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 Will you teach history? 
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So I'm curious, after all of our discussions and the mention of Lies My Teacher Told Me, how everyone feels about teaching History. If it's not your subject area to begin with, will you simply not mention it? If it is, do you feel this makes your job even more difficult? Personally, I don't feel as though my job would be complete if I failed to include historical background as an English teacher, becuase the two subjects are so closely related... what's your take?

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Cassandra Weimer


Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:14 pm
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Casey, I'm so glad that you're going to be an English teacher. I wish I could be an English teacher, too, and I think that I will be to some extent. I am going to be teaching history but I couldn't imagine doing it without including literature, primary source documents, and intellectual prose. I look forward so much to the challenge of turning historical "figures" back into living, breathing people with radical ideas and involved in ever more complicated events. Just like we talked about last night, the greatest shame of our public education's attempt at teaching history (and the greatest accomplishment of the State) is that it turns people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Helen Keller into term papers. Am I afraid that I may open some Pandora's Box of truth? Yes, and I look forward to it! For me, as an amateur social scientist and even more amateur social activist, History and English are where it's all at! I'm excited and nervous as hell, but ready.

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Neal Rainey


Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:54 pm
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I agree with Casey, history is very important to English education. One of my favorite examples of this is Shakespeare. So many students hate Shakespeare, mostly because they don’t understand it. Having a solid historical background in the time helps everyone understand and appreciate Shakespeare. Teachers tend to ignore the racy jokes and puns that make much of Shakespeare’s work so funny. Shakespeare has also been idealized. We see him now as a great writer, but he started and worked most of his career as a lowly actor, working in one of the least respected professions of the time. Few teachers explain that many of his love sonnets were possibly written for other men and boys, even though this idea is still questionable and highly debated.

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Mary Carmichael


Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:36 pm
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I think subjects definitely need to be integrated. If you teach just history or just language arts, so to speak, do students get a realistic viewpoint or a segregate one? Even with science as well, learning about the history of scientific experiments and the scientist themselves makes science much more intriguing. Students need to understand these people are human not perfection. A lot of times in science, it was who got to the finish line first instead of one scientists with an ingenious idea.

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Elizabeth Puckett


Sun Dec 12, 2004 2:02 pm
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I never thought I'd enjoy the subject of history untill it was presented in an unorthodox way. At this stage in my schooling career I have my own pedagogic creed and I can't see how subjects can remain in their own "cubbies." The intergration of subjects provides students with a holistic education. Getting your students to see the english in the history or the history in the english provokes them to use their cognitive skills which, hopefully will increase their learning capacity. It may be tougher, but I'm willing to try.

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susan meadows


Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:23 pm
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I love history - - for the pure sake of the romance of what people before me have accomplished and failed at. I want to teach this alongside literature in my class. It is VERY important to me to help my students grow to enjoy atleast a little bit of english and a little bit of history. It will be a challenge i look forward to.

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Kate Padgett


Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:34 pm
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