SGAP Teacher Spotlight for November 2017 (Eric Lind of Ault, CO)
Name: Eric Lind
School Name: Highland High School
City, State: Ault, Colorado
Subjects Taught: Civil Government and U.S. History
Grades Taught: 11 and 12
Years Teaching: 7
Honors: 2016 and 2017 Girls Track and Field Mile High League Coach of the Year
What is your philosophy about teaching American History and Government?
"My philosophy in teaching American History and Government is to make as many real world connections to the past as possible. If you can help students understand that history is not just memorizing people and dates but understanding cause and effect relationships, you can teach skills that students take with them for the rest of their lives."
How do you stir interest in the subject of American History and U.S. Government among students?
"Not every student loves history. In fact, many dread the topic. As a teacher, I try to make each day different from the previous day so that students stay engaged. While we do repeat skills and activities, I believe adjusting the setting in which the task is completed helps with engagement among students.”
Why it is so important for your students to understand the critical role they can play in our country’s political system?
“Many times students enter a history or civics class anticipating that they will just learn about things that have happened in the past or people who have died long ago. It is my goal to make them realize that learning about the past can help them understand the current conditions that they live in today, as well as make predictions for what the future holds.”
What trends/issues do you think may influence social studies teachers in the future?
“Understanding the concepts of federalism and the impact of globalization will be key topics for teachers to tackle in the ever-changing world we live in today and going forward.”
What would your students say they had learned after spending a year in your class?
“I hope that students leave my class at the end of each year with a better understanding of how we have become the country that we live in today through a cause and effect understanding of history. Also, I hope they better understand the tools they possess as citizens in our government structure and aspire to be a more active participant as they grow older.”