My course covers the histories of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. I use the rich and varied content as a vehicle to teach social studies skills, and I am enthusiastically transitioning to the Common Core. I love how the Common Core standards emphasize critical reading, original thinking, and argumentation. I am known for my engaging and rigorous course work, and I love creating opportunities for students to lead their own learning. For example, I utilize problem-based learning strategies, Harkness discussions, and Oxford-style debates in my classroom. I also work closely with Boston Collegiate’s middle school art teacher to create and implement interdisciplinary units, such as a study of the Mughal Court and an investigation of Ottoman architecture, and lead field trips to the Museum of Fine Arts. My priority is to present my students with high quality primary source material, though it is often challenging to provide appropriate scaffolds to ensure all students can access historic documents.
I believe my greatest strength is my ability to identify and implement a variety of access points. For example, when teaching about Apartheid in South Africa, students read excerpts from Mark Mathabane’s Kaffir Boy and Miriam’s Song, analyze Apartheid legislation and statistics, investigate photographs and fine art, and evaluate South African music and sports. Students ultimately create reverse Document Based Question exams and post them virtually for other students to complete.
I have pursued many professional development opportunities to accelerate my transition to Common Core, including attending workshops through Primary Source and the College Board. I have also presented about data-driven humanities instruction at Building Excellent Schools and created Common Core aligned curriculum for 21st Century Lessons. In addition, I have also run professional development for colleagues about effective discussion facilitation and the incorporation of visuals. Outside the classroom, I serve as the Grade Level Leader for the eighth grade. Through this role, I promote interdisciplinary collaboration, lead peer observations, and ensure high expectations across the grade level. In addition, I serve on the Achievement Network’s Teacher Advisory Board and am a fellow of the One Dorchester Initiative.
I believe playing an active role in Boston’s educational community helps make me a more effective teacher in my own classroom. I attended Boston University on a full merit scholarship. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Bachelor of Science degree in History and Social Studies Education, both magna cum laude. I am currently pursuing a Masters of Education in Policy, Planning and Administration with a concentration in School Leadership at Boston University. Go Terriers!