Erika Lowery, TCSS President
"Don't settle for mediocrity, find your passion and take a chance." I am looking forward to the start of another fabulous year! Congratulations to our new teachers and welcome to the profession. The Texas Council for the Social Studies is eager to support our members and to reach out to other social studies educators across this great state. As you make your way through the school year, please take a moment to visit our website for classroom resources and opportunities to network with colleagues in your area. In addition, learn more about our #TXCSS2018 Fall Conference. Registration is open and we look forward to the sharing this experience.
First Day Jitters
Kip Harmon, TCSS President-Elect
Tossing and turning the night before. Anxious feelings in the morning at breakfast. Who is going to be in our classes? Will we get along with everyone? How is the year going to go? How soon will I know all the students’ names? And this is just a few of the feelings and questions that every teacher has right before the first day of school.
I recently read an article in Education Week that got me to thinking about ways to ease those first day jitters for our students as they enter our classrooms. The author suggested we think about the way we seat our students on that first day and maybe not just put them in alphabetical order or just let students sit where ever they want. Instead, she suggests that teachers engage students in a variety of seating challenges to get to know a bit about each student and set the tone for positive collaboration for the year. The challenges each take about 10-15 minutes and she does one each day for the first week. She says that the these challenges allow her to get to know personalities and can help in the planning for future lessons.
Learning students’ names and personalities is just the beginning. Building relationships with the students in our classes is probably the most important thing teachers can do to help students be successful. Greeting students at the door, finding out about their interests, and talking to their parents are all ways to start to learn what it is that makes each student tick. Parents can let teachers in on what motivates or crushes their child. Connecting to their interests and finding out what they love to do out of school can give teachers a way to begin conversations. Greeting kids at the door gives a teacher an instant temperature check on how students are doing as they enter the classroom. These ideas are just a few ways to begin to make connections with students.
Try a few of these ideas out as this new year begins. Maybe it will help make the best year ever for each student.
You can find more information at the following two article links:
Get your classroom featured!
In the spirit of collaboration and innovation, TCSS is looking for teachers willing to share photos of their classroom setup with other members of the community. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, city, and photos of your classroom! Photos will be used on our website and social media channels - please make certain photos are of the classroom space only (no students, please).