Erin McArdle: Teacher Spotlight

We are pleased to introduce CSU MA student Erin McArdle for the February Teacher Spotlight!
McArdle2Erin McArdle teaches World History, Political Issues, and African American History at Maple Heights High School. McArdle graduated from the College of Wooster in 2012 with an undergraduate degree in History and earned her teaching license from Wooster as well. She is currently in her second year of teaching at Maple Heights High School and pursuing her MA in Secondary Education at Cleveland State University. In her own words: “I mainly teach freshman world history! I am a mother of two boys (ages 3.5 and 2) and my oldest started preschool this year. One of my major hobbies I partake in is competitive powerlifting. I am currently training for my next meet in April and then looking towards nationals in November!”
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I have wanted to be a teacher since first grade. I have always loved history and I enjoy helping and sharing information with others. Also, there is room to be creative and exciting. I love bringing history to life for my students!
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The most rewarding aspect is when my students actively seek out information on their own and are willing to push themselves with student-centered learning activities.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a teacher?
My biggest challenges deal with students who are not prepared to learn.
What are your favorite ways to incorporate primary sources and/or technology in your lessons?
I thankfully have access to a smart board so using technology is almost a daily attribute to my lesson. I also use mostly primary source documents, instead of textbooks, for my students to discover the information. I have created an analysis sheet for primary source documents that takes them along Bloom’s taxonomy as they analyze the source provided.
What is the most important thing you learned in your teacher education program?
The most important thing I learned in my teacher education program was always be flexible. Your plan is just a plan and be willing to change it on a second’s notice and always take advice. You don’t know everything and other people are valuable resources.
What advice would you give a student interested in becoming a Social Studies teacher?
The advice I give to any student interested in social studies teaching-be willing to teach students how to write and write well. Information is important but the lifelong skill of writing well is crucial and social studies allows students to write from a different perspective and gives them a chance to critically analyze the world around them.