Community Teaching

I am always on the lookout for opportunities to teach in my community. A few highlights:

  • I recently taught a course at the Huntington Library in San Marino as part of their new Huntington U. program. My course, California: Land of Movement explored the history of California in terms of immigration (from east and west), health/disease travel, railroad and automobile transportation, and the role of the Pacific. Each section was designed to highlight the Huntington’s collections while deepening class members’ knowledge about the state’s fascinating history.
  • As part of the Teaching American History grant programs, I’ve had the pleasure of addressing members of the Pasadena and El Rancho Unified School Districts on the topic of “Immigration in California and the United States: 1840 to Present” and the Lake Elsinore Unified School District on “The State, the Unions, and the Fairer Sex: The Twentieth Century American Economy.” After the latter meeting, the organizer (who holds an M.Ed. and JD) wrote to share his perspective on the day’s success. Among other things, he wrote,

I credit your ability to engage the teachers in meaningful discussion, use relevant content, and maintain a conversational tone throughout. As one teacher commented, “Who knew a day of economics could be so great!”

  • I founded and directed a multi-disciplinary, multi-university writing group for graduate students while working as a research fellow at the ICW. The group was wonderfully successful, improving both the quality of participants’ work (by providing substantive feedback at each stage) and the experience of preparing a dissertation (which can otherwise be a very lonely endeavor). In addition, members of the group were much more successful in landing tenure-track jobs upon completing their doctoral work than previous cohorts had been.

I would be more than happy to talk with you about developing a specialized course or day of instruction for your event or organization. You can reach me through the “Contact Me” link at right.

I also donate much of my time in my local congregation in a variety of teaching roles. Highlights from my work over the last four years include:

  • I taught local high school students at 6 AM, for three years. Yes, they (we) were sleepy, but this wonderful group rose to the challenge. Developing daily lessons from scratch to meet the individual needs of teenagers, handling 12-16 students in grades 9-12 each weekday, and keeping their attention was about the best teacher training I can imagine.
  • I developed and implemented a successful teacher training program for my congregation, which included all leaders and teachers of adults and youth age 12 and over (30+ trainees).
  • I currently serve as head of the Sunday School organization and teaching improvement efforts for several congregations stretching from Pasadena into East Los Angeles. I conduct training for other teaching administrators, make teacher training visits to local congregations, and work with bishops to improve teaching in their congregations. We are also preparing a training workshop in the spring for teachers from seven congregations (potentially including hundreds of attendees).