Presenting CSU Alumna Emily Marty for the April “Teacher Spotlight!”
Emily Marty teaches Social Studies at Amherst Steele High School in Amherst, Ohio where she was born and raised. Marty received her BS in Education and History from Ashland University and her MA in History at Cleveland State University. Over the past five years Marty has taught a variety of courses at Steele High School-the same high school she attended- including U.S. History, Advanced U.S. History, World History, U.S. Government, and PSEO World Civilizations through Lorain County Community College. Her philosophy of teaching history is highly influenced by the work she did with Dr. Mark Tebeau on the Euclid Corridor Project, the “Teaching and Learning Cleveland” projects and the “hands-on” approach to history. Marty and her husband (who teaches English across the hall from her) have a one-year-old named Crosby.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I honestly was inspired to be a teacher by a very influential English/History teacher who opened my eyes to the tremendous influence history has on our everyday lives. Knowing history made me feel more enlightened and curious about the world and I wanted to share that curiosity with others.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is when I see students use history or put what they learned into practice. For example, my PSEO Civilizations classes go to the Oberlin Art Museum or the Cleveland Museum of Art. I truly enjoy seeing them connect their knowledge of history to the exhibit and cultural influences used to create the pieces. My U.S. History students create local history projects. In their research many get excited when they find information they can relate to class. I enjoy when students make their own connections based on what we’ve learned.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a teacher?
Currently, the biggest challenge as a teacher is simply being a public school educator in this political climate. While there are the day-to-day challenges of dealing with limited curriculum, classroom management, and never having enough time to grade, I feel that the constant scrutiny of the teaching profession both locally and nationally is challenging.
What are your favorite ways to incorporate primary sources and/or technology in your lessons?
I LOVE primary sources. By either providing them to students or having them find their own is rewarding and provides meaningful learning opportunities for both the students and myself. There are endless uses of primary sources. I particularly love having students look at local yearbooks to see changes in trends and styles we study at the national level exist in the communities in which we live.
What is the most important thing you learned in your teacher education program?
The most important thing I learned in my teacher education program at Ashland is to be prepared for constant change. I find it useful to reflect on what worked and what did not work in the classroom. Gone are the days to prep a Power Point presentation to be used year after year. Interaction and discussion based classes constantly keep me on my toes. I like that each year brings new challenges and changes. I would be bored out of my mind if I didn’t adapt and change!
What advice would you give a student interested in becoming a Social Studies teacher?
Advice I would give for anyone interested in becoming a social studies teacher is to prepare for a lifestyle of little pay for a lot of work but if you are passionate about historical thinking and creating positive citizenship it is very rewarding.