Hello there! I love social studies and for as long as I can remember I have been chasing down some bit of history and trying to learn all I could about it. I suspect my father is partially to blame- while most little kids had a soothing children’s book read to them before bed, my dad decided to read my brother and I the Iliad and the Odyssey. I still have nightmares about Odysseus fighting that Cyclops…thanks dad! I liked social studies so much that I decided to pursue a college degree in history and get a teaching license, which I did.
I taught social studies for seven years at a fairly large high school in northern Illinois in subjects like: World Studies, Ancient History, World Geography, Sociology, and Social Problems, but I am also certified in U.S. history as well as U.S. Government. Besides teaching social studies, I also like to experience history and culture firsthand, and I have traveled to 37 states and 13 countries over the past 6 years taking in as much of the world as I possibly can.
When I was a young student, I always thought history was just memorizing endless names and dates, flags, battles, kings and queens, presidents, “the great men” of history, but as I got older I realized my young self had missed out on a major part of the importance of learning about history. Besides it telling us where we came from and how we got here, I realized that history was an excellent tool for telling us where we are going. When I realized those deeper connections, history took on another dimension for me, it became a personal connection rather than abstract concept.
As a teacher, I tried to get kids to think outside the box and think critically about history, make a personal connection to it, rather than have it be a burden of never ending names and dates. I encourage students to think critically, ask questions, and ultimately see for themselves how history matters. I think if you could ask my former students about my classes they would tell you that I pushed them to think outside the box and I that I was never content to teach social studies as just some boring thing that happened in some far off crusty place a long, long time ago.
Social Studies can be a wonderful life changing experience, and with a little bit of help, hopefully I can show you how. Thank you!
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