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A Recap of the 2022 Teacher Institute

Every year, history and social studies teachers from almost every state in the country arrive in Colonial Williamsburg for a few short weeks during the summer to listen, learn, and engage with our educators at the Bob and Marion Wilson Teacher Institute.

Throughout the summer, our programs range from virtual workshops to week-long immersive on-site programming that assists educators in bringing diverse, multi-faceted 18th-century history back to their classrooms. 2022 marked the continuation of a decades-long program that has been able to provide educators with resources since 1989.

This year, educators joined us from 43 states, virtually or in-person. We asked educators who attended our onsite programs to summarize their experiences in the Historic Area.

Participants in Teacher Institute can visit iconic, historic buildings and have private guided tours of some of our most famous places in the Historic Area. Photographed by Brendon Sostak.

“I think one of my favorite parts was interacting with the interpreters, docents, and tour guides throughout Williamsburg. Their knowledge and experience with the events and time period was so in depth. The passion they felt and wanted to share with us was infectious. They were so respectful of history, our shared past, and including the past diverse people who have not traditionally been shared, it was inspirational. I was so appreciative of the myriad opportunities we had to interact with all these people throughout the week.”

Elementary school teachers meet Rev. Gowan Pamphlet, portrayed by James Ingram, and discuss his life and work in the 18th-century Williamsburg community. Photographed by Brendon Sostak.

“Having access to the great resources and links in this workshop will allow me to share with my staff, to see how we can do things differently, and enhance marginalized or underrepresented populations here, and to do so appropriately. I've already told others about this course and have encouraged them to investigate the CW opportunities.”

Participate in hands-on activities, such as tiring a wheel, that allow you to go behind-the-scenes and learn about the 18th-century in new and engaging ways. Photographed by Brendon Sostak.

“It was a rejuvenating and restorative week for me both professionally and personally…I felt myself growing as an educator in every session.”

Explore different perspectives of life during the Revolution and learn about the many stories that took place in our 18th-century city. Photographed by Brendon Sostak.

“...The thing I liked best about the program was all the opportunities we were given to speak to character interpreters as well as real people of Native and African descent. Being able to ask them questions and hear their insight into the past as well as the present was invaluable.”

At Teacher Institute, you’ll be able to visit sites throughout the Historic Area, including our Historic Trades sites and the American Indian Encampment. Photographed by Brendon Sostak.

“However, my favorite part was the interactions with the interpreters. Each person knew their information and it was like I was transported back in time to hear their stories. I was able to ask questions and get clarification on things that I have wondered. I loved watching them put the iron on the wheel. I personally got to pour water on the hot iron to help cool it off and it was awesome!”

Our on-site summer programs will allow you to interact, engage, and learn from world-class interpreters, scholars, and educators in the heart of 18th-century history. Photographed by Brian Newson.

“It was amazing on multiple levels. As a teacher, I felt so respected and appreciated. I can’t wait to bring all the great information back to our students. As a citizen, I saw issues, both past and current, from a wider perspective…”

Elementary school teachers participate in a simulated dig of an 18th-century site and explore what information archaeology can reveal about the people of past. Photographed by Brendon Sostak.

“I was very pleased at the content and pacing for this FREE online course offered for teachers. Having both the experts as well as the master teachers each day seemed like a really nice balance. This was a great opportunity to experience some of what Williamsburg can offer even when I'm not able to participate in the onsite offerings.”

Throughout the year, we offer a variety of Teacher Chats, webinars, online courses, and more for remote teachers across the United States. Photographed by Brendon Sostak.

“Using the knowledge gained, I will be able to transform my classroom experience to incorporate various perspectives of the time period, resulting in a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges, goals, and contributions of individuals who helped form our country. Connecting the past to the present will allow for cultivation of knowledge, skills, and strategies for students to utilize in becoming their own agents of change. Their involvement and participation in our society will help “We the People” continue to strive for “A More Perfect Union” through civic engagement.”

The Bob and Marion Wilson Teacher Institute is currently accepting applications for scholarships for 2023 programs, taking place both online and in person. Individual scholarships are available each year for American history teachers who work at the elementary or secondary school level in any public school in the United States.

Throughout the year, Teacher Institute provides free virtual programs and additional educational resources, including our Virtual Teachers Chats where educators can engage with Teacher Institute staff and Master teachers, hear from experts in the field, explore digital resources, and network with fellow educators.

For additional information, programs, and to subscribe to the Teacher Institute’s emails, please visit the Teacher Institute webpage or visit our Colonial Williamsburg Education Facebook page.

Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the world. Witness history brought to life on the charming streets of the colonial capital and explore our newly expanded and updated Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, featuring the nation’s premier folk art collection, plus the best in British and American fine and decorative arts from 1670–1840. Check out sales and special offers and our Official Colonial Williamsburg Hotels to plan your visit.

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