My students are diverse in many ways: they come from various ethnic, religious, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. Though they start with varying degrees of academic prowess, they are hard working, engaged, and generally enthusiastic about learning. My school is located in a town that has seen great changes over the past few decades. The area was, for a long time, mostly populated by ranchers. Today, after the addition of many housing projects, my classroom is filled with students who reflect the great diversity of the Bay Area.
The National Council for the Social Studies puts on an annual conference every fall. It is truly one of the best professional development options available for Social Studies teachers. Every year that I have attended, I have made a point of collecting lessons and items that are valuable not just to the students in my classroom but also to the students in classrooms throughout the department. In particular, many of my best lessons in my Psychology course have come from sessions and workshops that I attended at the NCSS conference. It is also an event that allows me to grow as a professional and learn as an instructor.
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