Professional Learning - Social Studies

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting our schools, the following list of virtual professional development opportunities and content based office hours are being hosted and supported by Social Studies Specialist Joe Schmidt. Continue checking back as the list will continue to be updated:

Professional Development Sorted By Category:


  • Teaching About Maine Native Americans & Culturally Responsive Practices
  • Strategies, Tips, and Tricks from Award Winning Teachers
  • Using Primary Sources in the Classroom
  • Civically Engaged Students & Student Voice
  • News Literacy & Teaching Current Events

See below for a complete list of all professional development webinars:

Minding the Gaps of Learning During COVID-19

Talking with Public Officials of Maine

State Organizations with Online Resources

National Organizations with Online Resources

Maine Native Americans & Culturally Responsive Practices

Teacher Leaders Presentations

Virtual Professional Development with Joe Schmidt

Maine History & Relevant Topics

Elementary Social Studies

Best Strategies, Tips, and Tricks

Using Primary Sources

Civically Engaged & Student Voice

News Literacy & Current Events

Interdisciplinary Connections

Pedagogy in Practice

Disciplinary Literacy



The Maine Department of Education offers the following professional development opportunities for Maine teachers. These events can be hour long, two-hour long, half-day, or full-day events. For more information, please contact Joe Schmidt.


Research-Based Best Practices in the Social Studies Classroom

A general overview of the research-based best practices in social studies and how they connect to each other and what you are doing in your classroom. The two-day workshop has time to create/adapt lessons.

GOAL: Initial preparation and professional development programs that are rigorous, relevant, and data-driven.


Disciplinary Literacy in Social Studies

Disciplinary literacy is not just reading in the content area. Learn what disciplinary literacy looks like in the social studies.

GOAL: Rigorous standards and aligned curricula.


Engaging Students Using Primary Sources

Bring social studies alive by having students explore primary sources and come to their own conclusions.

GOAL: Learner-centered instructional practices.


The Inquiry-Based Social Studies Classroom

Allow students to learn social studies in ways that they are curious about while developing the skills necessary to show proficiency in their learning.

GOAL: Student voice and choice in the demonstration of learning.


Curriculum and Standards Review

Examine how your curriculum scope and sequence aligns with skills and standards to review where adjustments can be made.

GOAL: Rigorous standards and aligned curricula.


DBQs in the Classroom

Learn about how DBQs support disciplinary literacy while addressing content and skills.

GOAL: Learner-centered instructional practices.


Using CCSS in your Social Studies Classroom

Using CCSS for Literacy in the social studies and ELA to improve your students' reading, writing, and speaking skills in the classroom.

GOAL: Rigorous standards and aligned curricula.


Using the Arts to Teach Social Studies

Doing a close read of art and photographs can support student learning about people, places, and events throughout history.

GOAL: Rigorous standards and aligned curricula.


Tech-Based Resources in the Social Studies Classroom

With so many resources available, learn about some of the best ways to integrate technology in social studies.

GOAL: Comprehensive integration of technology.


Learning from Great Teachers on Twitter

Learn how to develop a professional learning community online with Twitter that allows you to learn from the best educators from around the world every day.

GOAL: Communities of practice designed to foster continuous improvement.


Questions are the New Answers

Instead of having students give you answers, challenge them to ask questions that show their understanding of topics.

GOAL: Student voice and choice in the demonstration of learning.