My students are always surprised to learn that their History teacher hated History in high school, but it's true. To me, history looked like a never-ending stream of names and dates, and I just didn’t see the point. It wasn’t until college that I began to view History in a different light. Thanks to some terrific professors, I learned that although studying names and dates is necessary to understand History, it is far from sufficient. Memorization alone does not a historian make! Instead, History is about understanding multiple perspectives and wrestling with the complex ways in which the past continues to shape our everyday lives. That said, I definitely understand why students sometimes approach History classes with a certain amount of dread, and I try to bring a sympathetic perspective to my own teaching. I don’t expect all of my students to become History majors in college, but I do hope to give them an experience of History that I never had in high school.
Before coming to Tampa Prep, I served as a teacher, coach and administrator at two different boarding schools in North Carolina and Virginia. I was drawn to Prep for many reasons, but one of the most important was its commitment to the Harkness method. I began using the Harkness method in my own classes in 2011, and it completely changed my approach to education. After being more or less the only teacher "doing Harkness" at my previous schools, I am excited to join a school where I can learn from others and continue to hone my craft.