As the Washington State Council for the Social Studies heads into 2015, I am excited about what lies ahead. This past November I took over as president after serving as vice president for the past two years. During that time we hosted the NCSS national conference in 2012, revised our Constitution and by-laws, and saw our membership and conference attendance grow significantly. We established a closer connection with OSPI, regional educational services districts and collaborated with other statewide education content associations around the implementation of Common Core State Standards. Most importantly, we launched our new website which has made us both more responsive in communicating events and initiatives in our state to our members and allowed us to provide high quality resources through our lesson plan library.
While we have had some significant changes, we still remain committed to being the preeminent provider of social studies professional development in Washington. With our recent growth in attendance, we know that teacher are enthusiastic for events like our Fall, Winter K-8, and Spring Chelan Conferences. These will always be our priority and we hope that we can continue to work with our membership to continue to make these special events.
Teaching is often times a solitary profession. While we are encouraged to connect and collaborate, there is often little or no time to do so. While we have been a leader in high quality social studies professional development, we recognize the need for social studies teachers to meet, learn and share beyond our three conferences. Our goal is that the WSCSS can lead the way in creating a more dynamic, interconnected social studies community.
We hope that the WSCSS website will be the place where that community finds its center. Amazing social studies teachers are spread all across our state and we want nothing more than to bring them together and help them share all that they do to make history, economic, civic, psychology and sociology come alive. When social studies teachers are looking for lesson plans, professional development opportunities, or high quality conferences, we want them to come to us first. We encourage members to comment, to share ideas, and to connect with other dedicated educators that want to improve their practice in order to serve their students. We will strive to make our website to be a fluid and engaging space where teachers come to school on Monday wanting to check in and see what they may have missed. We will not rest until all social studies teachers in the state have the WSCSS bookmarked on their web browser.
One of the new things I am initiating as president of the WSCSS is a regular blog post called The Bully Pulpit. I hope that throughout the year, I can continue to keep our members up to date with what the President and the WSCSS Executive Board are doing between our Fall, Winter and Spring conferences. We have some dedicated volunteers that are advocating for social studies education at the state, local, and school level, and I want to make sure their efforts are recognized. Thank you for your time and I look forward to working with all of you in the future.
Continue to follow our twitter feed, check in on our Facebook page, and be sure to subscribe to The Latest News. The WSCSS is going to new places and I hope you are ready to join us on the journey.