Eureka Elementary School
Years as an Educator: 17
How familiar are you with the American Civil War? What aspect(s) do you find most fascinating or compelling?
“I grew up in California, so my knowledge was about the California Gold Rush and Missions throughout the state. Once I moved to Virginia for college, I started to learn more about the Civil War. I love how there is so much to the war, that I am always expanding my own knowledge. I love learning the roles that different individuals held, as well as the artifacts that were found from different battles.”
I was born and raised in California, so my knowledge of the Civil War was very limited until I attended Longwood College. I had always enjoyed history, so I was very intrigued by the amount of history that surrounded the area. I have been teaching in southside Virginia for 17 years and am constantly looking to expand my own knowledge to help my students learn. I work closely with other educators in our county and am always looking to exchange knowledge and learn from one another.
In what ways is the American Civil War relevant to you and your students today?
“We discuss how we live in an area of Virginia that has so much history that we can learn from. We discuss how inequality still exists today.”
How will this experience benefit you personally? Your fellow educators?
“I am always looking to expand my own knowledge and have a love for history. I work closely with other educators in our county and like to exchange knowledge with them.”
I taught USI for 9 years and have since moved down to Virginia Studies with 4th grade. I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm about Civil War’s history with the students and hope that they gain an appreciation for it. I consider my own knowledge of the Civil War to still be in development. I enjoy reading about the battles and the individuals that helped on both sides of the war. I am constantly working to expand my knowledge to better suit my students and their own development of knowledge. I am very excited to learn from all of my fellow educators.
What are the greatest challenges you face teaching during the Civil War era? What strategies do you use to address them?
“Trying to get students to understand the roles and battles is a challenge. I try to use primary sources when teaching about the Civil War.”
The greatest challenge with my 4th graders over the past 8 years is having them learn all of the important figures and their accomplishments. With the current framework, they have added several new people. I try to use a lot of hands-on and matching to help them learn the individuals. We do take a field trip every year to both the Civil War Museum in Appomattox and Appomattox Court House.