A regular feature of our old print newsletter was a note from the WSCSS president. We recently realized that in our transition to digital communication, we forgot about that piece. Tony and I are more accustomed to working behind the scenes, and neither of us feel like terribly presidential people, so it just didn't occur to us. What would you like us to write about? How can we connect with you better? Let us know via social media!
Here's what's going on back here, behind the scenes.
The WSCSS board has been working especially hard this fall, planning our Spring Conference at Skamania. Not only will it be our first time in a new location in 20+ years, but it will also be our first time collaborating with the Oregon Council for the Social Studies. We are exploring all kinds of connections with educators in Oregon, and would love any help you can offer in that respect. The call for proposals is officially open! Recruit a team and pitch an idea! We'd love to learn from your expertise.
We are also preparing another great K-8 conference. This year, the theme will be "Islam In the World and In Your Classroom," and will be on Feburary 3rd at the Muslims of Puget Sound Offices in Redmond.
Below is an excerpt from the speech I gave at the 2017 Fall Conference.
...After last year’s election, I struggled for months to decide whether or not I felt like I was doing enough. Is the classroom the best place for me to, as Norman Rush writes, align my powers against the woes of the world?
Of course it is.
This is our social studies moment! The country, and the world, needs us to train a new generation of people who are capable of engaging in civil civic discourse.
Granted, we need to work smarter, not harder.
We need to pay attention to the conversations that we may actually be able participate in, like school board and city council meetings, and then participate in those conversations.
We need to pay closer attention to our students and work within our buildings and districts to better support them intellectually, emotionally and sometimes even nutritionally.
We need to ask for help from our communities in clear, pragmatic ways.
We need to take good care of ourselves so we don’t burn out and are capable of bringing joy into our classrooms.
We need to stay focused on connecting with our students so that they will learn from us, and on honing our craft.
We at the WSCSS are dedicated to helping you hone your craft.