I graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College (VWC) with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Minor in Political Science in 2003. It was my college experience, specifically the mentor-ship of two incredible professors, which drove me to pursue teaching. After college, I expanded my knowledge of history while interning for the Danbury Museum and Historical Society. I moved to Florida in 2005 to begin graduate study in History at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). I graduated from FAU in 2008 with a Master of Arts in European History and two publications to my name. I honed my teaching skills as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the History department teaching courses such as World Civilizations, U.S. History, and Introduction to Philosophy.
My foray into K-12 teaching began with Miami Arts Charter School, where I taught for 6 years. During that time, I had the opportunity of teaching every required class in the Social Studies curriculum plus AP European History and I also served as Department Chair for a year and a half.
The purpose of studying social studies is to develop a deeper understanding of humanity and the world in which we live. In order to successfully navigate the world beyond secondary education, students need knowledge of these disciplines and the skills that come with learning this material.
My teaching approach is based upon this view and also on my belief that a student’s education is enriched by this knowledge. While empirical and factual knowledge are important, primary documents and our ability to analyze said documents provide much greater insight into our view of history and the world around us. The most important aspect of my teaching philosophy is my emphasis on discussion and student-centered learning; in my view, this is the most effective way to engage students with both the material under study and with the instructor.
My goal as a teacher is to first and foremost show students that the study of social studies can be fun, interesting, and that these critical thinking skills are very helpful in the outside world. My other important goals are to help students learn this process and guide them through their journey towards academic knowledge.
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