Affiliate News
January 03, 2017

Local 1274 teacher motivates students to take action

For 15 years, Pankaj Sharma, a social studies teacher and member of the North Suburban Teachers Union, Local 1274, has worked to instill a sense of community and civic responsibility in his students at Niles North High School in Skokie.

By Illinois Federation of Teachers

Local 1274 teacher motivates students to take action

For 15 years, Pankaj Sharma, a social studies teacher and member of the North Suburban Teachers Union, Local 1274, has worked to instill a sense of community and civic responsibility in his students at Niles North High School in Skokie.

That’s why Sharma made his classroom a platform for students to speak out and collectively solve societal problems.

“I think anyone who goes into education goes into it hoping to help empower students and make them believe that they have the ability to work on issues that are important to them, to make their communities better,” he said.

Using history and current events, Sharma provokes discussions and encourages students to identify issues they are passionate about. Promoting productive dialogue helps students foster a sense of identity and oneness with their communities, he said, while offering them the opportunity to contribute to something greater than themselves.

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