Among the sights and sounds of the new semester come the scurrying and cries of a faculty member who has suddenly realized they’re teaching Texas politics. Whether your utter the cry of help or trying to respond the dilemma is clear: while many of us are called to teach Texas there are relatively few resources out there. US politics texts are plentiful–as are their supporting materials. There are many, many books and articles on US politics. Tragically, there are very few on Texas. For example, there are a variety of current books on the US Congress. However, when it comes to sorting out the Texas legislature you’re on your own.
In a way this blog is a support group for those of us who teach Texas. We hope that this blog becomes a place where people can share their questions and answers about teaching the subject. As the official authors of this blog we hope that we can provide a few new sources and insights to others who lack the time to gather such tidbits themselves. For many readers this blog might help you catch some new story or other tidbit that you missed.
Not that we want to do this alone. We hope that everyone will feel welcome to share what has worked in their own classroom. Please share what you’ve learned about Texas politics. Teaching involves more trial and error learning than we generally care to admit (you might note that writing textbooks involves a similar peril).
So… Fear not young Yankee scholar arriving in Texas with little knowledge of our politics and folkways. We want to help. Begin with the realization that Texas politics often doesn’t make sense to those of us who grew up here.
We’ll sort all this out together.