During the course of more than three years as Texas State Historian, it has been my great pleasure to participate in several events in the “Exploring Texas Workshop Series.” This workshop series is organized by the Texas State Historical Association, with the cooperation of the Region (4, in this case) Education Service Center. These conferences are designed to provide course content for fourth- and seventh-grade Texas history teachers. Each conference usually lasts for two days, and participants receive professional development credit. The credit certainly is earned, because an impressive lineup of presenters provide excellent programs which feature course content in their fields of expertise.
|Steve Cure and Charles Nugent|
There was a TSHA Texas history teacher conference in Houston last February, focusing on the twentieth century. I was invited to provide the opening program, and I talked about the extraordinary roles of Texas during the Second World War. For this November conference, the focus was on Texas in the nineteenth century. Again I was privileged to deliver the opening address. I was allotted 90 minutes, and I chose the topic: “The Leadership Roles of Sam Houston.”
|Teachers assemble just before my presentation.|
I lectured about Sam Houston for more than three decades in my Texas history classes at Panola College. I’ve traveled to the sites of his life. I’ve written a book, Sam Houston: A Study in Leadership, that will be released early next spring. I’ve delivered numerous programs about Houston or, to various ladies’ groups, his wife Margaret. These programs have generally filled 30- to 45-minute time slots, but at the Region 4 Teacher Conference I was allotted 90 minutes, and I had no problem finding enough to say about Sam Houston. At the end of the session many of the teachers offered kind comments, including several to the effect that they had learned things that would be worked into their classrooms. I could receive no higher compliment.