Historical History

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History teachers PREPARE students for the FUTURE by teaching about the PAST

22 January 2009

Parkhill School District

Last week I was offered a long term substitute position at Park Hill School District, to fill in for a teacher who teaches four sections of AP US History and one section of Women's Studies. Nervously, I accepted the job and have been at Park Hill since Tuesday of this week. It was a transition I had never experienced before; leaving the comfort zone of one district and moving to another.

My first day at the new school I was thrown into classes without much preparation. It was as if I were thrown into a pool and were trying to put my feet on the bottom, without knowing how far the bottom of the pool was beneath me. It took about two days, but I think I'm starting to find the bottom of the pool. The AP classes are blocked every other day, which is great, because it allows my a day in between to prepare. On the other hand, the Women's Studies class is blocked everyday. I think if I had a week or so to plan for this class I could make it an entertaining and intriguing class. The teacher, who I've stepped in for, did a fantastic job at preparing the material I will need for the next few months. I have started to develop my own system for preparing for each class. Because this is my first classroom, I am not yet at point where I feel confident enough to walk in moderately prepared and deliver a fantastic lecture about any given point in US history; therefore, I have been reading, taking notes, and creating PowerPoints everyday this week. Today was the first day I gave a lecture to the AP class and I think it went well. The students seemed engaged and entertained. I think if I can stay a chapter ahead of them, I'll be fine for the rest of the semester. However, I can potentially see myself becoming exhausted in a few weeks if I stay as busy I was this week. Only time will tell, but I am starting to feel more comfortable in my new environment.

I know that this experience will be a learning experience no matter if it is a good or bad experience, and I believe if I stay positive and work hard, good things will come. I know that sounds incredibly optimistic, but I have a feeling this is just one more stepping stone in my journey through education. If you have a similar experience, I would love to hear about, please feel free to post a comment at the bottom. Thank you and have a great fantastic day!

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