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TEACHER PROFILE: Jacqueline Pope-Brothers

SUBJECTS: AP U.S. Government and Politics, Advanced Constitutional Law, Beginning Constitutional Law, AP Human Geography (10th to 12th graders)
EXPERIENCE: Seven years, all at Sprague

Jacqueline first encountered CLP programs as a student at Lake Oswego High School. She participated in Gerrit Koepping’s We the People class and found it so inspiring that she made it a goal to start a Constitution Team when she began teaching. This year she realized that ambition, bringing the Sprague team to her alma mater for the We the People regional competition.

She encountered more CLP programs while in the Lewis and Clark teaching program, learning about the resources and tools available to teachers. Since starting at Sprague, she’s been a civic scholar at the Oregon Civics Conference and participated in the James Madison Legacy Project. Jacqueline has made the most of the professional development CLP makes available to teachers, and her students are clearly benefiting.

IN HER OWN WORDS:

My favorite thing about CLP is the accessibility not only of the materials shared but of CLP staff. It is wonderful to feel supported and know if you have a question you want answered, need help in planning ideas or with resources, you have them! I also love how everything is student-based to inspire kids and help them understand the importance of civics in their lives. The training I have received has significantly changed my classroom and helped me become the inspiring teacher I want to be.

A few years ago, I took my AVID class to the capitol to compete in Project Citizen. It was an outstanding experience, and although they didn’t place, the kids learned a lot about the community, what it takes to get involved and make change, the importance of networking and how many roles there are to address specific issues. (They focused on homelessness in the Salem area). Many students said they brought up the experience during their interview process for college and received feedback that the experience set them apart from other candidates.

I also have used the congressional hearing module as a final in my AP Government classes and CLP has come down to serve as and recruit judges to establish the formality of the evaluation. It is student’s enthusiasm and excitement that led to my creation of Salem-Keizer’s first We the People team this year.

The We the People team was an absolutely amazing experience and left students wishing they could do it again! My philosophy was to have the kids do the work. We did not use regular coaches but rather I let the students lead their questions where they wanted and explore the topics from the angles they personally found compelling. In the future I will get community members involved in the process while keeping it student organized, driven, and focused. They left the competition feeling empowered and wanting to do more of their speeches prepared. Students have thanked me endlessly for giving them the opportunity to bond, feel like experts on topics they otherwise wouldn’t know about. What I am most proud of is they left the class saying they “love constitutional law!”