In the News

SPOTLIGHT: Professional Development Programs

The best way to preserve democracy is to teach democracy.

Teachers at the 2022 Oregon Civics Conference for Teachers at the opening plenary session.

Educators are the first line in helping Civics Learning Project achieve our mission of preparing students across Oregon to become active, engaged, and informed participants in our democracy.

The importance of supporting teachers in the classroom cannot be overstated – each teacher can impact up to 150 students per year for each year of their career, and having the tools, resources, and support to make that impact as meaningful as possible is at the core of our work.

Professional Development

CLP has been a trusted nonpartisan partner with teachers, school districts, and training programs across the state (and beyond) for four decades. From providing training on our own programs like Community Action Projects or Mock Trial in the Classroom and workshops on introducing the concept of civil discourse in the classroom, to supporting districts in achieving their training goals and partnering with other state and national civics-related organizations, CLP is a leader in K-12 civics education resources.

Oregon Civics Conference for Teachers

One of CLP’s most popular professional development opportunities is the Oregon Civics Conference for Teachers. In 2009, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill designating the first Friday in December as Oregon Civics Day for Teachers, and has entrusted CLP, with the support of the Department of Education, to carry out the purpose of the law: to provide professional development to teachers to assist them in providing high-quality civics education to their students. Working with ODE and the Legislature, CLP provides a full day of workshops and sessions dedicated to supporting teachers with methods, curriculum, opportunities for collaboration, and inspiration to take back to their classrooms. The Oregon Civics Conference for Teachers is free to attend, and lunch is provided. Through our Civic Scholar program, Oregon K-12 educators are eligible to be sponsored by their legislator, and receive benefits like substitute coverage reimbursement, a mileage stipend, and lodging.

The Peter & Leslie Richter Civic Educator of the Year
Beth Cook and Geoff Stuckart display his certificate and trophy for being named 2022-23 Civic Educator of the Year.
2022-23 honoree Geoffrey Stuckart with Director of Programs Beth Cook.

Since 2004, CLP has honored one K-12 educator annually who has used our programs to make a significant impact in their classrooms, schools, and in the Oregon civics community. These outstanding teachers use their skills, training, and expertise to collaborate with colleagues, students, families, and others to create a strong culture of civic engagement, inspire their colleagues, and are respected in the greater educational community.

In 2022, through the generosity of Peter and Leslie Richter, the award became endowed with a $2,000 prize for the winner. The Richters are long-time champions of civic education, and according to Peter, “Teachers and the rule of law are the backbone of our society, and meaningful civic education is more important now than ever.”  We are excited to announce the 2023-24 Peter & Leslie Richter Civic Educator of the Year at the upcoming Oregon Civics Conference for Teachers on December 1.

Consultations and Methods Classes

Civics Learning Project program staff regularly meet one-on-one with teachers to aid them in using our resources and programs successfully in their classrooms. With the addition of Regional Program Managers around the state and the ability to use technology more effectively for distance learning, these consultation opportunities are available to more educators, schools, and districts than ever before. Additionally, CLP partners with several universities around the state to provide methods classes to students earning their Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degrees and preparing to enter the classroom as teachers. By reaching educators before they begin their teaching careers, CLP helps ensure that they are empowered with tools and support to be as successful as possible.

If you want to learn more about our programs for educators, get in touch with Director of Programs Beth Cook.