Norman named Georgia’s Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year


Students love her history classes, so much so that she has earned a reputation as being one of the best teachers in her school and in the Fayette County Public School System. Now that reputation has extended statewide.

The Georgia Council for the Social Studies has named Janet Norman of Fayette County High Georgia’s Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year.
Norman lives and breaths history, and it shows. She has created a number of “traveling trunks” full of artifacts she has collected from her travels. She uses them in class to help students connect to history and develop an appreciation for the past.

Her dedication to her students and their understanding of history is evident in the amount of time she spends outside of the classroom preparing teaching materials that capture and hold their attention. To date, she has created 23 PowerPoint presentations that address each standard from the GPS for U.S. History, all done on her personal time.

She does not catch a break in the summer either. She has participated in all three of Fayette’s Teaching American History Grants spanning 2003 to 2010. Grant participants spend the summer learning about a specific era of American history and have the opportunity to travel to various areas of the country to visit historical sites and listen to guest lecturers. Each grant is a two-year commitment. Not intent on slowing down any time soon, Norman is applying to participate in a fourth Teaching American History grant that has been awarded to the school system.

As Georgia’s Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year, Norman received a $250 cash award and a two-year comprehensive membership to the National Council for the Social Studies.

In order to be nominated, teachers must utilize activities that demonstrate significant service and foster the development of democratic values and citizenship in the classroom, school, and community; show efforts toward improving student learning; exhibit professional involvement beyond the normal job requirements; and use multiple sources to enhance social studies instruction.