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The 2023 White House History Teacher Institute is open to all K-12 educators and will be offered in both in-person and virtual formats. Continue reading for more information on our programs and how to participate.

The White House is an enduring symbol of the United States. The structure serves multiple roles as a home, office, museum, and stage. For over 200 years, many individuals have influenced the space including first families, enslaved individuals, foreign visitors, curators, and the American public. At the White House History Teacher Institute (WHHTI), you will discover the wider history of this iconic building and explore how you can use these stories to enhance your classroom.

The in-person Institute is a five-day immersive teacher professional development program hosted by the White House Historical Association in Washington, D.C. The in-person format features discussions with historians, local site visits, inquiry-based learning activities, guest speakers, and the opportunity to network with fellow educators from across the country.

The virtual Institute is a fully online program that offers greater capacity and accessibility. Educators will hear from special speakers, gain access to exclusive resources, and participate in interactive sessions with colleagues from across the nation.

“The White House Historical Association's Teacher Institute is one of the most outstanding trainings I've attended in my 18 years of teaching. The professionalism they showed towards their teachers, the variety of activities, the in-depth look at different areas of history—all fantastic!”

— 2022 WHHTI Participant

The in-person and virtual Teacher Institutes work to address these essential questions:

  • Why does the White House matter? How has the structure and symbolism of the building changed over time?
  • How did the White House and the surrounding neighborhood reflect larger movements and changes in United States history?
  • Who has contributed to the White House over the centuries? What lesser-known stories of individuals are significant to our understanding of White House history?
  • How did the White House evolve to simultaneously act as a home, office, museum, and stage?

How To Participate

To participate in the in-person Institute, educators must be selected through an application review process. Applications for the 2023 in-person WHHTI will open on January 9, 2023. The application process details how this program will enhance your teaching and requires a submission of your current resumé and a letter of recommendation from a supervisor.

The virtual WHHTI is open to all educators, regardless of prior acceptance or participation in any White House History Teacher Institute programming. To participate, simply fill out our virtual registration form when it goes live. Sessions and materials will also be made available to all registrants asynchronously following the live program.

David M. Rubenstein Master Teachers

Our inaugural David M. Rubenstein Master Teachers participated in the 2022 in-person and virtual Teacher Institutes. Master Teachers led their own interactive sessions at the in-person and virtual Institutes and had the opportunity to share application and facilitation ideas with attendees. Alumni from any year of the in-person Institutes are eligible to apply to be Master Teachers in 2023. Master Teacher applications will be open from September 30, 2022 through October 30, 2022 at 11:59pm EST.

For more logistical information about the in-person and virtual White House History Teacher Institute see our Frequently Asked Questions below or email us at education@whha.org.

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Frequently Asked Questions

SAFETY PROCEDURES

What safety measures should I be aware of to participate in-person in 2023?

We will continue to monitor guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic and will share communications related to this with accepted participants.

APPLICATIONS

How do I attend the White House History Teacher Institute?

Participants are selected for the in-person WHHTI through an application review process. To apply, you must complete an online application that details how this program will enhance your teaching and submit your current resume and a letter of recommendation from a supervisor.

When is the application deadline?

Applications for the in-person program will open on January 9, 2023 and will close on February 12, 2023. Acceptances will be sent during the week of March 27, 2023.

Who is eligible to apply? Do I have to be a history teacher?

The in-person and virtual Institute are open to any pre-service or current K-12 educator. This includes, but is not limited to, classroom teachers of history, government, civics, social studies, language arts, and fine arts, as well as librarians, media specialists, and curriculum coordinators. There are no limitations based on school type (i.e., public, private, charter, or homeschool).

Retired teachers are not eligible for the in-person program but are welcome to participate in the virtual Institute. If you have already participated in the in-person Institute, you are not eligible to participate again but we’d love to see you at the virtual Institute!

Will you accept pre-service teachers?

Yes, the Institute will consider applications for the in-person Institute from those studying to become classroom teachers. However, pre-service teachers should have experience in the classroom or be currently student teaching at the time of their application.

Pre-service teachers are also welcome at the virtual Institute.

Can multiple teachers from the same school apply?

Yes, teachers from the same school or district can apply to the program; however, educators applying from the same school will be assessed on their individual merit and not as a team.

I teach outside the United States. Can I still apply?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept teachers from other countries at the in-person Teacher Institute.

Teachers from other countries are welcome to register to attend the virtual Institute if the subject matter they teach is relevant to White House history.

Who can write the letter of recommendation for my application to the in-person Institute? What should it include?

Your letter of recommendation should come from someone that holds a supervisorial role and oversees your teaching to some degree. Examples include, but are not limited to, a principal, vice principal, superintendent, school administrator, or department chair. The letter should show support for your participation in the White House History Teacher Institute and speak generally of you as an educator.

How are participants for the in-person Institute selected? How many spaces are available each session?

Each week has space for approximately 30 participants. The number of overall applications for these spots varies per year. Each applicant is individually assessed by a review panel using a rubric. The updated rubric for 2023 will be posted here when it is completed.

Special consideration will be given to educators in states with little previous representation at Teacher Institute: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Everyone who registers for the virtual Institute will be able to participate.

When will I be notified if I have or have not been accepted?

All applicants will be notified of their acceptance status during the Week of March 27, 2023.

I am on the waitlist. How will I know if a spot becomes available?

Applicants put on the waitlist will be informed individually via email. There is no set time frame – we fill spots from our waitlist as they open and until the sessions are at max capacity.

I attended the White House History Teacher Institute before. Can I apply again?

If you participated in an in-person WHHTI previously, you cannot apply for the in-person Institute again. However, if you participated virtually, you are welcome to apply to participate in an in-person program. Likewise, if you have previously participated in-person, you are welcome to register for the 2023 virtual Institute.

In-person alumni are welcome to apply to be a David M. Rubenstein Master Teacher. Please see the above information about master teachers and email education@whha.org with questions.

COSTS AND ACCOMMODATIONS for the in-person program

Is there a cost to attend the White House History Teacher Institute? When do I pay fees?

There is no application fee. Upon acceptance, we do require a $50 registration fee to confirm your spot. This payment covers administrative costs and is non-refundable. This is the only payment you will make to the White House Historical Association.

What expenses does the program cover (lodging, meals, and travel)?

  • Lodging: We will be providing shared hotel rooms for FREE from Sunday to Saturday during each week of programming. Each room will house two participants with two beds and one bathroom.
  • Meals: We provide breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. Participants are responsible for their meals on Sunday and Saturday, along with dinners throughout the week.
  • Travel: We do not cover travel costs initially. Each individual participant must make their own arrangements to get to and from Sofitel/Washington, D.C. However, we do provide a stipend (contingent on full attendance) to each participant to off-set these costs.

Are there stipends/scholarships available?

Yes, dependent on full attendance and participation, in-person participants will receive a stipend check. Exact stipend amounts for 2023 will be posted here soon.

Please note, there is no stipend for participation in the virtual Institute.

Can I request a single room for lodging?

We only provide shared housing for participants. Those who prefer a private room will be responsible for their own arrangements.

I have food allergies/restrictions/am a vegetarian or vegan. What kinds of meals will be served?

Once accepted, we reach out to all participants to ask about dietary restrictions and food allergies. We will work with our caterer to provide meals that can accommodate your needs. If your diet is highly restrictive, you may want to pack supplementary food. If concerned, please contact us to discuss further.

I have a need for a mobility accommodation. Are the accommodations and program accessible?

We are glad to work with you to ensure accessibility for the accommodations, on-site programing, and off-site visits during the session. The Institute does typically include short walks (5-10 minutes) to nearby sites. For any location visits further than a 15-minute walk, we will provide a shuttle bus for the group. If concerned, please contact us to discuss further.

EXPECTATIONS for the in-person program

What can I expect at the Institute? How long are the days?

The White House History Teacher Institute days are structured to provide a mix of activities including historian lectures, classroom applications, and site visits. Participants will be expected to attend all sessions, all-day Monday through Friday. In past years, the schedule has been 9 am to 3 pm.

We aim to provide a variety of experiences during the Institute. Previously, participants have visited Blair House, participated in Ranger Talks at the Lincoln Memorial, received a private viewing of presidential portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, and had conversations with former White House staff members.

Exact timing, sessions, speakers, and tours will be set at a later date.

Does the Institute include a visit to the White House? Will I meet the President or First Lady?

We plan to schedule a tour of the public spaces within the White House for each session, but this cannot be guaranteed and always has the possibility of being cancelled last minute due to circumstances outside of our control. Please also be aware that even if we tour the mansion, we will not meet the president or first lady.

What are my responsibilities as a participant?

During the week, your responsibility is to be a fully active participant in the activities and discussions. During the school year, we ask that you keep us up to date about how you’re using what you learned at the Institute in your classroom.

OTHER

Do you offer graduate credits or state certified PD credits?

We currently do not offer any graduate credits or official professional development credits. Upon completion of the in-person Institute, you will receive a letter acknowledging approximately 40 hours of participation in this program that can be used however you see fit within your district or school.

After the virtual Institute, participants will be sent a survey. Upon completion of the survey, virtual participants will receive a letter acknowledging approximately 10 hours of participation in this program that can be used however you see fit within your district or school.

I am thinking about travel options. What’s the best way to get to D.C.? Should I drive?

For the in-person program, we encourage traveling by plane or train if at all possible. We do not recommend bringing a car, as our Institute’s lodging and location is in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. where parking is at a premium.

Can my spouse/child/ friend participate?

Only educators accepted to the Institute may participate in the program’s activities and use the lodging provided.

Testimonials

  • “Everything was fantastic - the lecturers were great and certainly bolstered my knowledge of content and meeting the other educators around the country and sharing ideas will help my teaching practice. I consider it the best PD I have been to.” – 2018 WHHTI Participant
  • “This program is amazing. I loved it, it resparked my fire for teaching and made me so excited to go back to the classroom. I would highly recommend.” – 2019 WHHTI Participant
  • “Fantastic workshop. I have attended major programs around the country, and this was by far one of the best. Top tier. What you did should be a model for virtual workshops.” – 2021 Virtual WHHTI Participant
  • “My experience at the White House History Teacher Institute was everything I had hoped for and so much more. I had the opportunity to extend my learning as a student and as a teacher through collaboration and thought-provoking activities that I can bring back to my classroom.” – 2022 WHHTI Participant

2017 White House History Teacher Institute Video

White House Historical Association

The White House Historical Association (WHHA) is a private non-profit educational organization with a mission to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the Executive Mansion.

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