In addition to receiving my Bachelor of Arts degree in History in January 2007, I have passed the MTEL examinations and I hold preliminary teaching certificates in Massachusetts to teach history & social studies, grades 5-8 and grades 9-12. My search to secure a permanent, full-time teaching position in Massachusetts continues, but my journey has been especially difficult in light of the poor economic climate and government cut-backs in both primary and secondary education. In the meantime, I have been a substitute teacher with the New Bedford Public School Department since the beginning of the 2008-2009 academic year. While this is by no means my ideal employment situation, I have been able to gain valuable teaching experience over the past four years.
Based on my substitute teaching experience, it appears that the subjects of history and social studies are not considered as important to a student's education as science, math, and English/reading. I believe that Massachusetts students are being short-changed in their primary and secondary educations because of this lack of emphasis on history/social studies instruction, at least in the curriculum of public schools in Massachusetts. I anticipate significant changes in this approach to teaching history/social studies when history becomes an MCAS subject, hopefully within the next two or three years.
My approach to teaching history is different from the standard method of reading from outdated and irrelevant textbooks, followed by instructions to memorize countless names, places, and dates, with no connections made for students to understand how the past impacts the future, and the relevance of historical events to current events. History needs to be made personal for most students to develop any interest in this subject, and that is my approach to tutoring history: SHOW STUDENTS EXACTLY HOW PAST EVENTS ARE RELEVANT TO THEIR LIVES TODAY. This approach to teaching history requires creativity, passion, and true dedication on the part of teachers who are committed to making history a subject students love rather than the one subject which the majority of students dislike the most.
Oh yes, I almost forgot to add this: In May 2011, I earned my certification as a professional tennis instructor certified by the USPTR, the acronym for the United States Professional Tennis Registry. While this is not a subject on which one would typical seek out a "tutor" per se, teaching tennis has really increased my teaching experience as an academic educator. In tennis, my classroom is the tennis court I happen to be teaching a lesson to a student on.
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