teachers helping teachers
What a fantastic day at the annual Queensland History Teacher's Association Conference. The theme this year was Building Bridges, and I am pleased to say that many a bridge was built! There is no doubt that the looming changes to the senior program made this year's conference a 'must attend'.
QHTA did a fabulous job of offering a satisfying range of workshops and lectures that addressed the upcoming changes, inspired new teachers and energised established teachers. Here's a selection of what was on offer for ancient historians at the conference:
- History and film: an exploration of history through motion picture by Jacque Du Toit
- The Forum Augustum in Rome: Augustus lays claim to Roman war by Assoc. Prof. Tom Stevenson
- "I am woman hear me roar!" : How two amazing women took on the might of Rome by Kerry Daud
- Resources and ideas for the new ancient history syllabus by Michael Cocks
- The Boudiccan Revolt by Sarah Colman
- Fall of the Roman Republic and the Principate of Augustus: resources for the current and new syllabus by Amanda O'Neill
Presenters were exceptionally generous with their resources and many an email was exchanged. Although I was a presenter myself, I am by no means confident about the road ahead. However, after attending the conference I can say that I am excited about the supportive network around me, all of whom are ready to share, assist and motivate. In that regard, I am positive about the challenges that are coming at us in 2019.
Kevin McAlinden, this year's "Excellence in History Education" winner, gave us hope when he recalled how many teachers were nervous about the implementation of the 2004 syllabus! And here we all are again. He assured us that no matter what the syllabus document says, what happens in the classroom is the most important thing. We are there to inspire students to think about the importance of history, to make connections across time, to challenge the norm and to look for patterns in human nature. In today's world of #fakenews, we need to heed Thucydides' warning: "Most people, in fact, will not take the trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear." It is our job to ensure our students find the truth.
Although the conference is over, there is still a virtual place for Queensland teachers to gather. The QHTA Connect and Share facebook page is a closed group that allows teachers to share ideas and swap resources. If you are teaching history in Qld, I suggest you join!
Go forth and conquer!