Anna Lee Walden ’11: History and Doctoral Studies in Education
I graduated from PC in 2011 with a major in history and minors in education and economics. After graduation, I taught in a critical needs high school in South Carolina before moving to a critical needs middle school. While I always envisioned myself teaching at the high school level, I cannot imagine teaching any other age now! For the past 3 years, I have taught 7th-grade social studies, and I have loved every minute of it. During these years, I have also completed my Master’s in Education in Divergent Learning which equipped me to engage and teach students who are non-traditional learners. The number one thing that I learned in this program was that you don’t just need a passion for your subject, but you also need compassion for your students. I believe that I observed both of these characteristics during my time in PC’s History Department.
The history major at PC gave me a very well-rounded view of history. I took a wide range of history classes, and this has served me well as a teacher. My history professors not only taught me the content of the classes that I now teach, but they also taught me how to interpret primary and secondary sources, which I use in my classroom to teach my students how to think critically about history. I have confidence when I teach my students how to write in my history classes because of the great feedback I received from my professors.
Even more than the historical knowledge that I gained in the History Department at PC, I was shown compassion and kindness from every professor that I had. As much as PC history professors love their content areas, they love their students even more. Every class I took within the History Department was taught by someone who exuded excitement and energy about teaching and showed how much they cared for their students. This is the type of teacher that I want to be, and I strive to be every day. My professors at PC really are my inspiration in how I run my classroom and approach students.
PC definitely shaped me into the teacher that I have become, and I am extremely grateful for all I learned through my classes and professors. But there is more to learn, and to that end, I applied and was accepted to a doctoral program in Curriculum and Assessment. I will continue to hone my teaching skills by continuing my education as I take what I learn through this program to help my students. In the future, I would like to work on a state or national level at developing interesting and appropriate curriculum for middle school social studies.