Removing barriers is Joe's job. As a former high school social studies teacher and current social studies specialist with the Maine DOE, Joe understands the importance of ensuring that educators have the resources they need to provide the best social studies education possible to the next generation, and works actively to that end. On top of his work as a curriculum leader with the Maine DOE, Joe has done consultant work with a number of school districts and is available to provide this service outside of Maine. If elected to the NCSS Board of Directors, Joe will use his experience in the field to advocate for social studies educators nationally.
Check out Joe's list of recommended resources for social studies educators!
"It's impossible to leave a training with Joe without feeling more excited about the profession, and without having a set of new resources or skills to bring back immediately to use in your classroom."
"Joe has been an extremely compassionate and hard-working member of the iCivics educator network for over five years. Joe is willing to jump in, get his hands dirty; he's an advocate for civic education for all students, as well as social studies education — you will not be disappointed if you vote for Joe."
(Check out Amber Coleman-Mortley's Twitter, @MomOfAllCapes, for more on civic education and social studies advocacy.)
Joe thinks that social studies education should strive to teach its students to be more aware of the world around them, prepared to comprehend and engage with social issues. Joe's work with organizations like Teaching Tolerance and iCivics, providing advisement and insight on content and curriculum development, demonstrates his commitment to creating social studies curricula that introduce students to social issues and equip them to navigate the world with greater social awareness.
"What I remember most about [Joe] was how approachable he was, how kind he was, a very funny individual, great sense of humor, and just what a passion he had for social studies and civic education."
"A quality I so appreciate about Joe Schmidt is his selflessness, which I so often see in his interactions with others in various professional teacher groups in which we both interact. I can always count on Joe to be the proactive one who is seeking out and staying up to date on the latest social studies best practices. I love that he makes it a point to share those resources and pedagogy with as many teachers as he can. When I see @madisonteacher (Joe Schmidt’s Twitter handle) posting something I’m always making it a point to read it and click on his links, as I often find that I’m gaining a great new social studies resource or best practice that I can use with my students!"
Joe believes that a good social studies education should prepare students to be informed and active members of society. In addition to his work with Teaching Tolerance, supporting the organization's efforts to promote social studies curricula that educate students to be active members of society, Joe has held offices with the Wisconsin Media Lab, the Maine Jump$tart Alliance and the Maine Commission for Community Service, helping foster civic engagement both in schools and in the communities surrounding them. As social justice comes to the forefront of our national consciousness, Joe advocates for social studies education that enables students to be the change they want to see in the world.
Check out Joe's compiled diversity, equity, and inclusion resources!
"As an elementary school teacher, I have always felt comfortable coming to Joe for help with implementing more social studies in my classroom. I appreciate that Joe never forgets teachers of elementary students in his professional development offerings. One of the things we struggle with at this level is time and opportunity, and Joe has a wealth of knowledge in ways to adapt activities and strategies for younger learners of social studies. I feel that Joe truly hears and understands the challenges that can come with teaching elementary social studies, and he has worked very hard with teachers to implement useful and meaningful strategies for us, as well as provide many professional development opportunities. I am so glad we have him as a resource in Maine!"
"I hear that Joe Schmidt is running for the NCSS Board of Directors.
Now true, I'm not exactly sure what a NCSS Director does but if it has anything to do with trying to provide leadership, service, and support to K-12 social studies educators nationally, I most definitely will vote for Joe.
I also strongly encourage you to do the same.
I've been teaching high school social studies for over thirty years and in that time have met few who are as hard working, knowledgeable, dedicated, pleasant, polite, and so universally well-respected as Joe.
Joe is such an all-round great guy that he's even willing to offer up an extra bed in his hotel room to teachers who, having only decided to attend an NCSS Conference at the last, were unable to find a hotel room anywhere within miles of the all-important conference center.
So hoping Joe wins this election. NCSS and all teachers who belong to NCSS will surely benefit as a result."
Because social studies is the lens through which students learn to engage with the world around them, Joe recognizes the importance of ensuring that social studies education grows and adapts to reflect the needs of its students. He has hosted multiple NCSS webinars discussing how social studies is everywhere in the world around us, and has held positions on the NCSS Task Force on Advocacy, the NCSS Task Force on Inquiry, the NCSS Social Education Select Subcommittee, and the NCSS Government and Public Relations Committee, all in an effort to cultivate progress in social studies education. In response to COVID-19, Joe hosted nearly 100 webinars with the Maine DOE to ensure that social studies educators were supported during the pandemic and would be prepared to confront the challenges COVID-19 poses to both them and their students. Joe has moreover worked to bring ateention to the importance of social studies education in elementary schools, and contributed to the CCSSO's "The Marginalization of Social Studies" to bring awareness to this issue, If elected to the NCSS Board of Directors, Joe will continue to advocate for progress in social studies education.
"My name is Erin Towns and I am a twenty year veteran social studies educator from Auburn, Maine USA. I want to take a moment to tell you a bit about Joe Schmidt and what he has done for teachers here in the State of Maine. Joe is dependable and professional. During his time with the Maine Department of Education Social Studies Division he was able to build programs, and professional development opportunities for teachers across the state that were relevant, interesting, and applicable to classroom practice. Joe’s engaging and approachable personality style coupled with his extensive knowledge of best practices and leading scholarly work in the area of education and pedagogy made him tremendously popular and successful with teachers. Joe jumped into action when COVID restrictions sent Maine teachers home, redesigning Maine DOE Social Studies professional development offerings and consistently and clearly communicating vital information that teachers needed to navigate trying circumstances. Joe is proficient in areas regarding protocol and is detailed when the rules call for it. He is a man of action and one who collaborates well with everyone he meets. Truly, there isn’t a better candidate for this position. It is, with highest recommendation, that I urge you to vote for Joe Schmidt for NCSS Board."
"My name is Steve Masyada, and I am a long time civics educator. What can I say about Joe Schmidt that others haven’t said? Joe has a passion for civic education that I appreciate, and I can always rely on him for support and resources in my own work in curriculum and professional learning development. Joe is someone you can count on in our field, and having his voice on the Board of Directors can only improve the work of NCSS. He understands teachers, but more importantly, he understands what social studies teachers need. I will be voting for Joe for Board of Directors, and I hope that you will to!"
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