Teachers Return to Classroom During UH’s Common Ground Institute

Honors College Reenergizing Teachers with Literature and Lectures

It’s back to the classroom for a group of dedicated teachers. These educators aren’t teaching summer school. Instead, they’re learning from faculty at the University of Houston’s Honors College.

The Honors College’s annual Common Ground Institute offers Houston area teachers opportunities to recharge their creative batteries through texts, discussions, films and lunchtime readings. This will be the 27th year that UH has presented this event, which is supported by the John P. McGovern Foundation. Common Ground will be conducted June 24 – July 1.

“The goal of Common Ground is to provide these teachers with new perspectives on literature that they can take back to their classrooms,” said William Monroe, dean of the Honors College. “It’s about energizing them during these summer months and giving them the opportunity to develop fresh ideas that are relevant to the students on their campus. Common Ground makes us all better teachers.”

Monroe is among the Common Ground faculty leading discussions on assigned texts. 2016 Common Ground seminars and instructors include:

  • “Rewriting, Retelling and Rereading America” – Hayan Charara, UH visiting assistant professor
  • “The Megacity in Literature and Film” – Merilee Cunningham, associate professor of English at the University of Houston-Downtown
  • “On the Road: Stories of Travel and Travail” – William Monroe

This year’s lunchtime readings will feature poets and writers who are members of the Honors College faculty, including founding dean Ted Estess. These readings begin at noon and are open to the public. A light lunch will be served. A list of readers is as follows:

  • June 27 - Chanelle Benz, Chris Brunt
  • June 28 – Kimberly Meyer
  • June 29 - Hayan Charara
  • June 30 – Ted Estess

Each year, teachers apply to this free institute, and participants receive book stipends courtesy of the McGovern Foundation. For more details on Common Ground, visit its website.

The Honors College at UH is a hub of excellence that serves the needs of gifted undergraduates in more than 100 fields of study and reflects the rich diversity of the University of Houston in its courses, faculty and students. For over 50 years, the Honors College has offered students the best of both worlds: the advantages of a small college together with the comprehensive resources and rich diversity of a large university. For more information about the Honors College, visit http://TheHonorsCollege.com.