I love this idea. The AHA is developing a new membership status to encourage more secondary teachers to join the ranks of the organization. As someone who has spent a lot of time with history teachers and future history teachers as a history professor, former AP exam grader (seven years), and a workshop historian with Gilder-Lehrman and Messiah College’s “Teacher as Scholars” program (in addition to my own short stint as an AP U.S. History teacher), I can attest to two things:
1. History teachers are starving for professional development opportunities.
2. Academic historians can learn A LOT from history teachers about how to teach. Some of my most rewarding experiences as a historian came while spending a week sitting at a table in a overly air-conditioned Trinity University gym grading AP exams with teachers. We need to rub shoulders, share conversation, and learn from the expertise that K-12 teachers bring to the profession.
Read all about the new AHA program here. Some of the benefits they are considering include:
- Discounted membership fees for secondary educators (as compared to Individual Membership rates)
- Travel scholarships to attend the annual meeting
- Increased number of panels for secondary educators at our annual meeting, including special breakout sessions to discuss how the historical content from the panels can be applied in the classroom
- Sponsored networking events at the annual meeting
- Featured articles in AHA outlets that provide reviews of books and textbooks, historiographical debates, and pedagogical news and information
- Access to online resources, curriculum units, and webinars that highlight the latest historical scholarship
- Access to online discussion groups that address current pedagogical and content-related issues
- Facilitated partnerships between secondary educators and university-level faculty to develop resource materials