Friday, November 20, 2015

Thoughts from NCSS New Orleans

Last weekend, I had the great luxury to attend the National Council of the Social Studies (NCSS) conference in New Orleans. It was great to reconnect with old friends, make some new ones, and to get some seriously good professional development in. I asked attendees to give me a few comments on their experiences, and here's what I got. 

"I liked how so many presentations dealt with real world issues, and showed how they linked back to psych (instead of focusing on a psych topic and how to teach it.) 

"The entire weekend was amazing! One thing I want to try is actually from your session (Amy Ramponi) with Jen Schlicht and Allison Shaver, Talk Tuesdays, I believe you called them. My students struggles with developing good questions, this sounds like just the thing!" 

"It was awesome to attend the first session Friday morning on teaching AP Psychology. I also feel a bit like it is {AP Psychology} set up like a vocabulary course. As the only AP Psych teacher I know (maybe the only one in Maine?) it was nice to talk with others who are teaching it and I loved the ideas from the presenter (Sean Tischler). Super effort by everyone! Thank you! 

"Don't teach kids psychology, DO PSYCHOLOGY."

"You can learn about psych in lots of places (like the THSP blog!) and the things you learn about psych at NCSS are fantastic. But the best thing about the conference is the chance to develop personal relationships with other psych teachers. It is helpful (and wonderful) when these new colleagues' names come up on the Psych Community Facebook page or with the #psychat tag on Twitter. NCSS always leaves me feeling energized and connected. 

"I liked how all presenters mentioned doing projects or activities that were very open-ended and unencumbered by rubrics and exemplars. This is such a great way to encourage students to explore something of interest to their lives.

Thank you to the NCSS leadership committee, NCSS, New Orleans, LA and everyone who attended for enriching the experience. Next year, plan on attending in Washington DC, if you can! Also, if you're looking for the presentations and links keep your eye on the NCSS Psychology Community web page for the links from the presentations to go up. If you're not a member, consider joining. The fee is a ridiciously tiny $30 for a lifetime membership. (Wha?) Membership information is included on the website linked above. 

My two-cents about the NCSS conference? An engaging & passionate group of psych teachers putting some seriously thought-provoking and good stuff out there. And I'm set for pens and pencils free from the Exhibition Hall for at least 20 years. 

---Posted by Amy Ramponi, who has almost caught up on her sleep  


Taterthegator said...

Sounds like a great conference and awesome that your district will encourage this professional development.

My take-away though was from the educator that was from Maine and thought they were the only one who teaches AP Psych. Not so fast my friend! There are some very successful AP programs in the state but I am not sure anyone knows about them.

My question to all is, how do you begin networking within your state to build camaraderie and share ideas or best practices? How painstaking is it? I am sure that with technology, it isn't quite as hard as in years past.


Amy Ramponi said...

Hi - do you have an email address and/or real name? I'd be happy to connect the other teacher (and yourself up) to make some great stuff happen in the state of Maine. My suggestion would be to join TOPSS, and then apply for a networking grant. THERE IS MONEY OUT THERE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE TO CONNECT UP HS PSYCH TEACHERS!!

The task takes some leg work - getting a database of teachers and scouring the interwebs for names/emails - but can be done fairly easily. Here is a PTN article with more information: