This is the part of a personal blog that’s tough to write – how do you talk about yourself and your credentials as an educator without sounding cocky or pompous? Instead of saying what I can do and have done, I think it’s better to talk about why I teach – and why the social studies.
I love learning – it’s one of the greatest things we can do as humans. I think that’s what always attracted me to school. The aha moments that I have when I learn and master something new are only eclipsed by those same moments with my students, my teams that I coach, and especially my three kids. As it says in my classroom, “learning is cool”, and that’s why I teach. Teaching is a noble profession, a challenge every day, and always different. To me, the teacher’s desk is way better than the business exec’s desk – and I have way funnier clients.
The social studies were always one of my favorite subjects growing up, as I loved maps, historical stories, government stuff, and seeing historical places growing up (except Amana in Iowa, which bored me to tears when I was little). I actually was a math and science guy in high school, and thought about going into the field of marine biology. But education always seemed to call my name – it also had a ton to do with my mom, who was easily the best teacher I have ever known. When I declared an education major, I thought back to my two favorite teachers – Mr. Smith in 5th grade and Ms. Stierle in 8th grade – and they both taught social studies. I figured if I was going to teach, I would try to do what they did – instill a love of learning about people, places, events, and why they matter today. Fast forward a few decades, and I find myself in my 25th year of teaching middle school social studies – and still learning.
For a quick horn toot, I’ve got a lot of experience in the social studies as a teacher, presenter, and methods professor. I also have a lot of experience with educational technology in various capacities. My resume has more detail if you need some light reading.
On a personal level, I have an incredible wife, three fantastic kids, and family and friends that make me happy. When I’m not thinking about teaching and the social studies, I am rooting for my Detroit Lions and Tigers, reading thriller killers, watching movies, spending time outside, and trying my best to make people laugh. And, of course, learning as much as I can.