Students, please bring something to write with the first day. Typically the first couple of days of class are spent getting to know each other, going over school rules and expectations and doing a few activities so that I can gauge your leadership, cooperation with peers as well as your personality. Here is all that I ask out of you this year: DO your best not try your best, be kind and supportive to each other and not harmful or hateful, be open to new subjects in class and different cultures than what you may be use to, follow the school rules and behave in a way that honors your family even when they are not around to see your actions. So basically, do your work, be kind to each other, respectful of our teachings, don't do things that take away from another students chance to learn and above all, be honest in all endeavors.
Parents, please let me know this year when you have questions or concerns. I just ask that you seek clarification before ordering the firing squad to my email in-bin. There may be times that you have a valid question and need clarification as soon as possible - please remember that out of school I do not check my work email. I also know that sometimes you may hear stories from your student about things on the bus, things on facebook, things in the halls and think that better not be true or couldn't be true - just check with me because after 16 years of teaching I have learned that 99.9999% of the time it isn't true (guidance will be your better check in for all social media drama). When we work together, your student will receive the best education possible. I am very approachable and work very hard for you student. All topics that we cover this year are directed by the federal and state level departments of education. I do not have any discretion in what I teach or don't teach, books that we use or typically the activities that we do. While I cannot promise that everything we learn this year will be fun for your student, I do promise to always be ethical and honest about everything we review in class. Fair warning that a lot of the topics we cover this year will deal in some way, shape or form with politics, religion and economics. I promise you that I will never state personal feelings about any of those topics, nor will I ever direct students to believe one is right or wrong, good or bad, should or shouldn't believe in, etc... my job is simple to expose the students to the federally approve list of topics in a historical sense and then help them to make connections to how it effects them in today's world. Anything with good/bad/right/wrong/should/shouldn't will only come from you the parent, never me the teacher. I am here to help facilitate their learning, not brainwash.
I am very much looking forward to a great year with you and think you will leave with a new found love of history!