N’Dia Riegler, a teacher at The Eliot K-8 Innovation School, has been named the 2020 Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year, an award presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.
Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and U.S. Territories. In fall 2020, the National History Teacher of the Year will be selected from the pool of state winners.
N’Dia Riegler is driven by a passion to inspire and empower learners. She uses history and primary sources to encourage elementary students to view their community, world, academics, each other, and themselves through an empathetic lens. Riegler’s classroom is an engaging mix of discussion and self-discovery. Her classroom is not only a place to learn, but also a community where students are encouraged to use their own voices, while building and gaining knowledge.
“As an educator of color, in an urban school district, it is important that I create a safe and supportive classroom culture. To foster student inquiry, I encourage participation, critical thinking and inclusive perspectives. Most recently, I developed a project-based learning class, using local resources and robust digital archives, to explore the essential question “How has the experience of various groups in the United States of America differed throughout our history?” Boston Public Schools and the Eliot School leadership support and encourage this work in many ways, including participation in field trips to libraries and historical sites. We use maps from the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, digitized primary sources, and the rich local history of our city and state, to find multiple lenses to understand how our region and nation came to be.”
Riegler received her Bachelor’s degree from Barnard College and her Master’s in Education from The University of Massachusetts Boston and the Boston Teacher Residency program.