I am currently a teacher and social studies curriculum leader at Apponequet Regional High School in Lakeville, MA. I have been a classroom educator for ten years. From World History I, to US History II; from conceptual to Advanced Placement; from the Fall of Rome to contemporary issues, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with students in a variety of courses and many different readiness levels.
I am committed to bringing the world to my students, but that's only half of our work. The foundation of social studies education is to give our students a base understanding of society and the human condition, and the necessary critical thinking skills in order to process and engage the world. The second, and arguably most important, aspect of social studies education is to give our students the opportunity to demonstrate understanding and be active participants in a complex global community that relies on democratic values for progress.
It's a lofty goal, but one that matters immensely. To reach these aims, you will find my students engaged in primary source analysis, learning to differentiate and analyze viewpoints for context, develop understanding of complex social issues, and engage the democratic process through participation. Whether it's a case study of nationalism through writing and art, conducting a briefing for a state representative on legislative action, or engaging students in an exchange experience in France, I work tirelessly to make social studies relevant and indispensable.
If social studies is about engagement and participation, then it is vitally important that we model what good citizenship looks like. For this reason, I have worked throughout my career to advocate for high quality education and social studies programming.
I have sought to engage policy stakeholders in a variety of forums to bridge the policy and practice divide in Massachusetts. I have been a member of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Teacher Advisory Cabinet, where I worked with DESE staff and fellow educators to better implement the commonwealth's educator evaluation framework. I have served on the governor's Educator Licensure Workgroup to help streamline the licensure process, which led to the revision of many state regulations. And most recently, I am a member of the DESE's History and Social Science Framework Revision Panel, which is revising the state frameworks for the first time in over a decade.
Beyond the classroom, and even Massachusetts, I have sought to be a voice for strong social studies education. In 2015, I had the opportunity to speak on CNN about the value of an inclusive and comprehensive history curriculum when Oklahoma legislators tried to restrict access to AP United States History. My insights have also been featured in the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe.
And within our profession, I have been a tireless advocate through professional unionism. I was a 2013-2014 NEA Future of the Teaching Profession Fellow. I have served on the local level as a building representative, and at the state level as a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association Board of Directors. I firmly believe that through collective action, we can improve the quality of education for all students regardless of status or geography.
We demand lifelong learning from all engaged citizens, and educators are the best example of such pursuits. I have engaged in some amazing high quality professional development during my career. I earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching History at Bridgewater State University, and continue to take graduate level courses to enhance my skills as an educator.
I have also participated in many field experiences to become a better global citizen and teacher. It started with a life-changing experience teaching and learning in rural Tanzania in 2007. In 2009, I participated in a study tour of China to learn about contemporary Chinese societal issues and their education system. I was selected as an NEH Landmark Scholar in 2011 to learn about the robust history of abolition in our own backyard of New Bedford, MA. And in 2015, I was named a Goethe Institut Transatlantic Outreach Partnership Fellow and traveled to Germany. All of these experiences have become integral parts of my classroom instruction, and I could not be more grateful for these opportunities.
Most recently, I have completed the work necessary for National Board certification. It is my hope that I will earn the distinction of being a National Board Certified Teacher in December. This self-led professional learning experience has been rigorous and highly rewarding. I have learned a lot through reflection, and I am a better educator because of it.
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