This week’s post comes from Dr. Robyn Kelso. Robyn teaches senior American Government, American National Government, and International Relations at Eudora High School in Eudora, KS. Robyn enjoys learning across social studies and am curious about the world as a whole. Robyn also enjoys reading and working on her hobby cattle farm.
Those who are familiar with the headline . . . yes, it is a shameless steal from Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. I was lucky enough to have stars align and enable me to take three different professional development fellowships this summer. I felt this lyric particularly applied for my first trip as part of the Supreme Court Summer Institute through Street Law in Washington DC. From content learning to lesson plans and a visit to the Supreme Court to hear opinions announced during the last days of the term, this was a terrific opportunity all the way around.
My takeaways from this experience included several things:
How many times have you had someone outside the education profession say this to you? If you are reading this blog post, chances are you know that it’s really not true. You probably know that teachers use these precious summer months to recharge, refuel, and LEARN. We strive to find ways to perfect our craft and answer questions that came up over the past school year.
This is the first summer that I did not physically attend multiple professional development conferences or workshops in June and July. I say “physically” because looking back on the past few months, I do feel that I attended professional development in a new and different way. Over the past year, I have found a new community on Instagram.
This community is filled with educators from all different content areas and age ranges. Educators are posting lesson plan ideas, classroom management strategies, classroom organization tips, and even personal stories and experiences. Many of them have stores on Teachers Pay Teachers, blogs, or vlogs and are sharing content / pedagogical strategies for the world to access at our finger tips.
The tired stereotype of the history teacher at the front of the room lecturing from bell to bell, droning on about nothing but names, places, and dates, and never noticing the kids sleeping in the back row needs to be thrown out the window! In its place, how about a teacher that never lectures but instead provides students time to work hands on with the content and apply their learning from bell to bell?
With Flipped Learning, this is possible in every social studies classroom!
Anyone else hear Martina McBride belting out a hit when you read that title?
For the majority of you (I hope), it is summer break and you aren’t spending too much time thinking about lesson planning. But it’s never a bad idea to have some great Independence Day lesson plans in your back pocket for a rainy day! All of my 4th of July lesson planning came when I was running a preschool summer camp; squeeze some glue on a black piece of construction paper, throw some glitter at it, and BOOM . . . a firework!
Luckily these resources have a bit more history to them for those teachers that like to cover some actual content in their classrooms!