My Teaching Philosophy
There is an old adage that says, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." I believe this applies to teaching. Students are not pupils who sit in classrooms to be filled with knowledge. They are complex people, with situations and experiences outside of school that affect both their ability and desire to learn. The best way to reach any child, regardless of their age or situation, is to develop a relationship of trust and mutual respect. The best way to teach a child is to treat him or her as an individual.
As a teacher, my overarching goal is to elicit in my students the same excitement I feel for history. My approach is always from the human perspective, with the intention of teaching not only relevant historical information, but also life lessons. As is the case in many subjects, secondary history students readily and frequently ask – What’s the point? I believe students are justified in asking this question and teachers must have an answer, not only for their students but also for themselves. If history is not taught with relevance, it is a waste of time. This makes the human element essential.
History has the potential of humanizing us in ways offered by few other academic areas (Sam Wineburg, Historical Thinking and Other Unusual Acts). This humanization is inherent in the study of history because it is ultimately the study of human nature. When the human element is disconnected from history, it becomes an un-relatable assortment of isolated events and dates that stand divorced from human agency or intentions. However, when married to its human element, history becomes not only relatable, but also relevant. To achieve this, the questions must go beyond simply asking what, when, and where to also asking why and what would I have done. I tell the story. This approach instills empathy and tolerance as students see historical figures as real people who faced real problems and choices not so distant from their own. This is why I became a history teacher.
Box Elder Middle School
At Box Elder Middle, I taught 8th grade US History I and 9th grade Geography. I was also a History Day club supervisor and served on the schools RTI Committee.
Lone Peak High School
At Lone Peak High School, I taught US History II and Government. I also supervised Smash Bros club and Lock Sports club as well as served as the credit recovery specialist for the Social Studies department.
Lakeridge Jr. High School
At Lakeridge Jr. High, I taught US History I, Utah Studies, Success and Leadership, and English Lab (co-taught). In each, class, I had at least one section that targeted at-risk youth. In addition, I supervised the Video Game club and the Adobe CC club.