standing Letters

I am a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities summer teacher institute scholarship. NEH has strengthened my teaching skills, rekindled my passion for teaching and learning, and has had a direct, immediate and positive impact on my students.

In West Virginia and Georgia, I met teachers from all over the country, and shared ideas, teaching methods, lesson plans, and projects. I developed a unit of study on sense of place in narrative story and writing for my students based on Appalachian mentor texts, songs, and stories. We visited landmarks of the Gullah culture, participated in lectures, and spoke with artists and performers to increased my content knowledge of slavery in colonial times as well as the Gullah culture on the southern plantations and coastal sea islands. This knowledge will improve and enhance my teaching of the African enslaved people’s experience in Colonial America. Reading assignments, local experts, culturally significant music, song, and storytelling, historical and contemporary landmarks and conversations with local people created an exceptional, multi-sensory learning experience cannot be found in a book or on the internet.

An investment in teachers is an investment in students. By sharing my first-person experience, I provide a much richer experience for my students. “You cannot lead where you will not go, you cannot teach what you do not know.” NEH programs allow teachers like me the opportunity to “go” and to “know” in order to lead and to teach. Please support the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Elaine Temel


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