Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Who taught you high school history? 

Maybe it's not the standards that matter as much as who actually teaches the class, says Michael Tinker:
*7th grade - American History - junior school football coach

*9th grade - "government" - not bad, though the teacher was reputedly a charity hire; he was certainly odd, without being crazy enough to be vivid or fun

*10th grade - European history - the chainsmoking registrar, the only class he taught. Misery. I read the textbook to pass the time, and when I finished that started snaffling books off his shelf. Guess that's why I did well on the AP.

*11th grade - American history from a man who was a historian. Bob Bailey, r.i.p, was a fine teacher and a fine historian. If he did anything outside the classroom for the school (and it was the kind of place where every teacher did something) I don't remember it. We were his priority.
The fellow who taught civics at Manchester Memorial in the early 1970s was a splendid teacher for me, but to really get wound up on history took two great college professors; how I ended up in economics is still a mystery.