I’ve loved history since the 7th grade. Mr. Goranson, my Social Studies teacher for all of middle school in my little township, gave me that gift. When I’d worked far enough ahead of my classmates, he shipped me off to the library for weeks on end with the task to write something about women in the Civil War. I think it had quite a bit to do with the fact that my grandmother was the librarian and I’d be out of his hair.
I quickly exhausted the books in the little library. Youngsters, these were pre-internet days, when you actually had to look at a real book to learn things. My grandmother and I began travelling around to the local libraries, then the county library, then the Civil War Museum in Philadelphia. My paper ended up around 20 pages. I was hooked.
In college in Texas, I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher. I graduated and realized that poverty wasn’t an attractive option, so I enrolled in an Alternative Certification Program at my alma mater, the University of St. Thomas, in December. Classes started in January. I started teaching in February in Houston ISD. I was too naive to be nervous. I just wanted to be the kind of teacher I wished I’d had. 2 weeks in, I was hooked.
I’ve taught World Geography, World History, AP World History, US History, and Model United Nations. I’ve been in big districts, a tiny district, and an award-winning charter school. Now I’m a K-12 Coordinator of Social Studies. I see opportunities for learning Social Studies everywhere and the pressing need to do a better job of it in this country. It’s my mission to help teachers have the tools, resources, and skills they need to train up the next generation of active and engaged citizens.
I’m blessed to be the mom to one amazing little boy and wife to a very patient husband. My family still lives in NJ, in the same sleepy towns near the Delaware Bay where my ancestors settled before the Revolutionary War. When I’m not immersed in Social Studies, I love crafts, cooking, a good book, and reality TV.