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 annual conference presented by the National Council for the Social Studies is one of the best sources of professional development of social studies teachers in the United States. There will be a plethora of presentations by various news organizations, curriculum development companies, and teachers from across the country. Lessons are presented in classroom-ready format. Some of my best lessons have either come directly from sessions of past conferences or have been adapted from ideas that were presented. There are always wonderful, relevant, and sometimes even inspiring keynote speakers as well. Lastly, it is invigorating to see my peers involved in best practices.
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