Catalog of Lessons by Category > Teachers’ Knowledge, Preparation, and Passion > History

Catalog of Lessons by Category > Teachers’ Knowledge, Preparation, and Passion > History 2017-10-04T02:42:48+00:00
View Lessons by Category > Teachers' Knowledge, Preparation, and Passion > History
(American): During my sophomore year, I took AP United States History. It was a pretty routine class and I have no spectacular stories to tell from it, but somehow that class had a huge impact on not only me, but also the rest of my classmates. Our teacher was a terrifyingly smart woman who had been teaching the class for at least thirty or forty years. She knew everything there ever was to know about history. She taught simply because she loved sharing her knowledge about history and having informal discussions about history. She was not a particularly engaging teacher and sat at her desk all class, but I was nonetheless always interested. This class made me realize something I hadn’t really considered before. There is no “one experience” that will make a student remember something. That “one experience” is simply the teacher’s enthusiasm showing through in tangible ways. My AP United States History teacher showed me that my most influential experience in the classroom was and still is learning from a teacher who truly cares about his or her subject.
(South African): Currently I am taking a class on South African History, taught by Ms. [teacher name]. I have always enjoyed Ms.’[teacher name]’s classes because she is very passionate about what she is teaching, and makes even the most boring topics amazingly interesting. We are currently reading the book “Cry, The Beloved Country” by Alan Paton in this class, and we discussed the first four chapters of this book together. Ms. [teacher name] makes these book discussions particularly interesting because she breaks the class up in groups, and gives us all a topic related to the chapters to discuss. While discussing, the different groups create bullet points relevant to the topic. When everyone is finished, the groups write their bullet points on the blackboard, and the class as a whole discusses everything from there. I love the way Ms. [teacher name] does this because first of all you are interactive with your peers, and you can share your knowledge and come up with different ideas by discussing a certain topic with a small group. I love it when someone points something out that I never thought of before, and enlightens me in that way. Secondly, I love the idea of writing our ideas on the board and seeing them side by side. It really gives me the feeling that we are doing this as a group and everyone is fully participating and engaged. To me, the key of great teaching is a significant amount of interaction between the students themselves, and the teacher to the students. If the students are not interested, it makes the entire class experience not so great for me. I am glad that I am in an environment where almost everyone is a great student and where everyone motivates one another.
The class experience that interested me the most was in a social studies class. My teacher is a great teacher and is amusing, which I think makes everyone enjoy listening to her. She also told us a story about when she was a child and was digging in her backyard and came across a Viking ship! I absolutely adore history, partially because of my excellent teacher and also partially just because history interests me. I am interested in many subjects but history has always been my favorite. I most definitely think having an amusing teacher helps everyone get interested and excited about the topic.
I remember in sixth grade History, and this was one of my favorite memories. I didn’t really like the teacher, but on this day she was wonderful. We were learning about China, and she said we would have a “guest.” She left the classroom, changed into a costume and came back in dressed, and acting, like a person with these different beliefs. She acted out the parts so well and never broke character. It was funny and engaging, and stuck in my brain.