Deb's Bio -- Fall 2013

As a Canadian who was raised in four countries and has traveled to over forty countries, I consider myself a global citizen. Having taught in public and private secondary schools in the United States for the past 24 years, I would love to return to my roots and teach internationally. Coming of age in Cairo shaped my formal education in International Affairs and World History, but more importantly shaped the kind of teacher that I have become. In both the public and the private middle and high schools I have been part of, I have encouraged my students to live the history, geography, or international issue we are studying, through travel when that is possible, but more often through creative engagement, role play and other activities which develop historical empathy. Walking into my classroom, you might see Galileo on Trial, a current event Image of the Day, Facebook pages for Candide, a Scramble for Africa simulation, Arab Uprisings essays, or multi-media History Day project presentations. My students would argue that I work them hard but we have fun!

One of the joys of teaching is hearing back from alumni who are working all over the world in non-profits, teaching, business, and government due in part to the global perspective they developed. This week I happened to hear from three former students: a young woman at Boston College who was named the first UN Youth Ambassador this past year, a young man who is now working in DC for a think tank and just published an article in the Atlantic on Iran-American relations, and a young woman who is teaching world history at a charter school in NYC. In different ways, they are all living that worldview that their high schools opened up to them. I want to continue to be part of a school community that does that.

I love teaching, especially the joy that comes from working with a wide range of students using interactive pedagogy which integrates economics and geography into a global curriculum. Having helped train teachers for the past fifteen years on the AP World history curriculum, having read AP exams for 11 years as a question leader and reader, and having taught it since it launched in 2002, I feel comfortable with the curriculum. I am not wedded however to the AP experience and would love to teach the IB curriculum as well if that is what is offered. My son is currently at an IB school and I love the depth that comes with that approach as well. I love taking on new courses—most of my teaching career has involved experimenting with new ideas and designing new electives so I am used to having multiple new preps. The Big History course is one such course which has been a joy to work on since it transcends disciplinary boundaries and builds science and history skills along the way.

As important as teaching is to me, it is even more important for me to feel a part of the larger school community—-one where I am involved in extra-curricular activities such as Model UN, international trips, and debate, as well as one which involves my family. The opportunity to teach overseas is a dream that my husband and I have talked about for two decades now. Over the past few years, I have taken my two teenage children on trips to China and Malaysia to give them a taste of what it would be like to live abroad. They loved it! We all feel that the time is now perfect for our family to explore these options.