I have 17 years of experience as an "English/History" teacher. While I have taught British Literature and Composition, my primary focus has been American Studies through courses in American Literature and Composition, American History, AP English Language, Journalism, and a Writers Workshop. I am currently teaching US History and Journalism at a traditional K-12 College Prep Independent School. I am also the yearbook advisor for our school and am working with our students as they contribute to school and local publications. I am the coach for our school's trivia team and help with our Model UN program. Additionally, I have 13 years of experience at a charter school that was a partnership between our county school system, the technical college system, and the local business/industry community. Its mission was 21st workforce development, and, as an employee of the school system I taught American Literature and Composition at the charter school so that the students could meet their core curriculum requirements while pursuing an active work-study or high tech vocational protocol. In each class, I taught AP level students alongside general and collaborative level students. This charter school is a nationally replicated model for educational and industry collaboration. Prior to that I did fundraising and development work for a technical college and for a national non-profit voluntary health agency.
I teach the American experience through nuance and broad strokes. While pedagogical principles are evident in my curriculum, my methods are designed to instill passion for and appreciation of the rhetoric, themes, human frailty, human virtue, ironies, patterns, and coincidences of American life. I love giving credit for thoughtful "What do you think" questions. I use primary sources, biographies, eyewitness accounts, video clips, art, music, infographics and the news media to showcase the layers of American history. I believe in cultural literacy but encourage students to make connections beyond the objective facts of history that every American should know. Analysis is at the cornerstone of my teaching because I want students to move away from ideological concepts and recognize the complexity in every area of American life. I want my students to be "thinkers" as well as "knowers," and I want them to value intelligent and non-dogmatic debate as well as life-long learning. I also want my students to write clearly, follow standard sentence structures, and know when to use a comma!
I've made it to the second qualifying level for Jeopardy! I am past chairman of our local adult literacy non-profit and on the local library board. I have written the trivia questions for our literacy non-profit's annual trivia bee fundraiser for the last 10 years.
I have a B.A. in English with minors in history and journalism from Presbyterian College in South Carolina. I received the journalism minor through the Washington Semester program at American University in Washington D.C. During that time, I also interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in the Division of Military History. I have completed Masters level coursework in US History and in Institutional Advancement at the Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University. I have completed College Board training for AP English Literature
My husband and I have a 13 year old son and a dog. I am an avid gardener, reader, and exerciser. I'm in two book clubs! I'm also related to Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone With the Wind, though marriage!
English Language Arts, Writing-Expository, Grammar, Specialty, Social Studies - History, Government, Native Americans, U.S. History, British History, Critical Thinking, Literature, Writing, Reading Strategies, For All Subjects, Informational Text, Close Reading