After several months of working on this, I can finally share with you my presentation deck for teaching history thematically! The detailed mini e-book version will come soon! Continue reading this post to get more information and access to the deck.
The link to the deck is at the bottom of the post in case you want to skip through the reflection
On December 7th, I delivered my very first conference workshop at CTA (California Teachers Association) New Educator Weekend South in San Diego. It is a professional development conference that is geared towards educators who are in years 0-3 in the classroom. in 2018 I was an attendee and now I'm a presenter in 2019!
I've taught for 3-4 years, but I've never really delivered a full-on workshop to educators before. I was definitely nervous. I wondered, "What if no one shows up to my workshop? Or what if they think teaching thematically is a terrible idea??"
The butterflies disappeared when the workshop started. I just got into my zone as if it I'm teaching my own classes. It was really nice to see 20+ educators in attendance and all of them were curious about how it worked. About half of them were in their first year of teaching. One was still a college student.
Here's my recommendation for first-year teachers who are interested in thematic: Don't do it during your first year. Focus on getting through the year first. There is so much going on in the first year. Do not get ambitious and go crazy. Focus on getting into the routine of things and create a balance. My first two years' work-life balance was absolutely terrible, not to say it's any better now, but it's improved. However, that's a different story.
The attendees asked a lot of good questions and they left very enthusiastic about thematic. I definitely hope some of them will reach out. I'd love to collaborate and help expand our growing community.
I will probably be repeating this a lot in future posts, but I get asked this one particular question a lot:
Question: What inspired you to teach thematically?
Answer: Most of my history classes in college were taught thematically. Why can't we do it in K-12?? I knew that I will eventually design my curriculum to be thematic. After surviving the first year, I decided to jump into it in my second year.
Here's my recommendation for first-year teachers who are interested in thematic:
Fanboying Over My Educator Role Models
Overall, it was a successful conference. I got called out for being Mr. Rogers in a room of 500+ people. That was fun. I also saw some friends I haven't seen in a while since we teach throughout the state. Most importantly, I got to meet some awesome people - a few of them are people I look up to. There was definitely some fanboying around, even at my age. Haha..
I got to meet Kim Lepre of the Teachers Need Teachers podcast, one of my inspirations. I was really stoked to see that she was going to be in attendance. I've been following her work for a while now. Teachers Need Teachers is an amazing podcast for educators. Lots of sound advice for new and experienced educators alike! Highly recommended!
Her awesome work has inspired me to begin planning for my own podcast! Coming soon in 2020... It's also because I've been too busy (or lazy) to start writing my book. I'll get to that book eventually. Talking is so much easier than writing...
I also got to meet Nicholas Ferroni. I was pretty bummed that I missed his keynote speech AND his session. His session was scheduled the same time as mine! I managed to exchange a few words with him. He has been a huge inspiration ever since I became an educator. I hope to cross paths with him again in February when I present at CTA New Educator Weekend North in Santa Clara, CA. He said he'd like to drop by my session and check it out. That would be an absolute honor.
Before returning back to the Bay, I managed to get some time in and meet up with two former students who are currently freshmen at San Diego State University. It was really nice hearing about their college experiences thus far. Great to know they're doing well!
Thematic History Deck
Okay. I'm done reflecting about the conference and how I was a fanboy. I felt like I just tricked you all into reading all that stuff just like those cooking recipe websites where they write a bunch of things when you really just want to get to the recipe at the bottom.
Let me give you what you have all been waiting for...
The Actual Item You're Here For:
Presentation Deck - Not Your Typical History Class - A Thematic Approach
As I mentioned above, I am working on a much more detailed version that should help you on your journey. Stay tuned for that!
If you're interested in trying out thematic and would like to collaborate, feel free to reach out to me!
I'm Jayson, a high school social science teacher with a strong passion for social justice and public education issues.