NCSS Wrap Up Part Two: Teachers Love Midgard BooksDecember 2, 2019
One of the great things about the NCSS convention, besides the terrific speakers and exhibits, besides taking place in the ne plus ultra cool city of Austin, Texas (do not expect to get to bed before two a.m.—there’s that much music in the air), was the chance it gave us to test how popular our books would be with teachers.
We showed up to the NCSS on an exploratory mission. Just like a good lesson plan, we had an Essential Question. How effectively would our six books reach the teachers, and ultimately the students, for whom they were written? Although we believed, based on many years of research live in the classroom, that students would respond positively to books if the books were good, we didn’t know if our message would come through amid the clutter of new digital trends and old-styled textbooks.
Our purpose was to test the waters. The exhibit hall hosted many of the old publishers pushing their dense textbooks. Those books are impressive, but we couldn’t help but feel sorry for kids who had to stuff the poundage, along with equally heavyweight texts for Science, Math, and the rest, into seam-busting backpacks, drudging them down hallways and up staircases with sciatica-induced spasms. On the other hand, there were plenty of sessions about the whiz bang techno-gimmicks afforded in this digital age. They were so much fun to play with that that’s basically what most of them are good for—playing.
Your friends at Midgard found a space in the hallway and laid out our books, strategizing about the best way to connect with the nearly four thousand educators on the premises. With no booth, no session, no poster presentation, just a few books that we had brought along, we hoped to get a little feedback.
Well, we barely put the books down before teachers started swarming over to us like bees to nectar. They snatched them up, practically grabbing them before we could even explain our bold mission statement and marketing plan. They fawned over the maps, illustrated by our design wiz, Karen Viola. They purred over the breadth and depth of standard-covering content, the creative approach to history and social studies, and our bold purpose in bringing relatable civics education to kids. One woman said she felt like crying as she thumbed through American Hero, “and I don’t even teach American history,” she said. Another woman clutched a copy of our Constitution book and Civil Discourse and said, “Christmas came early this year.” A man who teaches teachers took several copies of our titles and a curriculum guide and told us we just provided him with his course material for the year. We even got one teacher who uses mostly tech to reconsider her approach.
It went on and on like that for the entire three days we attended the conference. We soon ran out of books! And, we went away knowing that we’re on the right track. Teachers get it more than anyone. Our books and the accompanying projects we’ve designed based on them, have the potential to do much more than teach kids facts about social studies. What they really do is excite young minds about learning.
Our essential question was answered more positively than we could have even imagined. We’ll be back at the NCSS next year in Washington, D.C. But you don’t have to wait to visit us in our booth or in the hallway. Go to our website and get your discounted bundle today.