13:00 PM

2023 Summer Institute brings Missouri teachers together for networking, education

Each year, The Missouri Bar Citizenship Education Department brings together teachers from across Missouri who specialize in American history, government, and civics for an intensive training program.  This year’s institute was held June 20-23 with the theme, “The Roberts Court and First Amendment Values” focusing on three cases currently being considered by the U.S Supreme Court: Counterman v. Colorado, 303 Creative v. Elenis, and Groff v. Dejoy.  

“The First Amendment is always of interest to teachers,” said Missouri Bar Citizenship Education Director, Dr. Tony Simones. “The fact that we were examining issues that the Supreme Court had yet to resolve added another level of fascination for the teachers. They were doing the very thing that the Supreme Court was doing at the time: wrestling with competing arguments and attempting to resolve the conflict for themselves,” said Simones. 

As in previous years, Simones collaborated with institute veterans Nisan Chavkin and Russ Sackreiter to design interactive sessions and develop materials. Participating teachers also walked through the same activities they will present to their students while brainstorming ideas and troubleshooting the challenges of approaching difficult topics in today’s political environment. 

Jennifer Wells, a teacher at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, says she enjoys exploring complex issues in a thoughtful and practical way while also leaving the program with resources to help her students understand and think critically about those issues.  

Rachel Fuller, a history teacher at Midway High School, continues to come back to Summer Institute to network with colleagues and share ideas, feedback, and inspiration in a refreshing and supportive environment.   

Visit MissouriLawyersHelp.org for more information about upcoming educational training and teacher resources made available by The Missouri Bar Citizenship Education program.