My grandmother was the President of the Montana Educators Association-Montana Federation of Teachers (MEA-MFT) and a career middle and high school social studies teacher. My grandfather was a career middle school math teacher. My father was a non-traditional college student who earned his bachelors in his 40s. My mother took time between her bachelors and her masters, making a career change to become an archaeologist. My parents were students when I was in elementary school. I loved school: my school, my parents’ school, my grandparents’ classrooms.
My family’s background with education shapes how I approach learning, teaching, pedagogy, and work. Education is a right. Students are central to teaching. Teachers deserve fair wages, safe working conditions, and curriculum control. Not every student is the same. No career path is a straight line. I keep all of this in mind when I enter a classroom, whether in person or virtually. I strive to create an inclusive learning environment where together we can tackle difficult subjects with rigor, compassion, and enthusiasm, to learn from the past so that the future might be brighter.
When I work with students, I always work to help students make connections to what they’re doing in class to what they want to do in the future. History and culture are meaningful for every career, major, and lifetime. I coach writing for clarity of communication and argument. I advise presentations and projects as honing collaborative skills and management habits. Research may look very different in every field, but it remains useful. For those who are history or cultural studies majors, or just otherwise particularly interested in history courses, I focus on helping students take ownership of their own research interests, including developing academic questions, understanding historical context, and the careful task of relating the present to the past without imposing our own experiences onto those who came before us.
I have experience as an educator and academic mentor with k-12 students, college students, and adults. I taught English as a Second Language with Learning Enterprises – Hungary and Slovakia in 2015 to students from age 5 to 60. I was an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Georgetown University American Studies Program core curriculum. I mentored students from 3rd grade to 8th grade at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, in both English-Language Arts study skills and life skills. I have worked as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader. In place of mandatory discussion sections for undergraduates, UT offers voluntary collaborative student enrichment and study sessions directed by SI leaders who train with the Sanger Learning Center. At UT, I have also attended the Faculty Innovation Center Teaching Preparation Series, and completed the Inclusive Classrooms Leadership Certificate Seminar, the History Department Pedagogy Colloquium, and the Supervised Teaching in History graduate course (HIS 398-T). I am qualified to teach as an Assistant Instructor at UT Austin. I am prepared to teach U.S. History survey courses, as well as courses in Labor History, Leisure and Sports History, History of the U.S. West, American Women’s History, and Career Development.