We asked you to share if you consider yourself a subject matter expert and and in what areas.  We knew teachers wore many hats, but some of the answers surprised us!

“Medicine and Healthcare,” – Stacy Williamson.

“Helping students find their voices and empowering them to use it to advocate for the world they want to see,” – Molly Beck

“Expert in American History?  Maybe. Maybe not.  Passionate about the story of us?  Definitely.

The first time I rubbed Lincoln’s nose at Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield, IL, it was like electricity.  When I saw the Spirit of St. Louis seemingly soaring above my head in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, my heart pounded with exhilaration.  Every time my amateur tour guide dad started a summer vacation with a “Look over there kids.  That is where . . .” I couldn’t wait for the story to unfold.  Now, I am the storyteller—my students’ guide through history.

Each and every day I realize what a supreme responsibility this is.  In a world wrought with strife and division our American history is what binds us together as a people.  Our common knowledge of our victories, traditions, battles, and even mistakes bring an insurmountable strength to our collective diversity.  It is not my responsibility to merely teach the nouns of history—people, places, things—it is my responsibility to teach the context, the perspectives, the ideals, and the consequences that real people have lived through and for and with.  Students need to live history.  They need to hold the documents, reenact the battles, and visualize the blood, sweat, tears, and laughter of the American experience.  The only way to accomplish this is for me to teach history with the same vigor as it took to make history.

In order to serve my students well as a teacher, I must always continue to be a student of the past.  As time marches on, I must continue to develop not only my instructional skills, but also my knowledge and understanding of American history.  In this way I teach my students another valuable lesson—we are all lifelong learners.  Through continued study my students benefit not only from my model of independent and enthusiastic study, but also from my gains in knowledge, instructional strategies, and resources.

I must give my students ownership in this endeavor as well.  They are a part of the fabric of American history, and they will serve as the storytellers to future generations.  Through accessing prior knowledge and building background knowledge; creating connections to people and perspectives through analysis of primary resources and content rich media; and engaging students through discussion, debate, and enrichment, history lives.  It goes from print to Technicolor—alive in their mind’s eye.

As students come to understand that our American history is a living work that breathes into the future impacting us individuals, as a community, and as a nation, they not only take on the role of historian, but also citizen—participatory, reflective, and proud.” – Sarah Showalter

“After 20 plus years teaching, I do consider myself an expert in the field of social studies, especially Psychology, Government, and American History.  Even though I consider myself an expert I am always learning and implement new and engaging teaching strategies for my students. I want my students to have a positive experience and share my passion for the subject.” – Gladys Brown

“Yes, History.  If you are looking for a reason,  I have been working and studying in the field for 19 years. I have a graduate degree with thesis in history and continue to study and research particularly in military history,” – Ralph Ogden

“Peanuts…(the Charlie Brown type).” – Lisa Hall

“I use speaking and listening skills to help students find their voices. They communicate in so many ways – from class improv shows to their own expert level TED Talk. I love seeing my middle schoolers discover themselves.” – Amanda Sullivan

“I have worked 14 years for the West Plains R-7 School District, and I believe that I have a great handle on helping struggling students to read by using the RTI skills that I learned 8 years ago. I am using those skills to not only help the student I am one on one with but other students within the self contained classroom that I have been in the past 4 years. The skills are the following: Teaching students digraphs, blends, and the short/long vowel sounds. Also, I teach them tricks to words to break them down for example: together–to get her, hand- h and, because(taught my students that is my favorite word)..when I say that is my Favorite word then their able to say and remember in their brain. I have other words I help them to break down once I get them comfortable with the blends, diagraphs, and vowel sounds. If they don’t know their sounds of consonants I help them learn those too. In RTI which I did for 3 years I didn’t have special education students, but I am using those skills now in special education. I have taken one student from scribbling and not being able to read to reading sentences now and writing as well. I am making a DIFFERENCE!” – Amber Redburn

“I consider myself an expert in the subject of morning meeting and teaching social/emotional health.  This is a passion of mine, and I love helping students find power over their overwhelming feelings!” – Shannon Berghoff

“I am an expert in the subject matter of Family and Consumer Sciences.” – Lacinda Ross

“I consider myself a subject matter expert in English with a special emphasis on Shakespeare. I’ve been a part of the Folger Library Teaching Shakespeare Institute and have a passion for making his plays come alive for students while getting them active in sword fighting, death scenes, monologues, and more. It’s so fun!” – Laura Latall