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HEP News Summer 2020 Edition (Vol 2, No.1)

We are living in difficult times.

How do we make sense of the issues we currently face as historians, educators, Americans, and global citizens? From COVID, to the stories of harassment and attacks on Asians and Asian Americans, to the continual caging of children detained at the U.S.-Mexico border, to the never-ending shootings on school campuses, to the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery (and so many others before them), to the widespread protests in response to these issues ... how can we help all of our students navigate these difficult times through the teaching of history/social studies?

As history/social studies educators, it might seem like a monumental task to figure out ways to deal with the various crises in our country. As human beings, it is natural to feel enraged, scared, confused, and convicted all at once. Further complicating everything, we enter a summer season trying to figure out how to make history and social studies relevant and useful in the age of remote learning due to COVID-19. Still, we shouldn't be afraid to tackle the most difficult subjects in our curriculum, including the historical and continuing role of racism and injustice in our society. It is our job to more deeply explore and contextualize this past and to do so in ways that will help create more thoughtful and empathetic citizens in the future.

We encourage you to reconsider how history and social studies can help change lives in your classroom. It is within our reach to use lessons of the past and present to teach empathy, compassion, equality, justice, and respect for others. These are hallmarks of character education, whose traits are already found in many (if not all) state social studies standards. Use this summer season to construct a meaningful curriculum that is less focused on the cool trivia of history, or what "works for me," and instead pushes us to be better educators, historians, and mentors. In other words, teach about the past in ways that can inform our present moment and help our students build a better future.

For information and resources that can help you get started (plus some helpful resources for teaching in the time of COVID 19), click here. We hope you make it a priority this summer to think about ways you can help visualize a history/social studies curriculum that helps improve our world.

In this edition of HEP News:

  • Roundtable discussion on Teaching 9-12 Social Studies in the Age of COVID
  • Update - Requirements for Admission to Teacher Education Program
  • Fall 2020 - What the semester might look like
  • Good news
  • Social Studies Updates from NC DPI
  • Apply to Teacher Ed! (Fall deadline: Aug 1)
  • Alumni Spotlight: Dalton Lewis
  • Goodbye to our Spring 2020 graduates
Teaching 9-12 Social Studies in the Age of COVID: A Roundtable Discussion with History Ed Alumni, Seniors, and Faculty.

On May 28, a group of seniors and alumni met via Zoom to discuss what the 9-12 social studies classroom looked like in the Spring 2020 semester due to the COVID outbreak and school shutdowns. Along with the HEP Team, one recent graduate - Nick Goard - shared what happened to his student teaching internship, two seniors - Winn Williams and Hannah Carpenter - shared their concerns about the upcoming Fall 2020 student teaching experience based on their Methods internship, and three alums of the class or 2018 - Adam Moore (East Forsyth HS), Anna Allman (Durham Riverside HS), and Deziree Baker (Wakefield HS) - shared their accounts from their second year in the classroom.

The following are brief excerpts of our conversation (edited for brevity and clarity) ...

When did you first hear about schools shutting down due to COVID-19?
  • Adam Moore: "I didn't think much of it, but then one day, about a week prior to us shutting down, my school's instructional facilitator called me to her office ... she was sending me to this meeting (with) representatives from all the different schools in Forsyth County, and we were going to be talking about what our shutdown plans were going to look like, and what e-learning is going to look like, and that I was not to talk about it with anybody. So, I was sent to this mysterious meeting as a chosen one ... we later discovered we were chosen because we were the ones using the most technology in our classroom and could understand how to facilitate e-learning with our staff."
What was the most challenging part of moving online?
  • Anna Allman: "My district is not 'one-to-one' ... so, this whole thing of e-learning is only great if you have the Internet to log on. We had to go through this undertaking of who not only has internet, but who has a tablet, a computer, or even a phone to log on. I had my kids fill out a survey: 'Do you have Internet access 24/7 in your home?' 'What device do you use to access the Internet?' For several of my kids, the only device they have is a phone. That means anything that what I make and put on my class website has to be something that is mobile friendly (or sent home by paper). We had to contact our students, and one of the questions we asked them was: 'Do you have a device at home you don't share with anyone else?' That's what got a lot of my students. Yeah, they have one laptop, but it's also for the brother who's a Senior, and the sister who's a 7th grader, and if they're all trying to e-learn, how is that going to work?"
  • Nick Goard: "The hardest part for me was to coordinate with my clinical educator. What was that going to look like, because I didn't have the full autonomy she had. We talked about what it was going to look like if I was going to make stuff (or if she tries to make stuff). And then figure out how many assignments we could have, and how we would grade it? —keeping in mind that they (students) are having to share these devices. [...] That was one of the most difficult things: trying to realize I can't teach everything that I need to teach; I have to pick and choose and really get down to the nitty-gritty about what I'm asking so they understand (our class goals)."
How did this experience push you into new directions?
  • Deziree Baker: "You have to figure out new ways to assess. I realized my kids who would typically not do well on multiple choice test, they do so much better by just explaining in a two-paragraph writing prompt. It's been to see them perform better in different ways."
  • Moore: "The phrase I have been living by this whole time is: 'M.A.R.F. - Maintain Absolute Rigid Flexibility, because you have to be rigid in your flexibility. I don't come from a one-to-one district, but I have an Chromebook cart in my classroom that stayed in my classroom. So, I have transferred a lot of my assignments to be online. My students are really used to that structure, and that's what my students appreciated most about my class is the structure ... for any content material, I posted a voice-over recording of my lectures, which I think they appreciated a lot because you don't realize how much students just pick up from your voice. My students associate my voice with Civics. So, they don't want to learn Civics from somebody else's YouTube video, they want to watch mine because in their world I am Civics."
What are tools or techniques that made this transition to online education work?
  • Allman: "Google Drive and Suite, but also Screencast-ify, which records your screen but also your voice. As Adam was saying, sometimes your kids just need to hear your voice and pretend that things are normal ... even if just for a second."
  • Baker: "Recording myself and talk to the camera, with comments on the Google (Drive) Stream. Google Voice has also been a savior."
  • Moore: "First day of school, set up a Remind - a texting system that is web-based/app-based for smartphones where students don't have your number but you can have a conversation. Even though we live in a world of email, the average HS student has no clue how to use email ... even though most school districts provide them with an email address, 90 % of my students have no idea how to access it."
Thinking about planning over the summer, what advice would you give to others, especially those entering student teaching?
  • Allman: "Whether all-virtual, or hybrid, take it a unit at a time so you have a sense of where you're going, and your kids have that sense also. If you have to cut some of (your content) down, go ahead and pick out the stuff that's most important or what they'll see later."
  • Baker: "Planning for being in the classroom, and also have a backup if you're going to go virtual."
  • Winn Williams: "A lot of what students do are socially driven. Having that taken away takes away a lot of motivation. Finding ways to self-motivate was difficult for me, and also for my students at Watauga High (Methods internship). Finding ways to reward students is something that I'm looking to do heading into the next semester."
  • Hannah Carpenter: "The unknown means having a backup plan. I have some ideas of what I want to do in the classroom, maybe some hands-on activities. Having a backup plan for those as well seems to be my new priority for this summer!"
  • Goard: (on how to introduce himself as a first-year teacher) "Keep my beard and establish the fact that I am older than you! On a more educational level, connect with my kids."
  • Baker: "Right now, I don't know what I'm going to be teaching! If it's a course I have already taught before, I'll just go in and figure out virtual learning."
  • Moore: "With Civics, I've taught the course twelve times. I'm good to go! But (my new prep) AP Government, which still has an AP exam, is both my fear and excitement if we don't start in person."

The complete Zoom session link will be updated here (coming soon).

Update - Requirements for Admission to Teacher Education Program

By now, you should have heard from RCOE about the changes made for 2020-2021 only. For those who are ready to apply to the Teacher Education program, which allows you to register for later courses in the Professional Ed Core, the following changes have taken place due to COVID-related shutdowns:

* No PRAXIS 1 required - You are no longer required to take PRAXIS Core if you are going to apply to the Teacher Ed program either Summer 2020 or during the 2020-2021 academic year. Governor Roy Cooper signed into law an adjustment from the NC State Legislature waving PRAXIS Core as a requirement because PRAXIS testing centers are closed right now. [Remember: some of you were already exempt based on your SAT scores.]

** The GPA requirement to apply to the Teacher Ed program has temporarily gone back to 2.5 or higher, not 2.7. However, you will still need a 2.7 GPA or higher to move on to student teaching. The lower GPA is just to apply to the Teacher Ed Program.

You can read all the information about Applying to the Teacher Ed program, and the COVID-related changes, at: https://rcoe.appstate.edu/students/apply-teacher-education

Fall 2020 - What the semester might look like

In the midst of the state-wide COVID-19 shutdowns, the university has made some significant changes to Fall 2020 semester. Here are some changes and how they might affect you in the BS History/Social Studies Education program, though ... it all might change by August 17!

  • Review your schedule - Check the Schedule Type for each course. Most courses will be Lecture, Lab, Seminar, Web Based Entirely, or Web Based Hybrid. Make a note of the schedule type of each of your courses. Look at the optional course note that may be listed below each course; these can contain valuable information about the meeting pattern and expectations for each of your courses.
  • Check for conflicts - Review the meeting times of your courses, make note of any changes, and make sure there are no conflicts with your other courses. Make changes if necessary. You can make changes to your schedule via AppalNET. [Log-in to your AppalNET account and select “Look Up Classes to Add” in the Student tab to see if other sections of the same course, possibly with different schedule types, are available.] You may also want to consider other courses that fulfill your program requirements.
  • Changing Courses? - Students wishing to change courses may want to check with their academic advisor during drop/add to understand the effect this change will have on their academic plan. If you are unsure of your advisor's name, check DegreeWorks or contact your academic department or College.
  • REMINDER: The last day to make schedule changes is the 5th day of classes (August 21st).
  • Field Placements - All early field experiences will be conducted online. This includes PSY 3010 and SPE 3300. Students who are enrolled in these courses will receive more information once the semester begins. Methods-Based Internships & Practicums will vary by program and department. No in-person internships or practicums will be allowed; however, opportunities for virtual internships and/or other activities in lieu of traditional field experiences will be made available. The instructors for these courses will provide more detailed information as these internships and practicums are course-specific.
  • Student Teaching - Student teachers will follow the expectations and schedule of the clinical educator and the school in which they are assigned. All seminars and regional meetings will be conducted remotely.
  • As always, follow the History Ed program on twitter (@AppState_HistEd) and Instagram (@appstate_histed) for up to date information and reminders on Professional Development opportunities you can complete over the Summer. If you have yet to do so, request membership with RCOE in AppSync for the latest PD offerings.
  • REMINDER: Last day of fall classes is before the Thanksgiving break, with final exams after Thanksgiving.

Good news

Stephen Young ('18): "Since graduating from Appalachian, I have settled down in Surry County buying a house there and marrying my high school sweetheart, Morgan. In addition to having the most rewarding job in the world at Surry Central, I have taken on furthering my responsibilities by being in charge of the school's social studies honor society, leadership academy, and becoming an assistant coach for the football team. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Appalachian and credit many of the wonderful professors I had there for my success in this profession."

Nina Olivardia ('20): "I will be heading back to Florida in the Fall. They loved my lesson plan, and I used the history department template. They actually told me it was the best lesson plan they have seen in a while. I had to do a guest lesson with students on Zoom. Next year, I will be teaching 7th grade civics in Tallahassee!"

Deziree Baker ('18): "I have been accepted to the Master's degree program in Urban Education at UNC-Charlotte. I believe that I can truly impact students who come from “at risk” backgrounds in multiple ways beyond providing them with history lessons. This degree will help me cater to the diverse needs of these students, as well as truly understand and develop ways to lessen the achievement gap in our classrooms."

Nick Goard ('20): "Just got hired at Asheboro High School! Teaching Social Studies, and I felt like the fit was great, especially for a first job and took it once they offered. You can absolutely expect that I will stay in touch about resources, advice, and questions, so you’re not getting rid of me just yet!"

Hunter Starling ('20): "I got my first job at Avery County High School in Newland, NC and I am so excited to be staying close to Boone to start my teaching career!"

Anna Allman ('18): "I got married last week to Katie Haynes ('19). So you can tell all your incoming freshmen that true love maybe waits for them inside the windowless rooms of Belk Hall!" [Both Anna and Adam Moore ('18) also attended College Board AP training this summer]

Dalton Lewis ('18) won the Ashe County Schools Beginning Teacher of the Year Award, while Dawn Morris Forward (’92) won the Polk County Schools Teacher of the Year Award. Congrats to both!

Joana Varela ('20): "I am overjoyed to share that I will be teaching 11th grade U.S. History at Goose Creek High School, in Goose Creek South Carolina. Figured I'd give living by the beaches of Charleston a try.I would like to share my appreciation and gratitude for those who have guided me throughout the Social Studies program, as well as throughout my student teaching. The experience and skills you have all shared with me are greatly valued."

[Pictured is Christian Gardner ('17), who continues to teach social studies at McDonough HS in Pomfret, MD.]

Social Studies Updates from NC DPI

The Social Studies team at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction publishes periodic updates. The latest version can be found at: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/NCSBE/bulletins/2949d73. If you are interested (and we highly encourage you to do so), subscribe to their updates using the links at the top, and follow them on social media.

Of particular note are the revised 9-12 standards that go into effect over the next two years. Familiarize yourselves with these standards as they will be the ones you will be teaching.

Also check out the latest RCOE Professional Development Newsletter and subscribe

Apply to Teacher Education

APPLICATION WINDOW IS NOW OPEN! Deadline is Aug 1 for Fall Admission.

Admission into the Teacher Education program is required to take upper-level courses in your Professional Education Requirements section of your degree. The application is accessed through your AppalNet account. You should apply as soon as you are eligible to do so. Once your application is processed you will receive an email from Jenny Morris or History Education to that effect. Upon completion of your application, a new “ATCH” attribute will be added to your DegreeWorks page.

Eligibility is based on the following:

  • Passing Praxis CORE test or test exemption (based on SAT scores) - waived for 2020-2021
  • Attendance at a First Steps to Teaching Information Session (emailed invitation)
  • A current Criminal Background Check
  • A minimum 2.7 GPA or higher (changed to 2.5 for 2020-2021 applicants)
  • 45 earned semester hours
  • A “C” or better in RC 1000, FDN 2400, & CI 2300. No grades of incomplete.

Alumni Spotlight: Dalton Lewis

A native of Ashe County, NC, Dalton Lewis did not venture too far for his university studies. Although he enjoyed helping his father with his stone-masonry business, Dalton always knew his true passion centered on history and teaching.

Dalton completed his student teaching at Alleghany High School and jumped at the opportunity to come back to Ashe County, accepting a position at Ashe County Middle School to teach social studies and ELA (and even some science along the way). He also helps coach the girl's volleyball team.

In 2020, Dalton earned the distinction of being named the Ashe County Beginning Teacher of the Year. This award runs in the family as his wife and fellow Mountaineer, Callie (Art Education at Westwood Elem.), also won the 2020 Ashe County Schools Teacher of the Year Award. Congrats to both!

Goodbye to our Spring Graduates

Austin Abernathy, Hailey Esakov, Meggin Frazier, Nicholas Goard, Hannah Gould, Caleb Guenther, Brenden Jobe, Robert Judy, Kara Old, Nina Olivardia, Keegan Ross, Hunter Starling, Sara Turner, Joana Varela, Daniel Vestal, and Phillip Watson.

We will miss all of you!! But at least a few of you we'll see around as you begin your MA programs at App State.

History Department • Anne Belk Hall • history.appstate.edu/historyeducation