There is a magical world on Facebook that, if you are reading this, you may already know about.
I decided it was high time to explain some of the things we do because they are so spectacular. I am going to just get right to it.
There is a lot of talking going on around here. We ask questions about AP Government and Politics and (sometimes) teaching in general. Some of my favorite conversations are very technical conversations on constitutional law. For instance, when Merrick Garland was nominated for the Supreme Court, we talked a lot about what the Constitution says we should do with nominations. We were able to identify the standard operations of nominations, and give some curve ball routes to the Court, too.
We give advice to each other on how to tackle that one unit that is sticky, or how to teach our content in this absolutely bananas election cycle without being too political. These "Dear Abby" conversations are just as important; they are times in which folks ask for help with a certain unit, or sticking their FRQs, or how to deal with teaming in their building. I rarely see a request for advice go unanswered, and usually it is over-answered.
We talk about how to integrate current events and politics into our course. Now, this one is pretty delicate. Talking politics in a community of 1900 governerds can get, well, dicey. You know, we love our country and we love our content. We get the Constitution. We also have to recognize that the Constitution is written in such a way to invite debate, controversy, and "factions."
Therefore, when we talk politics we have developed some norms that help us remember that this group's mission is to support the instruction of AP Government and Politics and not slide backwards into a chat room from 1997.
Those norms, taken from the page itself:
Key among all of these is to preface shared articles with an explanation as to why you are using them. Reason being, having to justify why this article on how Hillary Clinton is running against Bernie Sanders is good for your unit on linkage institutions cuts down on any potential arguing about the sources validity, etc.
Remember, folks are sharing these resources because it may work in some classrooms. That doesn't mean it works in all. Remember that before you respond. It may be easier to scroll past the article.
I say this because we do have a three strikes your out rule. This means that if you offend these rules three times, you are removed from the group and all its resources.
This is the other reason we are here.
There is the share drive. It is an awesome tool. It is functional only in that what has been shared on it is original materials and resources that have been collected by the group. It is cataloged on the share drive, which is only accessible after you apply to be on the share drive.
In order to get access, you have to look at the pinned post. It is sometimes hidden on tablets and smartphones, but it is there. You can see that there are URLs to two separate websites. The first one is to gain access to the share drive. It is a form that you must fill out in its entirety. Incomplete forms decrease your ability to gain access. Yes, we look you up. We do NOT want the public on this website.
Access is granted twice a month, generally on the first and third Wednesday of the month. BE PATIENT. We are all here as volunteers and have jobs as teachers.
Once you have access, you will receive an email to the account you requested. Generally, Schoogle and School email addresses do not tend to do well, so give a personal google account for access. But you will also receive a welcome email with further information on how to use the drive.
The second URL is a google drive link that is where you should upload documents you want to share. DO NOT SHARE ON THE WALL. This makes our jobs very difficult as we have to physically download and then upload and sort your resources. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not share onto the wall. Please. We love your resources and do not want to miss them. Additionally, do not confuse the second URL with the actual share drive. They are two separate entities.
Anyways, we hope this helps you understand the general lay of the land in here. We are so glad you are here with us, and can't wait to communicate and collaborate with you! Go #APGovSquad!
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan