Sara Temple (2019)

Sara Temple

Sara is beginning her teaching career in Fall 2019 at Downers Grove North High School as a social studies teacher. She will be teaching Global Connections, a freshman survey course on World History, and Ancient and Medieval History, an elective history course for upperclassmen. Sara also plans on serving as a sponsor for the theater department, volunteering for different productions and arranging fine arts field trips

What is your favorite part about your current position? How did you get to where you are now?

Although I have not started yet, I already have a good feeling about the environment I will be working in and the people I will be working with. Working in the field of education, it can become very easy to adopt a negative mindset and get discouraged by external factors (unsupportive administration, disruptive students, unhappy parents), especially after many long, stressful days. However, I believe that true success and growth comes from identifying areas that you can control and improve upon. Luckily, my new colleagues are positive, humble, and have very similar expectations about teaching; for that, I am truly grateful. I believe that the support that I will be given will allow me to help students the best I can. Downers Grove North also has a strong commitment to social justice education, which is vital to teaching history in a well rounded, all-inclusive manner.

I feel extremely lucky to have been hired by Downers Grove North High School, but I also acknowledge that my training and hard work have given me the tools to succeed. My education at the U of I, thanks to great teachers, has taught me to value determination and positivity and to primarily think about how I can help students. Without the fours years I spent in Champaign, I do not think I would be working at Downers Grove North.

What did you most enjoy about being a history major at UIUC?

I really loved getting to learn from everyone, both the professors and the other students themselves. History is vast; It is impossible to learn every single aspect of it! But that is what made interacting with everyone so great. One professor I had, Ralph Mathisen, knew what felt like everything about the Roman Empire; no question could stump him. And yet, at the same time, I was sitting next to students in class who were experts on all sorts of other things: 19th century Russia, Chinese literature, the intricacies of Mormon settlers in the United States, you name it. While that was certainly intimidating, we were able to learn from another. As a teacher, I will never know everything about what I am teaching, but that doesn't mean I don't hope to continue to learn about it every day, whether it is from my colleagues, my students, or resources provided to me. Continual learning is so important.

What was the best class you took in the history department and why?

This is too hard a question, so I am going to pick two courses. The first class, HIST 410: Decolonization in Africa, was, admittedly, something I chose solely due to the college's requirements. I needed a "non-western" course, and I figured I could benefit from learning a little bit more about a continent I was totally unfamiliar with. While I recognize that some might be scared off by such a content-heavy course, I truly think everyone should have to take something similar. I learned so much, not just about the different intricacies of unique African countries, but how the United States has become involved and how we have struggled to decide whether our presence will help or hurt. Thinking like a social studies teacher, I want to erase the notion that Africa is solely self-destructive and impoverished. It is much more diverse than we realize, and when these countries do struggle, it is not entirely the fault of their own.

I looked forward to this second class every week. HIST 371: The American Revolution focused on primary sources from the time period and took a critical look at the idea that England was the villain of the Revolutionary War. My favorite memory is getting the chance to teach one session of this class for an honors project. Through this experience, I developed a strong bond with Professor Morrissey, who helped me craft a lesson to discuss the musical Hamilton in the context of history. My classmates and I debated over its historical authenticity and what it meant that the public was so excited about history, something we had already loved enough to devote our lives to it. I know that whenever I teach U.S. History at the high school level next, I will be an expert on this time period.

What aspects of your education as a history student have been the most beneficial to you?

Most people do not understand the appeal of history because they think it is about memorizing dates and facts; in fact, I have had many high school students ask me, "why do I need to know this?", and it is my job to convince them that my class is worth their while. In all honesty, I do not remember a lot of the facts that I memorized for exams; for me, learning how to be critical, analytical, and decisive in my history classes will be what helps me be successful in future. In my classes, I wrote essays and prepared for debates using primary and secondary sources, and these projects required me to exercise my critical thinking skills and interpret an intense amount of complicated information. Now, when I read anything, including news articles on social media, I am able to discern not only important information but detect bias and determine credibility so that I may determine what I believe to be the strongest side of the argument. I hope to pass on these skills to my students so that they can be citizens who take their job in a democracy seriously.

What advice would you give to current history majors about the professional realm?

If you are looking to become a teacher, remind yourself why you are working hard at your classwork at the U of I. The harder that you work, the more your students are going to benefit from your knowledge. Sometimes, this means being critical about what you prioritize and what classes you end up taking. What will help your learners be active and engaged citizens?

If do not want to go the teaching route, that is OK! In fact, I would implore you not to choose to teach because you do not know what else to do. Teaching is incredibly difficult, and although it is rewarding, you should not pursue it unless you have a passion. Instead, do something with history that you are passionate about. For some, this might be working in a library, becoming a professor, or care-taking in a museum. For others, it might be something further outside the box, and that is OK too. Majoring in history gives you the opportunity to become a critical thinker, which every employer wants. Your major is extremely flexible: the most important part is how you sell yourself in the interview.

Related People

rmorriss

ralphwm

jbrennan

Related Topics

Directory

loughranTrish
Loughran
dkoenkerDiane
Koenker
hliebersHarry
Liebersohn
aespiritAugusto
Espiritu
steinbMark
Steinberg
kmcunoKenneth
Cuno
rjrossRichard
Ross
rptobyRonald
Toby
eavrutinEugene
Avrutin
kchow1Kai-Wing
Chow
aburtonAntoinette
Burton
burgosjrAdrian
Burgos, Jr
dprochasDavid
Prochaska
emcduffiErik
McDuffie
hogansonKristin
Hoganson
hoxieFrederick
Hoxie
jandersJames
Anderson
jbrennanJames
Brennan
j-love2Joseph
Love
johnlynnJohn
Lynn
jwrJohn
Randolph
khitchinKeith
Hitchins
msmicaleMark
Micale
m-stuartMary
Stuart
mtodorovMaria
Todorova
njacobseNils
Jacobsen
pfritzscPeter
Fritzsche
poshekfuPoshek
Fu
rotaEmanuel
Rota
schajuaSundiata
Cha-Jua
schndrDorothee
Schneider
symesCarol
Symes
tbarnes2Teresa
Barnes
tchaplinTamara
Chaplin
ccsCharles
Stewart
crowstonClare
Crowston
koslofCraig
Koslofsky
anpaikA. Naomi
Paik
bedwellThomas
Bedwell
jrbarretJames
Barrett
hibbardcCaroline
Hibbard
hoddesonLillian
Hoddeson
blevine3Bruce
Levine
ralphwmRalph
Mathisen
megmclauMegan
McLaughlin
melhadoEvan
Melhado
kjoKathryn
Oberdeck
epleckElizabeth
Pleck
drabinDana
Rabin
lreaganLeslie
Reagan
burkhardRichard
Burkhardt
godwin1Katherine
Godwin
jpmckayJohn
McKay
j-pruettJohn
Pruett
murphy71Evan
Murphy
quick2Elizabeth
Quick
rmitchllRichard
Mitchell
c-spenceClark
Spence
pschroedPaul
Schroeder
rmccolleRobert
McColley
warnsteiWalter
Arnstein
m-spenceMary
Spence
ovburtonOrville
Burton
rmorrissRobert
Morrissey
djordje1Stefan
Djordjevic
kosovyc2Stefan
Kosovych
mendez3Veronica
Mendez Johnson
mswhite3Megan
White
bmakBonnie
Mak
jdavilaJerry
Dávila
navales2Kent
Navalesi
riwilsonRoderick
Wilson
kmumfordKevin
Mumford
rhogarthRana
Hogarth
aachmie2Agata
Chmiel
rescoba2Raquel
Escobar
hfreun2Heather
Freund
drjones5Douglas
Jones
eelarso2Ethan
Larson
dlehman2David
Lehman
mlbrenn2Margaret
Brennan
harshmn2Matthew
Harshman
tkhan6Tariq
Khan
matssht2Elizabeth
Matsushita
cortega5Carolina
Ortega
tollerc2Ian
Toller-Clark
bawilli2Beth Ann
Williams
woodiii2Augustus
Wood III
pqwrigh2Peter
Wright
iasakaIkuko
Asaka
hertzmanMarc
Hertzman
shannon9Shannon
Croft
bcmpbll2Brian
Campbell
lddunca2Leanna
Duncan
escanil2Silvia
Escanilla Huerta
ghanoui2Saniya
Ghanoui
kojiito2Koji
Ito
mjaimes3Marco
Jaimes
klpfnst2Matthew
Klopfenstein
mora6Juan
Mora
tsantan2Thais
Rezende Da Silva De Sant'ana
takauch2Yuki
Takauchi
pbthomp2Peter
Thompson
nobiliMauro
Nobili
eadamoLiz
Adamo
rallen11Ryan
Allen
candrsn5Jack
Anderson
xchen151Xiao
Chen
fcowan2Felix
Cowan
denby3Eric
Denby
vmdiaz3Valerie
Diaz
snettin2Sean
Ettinger
cgreen11Morgan
Green
ohagedo2Olivia
Hagedorn
huang094Jun
Huang
kenisto2Billy
Keniston
cosei2Cassandra
Osei
rogaar2Eva
Rogaar
mjruiz2Michael
Ruiz
stvital2Stephen
Vitale
wisnsky2Catherine
Wisnosky
atyost2Franziska
Yost
cbosakClara
Bosak-Schroeder
cbrossedClaudia
Brosseder
trday3Thomas
Day
lobue2Adam
LoBue
lkm2Lisa
Mercer
adrianv3Adrian
van der Velde
tkvaugh2Taryn
Vaughn
cswrothCelestina
Savonius-Wroth
mebMarsha
Barrett
eabosch2Elizabeth
Abosch
ed5Elizabeth
Dean
ctg3Christopher
Goodwin
stetson3Stetson
Kastengren
hanping2Hanping
Li
lliu80Lingyan
Liu
bscBonnie
Crawford
sepkoskiDavid
Sepkoski
chettiarTeri
Chettiar
gilbertdDaniel
Gilbert
jsbell3Jacob
Bell
drsullivDawn
Voyles
ncoskun2Noyan
Coskun
wcrane2William
Crane
tdudley2Tessara
Dudley
rhein2Rhiannon
Hein
kelleyi2Kurtis
Kelley
leoni1Natalie
Leoni
mnatale2Marisa
Natale
ryanjs7Ryan
Schmitt
damirv2Damir
Vucicevic
marciabMarcia
Bellafiore
mga5Marcos Gildemaro
Alarcon Olivos
mibrad50Michael
Bradley
sdf3Samuel
Froiland
khudzik2Stas
Khudzik
owenjm2Owen
MacDonald
ruthvm2Ruth
Mandala
chloe3Chloe
Parrella
ats9Alexandra
Sundarsingh
toups2Eric
Toups
ev7Elizaveta
Vostriakova
bch7Bridgette
Hammond
smerrit2Samantha
Merritt
gmoran6Grace
Moran
tiglay2Pelin
Tiglay