For more than 25 years, I have brought my love of Social Studies to teachers and students. My journey includes a variety of roles – classroom teacher, instructional coach, curriculum coordinator, university professor, and professional development trainer. Working with middle school students has been one of the highlights of my career. After thirteen years in the classroom, I transitioned into the role of an instructional coach based on a high school campus. This window into other teachers’ classrooms motivated my inner calling to improve social studies instruction. I realized how important front line education is to changing the way students react to and learn from the important life lessons Socials Studies has to share. My next step was to central office. I served a district of over 55,000 students as a Social Studies Coordinator. My goal of improving Social Studies instruction increased as I worked with over 600 K-12 Social Studies teachers to implement transformative Social Studies education. In my current role, I provide professional development, consulting services and resources to Social Studies teachers. I want every child to understand the importance of Social Studies in their life – and every teacher to have the tools to reach them.
What do I believe about Social Studies instruction? Students need to be engaged to learn. -Schlechty’s Design Qualities of engagement History can be fun and rigorous at the same time. -Bower’s Bring Learning Alive! All students can learn – we just need to support them in different ways. -Seidlitz’s Seven Steps Kids need to continuously review content through games and engaging activities. -Himmele’s Total Participation Techniques Writing is essential for learning, not just assessment. -Daniels’ Content Area Writing Vocabulary instruction must be intentional and engaging. -Marzano Academic Vocabulary History should not be trivial pursuit – dig deeper and teach with essential questions and enduring understandings. -Wiggins & McTighe Essential Questions Students are social – purposeful talk is crucial to learning. -Walsh Quality Questioning Students need to read in Social Studies – reading informational text cannot be mastered without constant practice. -Kinsella’s Considerate Text “Soft skills” of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity are essential to future success in the job market. -Muir Reasons Millennials Get Fired Everyone’s story needs to be told – we have a great responsibility for helping students see patterns in history across time. Teachers should not be afraid to teach the “hard history”. -Dawn
Who's Who Among Teachers Texas State Teacher of the Year
Undergraduate Degree from Stephen F. Austin State University Master's Degree from Texas A&M University
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English Language Arts, Specialty, Science, Social Studies - History, Ancient History, Civics, Government, Native Americans, U.S. History, European History, World History, EFL - ESL - ELD, Education, Canadian History, Australian History, British History, Geography, Other (Social Studies - History), Gifted and Talented, Literature, Classroom Management, Economics , Physical Science, Asian Studies, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King Day, Black History Month, For All Subjects, Informational Text, Test Preparation, End of Year