Katie Hoerner
Social Studies
Belleville East High School
Belleville, Illinois USA

Over the course of my career, I have learned that the key to education is to create a curiosity that will inspire my students to question history and look for answers themselves. By incorporating historical thinking and analysis training, my students now "do" history, rather than just "hear" history.

The World War II unit is always one of the highlights of my American Studies and U.S. History courses. As both a U.S. History and Psychology teacher, I find the personal stories of the war particularly powerful. In class, I work tirelessly to help students understand that each soldier lost is someone's loved one, and there is no telling what that individual may have contributed to the world.

The Understanding Sacrifice Teacher Institute is a unique experience that would allow me to expand my knowledge of the War in the Pacific by focusing on one aspect of World War II. By participating in this project, I would be modeling the importance of learning and curiosity to my students and therefore supporting my philosophy of teaching.