Finding new ways to engage students is a reason that history teachers go beyond the curriculum, finding new ways to use local resources in a professional development summit.
Teachers in Waco, Texas visited the oldest public cemetery in Waco, the First Street Cemetery, to learn about history and participate in a scavenger hunt.They ran their hands along the headstones, snapped photos, and checked their smartphones as they searched for answers of untold history.
“I’m always learning new things, and it’s fun to see that. This kind of helps us, you know, the crusty old veterans, to be kind of shocked out of what we were doing into what we could be doing,” said University High School history teacher Dan Pfleging, a teacher for 20 years.
The three day professional summit was part of the first Social Studies Teachers’ Academy for Waco’s Heart of Texas Council for the Social Studies.
Over 30 teachers from school districts in the area are exploring historical sites in Waco, and listening to presentations by other social studies teachers. The objective is for them to find new ways to engage students beyond standard curriculum.