Teaching and Learning History - 032916

Lesson Ideas

Making the Most of Your Summer Vacation

by Andy Mink
Mink ED
NCHE Board of DIrectors

There is no such thing as summer vacation.

Yes, the carbonation of the last day of school intoxicates us in the face of long, languid summer months. 

But, in reality, summer is the best time for teachers to engage in meaningful professional growth.  Without the present-tense distractions that impact in-year workshops and trainings, summer opportunities become critical to renewal and (re)engagement with teaching.  More than preparing for the next school year, early career teachers can explore ways to build their content knowledge, to experiment and practice their instructional approaches, and invest in a community of practice that extends far outside of their classrooms and schools.

NCHE has a long and established role in leading multi-day colloquia that offer rich content study, model inquiry-based teaching strategies, and integrate innovative technology.  For example, NCHE will sponsor a three-day colloquium titled Unmuddling the Refugee Crisis in June at the University of Oklahoma.  Participants will explore the complex relationship between the United States and the Arab world in order to design teaching materials that will be shared as open educational resources with the NCHE community. NCHE will work in partnership with Qatar Foundation International and the Organization of American Historians to highlight best practices and approaches to help classroom educators navigate these subject areas. 

There are many organizations that provide professional experiences for history educators.  A few that you should consider keeping an eye on are; Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and National History Day, in addition to local and state museums, libraries, and archives. 

The school year is oftentimes too full and busy to allow for intellectual restlessness, but summer can be an ideal time to explore and grow your love of teaching.


About NCHE

The National Council for History Education promotes historical literacy by creating opportunities for teachers and students to benefit from more history, better taught.