Emotion in the Classroom

I can still recall sitting in an Honors World Literature I course as a sophomore in 2005. The course, which covered most literature from the ancient world until the 17th century, was one of my favorites in college. I loved the course partially because my professor seemed to genuinely care about the material being discussed…

Let The Students Speak

As we are all aware, the current news cycle is exhausting. Each day we are showered with stories about corruption, dishonesty, violence, sexism, natural disasters, and racism among many others. Social media provides a medium for individuals to respond immediately to any news story in real time. At first glance, it appears that the internet…

Student-Centered Exam Prep: A Gallery Walk Model

Preparing students for exams used to stress me out. I used to do what many novice teachers do: I had students come up with a list of questions they could ask the day before the exam. This was an unsatisfactory experience, to say the least. These exam prep sessions were exhausting. I answered a ton…

Deviating from the Standard(s)

The timing of the Civil War is suspect. While we might trace the conflict to April 12, 1861 and the shots fired at Fort Sumter, one could argue that it began in Kansas four years earlier. Still others would argue that the civil conflict was raging in 1850, 1820, or in 1787 as delegates wrestled…

Teach My Book: Jason Phillips on The Looming Civil War: How Nineteenth Century Americans Imagined the Future

Looming Civil War explores how nineteenth-century Americans imagined the future, particularly the sectional crisis and Civil War, to understand how collective forecasts formed, spread, and made history. After researching a host of sources, including political speeches, economic predictions, sermons, literature, military records, music, diaries, private correspondence, and artifacts, I learned that two, competing temporalities framed…

Always Be Teaching: Historical Advocacy Outside the Classroom

You know the scene. It’s Alec Baldwin’s only scene. In just over seven minutes, Alec Baldwin’s “Blake” harangues four hapless real estate salesmen to Always Be Closing. The film, of course, is Glengarry Glen Ross, and its language should probably be kept out of your classroom. But there is an essential message to Baldwin’s diatribe: Go and…

Keep Calm and Zinn On

On September 16, 2018, Slate published an excerpt from Sam Wineburg’s new book, Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone). The piece, “Howard Zinn’s Anti-Textbook,” comes from a chapter entitled “Committing Zinns.” As the Slate byline makes clear, Wineburg believes that Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States (originally published in 1980)…