PDF Version: Eubanks- Teaching Statement
At a young age, I developed an interest in history due to my experiences growing up in Europe. During that time, I traveled to various locations, including Normandy, France or Rome, Italy, as well as many others. When visiting those locations, I was absorbed in the stories that each area encompassed. There is a lot to learn from the world. I became interested in teaching history because I realized that some students may not have the opportunity to see the world; I want to bring the world, and its stories, to them. In doing so, I aspire to cultivate understanding of history as well as themes such as diversity among my students.
The world is becoming increasingly globalized and intermixed. It is important for students to learn and engage with the history of various regions to gain an understanding of cultural and political themes within that region. To do so, I focus heavily on the use of primary historical sources in my classroom. By exploring primary sources, my students have the opportunity to engage with materials directly out of the past and come to their own conclusions about the material. I encourage my students to think critically about each source and to develop an individual understanding of the material.
Student expression is also an important component of my classroom. By assisting students in developing their writing skills, I am giving them tools in which they can express themselves and their thoughts and opinions about history. Critical thinking is encouraged among my students, and my goal is for them to constantly question the materials which they are studying, whether it be primary sources, secondary sources, or even their textbook.
In designing my curriculum, I provide students with content in a manner that is universally designed, so that there is diversity among my teaching methods. I avoid solely relying on lectures to teach students. Although history is often taught in the form of a lecture, it fails to engage students with the content. Student-centered learning is the key to my practice. With the use of worksheets, discussions, technological materials, writing exercises, and other expressive activities, such as skits, I hope that every student will develop a desire to learn and engage with the material.
I am constantly exploring ways in which technology can be incorporated into my classroom. I find that Smartboards are great for mapping trade routes and a game of historical Jeopardy is an engaging way to review before a big test. I intend to assign students projects that involve audio recorders, camcorders, or iPads. Students may also be expected to complete blogging assignments on occasion. My class may have its own Twitter page as well, which students may be expected to interact with over the course of the semester.
While attending Appalachian, I had the opportunity to gain exposure to teaching in many different ways. In an early internship, I taught a lesson to elementary-aged students about Native Americans. I encouraged them to breakaway from stereotype they accepted a history, and to explore the cultural diversity of various Native American tribes. They grasped the concept. If elementary-aged students can gain an understanding of history and cultural diversity, then I expect my high school students to be able to do the same.
By teaching them the history of the world, I hope to simultaneously develop an understanding within my class about global issues. Making sure my students receive the best possible education from my teaching methods is my biggest hope, and I anticipate that in doing so they will take away from the class an awareness of history that goes far beyond completing assignments and receiving grades.