My arrival at the field education in some ways felt like coming home. I have educators in my family, with my father working as a teacher, principal and superintendent of schools, and my sister as a middle school teacher. When I finished college, I went another way and pursued a career in law. That path took me to Cleveland, Ohio, where I worked with an amazing group of colleagues in the field of public finance. During that time, however, I spent time each week tutoring middle school students in math and science (and showing them that lawyers can like math and science – and find those subjects useful!). These experiences reminded me of how much I enjoy teaching. After four years of the law, I decided to become a teacher.
The decision to be a teacher led me back to Denver, and I started teaching high school social studies in Denver Public Schools. During my years of teaching, I found myself working with thoughtful and talented people who cared deeply about students. I discovered that teaching involved a lot of learning, and that experience sparked my desire for more education. I left the secondary school classroom to pursue more education at the University of Colorado Boulder.
That brings me to the University of Colorado Denver, where I teach classes about social studies teaching methods. Engaging in the practice of teaching teachers feels like coming back to my family roots. As I think about the classes that I teach here and what I want students to think about when they leave, I hope it is that the teacher candidates continually ask the question about education that my father taught me to ask: Is this best for the students? It’s not always an easy question to answer and requires constant reflection; but, it reminds me, and hopefully my students, of how complex and beautiful teaching can be.
My students at University of Colorado Denver:
The students here have amazing experiences and backgrounds to draw upon as teachers. They are passionate, and they see something within themselves that lets them know that they can make a difference. Perhaps more importantly, they are willing to look at students as individuals and know that each one is deserving of a good education.
Courses/Professional Learning I lead at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:
- Social Studies Methods – UEDU 4/5465
- History Methods – UEDU 4/5464
- Social Foundations and Cultural Diversity in Urban Education – UEDU 5010
My research interests:
- Education philosophy
- Civic education
I enjoy spending time exploring the world with my lovely wife. We enjoy hiking and biking together and camping with friends.
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