My name is Joshua Art, and this is my second year teaching. I teach Modern World History and Driver's Education at the high school level. I primarily have sophomores, but do have a few students from the other grades as well.
I teach because I feel that most students do not enjoy history, and that is due in large part to not being able to connect on a more personal level with the material. Furthermore, I feel that a little bit of humor can go a long way into letting students feel more comfortable and connected with the people and events of the past.
Also, I find potentially having such a tremendous impact on a person's life and future very fulfilling. I recently received an email from a student I had three years ago as a freshman, while I was long-term substitute teaching her class. I assigned a project for students to research possible college options; this student could not decide on a college to research, so I had her research Pepperdine University. She informed me following that project it became her dream destination, and she had recently been accepted to, and intended to enroll, at Pepperdine. I find this type of impact on students very rewarding and vastly outweighs some of the frustration and annoyances that come with the profession.
Furthermore, while much of the subject matter I teach is very content based, and therefore doesn't always allow for creativity or divergence from the already agreed upon curriculum; it makes it that much more enjoyable for the students when I am able to work in a project or assignment that allows them to show their creative side more and have more flexibility in what they turn in. This is especially true since my approach to classroom setup would be described by many as minimalist or Spartan, so having a few of these posted for several weeks after the project seems to excite some of the students for a while.
The link shows several examples of some of the most outstanding of my student's creative works this year. Additionally, it has an edited version of the email I received over Spring Break about the student that will be attending college this upcoming fall.
Link With Music
Link Without Music