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I was raised in Anchorage, Alaska, which allowed me to experience a very traditional upbringing. While I obviously owe the lions share of my upbringing to my family, I was also blessed with the experience of being raised by a community. I was able to feel that I was being raised by the families of my closest friends also, and still refer to them as parents to this day. It is this type of family feeling that I try to instill into my classroom, not that I expects students to think of me as a father figure, but that I want them to feel a level of familial comfort in my classroom.
I come from a long line of teachers that started, at least as far as I know, with Reverand James Maury, who ran the high school that taught Thomas Jefferson after the death of Jefferson’s father. While there are scores of teachers in my family on both sides the
most immediate inspirations came from my mother (who taught Social Studies in the Anchorage School District) and my grandmother (who was the national president of the school Food servers association for a number of years). These two women instilled in me every good quality that I hold today and I will always be indebted to them. Like most people I was also incredibly inspired by a teacher during my high school education. Myrtle McLaughlin was the type of educator that all strive to be and I have never even heard of an educator that made a bigger impact than she did. A major indicator of that is the fact that the entire school called her “mom”.
I have over a decade of experience teaching secondary social studies, having taught in every core history class as well as some specialty courses including AP World History, African American History and Latin American History. While I expect a depth of knowledge that is much more rigorous than many teachers, I also do my best to make the classroom projects creative and incorporate technology whenever possible. I believe that a good teacher focuses on the balance between different learning styles and attempt to keep concepts fresh and new for the students.