On the last day of the Constitutional Convention on Sept. 17, 1787, Elizabeth Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin,
"Well, doctor, what have we got—a republic or a monarchy?"
to which Franklin replied:
"A republic, if you can keep it."
America is built on the foundation of democracy. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution spells out the democratic principles we seek to achieve for "We the People.” The Constitution was written, the preamble says, so that:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty...
Now, 235 years later, as we celebrate Constitution Day on Sept. 17, 2022, our Constitution is considered the longest-serving Constitution in the world. The U.S. Constitution and the freedoms granted within it belong to all of us, as long as we can keep it.
Today, our republic is fragile. We are seeing increased threats to our democracy, our freedom and our country, with acts of hate, voter suppression, disinformation wars, book banning, censorship, and political fights about education and teachers that are causing teachers and support staff to leave the profession at an alarming rate.
But there’s something we can do about it. Together, through education and by being united, we can make our democracy strong again.
That’s why the Albert Shanker Institute and Share My Lesson are launching a series of teach-in webinars on the Constitution and principles of the Constitution, such as the rule of law, constitutional freedoms, the Civil War amendments dealing with slavery, voter rights and tribal sovereignty. These teach-ins will provide the content knowledge on the rights granted in the Constitution with teachable strategies for the classroom. It will also tackle the very issues that are eroding our democracy and our freedoms today, from banning books to failing to make all kids feel safe and welcome in school.
Whether you teach history, civics, math or science, or are a parent or guardian, this series has something for everyone. It is the responsibility of all of us to understand our rights as citizens and residents of the United States, and that starts with understanding the Constitution. Join us for this fall’s six-part webinar series, A More United America: Teaching Democratic Principles and Protected Freedoms.
Constitution 101: How to Teach the U.S. Constitution in K-12
September 29, 2022 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
A More United America in Your Classroom: How to Create a Safe & Welcoming Environment during Divisive Times
October 6, 2022 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
Teaching the Civil War Amendments: Reconstruction’s 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments
October 13, 2022 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
A More United America: How Book Banning Prevents Literacy for All
October 20, 2022 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
Constitutional Voting Rights: Teaching the 15th, 19th and 26th Amendments
October 27, 2022 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
Teaching About Tribal Sovereignty and the U.S. Constitution
November 17, 2022 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM EST
Kelly Carmichael Booz overseesthe American Federation of Teachers (AFT) PreK-12 online resources serving 1.9 million educators on the AFT's ShareMyLesson.com, the AFT's E-Learning professional development platform, and the production and dissemination of PreK-12 publication for the AFT's 1.7 million