My professional experience has been enriched through working with students of various ages, learning styles, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. As a history teacher, the biggest challenge is to help students discover the abundant, rich meanings and truths implicit in the deeds of ancient people(-s). Medieval European monks and Qin-dynasty peasants can teach us important lessons about ourselves and our world. This is the traditional task of history since Herodotus began the practice of collecting and recording past deeds: to entertain, to educate, and to inspire.
Paradoxically, having encouraged them to regard history as a wise old friend, I must remind my students to keep their distance; in other words I must challenge the easy, parochial assumptions that pretend to erase the unbridgeable gulf separating us from our ancient predecessors. To free my students to some degree from such assumptions is to welcome them to the ranks of enlightened, cosmopolitan young men and women, in the highest sense of these terms.
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