I have taught mostly AP classes for almost a decade. The classes I've mastered include AP World History, AP European History, and AP Human Geography.
I strongly believe in what I call the "Three Es of Teaching." They are expectations, empathy, and enthusiasm. I design all of my projects, assignments, and assessments with very high academic expectations. I'm not content with having students simply regurgitate the bare minimum facts they need to pass a standardized test. I want them to think DEEPLY about the big questions that history raises -- I want them to use history to understand the world we live in today. At the end of my class, I hope that every student grasps the fact that HISTORY MATTERS! To make them feel this way, you have to challenge them to think at a higher level than rote memorization. However, high expectations must be tempered with empathy. High expectations without the love and support of your teacher just seem cruel. You have to let your students know that while you expect them to move mountains for you, you're gonna be there right beside them, fighting tooth-and-nail to help them achieve their goals. They have to feel like "we are in it together, and we can do it!" Lastly, I am not at all ashed to wear my love for the discipline of history on my sleeve while I'm teaching. Enthusiasm is infectious, and if you aren't afraid to "nerd out" and show just how utterly AWESOME you feel this stuff is, that enthusiasm will eventually rub off on your students.
Outstanding Teacher of the Humanities Award from Texas Humanities (Affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities), Teacher of the Month several times, "Umbrella Award" for teaching, Semi-finalist for HEB Excellence in Education Award, selected by 20 students as their most inspiring teacher at the annual Summa Cum Laude ceremony at my high school.
I have a Certificate of International Studies from Palo Alto College. My Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree are both in History from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
My biggest joys in the classroom are those moments where we bring history to live, where we have an in-depth Socratic discussion over a controversial reading and connect it to the events of today. I love to take my students on summer trips outside the country, to see the history we read about first-hand. We take regular trips to the local art museum. These are some of the greatest moments for me, as a teacher. Last year, one cohort of students finished an AMAZING project, in which they compiled and self-published a book of original historical essays. It is called "Turning Points in World History"and can be purchased on Amazon.com. All the proceeds go to the charity Doctors Without Borders!