Mission in Action Teacher Advisory Council

Virginia Teacher Advisory Council Member (Week 1): Parthena Savides

Parthena Savides

Stonebridge School
5th Grade
Years as an Educator: 9

How will this experience benefit you personally? Your fellow educators?

“I first learned about the American Civil War Museum through the Virginia Declaration of Learning in 2021. This year-long program gave me a deep appreciation of museums, and it helped me find ways to incorporate the artifacts of the museums into my teaching. Through this program, I learned so much and found ways to engage students. By being on this advisory council, I hope to continue the relationship with the American Civil War Museum that I forged through the VDOL. This experience will benefit my fellow educators by allowing us to collaborate together to enrich the curriculum with primary sources and resources created with our classrooms in mind.”

How familiar are you with the American Civil War? What aspect(s) do you find most fascinating or compelling?

“Most recently, I was a teacher-ranger-teacher at Manassas National Battlefield where I created curriculum resources for teachers around America about the first major battle of the Civil War. One project that I chose to work on and created was looking at the various civilians (including women, children, and freed and enslaved individuals) at the First Battle of Manassas. I used both written and photographic primary sources which allowed the students to explore the sources to come to an understanding of what these civilians were doing during the battle. Another project was looking at and understanding the food of the Civil War solider (using the book Hard Tack and Coffee to heavily drive the lesson). The third project that I created allowed me to look at the inscription papers of soldiers in a New York regiment to create a more robust field trip curriculum. Within my classroom, students have studied the Civil War including creating an interactive research poster about a topic of their choice. As a history major in college, I was able to take several courses about the Civil War including a field trip class that took us around Virginia to various sites of early America including various battlefields. My senior seminar dealt with civilians of the Civil War, and my senior research paper was about teachers at Port Royal who came from the North to teach the newly freed people. Another, part about the Civil War that I enjoy learning about is Abraham Lincoln and the decisions that he had to make throughout the Civil War. Overall, I find that this time period is a fascinating though complicated time in our nation’s history.”