Grace Cameron ('19) enjoyed her time in the Blue Ridge mountains and her journey as a BS History/Social Studies Education major. A native of Wilmington, NC, Grace served as a member of the ASU women’s club basketball team as player and vice president. She credits this experience will helping her develop the crucial communication and leadership skills needed for classroom instruction. In her final semester, she completed her student teaching at Watauga High School before leaving for Costa Rica for a six-week international student teaching experience. This overseas internship helped her see curriculum planning and teaching from a whole other perspective that she hopes will serve her well in her career as a teacher.
Grace's vision as a teacher at West Cabarrus High School is to create an engaging and student-centered learning environment, where students see firsthand how the study of history can provide meaningful content and stimulate their own historical thinking skills. According to her, thinking critically, skeptically, and with an understanding of the context of significant events, are key elements for building a informed and positive community.
How did the History Dept. and the History Education program help prepare you for a career in history/social studies education?
Grace Cameron: The History Department and History Education program offers students a variety of courses and field experience opportunities that are essential to making a smooth transition into the world of social studies education. The professors within the History Department present their students with well-rounded content knowledge, while the courses offered in the History Education program are specifically designed for future high school history teachers that familiarize them with the curriculum, lesson planning, classroom management skills that are essential to creating an engaging and empowering classroom environment.
How can App State improve in preparing majors for a career in teaching?
GC: Burning out is the main reason many first and second-year teachers throw in the towel for their teaching career, and it is almost always due to lack of classroom management. Although I was able to take a course in classroom management, SPE 3540, it was merely a trial course and is not required for any education majors. Outside of my classes that are geared specifically towards teaching high school history, this class was easily the most useful course I have taken within the College of Education. Aiding future teachers in classroom management could potentially be in the form of a course offered within the department, adapt specifically towards high school students, or perhaps more time in the field with hands-on experiences interacting with high school students. Nonetheless, a focus on classroom management would make significant contributions to preparing majors for a career in teaching.
Why does history, and social studies, matter?
GC: One of the most appealing aspects of teaching history is that it is not limited to the classroom. The study of history provides students with meaningful content, while also stimulating their development of valuable historical thinking skills. Such skills are beneficial no matter what career path a student may choose. Thinking critically, skeptically, and with an understanding of the context of significant events, all collaboratively construct a consciousness that is necessary to build a knowledgeable community.