Kyle Johnson
Social Studies, Language Arts
Seaman Middle School
Topeka, Kansas USA

My interest in history started in sixth grade when assigned a family history project. I interviewed my grandfather, Wendel W. Sales, a veteran of World War II’s Pacific Theater. Grandpa is humble and if not for the interview project, I would not have known about heroic actions for which he earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. From learning about my grandfather’s experiences during World War II and also examining the history of my service member at Normandy, I understand the importance of learning about and then making known personal and local history.

I strongly believe in teaching in a way that helps students experience history of others, much like my grandfather’s World War II stories taught me. This means teaching with primary sources to help students come in contact with what people in the past felt, saw, and experienced. I also believe teachers must be leaders in embracing new technology. Instructional technology is the way some students learn best, and teachers must be willing to invest time in professional development to continually work toward being a better educator. Great teachers are sincere, dedicated, and passionate. Students can see this, and it ignites their interest in history as well.