My work for today centered on writing an article for the journal Social Education, which is a publication of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). When I was in my second year at the School of Ed my adviser and mentor suggested that I work with him on developing some materials for the classroom that we ended up presenting at the NCSS conference in Washington D.C. that year. Since then I've worked with him on two other presentations for the NCSS conferences in San Diego (2007) and Houston (2008). He also guided me through the process of writing a master's thesis, which was the capstone to the M.S. I finished this summer in Curriculum and Teaching with an emphasis in Social Studies Education. The article he suggested we co-author sprang in part from that work.
A bit of advice I'd give those still in Schools of Education is that they get more involved in their teacher preparation than is required. For me that meant substitute teaching and working in the academic side of the field outside of my course requirements. Subbing is a great way to get a look at the job before you get into a classroom as a student teacher. I started subbing the semester before I student taught, but I could have started earlier- you're only required to have sixty college credit hours to be an "emergency sub" in Kansas. While I didn't get called first as those with teaching certificates did, I still worked as a sub every day that I wanted to. As it turns out, not many people want to be substitute teachers in rural Kansas. I really enjoyed it, though, and became a regular at a couple schools I worked in.