Whether it is creating a new lesson or appearing ready for a job interview the word prepare comes to mind in the article and essay. I think that history should be the most entertaining and somewhat thought-provoking class a student takes. To get students to feel the same way as I, would be a pipe dream at best if my lessons and activities were subpar. This is why I think it is very important to take a look at the content you are preparing to use, and where you want the end goal to be. I have struggled with deciding what should and should not be in a lesson, so that is why processes and frameworks like the Backward Design model. This way it is easier to pick and choose what to include in a unit so that everything flows together in a quick and efficient manner. This helps to give the students doing the task understand that what they are doing is important.

This brings me to my second observation when reading the essay from Helen Grady. I think that it is important to be transparent with the classroom, especially on the first day. Give the students a heads up on what the teaching atmosphere is going to look like, and most importantly lay out a ground work to get students in the right headspace for a history class. I think that some students can get demoralized when they are blindsided with material that some feel that was not covered in hardly enough detail. If I were to compare it to a math lesson, transparent teaching is presenting the formula for a certain type of problem. Once the student understands the formula it does not matter how many different problems you set down in front of them, they know the steps to take to solve the problem. By giving students the “formula” in a historical setting it helps to lay the grounds for long term retention. However, I do not believe it is entirely helpful to bluntly lay everything out for students, as that does not get anyone into a critical thinking mindset. Students should figure most things out for themselves, but it is our role as an educator to make sure they know how to think through different subjects without giving them an outright answer.