Professional Development 1
Online Summer Course Offering: Principles and Foundations of Environmental Education
This professional development course is aimed at classroom teachers and non-formal educators who would like to gain basic knowledge of environmental education (EE) and how it can be incorporated into instruction.
Dates June 1 - August 9, 2015
Cost $125 for CAEE member
$160 for non-CAEE member
Credit Two optional graduate-level recertification credits are available through the Colorado School of Mines Teacher Enhancement Program for an additional fee of $90.
Holocaust education opportunity for CO educators
The Levine Institute for Holocaust Education of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum seeks to train the nation’s teachers to encourage their students to learn about the Holocaust, to reflect on its meaning for today, and then to act responsibly as members of the national and global community.
We are pleased to offer The Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators. Secondary teachers and community college instructors with fewer than five years’ experience in teaching about the Holocaust are encouraged to apply. The workshop is free of charge and includes many classroom resources. Participants are responsible for their travel expenses.
A generous number of $1,000 scholarships are available to teachers, especially those in geographic regions or whose student populations are defined as underserved by the Museum --- and our funder is particularly interested in Colorado educators.
More registration information and application, please visit our website.
President's Message from Stephen Armstrong,
National Council for the Social Studies
You Are the Advocate
For many social studies teachers working in the classroom, the statement that they should be engaged in “advocacy” for their profession sounds strange or scary. Many social studies teachers are told by their administrators not to let students know what their political positions are on local referendum issues, elections, etc., with an implication that all personal politics is to be dampened. In addition, many teachers perceive “advocacy” to be something that a few NCSS leaders might do off in Washington, DC; something with little connection to what they actually are doing in the classroom every day.
I have news for you: teachers have a constitutionally protected right to do important advocacy outside of the classroom, and it all begins at the local level. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 30-year veteran—or the first-year teacher—talking to his or her state legislator or city/town council member on the value and importance of social studies education. With politics and budgets being as they are today, a large amount of legislative action that will directly impact social studies education is likely to take place at the local and state levels, and even national policy has its source at the grass roots.
Better than just lobbying a council member, begin by inviting him or her to speak to your classes or to help judge a Geography Bee competition. Successful advocates will tell you that building up this relationship is infinitely helpful.
Many teachers who go into a state legislator’s office for the first time fear that they won’t remember “everything that needs to be said.” Or, conversely, they are unclear just what to ask for. You may have only 10 or 15 short minutes to “make your case” (I have learned by this point to NOT take this time restriction personally). You might begin by briefly “Telling your story,” showing how social studies is important for your students. If you have a specific example of a student in your classes being positively impacted by what he or she did in your classes, tell that memorable story. Then, be prepared and ask for something specific. Don’t just ask for “more money for social studies,” rather, ask your legislator (or their aid, if the official is unavailable) to support a specific bill, initiative, or line item on a budget. Make sure you leave your card with the person you are speaking to, with assurances that you are available. Then, send a follow up note (not an email) to the person that you spoke with, thanking that person for his or her time.
Further hints: Advocate for all of the core disciplines of social studies, K-12. Since many legislators are especially interested when civics or civic education is mentioned, make sure that topic is covered. Coordinate with your local or state council leaders, and encourage others to do the same thing you are doing. Visit in groups of three or four, and rehearse your message before you arrive, and be sure you have a clearly articulated, central request.
Advocacy is not just something done by a few NCSS folks in Washington. The best advocacy is done by classroom teachers in their relationships with local and state officials. It’s never too late to begin!