for Jewish educators to explore and gain access to a range of classroom content, and consider the proper educational methods and pedagogical resources in teaching about the Holocaust, according to Yad Vashem’s age-appropriate and interdisciplinary methods. Jewish Educators will enhance their own knowledge about the Holocaust, and build confidence and capacity to teach this complex subject, and its ongoing meaning in the world today and for our future.

Workshop Topics

  • The Holocaust: Yad Vashem’s Educational  Methodology 
  • Antisemitism
  • Holocaust Education without Survivors: Two Approaches

Featured Presenters:

  • Rabbi Moshe Cohn, Head, Jewish World Section, International School of Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem
  • Lori Gerson, Educator, Yad Vashem  
  • Kelley Szany, Director of Education, Illinois Holocaust Museum

Workshop Includes

  • Kosher CRC Catered Dinner By Milt’s BBQ
  • Yad Vashem Classroom Resources & Materials
  • 4 (Clock Hours) CPDUs




Making A Difference: Teaching About the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Thursday, March 1, 2018 | 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM

 Since March 2011, genocide and war have devastated Syria. Now the situation is internationally recognized as the largest refugee and displacement crisis of our time. Syrian children and families have witnessed unspeakable violence and bear the brunt of the atrocities. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, 5.1 million Syrians have fled the country as refugees, and 6.3 million Syrians are displaced within the country. Half of those affected are children. For educators around the world who help develop students’ understanding of social justice, the situation begs questions such as, “What can I do in my classroom to help explain the situation in Syria?” and “How can I help students understand social activism as not just a part of history, but a relevant tool today?”

Join IHMEC, IAMSYRIA, Educators Institute for Human Rights, and the Syrian Community Network as we provide an overview of the crisis, explore case studies and personal stories, and provide strategies and tools to make classroom connections to human rights, identity, multiculturalism, and social responsibility. Participants will take home tangible classroom lessons on how to teach about the refugee crisis and how you and your students can take action inside and outside school.  


Featuring guest speaker (via Skype) Professor David Crane, Syracuse University School of Law and Founder, Syrian Accountability Project.

Workshop includes:

  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Classroom Resources and Materials
  • 5 Clock Hours (CPDUs



Take a Stand:  Action Civics for Every Classroom

March 13, 2018 | 9:30am – 2:30pm

In the current time of political turmoil and polarization, it is easy for young people to feel cynical and overwhelmed.  However, we want our students to understand that they have the power to create change in their worlds and provide them the tools and knowledge to be successful in doing so.  Action Civics describes a pedagogy that activates and leverages youth voice through project based learning, authentic democratic experience and real world learning.  Action Civics builds the skills, knowledge and dispositions for young people to be powerful change makers in their communities. Drawing from Mikva Challenge’s catalog of resources and Illinois Holocaust Museum’s new, state-of-the-art Take a Stand Center, this workshop will explore the basic principles of Action Civics and the positive impacts for students, schools, and communities. Participants will explore different pathways to engage their students in individual and collective action and see examples of a variety of past actions done by teachers and students. Participants will have the opportunity to develop a plan to implement in their own classroom.


Presented in partnership with Mikva Challenge.

Workshop includes:

  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Classroom Resources and Materials
  • 4 Clock Hours (CPDUs)





Diaries and Memoirs: Using Primary Sources to Teach the Holocaust

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 | 9:00am – 2:00pm

LOCATION: Illinois Education Association, 500 Plaza Drive, Suite 5, Carterville, IL 62918

As educators we strive to give the past meaning for our students. Diaries and memoirs are essential tools in teaching the Holocaust, helping our students to develop both a historical and a human understanding of this complex history. This session will provide an overview of how to use these invaluable primary source records in your classroom and provide strategies and approaches to incorporate into your curriculum. Teachers will also receive an introduction to the resources of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center for both educators and students.

Workshop includes:

  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Classroom Resources and Materials
  • 5 Clock Hours (CPDUs)




The Resiliency of Survivors & Sufferers: Choosing to Grow

Thursday, April 5, 2018 | 4:30pm– 8:00pm

With more than 75 years since World War II, the legacy of the atrocities committed still impacts the Survivors of the Holocaust and the Sufferers of the atomic bombings in Japan. After these most horrific and life altering events, how were these individuals able to rebuild their lives and look toward the future? Did circumstances or personality impact their resiliency and ability to grow? Over the course of the evening, we will examine the multiple points of view of these witnesses and gain a better understanding of why including the topic of resiliency should go hand-in-hand with teaching atrocity. Teachers will receive classroom materials connected to both Holocaust survivors and a-bomb sufferers.

Presented in partnership with Stephanie Krzeminski, Member, IHMEC Educator Advisory Committee and the Five College Center for East Asian Studies at Smith College

Workshop includes:

  • Dinner
  • Classroom Resources and Materials
  • 3 Clock Hours (CPDUs)



Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 |9:00 am – 2:30 pm

9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Educators from all subject and grade levels will find that human rights permeate, and have the potential to enrich, all aspects of teaching and learning.  They provide a social justice perspective – responsibilities as well as rights – relevant to all aspects of human development: civil, political, economic, social, and cultural life.  Creating a dialogue in your classroom about human rights provides a uniquely international, collaborative, and concurrent framework for contributing to a critically engaged classroom

Join IHMEC and Speak Truth To Power, a program of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, as we introduce this multi-faceted human rights education initiative and curriculum, exploring how to advance human rights learning through personal narratives, spoken word, images, and through lessons and activities. Through an overview of human rights and social justice issues in the United States and around the world, participants will be provided with a Toolkit for Action, learning how to engage students and empower them to begin to act as human rights defenders.

 Participants will have the opportunity to tour the special exhibition Speak Truth to Power

Workshop includes:

  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Classroom Resources and Materials
  • 5 Clock Hours (CPDUs)




Common Core State Standards:

The goal of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center’s Education Department is to offer the best training opportunities for teachers in grades 3-12 and to assist them in any way possible. Common Core Standards define what all students are expected to know and be able to do, not how teachers should teach. The standards lay out goals for student learning for each grade level; it is up to teachers and administrators to decide on the curriculum and teaching strategies that will help all students meet these ambitious goals. Our teacher training addresses standards in both English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies. We offer a diverse collection of instructional materials and trainings for teachers. We include the use of classroom-tested strategies and share many of the same goals as CCSS, including the ability for students to comprehend a range of challenging texts, engage in collaborative discussion, analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse formats and media, to name just a few. As a part of our interaction with educators we consistently address CCSS and we encourage teachers to identify those materials that fit their own needs for teaching about character education, the Holocaust and other genocides while helping them develop the student skills outlines in the standards, as well as skills not covered in the standards.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum is a Center of Excellence of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous and a National Training Site for Echoes and Reflections.





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