AP European, AP/Honors U.S. History
Education: Bachelor of Arts, History, Bryan College; Graduate Certificate in teaching; Master of Arts in Teaching, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
What motivated you to become a teacher?
I first noticed that I liked teaching when I began giving violin lessons to a few students at the age of 12. I was still very young, but even at that age I enjoyed working with kids and watching their eyes light up when they understood something or accomplished a task. My passion was further realized when I joined a team in college that traveled throughout the United States and taught conferences for high school students on various world religions and worldviews. I enjoyed teaching so much that after receiving my B.A. in history I decided to give teaching history a try, and I was not disappointed! I began teaching middle school part-time my first year out of college and absolutely loved it. There is nothing that makes me happier than when I work with students and show them the joy of learning about the past. Teaching is my passion and I cannot wait to begin this year at Holy Trinity!
What experiences or people have had the most influence on you?
While there are many people in my life who have poured into me and made me the person that I am today, there are a few that stand out above the rest. First of all, I have to mention my parents. My mom homeschooled me from kindergarten all the way through high school, and was there for every trial in my academic career and personal life. My parents have supported me, encouraged me, and consistently showed me what it means to selflessly love other people. I am forever grateful to them! Other people who have influenced me are my wonderful husband, Bryan, who is always challenging me and encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, as well as my college professors, Dr. Travis Ricketts and Dr. William Ketchersid. Dr. Ricketts and Dr. Ketchersid played a vital part in igniting my love for both history and teaching, and I will always credit them with showing me what it means to be a teacher who inspires students academically and personally.
What are some of your interests and passions outside of the classroom?
I enjoy playing violin, exercising, and reading various books. I am trying to read books from many different genres, but I tend to lean toward non-fiction history books or the classics. I recently finished Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, which is an incredible book but also took me months to read, so now I am reading The Port Chicago 50 which chronicles the disaster of Port Chicago during World War II. I also enjoy spending time with my family, watching Netflix, and drinking as much coffee as I can get.
How do you inspire students to enjoy learning?
History has long been listed as one of the most hated school subjects for many students in the past, but in my classroom I make it my primary mission to change their minds about history. Traditionally history has been a subject where a teacher will lecture, list facts to memorize, and then require students to regurgitate those facts on a multiple choice test. In that kind of environment it is no wonder that students are not inspired to learn history! Therefore, in my classroom students will learn how to do history and think historically. I do this by incorporating various primary and secondary sources to inform learning and include lessons which require students to view film, analyze modern art and music, and explore firsthand accounts of historical events. Students will learn how to ask historical questions, investigate multiple sources, and use evidence to support the answers to their questions. By encouraging my students to ask compelling questions and use historical methods to find the answers to those questions, I will involve them in the process of doing history which is far more inspiring than fact memorization.
What do you want your students to take away from being in your class?
Overall, my goal every year is that my students leave my class knowing that they have my support and that I believe that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to do. I want my students to walk away from my class and know how to ask good questions, find the answers to those questions, and be able to confidently assert their answers based on solid historical evidence. Instead of teaching them how to memorize textbook answers, I want my students to think for themselves and use the skills they have learned to become valuable citizens of their country. I cannot wait to look back 20 years from now and see what my students have accomplished!