Message from the President

Dear Colleagues,

My name is Rob Powers and I am the incoming President of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies. I am a National Board Certified Teacher and I currently serve as the K-12 Social Studies Coordinator for the Plymouth Public Schools and prior to returning to my hometown here in Plymouth, I taught high school social studies at Apponequet Regional High School. In my spare time, I have been chipping away at a doctoral program in curriculum and instruction through the University of Virginia where I am exploring how we teach social studies, particularly through inquiry. As a social studies nerd, I cannot tell you how excited I am to be serving as your MCSS president!

At risk of sounding cliché, we are living and teaching through some truly trying times. Along with a once-in-a-generation pandemic, democracy itself is at a crossroads, with history and social science education at the forefront. The stark polarization and disappointing public discourse comes as no surprise to us social studies educators, as we know that decades of disinvestment in civic education and the humanities have certainly contributed to our current situation. Furthermore, the real and persistent problem of systemic racism has been made painfully clear once more through the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, and that racism endures within our own educational institutions as well.

If you’re like me, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed by all of these challenges. But we cannot simply resign ourselves to collapsing under the huge weight of these problems. Rather, we must organize and take collective action as social studies teachers to repair and restore our democracy, to dismantle systemic racism, and to prepare our students to be the builders and keepers of a more just and equitable democratic society. It is my hope that MCSS serves as an invaluable resource for you – and us – in doing this hard but important work.

MCSS has a lot to offer by way of professional learning and support. In addition to the myriad of resources in our weekly email blast, we are in the midst of a fantastic virtual NERC conference with workshops and keynote addresses for every aspect of social studies. If you haven’t yet done so, I encourage you to register for the remaining offerings and explore the resource from our first wave of presentations. While we certainly miss seeing you all at our in-person presentations, I am pleased that we can provide on-demand and enduring supports to you as educators thanks to our new format.

In closing, I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the chance to lead this wonderful organization. It runs on passion and dedication from a team of volunteers who work tirelessly to bring us the great experiences you’ve come to know and enjoy from MCSS. I can’t thank the MCSS board enough for their hard work. As a member-driven organization, we take our cues from you and your expressed needs as a social studies educator. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly with any ideas on how MCSS can better support you in your efforts to empower the next generation of leaders in our cherished democracy.

Best,

Rob Powers, NBCT
MCSS President

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Earlier President’s Messages

https://www.masscouncil.org/?page_id=4357