edu180atl: claire logsdon 12.5.11
This weekend I flew to Washington, DC to attend the annual conference of the National Council for the Social Studies. In addition to touring the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court building, I went to conference sessions on topics ranging from WikiLeaks to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Over the weekend I gained a great deal of information to add to the content of the AP Government classes that I teach. Even more importantly, by being a student again – even if it was only for a weekend – I was reminded of what makes a good teacher.
My favorite session of the weekend was entitled “Preview of the Supreme Court’s 2011-2012 term.” The facilitator broke us into groups and asked us to consider the facts of one case from the Supreme Court’s calendar this year and then decide how the Court would rule. The hour flew by because I was engaged with my peers, not passively listening to a lecture. When it came time to discuss as a large group, the facilitator walked around the room listening to responses and answering questions. He didn’t bias us with his personal opinion, and he honored each participant’s ideas – even the one person who I thought seemed off base (“there’s no right answer – the Court hasn’t ruled yet”). No one walked out early. I left wanting more. The session was an excellent reminder to me of what a teacher can do to engage his students and how important that is to the learning process.
Claire Logsdon is a history nerd, trivia lover, Duke basketball fan, and the 12th grade Dean of Students at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.