Teaching Medley (Week #15)

I think the biggest thing I worry about when looking forward to my first few years of teaching, the thing that scares me the most is how to get students engaged on day one. History, especially secondary history, gets a bad rap sometimes, and the coach and PowerPoint stereotypes that we as history educators have to work against don’t make it any easier. Helen Grady makes some good points and has some good advice in her section on What should happen on the First Day of World History Class? The most significant piece of advice that I think I’ll take with me from her writing is that it is essential for us to have a definition of history and an answer to “why do we want to teach world history.” And I think to be a great history educator; you must be able to answer that question because it will shape your curriculum one way or another. I know everyone will have their teaching approach, but I firmly believe that if you can engage students from day one and set the tone for the semester and the type of learning that will happen throughout the course, you will be a successful educator.

-Andrew Westmoreland

Helen Grady’s “What Should Happen on the First Day in a World History Class?” in Teaching World History in the Twenty-first Century: A Resource Bookpp. 107-109.