Category Archives: professional development

Supporting New Colleagues

Whew! Kansas teachers have just about the first month of school under our belts. Heck, Homecoming is this weekend here in El Dorado. You may finally have the feeling that your feet are on solid ground, having made it through all the new faces, rosters, seating charts, data sorting, lesson planning, meet the teacher nights, etc. Of course, now we’re into our first big assignments to be graded, parent-teacher conferences are just around the corner and if you’re also coaching your away games mean at least one night a week is taken over by bus rides, encouragement and fast food. Now try to remember what it was like figuring it all out for the first time. Wow.

 

School Teacher Children Classroom Playmobil

We know that schools in Kansas haven’t exactly flourished in the past few years and that has really effected teachers. The Wichita NBC affiliate KSN ran a story that Kansas is down 1500 teachers for this school year. Is anyone surprised that our young people aren’t flocking to the profession? So I’m asking that if there are any new teachers in your building, please check in with them, even if they’re not a fellow social studies instructor (we’ll forgive them this once). Ask them if they need anything – help them navigate the teacher’s lounge, or share the trick about fixing a jam in the copier. Let them know there’s a lifeguard on duty in case they start to feel like they’re drowning.

We need to encourage and support our new colleagues so we don’t lose them; lock them in before they figure out there are actually jobs that end at 5:00 and have weekends off. In addition to personal outreach, there are a lot of good resources out there for new teachers to tap: Edutopia has a Toolkit for New Teachers, the National Education Association has a good selection of articles for new teachers on many of the issues that don’t necessarily get covered in university programs. Parent-teacher conferences are just around the corner and ASCD has a good set of guidelines to get them started.

There are also a wealth of networks new teachers can join that are on-going. You might have caught my post back in March on #sschat. They’ve seen the need and created the new hashtag #NTsschat just for New Teachers (NTs). The National Council for the Social Studies also has their Twitter account @NCSSNetwork and Facebook page and the Technology Community has the handle @TechNCSS.

In fact, @TechNCSS will be hosting a Twitter Chat of their own tomorrow (Tuesday, September 19) just for the problems faced by new teachers. Please encourage your new teachers to join us (once again, even if they’re not social studies, maybe learning about Twitter Chats will help them to find their way to one in their curriculum). You can feel free to join us if you want to help answer their questions or you’ve been interested in checking one out. This is one that will have a lot of basics if you want to lurk and pick up some new resources.

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2017 Kansas Social Studies Conference Kansans Can: Social Studies Leading the Way

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Be sure to mark your calendar and start making plans to attend the 2017 Kansas Social Studies Conference Kansans Can: Social Studies Leading the Way

Join us for a great time on November 5-6, 2017 in downtown Wichita at the historic Hotel at Old Town and Conference Center. You won’t want to miss it! Get the full details at the conference website.

The conference theme is focused on the teaching and learning of historical thinking skills and assessments with a special highlight on economics and the state board’s Kansans Can vision. You’ll walk away smarter with new details about the upcoming Spring 2018 social studies assessment, civic engagement strategies, tech integration tools, current best practice, and the latest from the Kansas Council for Economic Education.

Registration Fee:
$50 – Kansas Teachers/Administrators
$20 – Kansas Pre-service Teachers
$50 – Exhibitors

The registration fee also include hors d’oeuvres at the awards reception Sunday evening, breakfast Monday morning, and lunch Monday afternoon so don’t delay and register today!  We can send you an invoice to pay registration at a later date but reserve your hotel as soon as possible.

Extra bonus? The conference is in the center of Old Town with all sorts of fun things to do. We’ve also arranged for amazing prices at the Hotel at Old Town, a great piece of Wichita history.  Be sure to reserve your room before the October 12th cutoff date.  Don’t wait until the last minute as these rooms will go fast at this rate!  Contact the hotel directly to book your reservation. (You can request an invoice so the school can provide payment/check at check in.)

Room Rates:old hotel
Queen Studio – $79.00/night
King Studio – $89.00/night
Queen/Queen Studio – $99.00/night

Conference Schedule:

This conference will have great information for all grade levels, including special sessions for elementary teachers. Full details on the session schedule is coming in early October. (Interested in presenting?)

Sunday, November 5th:

3:00 – 6:15 p.m.
Afternoon workshops

6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Reception/awards ceremony with hors d’oeuvres and drinks

KSDE Update from Don Gifford

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7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Special screening of Dawn of Day, a historical documentary about the Underground Railroad in Kansas that brings to light Wabaunsee County’s unsung heroes who traversed one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history. Faith, family, and politics united a community of neighbors who lived and died to ensure Kansas was a free state. Hang around after for conversation and teaching tips.

Monday November 6th

8:00 a.m.
Breakfast

Guest Speaker:  Mark Schug, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Breakout sessions

Lunch 

3:30 p.m.
Conference closing

Session Proposals:

We are currently soliciting session proposals so be sure to send us a proposal by September 20th if you have some great information to share with colleagues.  

Get more info and submit your proposal online

Your homework?

  • Save the date.
  • Talk to your admin.
  • Bookmark the website.
  • Submit a session proposal.
  • Share this information with your social studies colleagues.

Need more info? Contact:

Angela Howdeshell
Vice President for Programs & Administration
Kansas Council for Economic Education
kcee@wichita.edu
316-978-5183
www.kcee.wichita.edu

Educators and Art Museums: Doing Social Studies Together

na art museumThe following is a guest post written by Bonnie Thomas.  Bonnie is the Manager, Education Programs and Resources at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO.

“School subjects are like individual rectangles, the teacher explained. And this long, curved line represents the arts and humanities, linking concepts and modes of thinking across disciplines.”

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painting creditsThis teacher, speaking in front of a vibrant geometric painting by the artist Robert Mangold, was one of 15 participants in a partnership project dedicated to exploring how art museums can support humanities education in public schools. Her comments emerged during a reflection activity in which teachers chose an artwork to represent their experience in the partnership project. Many other participants made similar comments, pointing out newly recognized connections between classroom subjects and visual art.

These teachers had first gathered several months previously at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, an encyclopedic art museum in Kansas City, Missouri. The Nelson-Atkins, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, was seeking teachers’ input on how its strong collection of American art could be leveraged to strengthen student learning in American history and related social studies topics.

Continue reading Educators and Art Museums: Doing Social Studies Together

A TOP Experience

Brandenburg Tor
Selfie at the Brandenburg Gate.

We all know that travel can enrich our teaching, provide us with experiences that we bring back to our students to will help them to better grasp historical events and far flung locales. This fall I’m bringing Germany back to my students.

Mid-July and hot as an oven outside with just under a month until we report back for another school year. Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with your family and probably too the opportunity to partake of some professional development. If you stayed close to home I bet you checked out a Kansas Impact Institute, #ksedcamp and/or Podstock.  If you decided to go a little farther afield you likely spent a week or three with the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Gilder-Lehrman, or any number of programs provided by foundations and museums around the country.

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This summer, I had the honor of being selected a TOP Fellow. If you haven’t heard of the Transatlantic Outreach Program, please check them out; if you’ve attended one of their workshops or their reception at NCSS – you need to apply! TOP sends six groups of educators to Germany every summer for two week tours that are truly extraordinary. Every tour is tailored to the interests of the selected educators and lovingly crafted by one of the TOP employees who will guide your trip. Continue reading A TOP Experience

Foundations for Teaching Economics free professional learning. And a stipend!

Looking for some free econ professional learning and a $200 stipend? Then the Foundation for Teaching Economics upcoming Economics for Leaders week-long session is for you.

During this in-depth training scheduled at Washington University in St. Louis on July 17-22, high school teachers “go back to school” and are taught by university professors and mentor teachers. What makes the week unique are the games and simulations: instructors run the activities with real students so teachers can observe the students’ interactions. You’ll see why FTE – designed lessons are so effective and you’ll walk away with a better knowledge of economics, new classroom strategies, and a renewed enthusiasm for teaching. Both new and experienced teachers will benefit from attending the Economics for Leaders program.

What you’ll get:

  • Lessons correlated with the state and national standards in economics
  • Engaging lessons & activities for your classroom
  • Free housing with most meals paid by the Foundation for Teaching Economics
  • Optional graduate credit, three semester hours in economics, only $366
  • 50+ hours of instruction

Specific topics covered:

  • Economic Growth and Scarcity
  • Open Markets
  • Labor Markets
  • Property Rights
  • Money and Inflation
  • Opportunity Cost and Incentives
  • Markets in Action
  • Incentives, Innovations and Institutions Role of Government
  • International Markets

I have been teaching economics for 15 years, so I wonder if I would learn anything new. I learned so much!!! The activities are wonderful for engaging teenagers.

Carla Schiller

Interested? Contact Haley Sisler via email at  hsisler@fte.org or call 530-757-4635. Get more information at fte.org.